Posts Tagged ‘Bonk’

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“ANATOMY OF A BONK” – June 30

June 30, 2013

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right had of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2

BonkI have my first triathlon of the year in two weeks.  My greatest fear in these events is bonking.  I always have the apprehension of making the mistakes of not pacing myself well, not fueling properly during the race, or not drinking enough, that results in being ground to a virtual stop.  My training has been going very well and I am feeling much stronger than I did at this same time, last year.  However, I have been training each discipline independently.  Therefore, I did my first brick run this weekend, to alleviate my concern of bonking.

I should have been doing more of these but there has not been the time.  Brick runs take a lot of time because you are combining a full ride with a full run.  That is about a two hour commitment for me when training for the Olympic distance; 40 km (25 mile) ride, 10 km (6.2 mile) run.

My Saturday plan was to cycle for about 1-1/2 hours (since my bike computer is broken) and then run a 10K.  I wanted to go early in the morning to avoid the heat.  However, I awoke to a howling wind that made me second guess my plans.  I hate riding in the wind.  I know that it is a good workout but whatever fun-factor that might have been in my plans would definitely have been annihilated by having to ride in the wind.

So, I vacillated most of the morning.  I worked on a “what I liked” post while keeping a gauge on the bend of the trees out the window.  There seemed to be a slight abetting of the wind’s bite that convinced me to make a go of it.  After all, this was my last weekend to get a good workout in before I start tapering things off before the race.  I suited up in all my spandex glory and made my way to the starting line.

The route for my cycling leg was a new one that proved to be more challenging than I had thought, particularly since the wind decided to play an encore.  I missed the turn-off for my loop and had to grind through a series of rolling hills.  Another miscalculation placed me on a highway that I had been trying to avoid.  Since I don’t like to ride on busy roads, the best way to get off of this one was to just gut it out and go faster.  I dropped a gear, picked up my cadence, leaned into my aero-bars and felt the sensation of speed, as a metronome of sweat droplets dripped from my nose and chin, keeping a rhythm with my burning thighs.

That proved to be a good push and I got off of that highway quicker than I had thought.  I was about three miles from my transition point.  I was tired when I drank the last of my water, which was now warm.  I realized why my water was so warm when I dismounted the bike at the end of my driveway.  The temperature had risen significantly since I had left.  I could really feel the oppression of heat now that I no longer had the cooling wind of motion.

However, I did not think too much about the heat as I traded my cycling shoes for running ones and my helmet for a hat.  I stepped back onto the asphalt, after guzzling a bottle of solar heated water, and prepared for the coming protest of my muscles.  The bike – run transition is most uncomfortable because you are trying to convince muscles, familiar with the limited range of the cycling motion, to stretch into the longer striding motion of running.  This unpleasant process usually takes about a quarter mile before  legs begin to understand that they are no longer cycling.  That is a quarter mile of fun.

81191-2478-030fHowever, the lethargy of the transition lasted longer than normal on this day.  I grew a little concerned when at a half mile my legs still felt dead.  I breathed deep and focused on my form but there just did not seem to be much strength in my legs to draw from.  I shuffled along under the open sky with the sun beating down.  It seemed to be getting hotter.

At 1-1/2 miles, I knew that I was in trouble.  I was not recovering even though I was merely jogging at this point.  I was only a quarter of the way into the run and I was gassing out.  I decided it was better to fight another day and turned for home, making my 10K run into a 5K.

Unlike a horse that picks up speed when heading for the barn, my condition did not improve.  Every stride became more difficult until I was forced to walk.  I was walking.  I have not had to walk in over a year when I had tried a practice tri…and started out late… and the heat got me.

What a fool I am.  I had done the exact same thing; again.  I had been confident in my fitness.  I figured I could push it on the bike and then just muscle through on the run.  That strategy had obviously not worked since I was now walking along a road that I had not planned to be on.

