Happy Halloween Barefoot Runners,
|I love the "crunch" of leaves under barefeet!|
I really didn't start off the month thinking I would set a record. I actually took it sort of easy the first couple of days running only 3 and 5 miles (still recovering from the big push at the end of September), However, I did know it would probably be much higher than normal. You see, my small group is currently studying the "Transformed" series by Rick Warren of Saddleback Church. In this 7 week series, the participants are encouraged to set personal goals in the areas of spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, and vocational health. As my group has shared, we have each set many goals over this time period and we are all feeling really "transformed" as a result of God's work in our lives. Well, one of my physical goals was to bump up my training to try to reach my 2000 mile barefoot goal by Thanksgiving instead of the end of the year. I knew this would be a pretty do-able goal and in the back of my mind I thought the weather would start turning much colder and didn't want to risk not getting it accomplished due to ice and snow. I know myself and knew I would end up risking frostbite or worse trying to finish off the goal if I still needed too many miles by the time December rolled around.
That being said, I just started running big daily miles in October and actually finished the last half of the month (other than today's six) by running a half marathon (13.1 miles) every day (taking Sunday's off as always). The result was a bunch of 60, 70 and 80 mile weeks! It is absolutely incredible to me that this is even possible as I remember back when I first started this oddessy...I used to barely be able to run 2 miles barefoot (if you don't believe me, just scan back through this blog back to late 2011) God has definitely blessed my barefoot running career and has continually allowed my body to heal and be ready for the next big thing as I have progressed from yards to miles, and now to BIG miles.
My next plans have me looking at two possible marathons in the next couple of months. The first will be the Grand Canary Island Marathon in January which will actually be a mission trip to the Canary Islands with a group known as "Mission Marathon" in association with Crossworld. This is an answered prayed as I had been looking for a way to tie my missions work with my love of barefoot running. The founder of Mission Marathon, Matt Sell, actually found me on the internet through my blog and made contact with me through Rev. Laura Ballinger at my home church, Christ UMC Westfield. Over the past few weeks, he and I have traded emails and a phone call and again, God Willing, I will join him on Tenerife Island in late January and then travel by boat to the "Big Island" where we will run the Grand Canary Marathon in our cross emblazoned team jerseys. We will run and travel with, as well as witness to, the members of the local running club on the weekend of the marathon. It should be one of the most unique mission trips I've ever been on. Matt has also begun his own barefoot journey and hopes to run at least part of the marathon barefoot with me.
The next one I'm "thinking" about doing is the LA Marathon on March 15th. Several runnng buddies from my company will be running this one as well, including John Wilshire who will complete his 25th LA Marathon (and he says his last!) Great accomplishment John! I've done this one before but of course this will be my first time doing it barefoot. I did this one 4 years ago with my good friend Jim Kelley, who many of you know, lost his life about this time last year in a tragic car/runner accident in Grand Rapids MI. Rest In Peace Jim. I think of you often during my long runs!
Good luck to Earl Strong and all runners during tomorrow's Monumental Marathon in Indy.