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Phase Three: Making the Best of the Final Three Weeks

Monday, May 16, 2011

My training plan this year is divided into seven phases: winter, early spring, late spring, early summer, late summer, early fall, and late fall. I met all of my goals for the first two phases and have already met my goals for the third phase even though I have three weeks left. That's exciting but I still want to make the most of the next three weeks to set myself up well for the most important phase of the year: early summer.

Reason being, my main fitness event every year is The Ride Across Minnesota, a 5-day, 300-mile ride that benefits Multiple Sclerosis. My wife has MS so this is personal for us. The event takes place the last full week of July and thus my early summer plan is designed to help me prepare for the rigors of it, especially since this year there will be a lot more climbing than usual.

So the plan for the next three weeks is to stick to the plan! Here is a summary of the plan for this phase:

Phase Three: Late Spring (Apr-May)
Continue taking four rides per week but now introduce a weekly strength workout and more miles. Give one workout to cadence and body position, one to strength, one to speed endurance, and one to speed endurance or recovery. The goals of this phase are (1) to improve base cadence, (2) to improve body position endurance, (3) to develop strength, (4) to improve aerobic endurance, and (5) to develop endurance at higher intensity levels.

I know these goals are not very specific but I do have targets for all five and I've hit those targets. So my plan for finishing this phase strong is to increase my targets a bit and do my best to reach them in the next three weeks.

I'm rethinking phase four a bit, I'll blog about that another time and hopefully get some helpful feedback.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER4LIFE08 5/16/2011 3:41PM

    My hubby has done the MS bike across Minnesota. My father-in-law still does it every year. I have thought about it but would need some serious bike training. Riding 40-60 miles a day for 5 days straight is tough!

Awesome training plan!

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First Official 5K--Pics

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I've jogged plenty of 5Ks in my neighborhood but it sure was fun to do it along with others. I found out today that I came in 157 out of 318--in the 49th percentile--at a 10:44 pace. Pokey to others, pretty good for me! Anyway, it was a blast and here are a few pics of the Maple Grove 5K and HM.

Before the Race:

Here are the first few runners, the wife didn't catch me thanks to the old digital delay:

Slowed down to smile at my honey--didn't know she was going to be there!

Just after I "sprinted" to my first finish:

A final pic of my honey and me:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER4LIFE08 5/16/2011 3:24PM

    Congrats on completing your first 5k race!!!

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NERDGIRL23 5/16/2011 10:22AM

    Congrats on your first official 5K! That's a great pace!

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JOAN_HEO 5/15/2011 8:29PM

    Congratulations!!! Wasn't it great??? My third race is coming up. I think they get better each time.

Yes! Sign up for your next one. It will keep you motivated.

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JERIBERI1 5/15/2011 7:20PM

    Good job! When is your next race?

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    Nice work on your first race. I find them addictive.

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Finished my First Official 5K Today!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Last November I decided to try the "Couch Potato to 5K" plan again. I've never liked jogging, actually I've always hated it, but I thought it would be a good way to stay in shape during the winter months when I couldn't ride my bike.

It took me more than 9 weeks to complete the program because I only moved ahead as I was ready, but I did complete it and somewhere along the way I actually started to enjoy jogging. I think the reason was that I allowed my body to adapt to the rigors of it and didn't try to do too much too soon.

So for the last few months I've been jogging 1-3 5Ks per week in the neighborhood and thought it was high time to sign up for an event--so I did! I entered the Maple Grove 5K and completed it in 33:14 or something like that, which is slow but still 1 minute faster than my previous best.

The route started and finished on the track of Maple Grove High School, and as I entered the track for the second time I immediately thought of Paul's words in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing."

And I prayed, "Oh Lord, others will run faster and farther than me in this life with you but I want to finish my race. I want to fight the good fight. I want to keep the faith. I want to receive the crown of righteousness you have prepared for me which will be a monument to the glory of your grace. So help me love your appearing more than anything else and live my life with you."

