Alexandria, Virginia.  9 am on a Sunday.

Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. 2pm on a Sunday.

Today I ran 2 races and checked off 2 states. I started with a 5k in VA. It was fine. I went home, downed a cup of coffee and half a loaf of gluten-free-sugar-free-flavor-free zucchini carrot bread, grabbed my little family and headed 2 hours north to PA.

The trip was beautiful. It snowed. So Much Snow. The fields and barns and cows had a light dusting of snow as we proceeded north. So Many Cows. The race was fine.

2 races in a day across 2 states is a feat. But today was tough. There was no fanfare. No balloon arches that said, “WAY TO GO KATHY!” In my head I’m fighting Khloe Kardashian for the cover of Shape magazine. Reality is a lot less glamorous. I didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t share my mission or my mistakes or encourage anyone. I wasn’t a cheerleader for anyone today – least of all myself.

And thats ok. The first lesson I learned today was, you won’t always get what you think you deserve. Promotion, raise, accolade – recognition of a job well done. It can’t change the big picture.

The second thing I was reminded of is that we are never alone. My friend Matt, a Navy Officer that i’ve known for 18 years who isn’t just a runner but an ultra-marathon runner, posted on social media for me:

“Just because I didn’t run at the same time and place doesn’t mean I’m not running with you! #runtowin.”

My stomach was in my throat and not because I was ready to vomit from the run (though that was certainly true about half way up the 90th f’in Amish hill). It was a perfect gift of grace.

My father used in a sermon on Grace:

“Justice is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.”

I will try to live life more gracefully.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Philippians 3:12-14

 

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David Bowie died.

The day after, David Sime died. This post is about him.

My father has always been a good athlete. As a young kid in Fairlawn, New Jersey, my dad met David Sime. They played together. Motivating each other, they became great athletes. Co-captains of their high school football team, track, pick up basketball – whatever they did they did it well and together. Dad went off to be the star football player at Wheaton College. David went off to be a football, baseball and track star at Duke. Dad went into ministry, David into medicine.

Sports writer David D’Alessandro in a piece he did about David in 2012 said, “What if you were a world-class ophthalmologist who revolutionized the surgical technique for intraocular lens implants — someone who treated everyone from Dick Nixon to Mickey Mantle to the entire Miami Dolphins roster over 42 years of practicing medicine? Would these not be the bedrock achievements of a notable life?”

Olympics. 1960. Rome.

David came in second to Armin Hary in the Olympic 100 m. He anchored the U.S. to an apparent victory in the 4×100 m relay. However, the team was disqualified for passing out of the zone and Sime lost his chance at an Olympic gold. During his career, he held world records at 100 yards, 220 yards and the 220 yd low hurdles.

People say, ‘How could you not appreciate getting a silver?’ I understand that. But when you get to that level, believe me: You’re not there for silver. And those who say that doesn’t matter probably don’t know what it is to compete.” – David Sime

Dad said he ran in the Masters Track and Field circuit in his 60 and 70s because of David. Competition is a great motivator.

David’s youngest of 3 children, Lisa, married former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey. My father married them. Their son Christian is a household name. The legacy of greatness continues.

My father’s heart hurts today. Life is a little bit lonelier –  a little bit sadder when you lose your person. David and Dad were best friends for over 70 years. Best men in each other’s weddings, the first phone calls made at births of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. Their weekly phone calls were the most animated I’d seen my father. Talking about old friends, old plays on the field, old memories that bound them together for 50, 60, 70 years. Dad prayed that David would know Jesus. That he’d trust Him. That he’d offer his life to Him. I hope he did. I hope they will see each other again.

Are you Running to Win? What will your legacy be?

24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.

26-27 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. 1 Corinthians 9:25 – 27

Dust to dust. In this case, Stardust.

dad and sime

 

 

 

 

About 10 years ago, my super strong, super athletic, super handsome, super smart, super awesome father noticed a tremor. That tremor was the beginning of Parkinson’s Disease. Maybe from being a multi sport letterman in high school, or All-American football player in college, or his semi pro football years. Maybe from summers working on the family farm in upstate New York, maybe from pesticides pruning roses for estates while in Seminary. I suppose it doesn’t really matter how or why. It is our reality. I started to run to honor him. I run because he can’t. I didn’t run today. I feel bad about it but i’m tired.

Dad’s constant shaking is exhausting. Disease sucks. It’s depressing.

Attitude is everything.

Tell yourself the end is near and it will be. Tell yourself its not going to get better and it won’t. Surround yourself with negative people and you’ll become a negative person. This is not rocket science, people.

But it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

I can be a wallower. There’s something about feeling sorry for yourself that feels kind of good. So go ahead and watch a Friends marathon in your 1990 Gap sweats (like i’m doing right now) eating popcorn wondering if Joey could really be THAT good in the sack. (I think Ross would be better – did you see him in Band of Brothers??? and you know Phoebe is a freak.)

Netflix and chocolate were invented for these kinds of days.

Just don’t wallow for too long.

It’s not a good look.

Shake it off. Tomorrow is a new day.

As a skier, I love the cold.

As a runner, I hate the cold.

So, I have a treadmill. I believe it was invented by the world’s most boring human being who neither runs nor has a soul.

