NOV 29, 2017 WAWA: “Drop it like it’s hot…drop it like it’s hot!”

Recognize the song from this week’s WAWA title?  You probably thought you’d never see Snoop Dogg quoted in a WAWA update, right?

Colder temps have arrived to Charlotte…just in time for the holiday season!  But the during the holiday season, we’re also more likely to put on those extra pounds….so don’t let your exercise regimen slip away!

This week, we’re going to do a negative splits workout at Freedom Park.  We’ll meet outside the Cornwell Center, per normal at 5:45 am.  Then it’s an easy jog of about 1 mile down to the Princeton Ave entrance to Freedom Park.

Next we’ll do one easy lap around the lake.  Distance around the lake is 1 km.  The initial lake run will give everyone a sense to the distance.  One catch is that I’ll ask you to track your time going around the lake.

Our main workout set will consist of 5 more laps around the lake, with emphasis on dropping your interval time each subsequent lap.   That initial lap will serve as your starting amount….your “baseline“.

The “dropping” amount each lap is completely up to you but here’s my challenge:

  • First lap:  Drop 15 seconds from baseline
  • Second lap:  Drop 10 seconds from 1st lap
  • Third lap:  Drop 5 seconds from 2nd lap
  • Fourth lap:  Drop 5 seconds from 3rd lap
  • Final lap:  Drop 5 seconds or “match” time from 4th lap

Those 6 kilometers around the lake will be about 3.7 miles.  1 mile easy pace back to the Cornwell Center when we’re done.

Total distance is about 5.5 miles.

Morning temps will be low 40’s so dress accordingly.

See you outside the CC at 5:45 am!

WORKOUT Leader:  Mike Lenhart

DEVOTIONAL Leader:  Mike Lenhart

 

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NOV 8, 2017 Devotional: “Have you been to the Mountaintop?”

There’s two truths I’d like to share with you about today’s workout.  First, “hill repeats” always sound like a great idea to me the night before the actual workout, and second, every time I reach the top of one of those hills, I always hear the same voice in the back of my mind.  Maybe some of you hear that voice too?  More on that in just a minute….

The run today was pretty straight forward.  One and a half miles, easy pace, to the bottom of the hill on Brandywine Road.  Then four times running up from the bottom about a quarter mile to the stop sign about half-way back up Brandywine.  Then loop around along Westfield Road, Sterling Road, and Wellesley Avenue back to the Cornwell Center for another two miles.  All told, the plan was estimated to be a little over five miles!  At one point, during the second or third hill repeat, I looked over at Zoe Brennan (who was running beside me) and said “Who thinks up these crazy workouts!

They always seem like a good idea the night before!

But there’s great significance in getting to the top of the hill, isn’t there?  Militarily speaking, most times the best tactical position is the hill top.  When the rain storms are coming, best to be on higher ground.  And when my chickens go UP to roost at night, they go up the ramp into the hen house, to the safety about five to six feet above ground.  They do that instinctively to stay away from any predators who might be after them when the sun goes down.

I was having a conversation with a co-worker several months back.  The gentleman happens to be Indian and he’s also Christian.  In his native country, Christians represent less than 3% of the population.  Now in India, that can still be millions of people, but relatively speaking, it’s low compared to other religions in his country like Muslim and Hindu.  In India, he’s had to be somewhat reserved about his faith, but here in America, he doesn’t feel as restrained.  We were having a one-on-one conversation about nothing in particular one day after everyone else had left the conference room and the meeting had ended.  I think I was complaining about a hill repeats workout that day too, in all honestly!

My friend said, “Mike do you recall that piece of scripture that talks about higher ground?”

“No”, I said.  “What is that?”

He then referenced me to the Book of Psalms:

Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the enemy.  (Psalm 61:1-3)

The “rock” in this passage is often times translated to “mountain”.

Lead me to the mountain, perhaps, that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.  That’s my translation.

Today’s workout is proof that it’s challenging many times to get to that higher ground.  But I know that higher ground …. that rock …. is a place of safety in more ways than one.

Where do we turn to when we need safety?  The higher ground.  We look to the heavens, for safety, for guidance, for forgiveness, for refuge.

I know what you’re thinking.  What about the second part of my opening paragraph?  What’s the voice I hear in the back of my mind?

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now; we’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter to with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life–longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And so I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Dr. Martin Luther King also talked about climbing mountains, didn’t he?  That’s the voice I hear.