I made it home through a series of jog-walk intervals and the rest of the day was spent in the air-conditioning with Gatorade and water.  What had been intended to build up my confidence has had the opposite effect.  I am faced with an impending race with a combination of distances that I have not done before and I am a little freaked-out.

My race will start at 8:45 AM, which will have me finishing up just before noon if all goes well.  I should be transitioning to the run between 10:15 and 10:30 AM.  It can already be pretty hot by 10:30 AM.  I could easily bonk once again.  I am going to need a new strategy.

There is an inclination when things go badly to pull-out.  While I was in the middle of bonking, I had no answer to what I was doing.  If I had not already paid for my upcoming race, I might be tempted to bail out.  However, a lack of fitness did not result in my bonking.  I had a bad day.  My bad day was due to a seriously poor strategy and some poor decisions.  Pulling out of my upcoming race will simply be an over-reaction to a bad day.  I just need to change my strategy.

Most of us have a tendency to throw in the towel when all that is needed is a change in strategy.  A ministry opportunity can turn into a disaster.  An attempt to hold a friend accountable might blow up in our face.  We might stumble over the same temptation.  The passion may seem gone and lethargy might have replaced strength.

We have never been guaranteed a smooth road.  There will be times when it just goes bad and we spiritually bonk.  We feel like we have no strength to continue.  The joy of our ministry is sapped into intervals of just grinding it out.

Those times can destroy our confidence.  We can get a little freaked-out about taking the next step in our faith.  We must be careful not to over-react to a bad day (or series of days).

God is still on His throne – there is no need to pull out of the race.  All you might need is just a new strategy for that next step of faith.  There are times when we need to change our strategy of how we are practically laying aside the weights and sins that are clinging to us.  We need to look to Jesus and acknowledge the poor decisions we have made and the lifestyles that we may have drifted into that holding us back.  We don’t need to give up.  We just need a new strategy.

Therefore, stay in the race.  Set your eyes upon Jesus and keep running with endurance that race that is set before you.

PRAYER: Lord, help me not to give up.  Father, guide me to know what I need to change in my life to be more consistent in my faith.  Lord, I want to endure in the race that you have set before me.  Thank you for leading me in all things; help me to follow your example.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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WHAT I LIKED – June 29

June 29, 2013

The following are some of my  favorite internet waves from surfing the web the last couple weeks.

QUOTE:

“God is pleased continually to vary His mode of dealing with us, in order that we may not be tempted to trust in donors, or in circumstances, but in Him alone, and to keep our eye fixed upon Him.”
~
George Mueller

FAITH:

Brian Welch has a testimony that is simply incredible.  No one is too lost for God to still save.
Brian Head Welch – I am Second

A beautiful prayer that reminded me that we always need Christ in everything.
Need Of Jesus – A Puritan Prayer

This article is a great reminder that the gospel is huge.
Your Gospel Centered Outlook is too Small

POETRY:

Cling to Jesus; He is our all in all.  Jesus in Mine 

 I love the imagery of  “God’s tireless chisel crumbles me into a shape I don’t understand.”  Probably the Wrong “Somewhere”

May we not be hesitant to let Christ in and make us shine.  Made to Shine

WRITING:

I find concise writing difficult.  I tend to think that more words are better.  Thankfully, my wife helps me with editing and she is very good at cutting.  I appreciated the suggestion in this article of reading concise writers to help in concise writing.  Concise Writing is Usually Clear Writing – Dorothy Parker

This article has some helpful tips for us bloggers on how to cut through the volume of content on the internet.  Become a Pro Blogger with these Tips

TRIATHLON:

I have to admit that I have made many of these excuses.  It is good to remember that they are all simply that…an excuse.  50 Excuses Why You Didn’t Get Your PB

This was a surprising article.  I guess this might explain why the Kenyans are so good at the marathon.  Is Training in the Heat Good for You

