Running, Pain, & Discipline

Nineteen years ago I was running in the state cross-country finals.  We had a great team and I was a scrawny 135 lb senior running 18 minute times in 5K’s. Since that time, I really haven’t continued running and the years and pounds have added on.  Over the last couple of years I have tried to start running, but I have lacked consistency.  This summer I have managed to rack up about 25 miles, but I am still far from being in shape.  But I am playing basketball regularly, biking, and jogging.  I am definitely making an effort to be more disciplined in all areas of my life.

This morning I ran the Susan G. Komen Lowcountry Race For the Cure near Charleston, South Carolina with over 5000 other people.  It was a fun race, but the real reason I ran was to honor my mother-in-law (you can see the details of her previous battle with cancer here) .  My wife Jennifer had planned to run, but her knee has been locking up and will probably require surgery in the next few weeks, so she was unable to run.  But I ran with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law for Team Bambu.  Our kids all ran the 1 mile fun run as well.

I wasn’t real pleased with my time of 32 minutes, but with my lack of training and current weight, it is all that I really could expect.  I started developing shin splints several weeks back and they really bothered me during the race.  I wasn’t used to running on pavement and the impact took it’s toll on me. I still need to drop about 25 pounds to get to a decent running weight.  It was still a fun race and I’m glad that I ran it.  Check out some pictures below.

If you want to learn from my mistakes, here is what I recommend:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others.  Even if you get passed by 70 year olds, women pushing strollers, your sister-in-law :-), and a man in a fat suit (which all happened to me today) don’t give up.  It takes discipline and hard work to get in shape.  And some people are just natural runners.
  • Forget your past.  It doesn’t really matter what you used to do.  All that matters is where you are now and where you need to go.
  • Music is a great motivator.  Be sure to pick music that keeps you running at a good tempo. Nike has some great running mixes and the free podrunner podcast is a great place to pick up some good techno running music.
  • Have a plan! Start gradually and work your into shape – the couch to 5k plan is a great way to get in shape for a 5k in two months. They also have a podcast and a couch to 5k application for the iphone and ipod touch.
  • Mix things up, don’t feel bad changing your workout routine. Weight training is important as well
  • And finally, train on the same surfaces that you will be racing on. I’ve been running on the trail at home and the road really bothered my knees and shins during the race.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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