Wednesday, February 22, 2012

#389: Running for Lent

Yesterday's run:
2.82mi/30:00 @ 6:30 AM, North Y, Red Pegasus, Recovery run, no breaks, 2% grade to 6.0 mph. Nike+ failed.
In the weight room:
Machine circuit,  Legs, Shoulders, and Chest.
Today is Ash Wednesday. At Lent, I try to chose a meaningful fast and a meaningful Lenten devotion. The monks call it a Rule of Life. It's one of the few acts of piety that still touch me. I love Lent. I love the journey from ashes to resurrection. So that's what's on my mind today.

My fast is pretty simple. Dairy Queen. Well, soft serve ice cream in general. Stopping for a cone or a shake has become a daily habit after work or a workout, and I suspect that is a big reason why my weight has plateaued, in spite of my increased training hours. So instead of a large Shamrock Shake, when I feel the craving, I'll say a little prayer of thanksgiving. This may do me a lot of good. I actually quit smoking this way, many years ago.

My devotions are a little more complicated. I've been wasting a lot of time lately. Playing video games. Browsing Facebook. Napping. Those aren't bad things, but I have more important goals than winning at Words with Friends. So here are the things I want to DO for lent.

  • Home. Mrs P and I have been very busy and very tired. Our house looks like a place where crazy people live. That makes us crazy. We are going to schedule time to work on the house together and finally finish the task of moving in that we started more than a year ago. We're gonna wear a path to the Goodwill in the next 40 days.
  • Health. My marathon training is on track, but I want to become more intentional about my nutrition. I have found that using a food log from time to time helps me to focus on what I'm eating and how I can improve my choices. I'll be logging my Lenten meals, and checking in with Nancy the Dietician at the Y from time to time. 
  • Heart. As the days lengthen, it becomes tempting to try to do more. Lots of invitations come in. I start hankering to act or write or any of the million things I do to please myself and avoid chores like taxes and yardwork. When I'm planning my hours, I need to remember that I only have so many of them to spend, and make sure I'm spending them on the things that are most important to me: Mrs P, Running, and my new job as a trainer with LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. Those are the "Big Rocks" I have to make sure are in my jar before I fill in the gaps with other things.
  • Hands. I'm not sure what this one is about. I just sort of fell into this "4-H" kind of thing. I guess it means keeping on top of my training. As the days get longer and busier, it will be more tempting to cut  out a workout here and there. To neglect my sleep. To shorten up a long run. A marathon is serious, and possibly dangerous business. I need to continue my resolve to make myself as ready as I can to finish that race in May.
So there's my Lenten Rule of life. It pretty much means sitting down with my planner a couple of times a week and making sure I'm on course. Keeping my schedule aligned with my goals. Prayerfully considering my choices. Living the life God gave back to me with gratitude and purpose.

The Ash Wednesday liturgy puts it this way;
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church,to the observance of a holy Lent,by self-examination and repentance;by prayer, fasting, and self-denial;and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word(Book of Common Prayer, p.265)

I can live with that.


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