I have a race coming up.  I guess I should have been working on this a while ago.  I hate the bike to run transition.  It just hurts but following these suggestions might make it a little less painful.  How Transition Runs Boost Your Triathlon Performance

CYCLING:

It is not that I plan on doing this but I think it is just cool that I could.  How to Calculate Your Drag

You need to eating every 30 minutes…while you are cycling.  I find that advice so easy to follow while on my couch but so easy to forget while cycling.  How to Avoid Bonking

I am new to cycling so I know that I mess up the etiquette.  This little test was helpful in teaching me some of the un-written rules.  Group Dynamics

I have been transforming my bike between a tri setup and a road setup as I have been training for different events.  This invention will be awesome.  I hope they get it off the ground.  Switch Aero System: One Bike, Two Rides

RUNNING:

I wasn’t prepared to give up my coffee.  It is good to know that I don’t have to.  8 Things Runners Should Know About Coffee

I have always struggled with managing my pace while running.  These are some great tips for managing your pace on race day.  How to Run at a Perfect Pace

I made the mistake of running without socks.  I wanted to see if I could go without socks on an upcoming race.  Turns out, I can’t.  Now, I have five blisters to deal with.   How to Treat a Foot Blister.

SWIMMING:

This is a training test that I had never thought of.  That does not mean I have done it yet but it looks like a good idea.  Assessment Sets for Triathlon Swimming – The Pace Maintenance Set

I am starting to get a little nervous about my upcoming open water swim.  Here are two articles I found helpful:
Open Water Swimming Tips
Top 5 Triathlon Swimming Problems And What You Can Do About It

This article talks about using a Finis Tempo Trainer in your workouts to help maintain a consistent stroke count as you begin to fatigue.  I didn’t know that even existed.  I will need to look into getting one.  Interpreting your Swimming Efficiency Test – Improve your Swim Training for Triathlon

ART / CRAFTSMANSHIP:

This is an incredible library.  It would be hard to keep your eyes on the text.  Strahov Monastery’s Theological Hall

It is amazing what can be made from wood.  Wood Illusions

This is a Bible that I will want.  Language, Art & Scripture

AMAZING:

Here are some trails that I will not be traveling.  10 Terrifying Trails Around the World

Bucket list item; just one night is all I want.  Aescher Hotel In Appenzellerland, Switzerland

Big weather is awesome.  Just think about who commands it with a word.  A Supercell near Booker, Texas

There are some pretty amazing people out there.  Best  of Web 5

PHOTOGRAPHY:

There are some things that should never be forgotten. Auschwitz & Auschwitz II Birkenau

Very cool cloud.  Alienlike Cloud (or is it ?! ). Taken yesterday in my country (Serbia)

Now I know the origin of the tipping birds.  Birds on sticks

HUMOR

We all knew that the world needed this.  Burger King creates hands free Whopper holder

Just a reminder that you can race anything.  EXTREME BARBIE JEEP RACING 2012

High diving giraffes – why not?  Highdiving

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WHAT I LIKED – May 19

May 19, 2013

The following are some of my  favorite internet waves from surfing the web the last couple weeks.

QUOTE:

People tell me judge not lest ye be judged. I always tell them, twist not scripture lest ye be like satan. ~ Paul Washer

Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. ~ Corrie ten Boom

FAITH:

“These are the elements of praying with strength:  passion, simplicity, and faith.”  I need to be reminded of these essentials.  Not Length but Strength

This post on defining willpower was helpful in thinking about self-control and temptation.  Defining Willpower 

This article is a reminder that I need daily.  I can become so focused on what I have obtained through the gospel that I begin to think it is all about me.  The Gospel Isn’t About You

God does push us to face the impossible.  God wants us to go beyond ourselves.  God’s Mercy in Making us Face the Impossible 

God truly is enough.  Why do we tend to forget that?  God is Enough ~ How Hannah Found True Happiness

POETRY:

“I’m feeling so sick and so tired, Of living this life uninspired”; a wonderful poem that expresses feelings that we all have experienced.  Infiltrate

