Tag Archives: running club

Running Lessons

One key aspect of running is its simplicity. All I need are a pair of running shoes and workout clothes to go for a run. I don’t need any other equipment, gym or teammates to have a quality run. I simply need to get myself dressed and out the door.

Of course that simplicity can turn running into a stale routine, even a rut. I can run the same route at the same pace at the same time everyday. (One reason I avoid treadmills is that I find them to be so boring.)

To break up the routine, I enjoy running with a group on Saturday morning. For years the St. Andrew’s Running Club has blessed me with great running companions. Most of the runners are not members of the congregation and even though I have moved on to a new and wonderful congregation at Resurrection Lutheran, the Running Club welcomes me back on occasion to run with them. What I appreciate during these run are the lessons I frequently learn. This morning’s run was especially rich.

Lesson #1 dress properly: The weather has turned colder in Minnesota this week and overall I had the proper gloves, hat and running tights for the chilly morning. However as we started out, I noticed that my neck and chin were almost numb. I also notice nearly everyone else wearing either a turtleneck or neck gaiter to stay warm. Over the years my running mates have taught me several lessons about shoes, socks, tights, shorts, shirts, jackets and hats.

Lesson #2 change of pace: One of the reasons I like to run with others is that it is a change of pace. Sometimes slower, but often faster as it was this morning. Our six-mile run challenged my aerobic system, even as we chatted about films, marathons, books, children and life.

Lesson #3 companions: In recent months I have discovered that I have occasional episodes of tachycardia where my heart rate suddenly jumps 40+ beats during exercise.  I have discussed it with my doctor and together we developed a plan so I could continue running. Today I had two episodes; I immediately did my standard treatment of lying down and the heart rate dropped to normal exercise parameters in less than a minute. Each time my friends stopped to see if I was all right and even when I told them to go on (they know about my tachycardia), someone waited. I was never left alone.

Lesson #4 expert advice: This morning Shannon Maixner joined the group. She is the physical therapist who greatly aided my injury recovery over a year ago. After the run, I was showing her some of the exercises I continue to do to stabilize my hip and she graciously shared with me some expert advise on how to do the exercises more effective. Her encouragement and wisdom was one of the highlights of the morning.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding (Proverbs 3:13).

Lord Jesus, teach me your ways.

Running Club Passion and Pain

One of my passions is consistent aerobic exercise. However my passion has been inconsistent, waxing and waning through the years. Through most of my adult life, I have had spurts of consistent running, only to be sidelined by the “urgency” of my daily life. This was especially true when my children were little.

The Running Club in a non-running moment

Then in the winter of 1999 Tim Torgerson approached me about starting a church-based marathon training group. He was looking towards October’s Twin City Marathon. I was gullible and naïve and so said yes. The training group started in March, running together on Saturday mornings. Each week we were accountable to each other. I had a training schedule to keep and people checking on me.

However a dreaded “running injury” struck and I had to take a month out in June for physical therapy. Still I felt this need/desire to be back with the group as quickly as possible. Finally on October 3, 1999, I finished TCM with seven others from the group. After our suceess “the training group” became a year-round running club.

Over the next ten years the St. Andrew’s Running Club gave me the support and encouragement to finish ten marathons. Last summer when I finished Grandma’s, I knew I needed a break to recover from some nagging injuries. Later I said good-bye to St. Andrew’s Running Club as I followed God’s call to Resurrection Lutheran. After a long winter of physical therapy, I am now finally ready to start running. Last week I was able to do three runs of 2-3 miles.

I have also discovered a new joy with cycling. Last Wednesday Dave Johnson from Resurrection showed me some of the great bike routes nearby. Yesterday I biked with Tim and Dan and needed their support as I experienced my first three flats.

Through these experiences, I have discovered that I benefit from a group to help me stay consistent in running or cycling. Which leads me to a question: Is anyone interested in a running or cycling club based here at Resurrection? Let me know.

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another, Proverbs 27:17

Lord Jesus, lead us into the fellowship groups you want us to have so that we might live the vibrant life.

Newcomer or Old-Timer?

Snow shoes and Sauna mix well

This morning I visited my old running group for their annual mid-winter sauna run and brunch at a runner’s home.  It was my first time back since coming to Resurrection.  After our brief Bible study, most went for a six-mile run, while my friend Tim and I tried some snowshoe jogging on a nearby lake.  Gary, the host, loaned me his new shoe shows to try.  Tim and I weren’t fast, but we had a blast staying upright.   When we got back it was time for sauna, brunch and conversation. 

It was great fun seeing old friends, swapping stories and telling some tall tales.  Many of us have run together for more than eight years, so the stories have gained some embellishment over time.  Who amazed me this morning was a newcomer named Joe.   Tim had invited him after working out together at the Y.  Joe had never run with the group, only knew Tim (who did not run this morning) and had only a vague idea what would happen.   I like to think the running club provides great hospitality, but it always takes courage to walk into an established group, especially on such a social occasion.  Joe ran the six miles, enjoyed the sauna and brunch and smiled as we told our stories.  He plans to be back.

 As a new pastor in a young congregation, I sort of feel like Joe each Sunday morning.  I seek to fully participate, to learn names, and to listen to the stories.  People at Resurrection Lutheran Church have warmly welcomed me, that’s for sure.   I am excited to be with them.   Yet I am still the newcomer, without the history, the mileage that comes with time.  I want to race ahead, but right now it’s learning to be patient and consistently present.    

 I sort of wonder how the disciples felt after their first days with Jesus.  They knew exciting days were ahead, but each day held something of a surprise.  What was coming?   

Are you a newcomer, an old-timer, or somewhere-in-between in your faith community?  How does that affect your attitude and actions?