Off to Africa...After Record Breaking Barefoot Month
I hope everyone is enjoying the wonderful barefoot weather this summer. I've had an absolutely awesome month of June thanks to continued good health and beautiful weather...Thank You God! I turned in 4 consecutive high mileage weeks with a 61 mile, 72 mile, 62 mile, and so far a 64 mile week this week. Originally, I was sort of going to take it easy this last week, but then realized I was again within striking distance of my all time monthly running total of 252 (yes, WITH or WITHOUT shoes!) so I decided to go for it and wait till next week's mission trip to "rest up." After this mornings 11.6 mile run, I'm now sitting at 260.18 miles for the month, which I may let stand as the record. (I could run tomorrow morning before we leave for the airport and even Monday morning in Africa, but I may just take it easy and not put this record too far out of reach for next time I try to break it!) So with those 23 days of running this month I averaged 11.3 miles per day...I'm pretty happy with that...PRAISE GOD!
Fresh "Chip and Seal" on one of my favorite routes!
I only had one real mishap for the month. On June 6, I decided to go North on Anthony Road straight up above 236th Street and go for a 12 miler or so. BUT, once I got up above 256th Street to what used to be my ultra smooth "tar strip down the middle of the road" I was horrified to find fresh chip and seal!! Yuck!! As I've said before, OLD chip and seal can be good with the smooth tar strip down the middle, but fresh chip and seal is always bad because the rocks are so sharp and jagged it will stop you in your tracks! So, after a few painful steps I turned back and then went East on 256th (also rough) and found Salem Road which was a little smoother, but then ended up turning back for home. All the running on rough surfaces threatened to reinjure the left groin pull and also acted up the associated tendonitis in my left knee. As I half heartedly shuffled back home I didn't pick up my left foot high enough on one rough section and stubbed my second toe...HARD! I had never done that before and it really hurt. Soon I looked down and found the toenail was bleeding and it started looking pretty bad...here is a picture right afterward.
Stubbed Toe on 12 Miler
Of course it wasn't as bad as it looked once I got it cleaned up. It felt like I had jammed something under the nail but it seemed to just be a good stubbing. It has continued to be sore to the point where I could feel it during the runs, but never bad enough to stop or even shorten my run for that day. Just this week it seems to be pretty much back to normal.
So now it's off to Africa tomorrow morning with the whole family. There are acutally 14 of us going on this mission trip: 7 from Christ UMC Westfield, 4 from Grace Noblesville, 1 from Sheridan UMC, and 2 from San Diego CA which we haven't met yet other than Skype'ing into our team meetings. Looking forward to meeting the two of them face to face when we arrive at JFK tomorrow night. The mission trip is to Ganta Liberia (same place I went last summer) and is in support of Travis and Gina Sheets, cofounders of Hope In The Harvest Missions International. I can't wait to see the progress and re-connect with the Liberian friends we made last year. We will be staying in the partially completed Ag Center on the edge of the campus of LICC (Liberian International Christian College). We will be serving the local Liberians with a 3-day vision clinic, a VBS for approximately 300 kids, a set of computer training classes in Powerpoint, Word and Excel. We will be continuing our core curriculum "Farming God's Way" and following up on our Alpha outreach program started last summer. We will also be doing construction projects such as building a work bench and installing shelving in the first floor of the Ag Center. We will be transporting 4 dozen turkey, duck and goose eggs as well as some fresh water Tilapia from the US, which will be used to further the Agricultural Program Development at LICC. And I'm sure God has many other neat things in store for us while we are there...He always does! Our team has many different skill sets and for some this is their first ever mission trip while most of us have at least done some domestic trips prior to this one. Please keep our team in your prayers and also pray for those we will reach while in Liberia.
Gina already has daily runs already planned so I hope to get in some good barefoot miles while I'm there. I ran several days last year, although we are staying in a different location this year so I'm not sure how "barefoot friendly" it will be...but I'll give it a try.