We all need to be rescued no matter the show of strength that we put on.  Rescue

The prayer of my heart; this poem captures it so beautifully.  The Way

INSPIRATIONAL:

I was surprised that this speech was made by Charlie Chaplin but I wish it were real.  If only more world leaders believed these words.  The Greatest Speech Ever Made – Charlie Chaplin

WRITING:

Here are some key things that we writers can incorporate into everything we write.  How to Write with Style

I never really thought of myself as a writer until about a year ago.  However, I might have had writer tendencies long before according to this list.  25 Signs You’re a Writer

This post has some very good suggestions on how to do this blogging thing better.  Save Time with these Great Running-A-Blog Tips

TRIATHLON:

Fitness is always about finding time to do it.  This article has a 7 minute workout that should remove all excuses or at least show us the excuse in our lack of time argument.  The Scientific 7 Minute Workout

I really need a running breakthrough so this article was timely.  How to Have a Running Breakthrough

CYCLING:

You feel every rock and crack in the road on a road bike.  I think I need some of these wheels.   The British Engineer Who Really HAS Reinvented the Wheel

Evidently, I need to start watching my cadence readout during my climbing training.   Cycling Skills: Climb Smarter

I have no doubts that these workouts will work but they look like they will hurt.  2 Workouts to Boost Your Cycling Speed

RUNNING:

I really want to get faster as a runner.  I am a slow grinder of a runner.  I think I will try to include some of the suggestions from this article.  Essential Drills for Speed and Efficiency

I never really know what to do with my arms while running.  I have tried to just forget about them and let them do what feels natural.  This articles gives some better suggestions. Proper Arm Carriage and Mechanics: Adam St. Pierre, MS Exercise Physiology

SWIMMING:

There was a man who had a heart attack and died during the swim at the triathlon I did last year.  Evidently, this has become more common; sort of freaks me out.  Swimming Deaths Trouble Triathlon Officials

GARDENING:

The maze seems to be the perfect expression of a gardener.  I have always wanted to make one of these.  Mazes of the World

I guess my style is that of a country garden.  Style Counsel:  Country Gardens

ART / CRAFTSMANSHIP:

Wonderful detail and a little freaky.  Matchstick Men Installation

It is just awesome to watch someone draw without an eraser.  Art Attack // Styrofoam Cup Artist Boey

AMAZING:

I have no idea how a dog can learn a subway schedule but evidently they can.  How much is that doggy on the subway? Woof. Woof.

I am a sucker for cycling videos.  Here is a whole round-up of them.   Friday MTB video round-up

PHOTOGRAPHY:

Here are some photographs with beautiful color:

Red Sunset  
Splendid Yellow Forest  
This is Extremely Pretty   

These photographs capture the art of life so very well.  Epic Train

So very cool; a glowing beach.  We live in an amazing world.  Pic of the Day: Luminescent Beach

HUMOR

Beware of getting baptized in Alaska.  Just for Laughs – Baptism

This couple is awesome.  There are some talented people out in the world that never get the spot-light.  Pumpcast News, Part 1

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WHAT I LIKED – April 28

April 28, 2013

The following are some of my  favorite internet waves from surfing the web the last couple weeks.

QUOTE:

Whoever is not satisfied with Christ alone, strives after something beyond absolute perfection. ~ John Calvin

FAITH:

These wonderful words remind us that the Lord will not allow us the misconception that we are strong.  The Lord’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Weakness is not a condition to be avoided.  It is a condition to be embraced.  Weakness is the Way by J. I. Packer

I appreciated the careful explanation of how to view the interaction between science and faith.  God vs Science  God vs Science – Part 2

This article provided a vivid reminder of the eternal care that is continually being shown to us by our Lord, of which we are often unaware.  God’s Protection

POETRY:

Man’s heart has not changed in 400 years.  This beautiful poem will resonate will all who have walked by faith through difficult times.  Obsession (After George Herbert’s “Affliction (IV)”)