Today, with frost covering the ground, I decided to tap into my inner Jane Fonda and do a workout video. Since I’m not the yoga-pants-to-brunch-soccer-mom type, I chose Carmen Electra’s Fit to Strip. Yes, that’s right. And let me tell you – there is a reason strippers have amazing bodies. You try to suspend yourself upside down one handed from a inanimate object. My abs are so sore it hurts to sneeze.

I won’t be finding employment swinging from the rafters anytime soon but I feel good having started off my day breaking a sweat.

Routine is boring but necessary. Brushing our teeth, daily chores, working out has to be automatic. So often routine turns into rut. Our marriages get stale, our exercise routines get mundane. Our jobs become monotonous. I’m not Oprah (nor am I Carmen Electra, obviously) so I don’t have any great advice for avoiding the rut. However, I am mindful of it.

We need to change it up. Do something different at work. Be an encourager. Take the stairs. Park farther away from work. When you take a bathroom break, do a few squats. Tomorrow, do a few more. Meditate. Pray. Let God be a part of the routine.

Most mornings, my father recites by memory Psalm 90 from The Message. (I have not memorized a bible verse since the 7th grade.) He recites it every morning – the entire thing. (I can’t remember where I placed my grocery list 10 seconds after I wrote it.) But verses 12 & 17 apply.

12 Oh! Teach us to live well!
    Teach us to live wisely and well!

17 And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
    confirming the work that we do.
    Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

Psalm 90:12 & 17 (read the entire verse here.)

Lets strive to live well. Shake off the rut with me. Get up and Run to Win. 

If all else fails, hop on the pole. (Just don’t blog about it. People will judge you…)

Baltimore.

2pm on a Friday.

I’ve lived in Maryland for 2.5 years.

When choosing a place to live, I looked at a map and decided I wanted to live half way between DC and Baltimore. I’m about 11 miles outside of DC. Do you know how long it takes me to get into the city? 400 hours. But it’s fun to be near the epicenter of power. DC is the Mother Ship. The Home Base. And depending on your side of the aisle, The Death Star.

The best local races are in DC along the National Mall. The Army Ten Miler of course is my favorite – running with Vets from all over the world, running with family, friends, former cadet crushes, with wounded warriors.

The Cherry Blossom 10 miler is another to put on your list. It is a magnificent run under pink canopies of flowering trees.

Today it’s 40 degrees. The race is full of middle aged house wives who have blamed their waistline on “baby weight” but the baby is 28 years old. The race was at 2pm which means I had 9 waking hours to think about my time, eat the wrong things and get bloated, get tackled by a hyper yellow lab, bruised by a rambunctious toddler, burn myself cooking bacon. (stay tuned for the blog post about bacon. All Hail the Pig.)

I prefer 8am runs. GET IT OVER WITH.

Leaves the rest of the day for wine. and rest. and wine.

49 bottles er states to go……

 

October 10, 2014 I made a commitment to run for a year.

I am not a self motivated person. I don’t wake up every morning and say, “TODAY IS A NEW DAY LETS DO GREAT THINGS!” In fact, I dislike those people immensely. I’m more of a “CRAP. I have 7 minutes to walk the dog, feed my kid, shower, dress and get out the door…..” So when I decided to run a road race every weekend for 1 year, (52 consecutive races for the mathematically challenged) no one believed I could do it. But I did.

I ran for my Dad who has Parkinsons and all those struggling with the stuff life throws at us, for myself, for all the unmotivated, underachieving, yoga pants wearing, backwards baseball cap, flip flops in winter, kid in pajamas because i-don’t-care people out there.

My dad’s motto – my mantra this past year – comes from 1 Corinthians 9:24. Its applicable regardless of your beliefs or where you are on your faith journey:

“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win.” 1 Cor 9:24

Now what?

The end of 1 Corinthians 9 talks about what to do next:

“I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.”

This is my road map for this next adventure.

I will keep running. Keep spreading the word about Parkinson’s so those who are being diagnosed at 60 or 40 or 25 know it’s ok – there’s hope. Maybe it’s something else. Cancer. Heart disease. A broken bone. A broken heart. My father tells a story from when he was Dean of Gordon Conwell Seminary. An international student came in distraught. His mother had died back in his home country. He needed someone to moan and wail with him as was his mourning tradition. “My mother was my rock. My spiritual well. Who will pray for me now?” I think about that exchange. About having someone that you can count on – someone that you know has your back. Someone who carries your burden, comes along side and will pray for you. The road has become my sanctuary – my quiet place to meditate, to reflect, to pray.

I can’t stop now. I’m going to keep running. And, because I want to keep connected to you, i’m going to run with you – in your state – in all 50 states over the next year +. (that plus sign is incredibly important. I have a job and a toddler – there is no way I can run in all 50 states in 1 year unless someone fantastically wealthy wants to bankroll me for a while – in which case, CALL ME!)

Plus, lets be real. I look fantastic in a cocktail dress. How else will North Dakota get to appreciate these glutes?

Dust off your shoes because i’m coming for you – i’m coming to run or walk or celebrate or moan and wail or pray or cheer or just high five you in your state.

Be excited! (and possibly afraid. I actually know where a lot of you live and I lack boundaries…)

1 Corinthians 9:24-27The Message (MSG)

24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.

26-27 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

We are all on a journey. This blog is about My journey.

Exercise and Edification.

Run to Win.