So we not only climb mountains to reach safety, but, as explained by Dr. King, we climb mountains in order to get a glimpse of what’s on the other side.

So the next time you’re doing hill repeats, whether it’s with me and the Wednesday morning run group, with others, or all alone, think about what salvation comes when you get to the top…..and when you get to the other side.

My prayer this week for us to have the courage to start that climb, the strength to get to the top, the vision to see what’s on the other side.  For in doing so, we might all get to see the glory of the coming of the Lord!

Amen!

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NOV 8, 2017 WAWA: Brandywine Hill Repeats

We’re back on the streets of Myers Park tomorrow morning, and back to hill repeats!

Course will take us from the Cornwell Center along Queens/Selwyn then down Brandywine.  Our hill repeats starting point will be the intersection of Brandywine and the creek, running uphill to the intersection of Brandywine and Chelsea.  Each hill repeat is approximately one-quarter mile.

Four hill repeats planned.

Then, we’ll take Westfield around to Sterling, then Wellesley, back to the Cornwell Center.

Total distance including the repeats is 5.5 miles!

-First Leg:  1.5 miles to repeats starting point

-Repeats:  2.0 miles (4 repeats of quarter-mile up, then quarter-mile back downhill)

-Final Leg:  2.0 miles back to the Cornwell Center

The map of our route is at this link.

Meet outside the Cornwell Center ready to go at 5:45 am.

Weather will be low 50’s with some rain likely.  Sunrise is at 6:52 am so bring your headlamps!

WORKOUT LEADER:  Mike Lenhart

DEVOTIONAL LEADER:  Mike Lenhart

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NOV 1, 2017 Devotional: “Never Ride Alone….”

On most Friday mornings, I meet with a small band of “brothers” for a men’s fellowship group (aka “Bible study”, of sorts….but usually a whole lot more than just studying scripture…).  There’s a certain degree of confidentiality among the group, especially if the topics get a little deep.  We’re in-between studies right now, and we’ve been sharing personal faith testimonies among the group.  These have been a great way to “check in” with one another, learn a little bit, and realize that we’re not so far apart in our walks of faith.  (Side note….this is a great time to refresh our memories on scripture verse Romans 3:23….”For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”)

Without divulging too much information, one of the men in our group shared his story and said the following:

“I wake up every day thinking….’If this is my last day, then I’ve had a great ride; I am truly blessed.’…..”

I thought it was a great testimony.  How many of us can say the same?  Are we satisfied with where we are?  Are we confident that if today were our last day, and our heavenly father called us “home”, would we say confidently, “it’s been a great ride”?

Hopefully, we all share that confidence.

But what if you don’t?

And if you don’t, do you still have time?

Have you ever seen those commercials on the TV where they’re asking about how much money you’ve set aside for your future?  In the commercials, they typically ask the person or couple, “how much do they need to save and when to start”.  Inevitably, the person is way off the mark as demonstrated by a bar chart, of sorts, show where the person is and where they need to be.

Now, I’m all for setting aside financial resources for the future.  And I might add, it’s also good practice to have a fund aside for those emergencies that could pop up.

But unlike financial resources, what does our Heavenly Father expect as an investment well in advance that accrues interest overtime, compounding the stockpile that’s set aside for the future?

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here.  Our Heavenly Father also prefers that we never get “behind” when it comes to investing in our spiritual future.  But there is hope, to some degree, that it’s never too late to build that relationship with Him.

If you would describe your life as a “good ride”, meaning that all is good between you and our Creator, then that’s great news.

Or, if on the other hand, your life has been a “good ride” because you’ve been reckless, thrown caution to the wind, etc, then there’s some good news for you as well, but the path might not be as simple.

There are arguments both ways….just ask Google.

I believe, however, that the Resurrection story explains it best.  Remember that there were two other men being crucified along side Jesus.  One turned to Jesus shortly before expiring to asked to be saved.  He was sincere in his repentance and we are told through scripture that he joined Jesus in Heaven.

The other, however, scorned Jesus and mocked him until the end.  His heart had become so hardened by sin, that there was no turning back.  The outcome for the second man was not the same as the other.

Our Heavenly Father wants nothing more than our pure hearts.  Don’t delay.

Satan will whisper to you, “you have plenty of time…”.  But God says, “Now is the time of God’s favor and now is the day of salvation.”  Corinthians 6:2.

We all have seasons in our lives where we fall short.  My prayer today is that we can all say “it’s been a great ride”.  But my prayer is that we’ve taken God along as well.

Amen!

 

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