Praise God for lifting us up, “high off the ground making my steps solid and sound.”  He Lifts Me Up…

INSPIRATIONAL:

The power of encouraging words and not listening to the critics.  The Last Pick – Jeremy Lin

This one is for all those in Scotland.  God has given you a beautiful isle.  It makes me want to go visit Scotland and see for myself.  HDR Timelapse Scotland, Isle of Skye

WRITING:

For those who desire to glorify God through the written word, these scriptures will be an encouragement.  25 Encouraging Bible Verses for Writers

TRIATHLON:

Open water swims still have me a little nervous since I do all of my training in a pool without people bumming up against me.  I can use all the advice I can get.  My tips for Open Water Swimming

CYCLING:

I know the importance and benefits of stretching but it is mostly theory for me.  This article took away many of my excuses.  3 Stretches for Time-Crunched Cyclists

RUNNING:

This is a post that I can relate to.  There have been many times when I have been convinced that I have been born without a diaphragm.  Old Dog, New Tricks

SWIMMING:

Videos are so helpful to evaluate technique.  This is a really good demonstration.  Part 2 – How to ‘Work Less, Swim Better’ in Triathlon

Here are some very good steps to focus on in the pool.  The relaxed part is so crucial and so hard to do.  How to Swim Fast and Relaxed

GARDENING:

I found a little maple sapling that was tucked safely away beneath some boxwoods.  I think I might try my hand at bonsaing the little bugger.   Bonsai 101

This is just a clever idea for reducing the time behind a hose.  PicPost: Bottle it up

ART / CRAFTSMANSHIP:

I have never even heard about painting on water.  This is pretty cool.  I want to know who first thought that this would work.  Painting on Water

I love to watch art spring forth from the unexpected.  Making of de l’installation de Bernard Pras à l’Institut Français de Ouagadougou

AMAZING:

This is ridiculous.  How can someone flip like that?  Gymnast Got Some Ridiculous Backflips!

PHOTOGRAPHY:

Wonderfully symmetric images; there is just something relaxing about balance.  Symmetrees

Having just been to San Francisco, I love the time lapse of the city lighting up.  Time Lapse – The Bay Bridge Lights

HUMOR

Hey, if you are given a ball, you are supposed to throw it…right?  Child Throws Back Foul Ball

Always good to know your favorite color… and the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.  The Bridge of Death

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WHAT I LIKED – April 20

April 20, 2013

The following are some of my  favorite internet waves from surfing the web the last couple weeks.

QUOTE:

Laying up treasures in heaven will draw the heart heavenward. ~ George Müller

FAITH:

This article offers a very helpful perspective of what it means to “not love the world”.  We so often misunderstand and misapply this teaching.  FIRST-PERSON: What does it mean to ‘not love the world’?

I was so blessed by how this video describes and highlights just how great the love of God is.  How He Loves Us – David Crowder (Matt Chandler & John Piper)

This is a wonderful reminder of the promises of God after the week that we have had.  We do not have to be fearful even after a week of frightful actions.  Lay Aside the Weight of Fear

POETRY:

I have never been much of a poetry guy.  I have always thought of poetry as the craft of hippie, new agers, and/or the feminine.  I was very wrong in that assessment and have lost many years of the meditative fruitfulness that the counting of syllables can bring.  This is a series of posts that does a very good job pointing to the poetic life of Christians.

The Poetic Life of the Christian – Part 1

The Poetic Life of the Christian – Part 2

The Poetic Life of the Christian – Part 3

INSPIRATIONAL:

I am embarrassed by many of the things that discourage me and frustrate me.  I can be such an ungrateful and self-centered man.  Roger is a wonderful brother in Christ.  It broke my heart when he spoke of his loneliness.  Please watch his story.  I hope that you will be as blessed as I was. Living with Cerebral Palsy

You are never too old; you are never too out of shape; you just have to start and you will be amazed where you will end up.  The most inspiring video you will ever watch!

