Archive for July, 2010

The Journey

Posted in Endurance, God's Word, Life on July 30, 2010 by gregbashore

The main reason I started this blog was so i could have a place to write down my thoughts, fears, self revelations on this journey through the sport of life. Sometimes though I get so caught up in the “Sport of Life” that I forget the whole “Journey” part of it all. I’m a person who loves to conquer challenges, I love check lists and to be able to say “I did that”. It is there in ever aspect of my life. 400 pound dead lift? Check! Sub 20 minute 5k? Check! Run Western States? Check! Become the perfect man of GOD? Check! These are all the things I’m striving for, wanting to check off my list of life. I don’t think anyone would say these are bad goals, especially wanting to become a perfect (which of course will never happen) man of GOD. But should these end goals, these results of hard work, these check marks, should they be what truly matters? Or should it be the process, the actual hard work it took to get there? I mean whats the point of achieving goals if they blinded you of everything the journey was trying to teach you along the way? I was talking to my brother Kyle about this the other day, and he was telling me how sometimes life just feels like your climbing a mountain. Sometimes on this mountain you think about quitting, giving up and how you’d do anything just to be at the top. Then when you get there and you look out over everything you did, all it took to get there, and you see how beautiful it all looks and you wish you would have spent a little time along the climb to really appreciate it all. Because no matter how many mountains you end up climbing there is always going to be another one.

So if this post means anything it would be this. Set goals, have places you want to go in life, try to achieve something. But always remember to enjoy every step, every sight, every breath of the journey along the way.

Psalms 139(NIV)

Posted in God's Word on July 30, 2010 by gregbashore

O LORD, you have searched me
       and you know me.

 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
       you perceive my thoughts from afar.

 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
       you are familiar with all my ways.

 4 Before a word is on my tongue
       you know it completely, O LORD.

 5 You hem me in—behind and before;
       you have laid your hand upon me.

 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
       too lofty for me to attain.

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
       Where can I flee from your presence?

 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
       if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
       if I settle on the far side of the sea,

 10 even there your hand will guide me,
       your right hand will hold me fast.

 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
       and the light become night around me,”

 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.

 17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
       How vast is the sum of them!

 18 Were I to count them,
       they would outnumber the grains of sand.
       When I awake,
       I am still with you.

 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
       Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

 20 They speak of you with evil intent;
       your adversaries misuse your name.

 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
       and abhor those who rise up against you?

 22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
       I count them my enemies.

 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
       test me and know my anxious thoughts.

 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
       and lead me in the way everlasting.

Persistence Hunting in the Park

Posted in Endurance, Life on July 18, 2010 by gregbashore

preyIn most locales, summer is upon us. The sun acts as powerful beacon, a call to action for even the habitually sedentary to venture out and frolic in its rays. Hopeful mothers and fathers nudge chubby kids with creaky Xbox fingers, barely able to grasp the brand new football with which they’ve been tasked, out the door to partake in a mysterious, archaic activity known as “play.” Running shoes are finally removed from shoeboxes and attached to feet. Excuses to avoid going outside grow exceedingly pathetic and totally unconvincing, even to the skilled self-deceivers, who can no longer deny the basic awesomeness of a summer day. Squinting into this wonderful, terrible new light, they all gather in public areas – parks, hiking trails, outdoor malls, beaches – each in turn making personal pledges (or fulfilling imposed ones) that this will be the summer they finally take advantage of the great outdoors.

They are also weak and defenseless and, especially as they try to right the metabolic ship with outdoor Chronic Cardio through the park/sidewalk/trail/track, thrown into a state of confusion by all the sights, smells, and fresh air accosting them. Stale air-conditioning this is not. They are unprepared for what awaits them.

You, however, have been preparing for this moment for months, if not years. You’ve been eating meat, vegetables, roots, and fruit, molding your body and stoking your furnace with healthy fat, appropriate amounts of glucose, and measured bouts of intense lifting, sprinting, and steady movement. Even if you’re just beginning your Primal journey, even if you’re still adjusting – you’re still way ahead of the rest of ‘em.

It is a good time to be a persistence hunter.

Next time your stomach rumbles for a little physical exertion, venture out to the local park or track. Any spot where people will be jogging will work. You could even hit up a trail, as long as you’re sure there’ll be joggers. (I did this once in the back of a 10k race). Strap on your shoes (or don’t), wear something comfortable (or wear as little as possible), and survey the area. It’s now sacred hunting ground. You are the hunter; you can have your pick of the lot.

Regard your prey. Pick a jogger, any jogger, and let him or her gain some distance on you. A few dozen yards, perhaps. Now, walk after your target.

Keep your eye on the target, but let it gain ground on you. This isn’t a race, remember. It’s a battle of wits, of picking and choosing your spots.

When your target is a few hundred yards ahead, start to jog. Don’t let it range too far ahead, but don’t over exert yourself. Kiss the ground with a soft stride, making as little noise as possible. If you’re not barefoot, run like you are. You wouldn’t want to tire early and come home empty-handed; you can only subsist on foraged bitter nuts for so long.

Keep that pace for a couple minutes. Now speed up a bit. If you begin to gain ground, stop before you catch up completely.

Now sprint! Sprint for thirty seconds, and really push it – you might even be licking at their heels, but do not pass your prey. You’re not ready to finish just yet.

Stop. Let them continue on. Once they’ve turned a corner, passed behind a bend, or otherwise disappeared from sight, continue on. Jog, but jog in fractals. Start, stop, and run in spurts. For this portion, you aren’t breaking up the hunt into jog/sprint/walk sections; you’re melding them all together on the fly. Sprint for two seconds, stop for three, then jog for ten. Leap over branches, vault over bushes. You can even drop to all fours and crawl along the trail for a bit. Get creative.

