Category Archives: Running

Oh no…what did I do?

Did I really just announce to all of you that I will run a marathon in March? Ugh…documentaries…you know?

It has been awesome to hear the response from all of you about my decision to run this stupid distance…er…I mean…marathon. Really, your encouragement has meant a lot to me. It already seems a bit daunting but since I have already announced to all of you my reasons for doing so…there is no backing out.

One thing that has been interesting has been to see how many of you are thinking about getting back into running as well. All different ages and experiences…you go!

Because some of you might join me on this crazy journey, I thought I would start my first running post out with some thoughts about training for this distance. I have run 2 half marathons and learned a lot from the preparation and running of them both.

My first half marathon was in Disneyland. The night before the race, my wife and I attended a wedding in Arizona. We had already made plans to run but the wedding was short notice so we decided to do both. The wedding was great and at the reception…there was an open bar and some dudes were having a cigar. Ugh. Of course, I partook with a beer…well…two…and had the cigar. I know…not great race prep…but it was a great cigar! (don’t worry…I can definitively say that I still love Jesus after having beer and a cigar)

We arrived in Southern California at midnight the night before the race and did not get to sleep in our hotel room until 2am. Alarm goes off at 4:30am and I hated life. I put on the shoes I had been training in and a cotton shirt and gym shorts. All bad ideas. I finished the race in 2:28 and I had sweat so much that my shoes were making a “squish” noise when I walked and I looked as if I had stood in the shower for ten minutes. Gross. But, I finished.

The second half was in Sacramento. The night before, we met with friends over a pasta dinner…no beer…and went back to our hotel room which was a five minute drive from the race site. Drank a Gatorade and ate a banana…and fell asleep at 10pm. I woke up ready and alive. I put on my new shoes, (I had broken them in for 2 weeks) my actual running shorts and a running shirt from Nike. I finished the race at 1:58 and felt amazing afterwards. I was tired…but not soaked.

You learn things along the way that help you feel more comfortable out there and I hope you learn a little along our journey together through this blog. Below as promised are a few things to consider when beginning your training for any sort of distance.

1. Your weight. You may be thinking…I want to run to take off some of this weight…and it will work. But, if you have some more serious weight issues…its best if you focus on losing some weight first and leave yourself time to train after. Imagine carrying a 40lb bag of dog food around while running…think your joints will love you? Get your body used to moving by taking long walks (longer than 30 minutes) and reduce your calories. Your body will thank you.

2. Make a plan. Don’t just go out there and run for 30 minutes…out of breath and hurting. Do a walk run. Four minutes of jogging and two minutes of walking. Do this for thirty minutes 4 times a week (for two weeks) and see how you feel. Find a running plan online and try to stick to it.

3. Avoid injury. Make sure you are stretching before and after your run. Keep a pace that would allow you to talk…no matter how slow. Don’t push yourself too hard the first month or you will get hurt. My wife hurt her knee training for our 2nd half and she stayed away from running for one week with ice on the knee every night. When she returned, she ran at a much slower pace and kept up the ice packs when we finished. After three weeks…she felt much better and avoided serious injury.

4. Get the right equipment. When running 2-4 miles, you can get away with wearing cotton clothing and older shoes. But…when you start to seriously train…you need actual running shoes…not just Nike’s. If your knees are hurting you when you run…go to a running store and ask them to evaluate what kind of shoe you really need.  You will eventually want some good shorts and shirts as well to avoid chaffing.

5. Know your heart. It may surprise you, but jogging for under thirty minutes does very little to help your cardio endurance. The heart has not had to settle into a rhythm and really get worked like a muscle needs. Anything under thirty minutes and you are working your muscles, burning calories and teaching your body to run…which are all necessary things…but that’s about it. At first…training for 30 minutes is great because it allows your body to get used to the pounding…but once you’re less sore…its time to get in the longer runs.

Blessings and have great runs!



Life changes…

I’m changing the focus of this site for awhile. It has been great to talk and share my thoughts about worship leading here…but I think I have shared enough…for now. Don’t worry…I am sure there will be plenty more to write about as time goes on. But life is changing…and I need a challenge that doesn’t involve weekly service planning meetings and practices.

I love leading worship. I love music and creativity and I feed off of those who are far better than I am at it.  I am by far not the best worship leader or musician out there but there is something that has eluded me out there I have not yet accomplished. It is a full marathon. I will be writing about running…if you can believe it 😉

I watched this documentary about marathons and tonight…it has pushed me over the edge. Sitting here overweight and a little bored…I find strength in the stories of these people who accomplished a full marathon in Chicago.

Right now, I am an unemployed…volunteer worship leader. I am trying to find my way. My definition. I am yearning for direction and significance. I do not believe I will become something different by running 26.2 miles.

But, I do believe that dedicating myself to something as strenuous as running for that long will change me. It will continue to create the story I began to write at the beginning of this year. I started this year unemployed and lost after my wife and I suffered a miscarriage. But life changes things.

She is pregnant now…with a boy…and he looks as healthy as ever. I love him already. He will be born in January…and that is not soon enough.

I have never run a race alone. My wife has been with me all the way…for a 5K and 2 half marathons…but this time…she cannot run with me. This one is for me…for the future of my family. I cannot rely on her speed or training partnership. I will be pushing this alone…sort of. I know she will be with me in spirit, and knowing my boy is right there with her…gives me strength.

So here is my plan. I am going to run the Big Sur half marathon in November. I will then run the full marathon in Napa in March 2011. My boy will be 1 ½  months old. I am already excited to see him at the finish line.

I know my family health history and I will do my best to help my boy stay away from the pitfalls of being a Peterson. Diabetes and being overweight runs rampant in my family line and I will do my best to pass on strength and a fighting ability on to my boy. I am not disappointed in my family line…but I aim to change its path. I will run for my own story and the stories of many Peterson’s to come.

Below is the link to the documentary that finally pushed me over the edge and some great lines from the movie:

Spirit of the Marathon on…awesome.

“People run the marathon to prove that there is still triumph and there is still possibility in their lives.”

“The marathon is the sort of the search for the Holy Grail that we’re all after. I think it’s a journey that we’re on.  It’s not necessarily a destination of just getting from the start line to the finish line. And I think that what people learn over the course of the training for the marathon is every bit as important as what they learn on the day of the race itself.”