What makes a triathlete?  This just got me pumped to get after it.  What Makes a Triathlete

This video just makes me want to get out there and compete.  It is fun to watch these guys fly to the finish line.  Triathletes are just awesome.   Bevan Docherty – Super-human Triathlon Sprint Finish

WRITING:

The best way to stay motivated to express thoughts in the form of sentences is to read the works of people who do it very well.  Writers Inspire: 10 Ways Authors Inspire Me to Write

This is a good reminder to be aware of not making logical fallacies in our writing.  Cherry picking is a pretty easy one to fall into.  Fallacies (2) – cherry picking

There is so much written on the blog-o-sphere.  Many write as a presentation of facts.  Writing that excites people has to first excite the author.  Blog Your Passion

TRIATHLON:

My fear of the longer distance triathlon is bonking out.  It is good to know what you fear and prepare accordingly.  This is a very good article for those, like me, who fear the bonk.  Science Behind Bonking

CYCLING:

I am planning on doing a ride later in the year that is going to have a lot of climbing.  I am a little nervous about getting into climbing shape by the time of the ride.  This is a good video on tips to get to the top of the mountain.  Here is the advice:

Relax

Find techniques that works best for you (in saddle / out of saddle)

High cadence

Stay over the gear

Enjoy the scenery

Cycling Survival 1 – How to cycle in the mountains – Climbing Technique

RUNNING:

Running is about more than the run.  There is so much that running can teach us about life.   17 Things Running Teaches You About Life

SWIMMING:

Often, it is good to see what you are doing wrong so that you can work on doing it right.  The key points for doing it right in this video are:

Look down to the bottom of the pool

Swim by rotating the torso; think about breathing through your belly button

Kick from hips (small and fast) with straight legs

Pull arms back straight; fingers should be pointing downward

Breath early in stroke

Common Freestyle Mistakes in Swimming

You have got to know when to breathe.  This is a very good video on proper body position for breath while swimming.  Triathlon Swimming – Breathing in Freestyle

This is an excellent video that clearly shows the correct timing of a good free-style stroke.  Observe where the elbow is at the exit and the lead hand stretched in front at the same time.  Alexander Popov Swimming Technique

These are some excellent drills that I am going to incorporate into my swimming work-outs; slow arm recovery, quick catch, and high swingers.  I need to work on all three of these areas.  Top Three Swim Drills

GARDENING:

Gardening should be fun and making little fairy gardens just looks fun.  Fairy Gardens 

CRAFTSMANSHIP:

Whatever we set our hands to; we should do it to the best of our ability.  The art of building a surfboard.  The Sound of Dust

HUMOR

Just be careful when you go for the personalized license plate.  We All Need Space, Especially Al.

I don’t know but there is just something about putting words to the expressions of dogs that just make me laugh.  Their eyes do tell a story.  Dog Wants a Kitty  Ultimate Dog Tease

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“SPIRITUAL BONK” – April 18

April 18, 2013

“In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe.  Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians.” 2 Chronicles 16:12

I went for a run yesterday morning.  As I plugged along, I meditated upon the passage from 2 Chronicles that I had read that morning.  I have been particularly troubled by the story of King Asa.  I do not like the stories of people who start off well but don’t end well.  It messes with my Disneyland world-view.

I have grown up in a land with the myth of happy endings.  It has never been true but that is the message from most entertainment.  I like movies with happy endings.  I don’t want to pay to be depressed.  I like stories where the good guys always win, the evil plot is always foiled, the nerd gets the pretty girl, and the mean people are taught a lesson.  I wish that my Disneyland world-view was real and everyone was guaranteed a happy ending.  I wish that everyone would finish this race of life well.

Disneyland is a land of make-believe and that is where the idea of “it will all work out” belongs.