Oh Lord, hear my prayer, and give all who believe the grace to finish this race.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNNICE 5/14/2011 12:30PM

    I especially love the first line of that prayer, as it applies to so many areas of my life. I'm going to "steal" it and add it to my daily prayers. It's a great reminder to pray for strength NOT to try to keep up with the Joneses but for strength to be the best of the person God wants us to be and be happy and satisfied with who we are. Congrats on your first 5K!!

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Which Kingdom will you Serve in Marriage?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Most Friday nights Kimmy and I go out on a date. We're mildly addicted to Applebee's 2 for $20 deal and so we often end up there. Tonight was no exception.

Then after dinner we read a chapter of a book together. Right now we're working our way through Paul Tripp's book on marriage called, What Did You Expect: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage (Crossway Books, 2010). Thanks James and Shelly Vanderlinden for recommending this book to us.

Tonight we read the third chapter entitled, "Whose Kingdom?" It challenges the notion of what we consider to be love and gently--sometimes not so gently--confronts us with the reality that what we call love is often self-love. In other words, it's the "I'll love you as long as you're everything I expect and need you to be" kind of love.It says it loves the other but in truth it is deeply self-interested.

The solution to this devastating problem, Tripp rightly points out, is not other-centered love but God-centered love. To remove ourselves from the center of our affections and place our spouses there is a kind of idolatry. It's putting someone on a pedestal who was not designed to be on a pedestal. It's making an mini-god of a person. However, to remove ourselves from the center of our affections and place God there is worship. It's getting the order of life right. It's the path to communion with God through Jesus Christ. And that communion becomes an ever-flowing fountain of true love that enables us to serve our spouse with joy rather than bitterness and resentment.

Tripp uses two terms here to contrast these loves: the kingdom of self and the Kingdom of God. When our deepest concern is rooted in the second Kingdom we enter into God's vision of our marriage which is much better and more satisfying than our vision. He's right about that. Kim and I have learned this lesson 1,000 times over the course of the last (nearly) 20 years. It was good to hear this truth again and be reminded that the true fountain of our joy is in God's way, not ours.

Tripp asks why God designed things this way and answers with a potent sentence: "Marriage is a beautiful thing that only reaches what it was designed to be through the methodology of painful process" (52). In other words, the very things we think signify the lack of God's grace in our marriages are God's grace in our marriages because he's using these things to make us more like him, less like us, more perfect in love, and more full in joy.

So the application for us today was this: surrender to God and let him have his way in our marriage. In this way he will receive much glory and we will receive much joy. Amen, Lord, help us to put these things into practice.


The Bad News is Good News

Thursday, May 12, 2011

So here's the bad news: I attempted a high cadence exercise yesterday and failed. I was supposed to hold my cadence at 100 for 5 minutes and recover, then up to 105 for 5 minutes and recover, then up to 110 for 5 minutes and recover, and finally up to 115 for 5 minutes and recover. I did fine at the first two levels but I could even reach and hold 110 for 1 minute, which is very unusual for me.

I've been having a hard time sleeping lately due to too much dark chocolate and a lot of stress at work. So I decided to go cold turkey off the chocolate and alas I've been sleeping again, well at least for the last couple of nights. As I tried to push the pace on the bike I could feel the exhaustion in my body and decided to let go of this workout and take a recovery ride instead.

No problem, happened plenty of times before but I must admit that I was a little disappointed. That is until I got home and realized that on this "recovery" ride I still averaged 18.0 mph! My goal this year was to make an average of 18.0 mph the "new normal" and now I'm wondering if I shot too low.

So the bad news turned out to be good news and I can't wait to see what I can do when I get rested up and feel strong again.

Thanks for reading, hope you have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VEEJAY3 5/13/2011 11:35AM

    You know what this mirrors. The famous fable:

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I'm so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “We'll see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses. The man and his son corraled all 21 horses.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said, “We'll see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man's only son, breaking both his legs.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I'm so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “We'll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer's son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said, “We'll see.”

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KA_JUN 5/12/2011 6:14PM

    Good job "pulling back"! Nice average on your "recovery ride"! emoticon

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LILPAT3 5/12/2011 12:54PM

    emoticon for listening to your body which is extremely important when it comes to pushing too hard. We have to push and extra work pays off but when the body says not today after an honest really means it! emoticon

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