Archive for the 'Journal' Category


Lent is coming to an end and the preparation within during these 40 days have indeed led to a resurrection. A more intense humility, grace, prayer, sacrifice, and mercy. Cleanse the soul as well as the palate for sustaining on more than just bread. Darkness still prevails in the 4:30 mornings, but slightly extended now to finish it off by 9:30 bedtime. The first week is difficult establishing this new routine (like attending Stations every Friday evening) but is finely tuned each week thereafter to a slight form of mastery after the 40. Life everlasting to its core. And peaked in time for Easter.

I had the opportunity to enter the Run For The Ridge 5K on the whim of a chance idea between myself and good friend Brad Mintz. His son Gabe, only 10, loves to run and play basketball and did this race last year, narrowly missing a win in his age group. He planned to race and I offered to pace him, but prescheduled Bball games left the idea of him running an option.  I found out during the week that they had a promotion for a free entry if you had won a race in 2017. I submitted my results from the Isabella Santos 10K from September and was accepted. The plan now was for me to actually race, Gina was going to do a 3 mile tempo, and Brad said Gabe and his daughter Darby were going to just run at their effort. The race benefits Marvin Ridge HS/MS and is a great community effort type of event. Gina and I went about a normal week schedule since we cemented this idea the Thursday before the Saturday race. We drank smoothies and had Cherrios for dinner those 2 days leading up.

Up early around 5:30, head down to Waxhaw and get there by 7.  Weather was cold at around 40, but the rain forecast seemed to be way off and not an issue. An amazing school facility and fields to boot. Gina and I both were able to relax and use the heated field house bathrooms. Yes heated. We checked in and stayed warm in the car till 7:30 when now, a few hundred people gathered and Brad got there also with his kids, soon to be joined by his wife Danielle (D1). The school colors were orange and blue, so I wore the most orange I could find in my race kits. But I had to don the new TeamMC visor that the crew at 1st Choice Activewear. It was a little chilly as we all stripped down to our race gear and waited for the 8:00 start. Good crowd and mostly youth and families from the neighborhood. One of those races too where there is a 1:1 ratio of volunteers to racers. We all lined up and prepared to start. Gave a kiss to Gina and high fives Brad and D1. The race director then shared the mike to a student, together with her family, recalled the loss of her brother at the age of 14 to suicide. It was emotional and collectively warmed the hearts of all towards this family. Added inspiration to race even harder. Then a group of kids sang the national anthem. Gabe and I lined up right up front. Activated the Polar RC3GPS. Took 3 deep breaths. Ready.

The horn sounded and I went 0-10mph in about 15 seconds. The rush of a few kids who darted ahead quickly dropped and soon it was open road behind 2 lead cyclists. I was in the lead after a half mile and immediately just tried to heat the engine which settling into a nice pace to do so. But I had one kid who seemed to glide right past me before we even got to the first mile and put a good 25-50 yards on me. I figured he was a stud and was out for a joyride given the way he went past me, but when we passed the first mile in 6:01, I knew if was just me and him and he wasn’t gaining any ground. A few fans chanted his name, Liam, and turns out he was Gabe’s run coach who went to Marvin Ridge HS. I just eased in and felt warm now just before the turnaround. This was unique in that you went across and around a family’s driveway, of which there was a designated water stop too. Awesome setup.

Once we hit that, I felt the slope of the road now trending downhill. Slight but a little tailwind helped silence everything, allowing me to dial in, and focus intently on what Liam was doing.

Being an out and back route, I had Gina on the other side as I passed at mile 2 in 5:51.

She shouted out to me “you got this!” Which led me to believe she saw something in his face. Sure enough as I started to piston the arms, he got closer. And closer. Reeling him in. Everything was clicking now. Knowing full well we were now all downhill to the finish, I let it rip. I was now on his shoulder and didn’t even bother to size him up. I just screamed forward and kept the pressure. Now I had the 2 cyclist in view and used them as guides to just not let up. For the next half mile, it was just me and knew I had it and now was just going for time. As I made the last left where you enter the track, I thanked the cyclists and sprinted the remaining 100m to the finish. Last mile in 5:28, and an overall time of 18:14!!! Awesome racing!! I saluted the crowd and did a quick Facebook live interview before hugging Brad and D1 in celebration. Liam finished some 30 seconds behind and the first female was in 3rd, herself a young HS runner!!

I quickly however turned around and went back in jog/cool down mode but mainly to see Gabe heading towards the finish and then continuing on to meet up with Gina. I cheered everyone as I made my way back. Gina was hitting great paces. We finished the last mile together as she herself cracked a 39 minute time trial! We met up with everyone and learned Gabe established a PB in 21:30, placing second in his age group! Darby who is mainly a track runner, raced a respectable 35:00 while running with her friend. Good times indeed all around!

We were able to gather some serious goodies thanks to the enormous vendor support available post race. Add to that the prizes and raffles to boot. By 9:30, we were heading to the cars as they had the Bball games to get to and we were warming for some Java. No rain, overcast, but plenty of sun shining faces all around. But it helps when you have such dreary weather all day and the MChine needs to shut it down for a 20 min nap in the afternoon.

Side notes: we got an air fryer as a gift and have been cooking everything we can in it. Burgers, fries, egg sandwiches, fish, etc. Serious tool yo. Most recent are Gina’s awesome two ingredient bagels!!! Serious fuel yo. Also have to give a shout out to the Texas Tech Red Raiders BBall team for getting to the Elite 8. Awesome fun to wear the gear while watching, even wearing it to bed when I couldn’t stay up for that 10:30pm game Friday. Guns up yo!!!

So now let’s take our palms and journey into Easter week. Take what was Lent and Rise up yo.