I have been reading about the kings of Israel:

King Asa started out well but did not finish well;

King Rehoboam started out rough, did well in the middle, but did not finish well;

King Solomon started out well but did not finish well;

King David started out well, stumbled along the way, but did finish well;

King Saul started out rough and did not finish well.

As I ran along I could not help but think about Paul’s analogy of life being a race in 2 Timothy.  “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  Running a race is an apt analogy to our long walk of faith through this life.  There are some who will finish the race well and there will be some that don’t.  Have you considered why?

BonkingI have been hesitant to even consider doing an Ironman triathlon.  My hesitance is due to a fear of not finishing well.  I don’t want to be the person, drunkenly staggering across the finish line with sedated legs that just will not do what the brain is telling them to do.  I really don’t want to be the person who starts to hallucinate and loses control of some pretty important bodily functions.  I don’t want to just finish the race, I want to finish well.

The problems in an endurance race are usually revealed at the end.  The key to finishing well is that final push past the fatigue and the pain and the voices in your tell head telling you to give up.  However, there is no pushing past a mixture of dehydration, training errors, gastric problems, and/or nutrition gaffes.

As I was heading toward home on my run, I could feel the fatigue setting in while I was thinking about bonking and finishing well.  I struggled to keep up the cadence of my stride and I could see the time rushing past at a much quicker pace than the asphalt.  I knew I was not going to come in with the time that I wanted.  I had been on pace the first two-thirds of my run but lost it in that last little bit.

Marathon

Marathon (Photo credit: Stijlfoto)

My mind turned to all those elderly folks who are closer to the end of their race than I am to mine (assuming natural causes have their way).  They are in the homeward length of their race where the fatigue is setting in.  They are battling failing bodies in which most everything hurts.  They are tired and easily exhausted.  Their minds may be telling them that they have done enough and that it is fine to rest.  There are some who are spiritually bonking because they never developed the habit of seeking Christ for their spiritual hydration and nutrition.  They may be in the final push with a body and soul that was poorly trained from years of indifference.  They may lack the strength that comes from years of walking and meditating with the Lord.

I see some elderly folks who appear to be finishing very strong, almost sprinting to the end, and the love of the Lord is just overflowing and the fruit of the Spirit is abounding;

I see some who are making it to the finish line but their pace has dropped off considerably and it is hard to distinguish their love for God from their love of tradition;

I see some who appear to have bonked – sitting on the curb unable to move forward.  The fruit of their lives is now impatience, bitterness, unkindness, and a general grumpiness.

My heart is drawn to those in the final lap of their lives.  I want them to finish well.

However, I realized, as I was walking up my driveway after my run, that I cannot remember the last time I prayed for my parents to finish well.  They are in this push.  I cannot remember praying for my elderly brothers and sisters in Christ that they will persevere in their faith and finish well.  I guess I have always assumed that they are mature in their faith and that everything is going to work out well for them; that they are past the hard part of their walk of faith; that they are in that final coast to the end and the acceptance of  “well done good and faithful servant”.

That is a Disneyland world-view.

English: Rachel Booth Winning Disneyland 1/2 M...

English: Rachel Booth Winning Disneyland 1/2 Marathon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think that we all would do well to remember that the final lap of any race can be the most difficult one.   We need to be aware of the fatigue that our older brothers and sisters in Christ are pushing through.  We need to be aware that they may need support as their habits of previous decades may have deprived them of the strength that they now need.  We need to be willing to show them more grace and encouragement to sprint to the end and abound in glorious praise of their Savior.

They are at the point where they have to dig deep to finish well.  Let’s cheer them on.

PRAYER: Father, forgive me for not showing enough grace and compassion to my elders.  Forgive me for not empathizing with the struggles of this stage in life.  Help them to finish well.  Give them a vision of the finish line.  Give them a love for You that causes them to dig deep and push past their physical fatigue.  May their walk of faith turn into a sprint, as they rush into your arms to your glory and praise. Amen.

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