Thursday, March 04, 2010
My wife's grandpa died yesterday morning. He was 95 years old and lived a good long life, but at the same time it seems nothing more than a vapor. Life on this earth is brief and fickle and holds no final hope for us. If we're to have real hope we must look beyond ourselves and beyond this earth to the One who fashioned it.
I thank God that he poured his grace upon me in Jesus Christ on October 26, 1986 so that now, even in the face of death, I do truly grieve with hope. Hope in the grace of God. Hope in eternal life, which Jesus defined as "knowing God," truly knowing God (John 17:1-2). Hope in the death of death. Hope in the wisdom of God, that he has worked all things, even suffering, according to the counsel of his great will and that he was right to do all things in just the way he did them.
If you have no hope on this earth, friend, look to Jesus. Your health and riches and success and interests will all fade away. They will fail you. Everything on this earth will pass away, but the Maker of heaven and earth will never pass away. So look to him and hope in him alone.
"14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (John 3:14-18).
Sunday, February 14, 2010
It's been a good week but a long and busy one, and I'm so ready for my day off which is Monday. So in just minutes from now I'll start vegging out and hopefully get some good rest and go back to it on Tuesday morning.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I've done several "centuries" now, that is, 100-mile bike rides in one day. I don't mean for this to sound arrogant, but honestly it's just not a challenge for me anymore. I take a century seriously because it is a long way to ride a bike in one day, but with not more than a little thought and training I can pull that off.
So I was looking for a new challenge, something to really stretch me, make me train hard, and take me to the next level of cycling. And I think I found it, it's called the Paul Bunyan Double Century. It goes from Anoka High School, just north of Minneapolis, north to Lake Mil Lacs, then around the lake and back to the school--200 miles in one day.
The ride takes place on the last Saturday of June so I have several months to get ready for it but I must admit that I'm a bit intimidated. But this is precisely what I was looking for, just enough intimidation to motivate me to take it to the next level.
Friday, February 12, 2010
As I said a couple blogs ago, in preparing for the cycling season I focus on cadence and strength training this time of year so today is a strength training day. Here's the workout I did, it's called "3-2-1 Intervals."
After a 10 minute warm-up, increase the resistance on your trainer and ramp up your cadence until your just at the top side of your comfort zone. Pretend that you're holding onto the wheel of a better rider but one with whom you can keep up in you work hard. Hold this pace for 3 minutes. Then, without a recovery period, push past your comfort zone for 2 minutes, pretending that you’re trying to keep pace with someone who’s considerably better than you. Finally, give all you have for 1 minute—hold nothing back, leave everything on the “field.” Recover for 5-10 minutes and do it again, working up to three times in one hour.
This workout is very hard and if you do it right you will be both exhilerated and exhausted when it's over. The benefit of it is that you simultaneously improve your strength, aerobic capacity, stamina, and will power. It's the kind of work out I don't look forward to now but am glad I did later!
Hope you have a great day!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
One of the things that gives a person power on the bike, but which is ironically not exercised much on the bike, is his or her core muscles: the abs, obliques, and lower back. When I'm in the heart of cycling season I don't work to strengthen these muscles because the cycling itself is intense and it takes up all the time I have for exercise. But this time of year I work pretty hard to strengthen these muscles.
Now, you wouldn't know this by just looking at me because I'm about 5 short of a 6-pack, but the payoff comes when I'm climbing a hill or sprinting to catch a faster rider or surging to lose an irritating one. So off I go in just a few to torture my core--but I'll be glad I did in a couple of months!
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