(By now, it’s obvious that you’re a bit of a nut. You’re going to look a little strange. Are you okay with that? You should be used to it by now.)

Once you catch sight of your target, catch up by any and all means. Sprint if you have to. Just pass them up (no actual hunting, of course) and take a breather. You’ll probably need it. Flop down on the ground, stretch out, because you deserve it. Keep your wits about you, though, for there’s more prey afoot.

Even as you rest up, start the process of selecting your next target. After all, it’s open season and your tribe is hungry.

If there are multiple joggers zigzagging all over the place in all directions, you might try switching to a new target every time a new one passes in the other direction. Follow one for a couple minutes, then switch to another going the opposite way. Sprint after that one, then jog/crawl back in the other direction. How close can you get and for how many times without any of them knowing you’re there? The possibilities are endless.

Why the mind games?

The success of a workout. Whether you actually motivate yourself enough to begin and complete it, your performance throughout, and your intensity hinges largely on your state of mind. Persistence hunting in the park (yeah, I know, I thought about calling it “stalking” in the park, but somehow that sounded wrong) is a fantastic way to visualize and compel you to workout without “working out.” You’re in the moment, but that moment doesn’t occur on a treadmill while zoning out to the TV; you stay engaged in the act of movement itself. You’re aware of your muscles contracting and extending. You feel each footfall, every tiny pebble, every expansion of your lungs. You can’t ignore your physicality, nor should you want to, because we are physical creatures whose physicality must be nurtured and stimulated for us to be whole and healthy.

(www.marksdailyapple.com)

Isaiah 6:8

Posted in God's Word on July 12, 2010 by gregbashore

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,

“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said,

“Here am I. Send me!”

Running And Our Walk.

Posted in Endurance, God's Word, Life on July 9, 2010 by gregbashore

As the days tick down and leave Mike and I with only a few weeks left before we toe the line at the start of the Chicago Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon, I can’t help but think back to how it all began and how it undoubtedly changed my life. It was a Monday and exactly this time of year (give or take a couple of weeks), and I was sitting on my couch with my brother Kyle after we finished up one of our epic runs we always do when we get the chance to spend time together. I had just started some pretty big life changes and having Kyle out here for a few days really helped save me. Going off on a tangent real quick, If any of you get the chance to meet, talk to, or become friends with this man you will not be disappointed. He is a savage man of GOD that you want to have in your corner. Anyway, we were sitting there and he asked me if I was ever planning on doing a marathon? I told him that of course I would love to, but I just didn’t know if I had it in me. Well, needless to say he made me promise that I would at least seriously think about doing a half marathon by this time next summer (which is now this summer). I agreed, and then never thought about it for another 6 months (I must give you guys a disclaimer now and inform you that I have previously ran a half marathon before with my wife back in 2008. However, I did not take my training or the race serious and ended up being very disappointed with my finishing time).

Fast forward to the first of this year. My brother Mike regained a renewed spirit for running that past fall and encouraged me to read the book “Born To Run”.  Since I made the New Years resolution to try to read one new book a month this year, I thought there would be nothing better than to start with his suggestion. I was not disappointed, and I highly recommend any fan, or person who would like to become a fan, of running to go out and by this book.

I finished reading the book just in time for a guys weekend with Mike. This is the now epic weekend where the Soul Run was invented and ultimately where my life took the biggest turn it has made since the last epic weekend I had with Mike (the weekend back in 2003 where I decided to take my life back and lose about 70 pounds). Well, like that weekend this weekend also gave me something back…My Soul! As our weekend of running, praying, and strengthening (Mike is also a savage for Christ that you want in your corner, and I’m honored to call brother) came to a close I remembered the challenge that Kyle gave me. I asked Mike if he was interested in running the half marathon with me, and just like that we were signed up and began pounding out our miles.

Now that you know how I arrived at this point, I would like to tell you why. I have always struggled with having a relationship with my Savior.  Not a “I believe in God” relationship, but a complete dependance on him and to walk side by side with each other in everything I do. Well, this year has been all about that for me and it hasn’t been the easiest thing I have done. But then I started thinking about racing and how my entire journey with GOD has been like a race.  I remember when I first became a Christian. I remember the excitement, the freedom and the wonder of “what will happen?”. It is a lot like the start of a race where you feel fresh, nervous and excited about whats going to happen and you feel like your feet can take you anywhere. The only problem is once the race starts and the excitement of those first couple miles wear off you fall into a sort of “comfortable” pace. Where you’re just moving, not really aware of whats going on around you and thiscan be very dangerous if you’re not paying attention to your body. You can forget to hydrate, get your calories in and you can crash. Just like in our walks , we can become comfortable, just going with the pace of life forgetting our hydration (the bible) and our calories (Christ). That’s when we crash.

The problem with both racing and our life’s journeys is the fact that low points are going to happen. You can’t stop them. You’re gonna want to give up, stop and drop out of the race. But, this is when you must keep going. You must push forward. It will get better, your legs will beat your mind and the acid will work out of the muscles and your legs will come alive again. It’s important to take advantage of this time, in both racing and in our walks with Christ. Use these moments where you feel the strongest to go hard, make up lost time, and to strengthen your body, mind and heart for the next low point of the race. It will come and you will need to be as prepared as possible for it.

I’m in a low time right now, but I’m going to keep running. Making sure I take in my hydration and calories even when I don ‘t want them and I will ride out this low point and I’ll make up lost time when I break through.  I will use this timeto get stronger. Because Satan likes to throw hills in the race.

Keep running.