Sunday, January 17, 2016

WHAT’S IT GOING TO TAKE? A PASTOR’S PLEA TO AFFIRM LGBT

You are a good person, perhaps a Christian. Maybe even a leader or a pastor. Your heart is to follow Jesus and to be faithful to His purposes. The important things you are accomplishing for the cause of Christ haven’t gone unnoticed. You’re living out your faith with noble intentions from the framework of your experience, understanding, and conviction.
Yet, there are issues in life that change the course of history, starting with the challenging of our own creeds and spiritual assumptions. The gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender realities being one of those, especially within Christian circles.
For some, you are familiar with terms like LGBT. Others, your awareness is more centered on homosexuality in contrast to heterosexuality. When it comes to sexual and gender manifestations, there is a large expanse. It’s complicated stuff, with lots of moving parts. All of us having a certain level of understanding, if nothing more than how charged, difficult, costly, and controversial these issues can be.
Maybe you have already drawn your conclusions, carved a line in the sand. It’s all an abomination. The clear teachings of the Bible make it perfectly clear. Any other theological landing point is a slippery slope to hell. Nothing is going to move you, sway you, or alter your view.
That was me. The pastor who could look out upon a congregation. With no restraint, no hesitation, no pumping of the breaks. Telling those gathered in my polished preacher’s voice, it’s all a sin and unless met with repentance, every last one of them are on a fast track to hell. Gladly receiving the high-fives from those who agreed.
Been there, done that, have the t-shirt. I understand exactly where you are at.
Maybe you are questioning. It’s all a bit fuzzy to you. You see both sides, swinging from one end to the other. Looking down at the fall between the two trapeze. To grasp for the other side, making the leap, the blood wells up in your head, your breath is constricted in horror. You gaze ahead to the relational dominoes that would crash to the floor if people knew just the doubts you were having, let alone the new position you might be taking. The deconstruction of your faith, the footings of your creed. If only it would all just go away. Indecision, straddling the fence. It’s all too much. So, you just keep swinging.
That was me. The pastor trying to stand for everything, and therefore standing for nothing, and with no one. Lukewarm and loving it.
Been there, done that. The middle ground is the lowest ground.
Maybe deep within, you believe in God’s affirming heart for LGBT people. You have studied it out, covered the chalkboard with new equations, new summations, new conclusions. Like Nicodemus, in the dark of night, you have come to Jesus. Learned His heart. Yet, it’s your secret stance. Only known by you, perhaps a few others. Adding up the costs, the conversations to take place, the meetings to meet with, the look in people’s eyes, the locking of their wallets, the removal of their memberships. The de-friending, the demonizing, the de-humanizing. The firing, the resigning, the transitioning. The tally on the receipt, the numbers that result… it’s too much. The cost is just too much.
That was me. The pastor, who with money he didn’t have, planted a church, starting with seven people. Nurtured it, fed it, changed its diapers. Knowing full well, just a year in, if people knew my true heart, it might die. I could lose everything. Friendships, family, systems that held me together, clients in my bi-vocational work.
But then, the awakening. Truth. Jesus. God’s heart.
Christian, do you realize the spiritual, emotional, and physical torture LGBT people experience, almost exclusively at the hands of our Christianity? Thousands of gay and lesbian people commit suicide every year. Others, walk a daily living hell of discrimination, hate, bullying, violence, abuse, marginalization, and condemnation. A staggering 41% of transgender people attempt suicide because of societal non-acceptance.
Certainly, that has to bother you, at least register a blip on your radar screen, does it not?  No, maybe it’s not happening in your leather-bound, steeple-topped world, but it’s happening in God’s world. And quite frankly, He’s pissed and so am I.
Can you even begin to imagine what’s that like? Every moment of every day, dehumanized and demonized. A breath among them is rarely taken without a whiff of pungent bigotry stinging every fiber of their being, burning clear down to their souls.
Folks, this is disgusting, outrageous, and dripping with pure evil. And who are the ones leading this frontal of death towards the LGBT community?
Christians, that’s who.
Do you realize the Bible, particularly in regards to LGBT, isn’t nearly as clear as you think it is? It’s not the slam dunk we have swallowed as truth. There is only one Word of God, Jesus. The rest our words about God requiring deep contextualization, discernment, and evaluation. Those six verses that we cling to, seemingly condemning LGBT people, are at best a house of cards. We’re slinging marshmallows, arming them are missiles.
But chances are, you won’t hear any of that. The fingers in our ears feel safer. The reality that you, and a whole spiritual system within Christianity could be completely wrong, is perhaps just too much for your pride and faith arrogance to compute. So excuse me, if while you smoke your unnatural cigarettes, sign your unnatural divorce papers, and stuff your faces with all kinds of unnatural, I get a little smirk on my face when you try to get all Bible on me, preaching to me how “unnatural” those LGBT people are.
I know. You think from where you sit, it’s your job to tell the LGBT community the error of their ways, the consequences of their choices. Eternity is in the balance. Sadly, that’s what love looks like to you. But that’s not what Jesus looked like to anybody. You are going to have to re-image Him into a vehicle of your own agenda to arrive at a spiritual license for your condemnation, judgement, self-righteousness, and hate. Sure, you can proof-text a couple passages into compliance, but you’ll never contextualize Jesus and justify that evil prowess.
Christian, do you realize, the LGBT community is not a manifestation of choice or decay, but of God’s delighted design. They didn’t sign up for this like a gym membership. There is no upgrade God is downloading, a change that God is desiring. He didn’t make a mistake. There is nothing to improve, overcome, or revamp.
These are human people. Living, heart-beating, lung-expanding, emotion-feeling people. Beautifully and wonderfully made by the artistry of the Master.
But perhaps that river of revelation hasn’t flowed to the banks of your spirituality. Why? Because you haven’t listened, you haven’t truly befriended, you haven’t humbly sat at the feet of the LGBT community, washing, serving, beholding. You haven’t looked into the eyes of their soul, stood under waterfall of their struggles, internalized their suffering. And therefore, you have missed Jesus, the Living Water, right within your midst. You have become the very people who have received Him not. Leaving your mind, your heart, your faith unchanged, hardened by your unwillingness to repent in response to the kindness, goodness, and holiness of God created in every LGBT person.
The Holy Spirit is charging into the temple of our Christianity, flipping the tables, revealing the truth that in the spiritual x-ray of all that is LGBT, we are in fact the cancer, we are the sin, we are the abomination… not them. And most tragic of all, the wages of our sin has become their death. The wages of our ignorance, the wages of our silence, the wages of our complacency. The wages of our bench sitting, comfort idolizing, spiritual pride, and cowardice… everyday, becomes their death.
Whoever you are, wherever you are at, I am not asking you to go against your conscience, but for Christ’s sake, I am asking you to open your conscience to the transformation of the Holy Spirit.
For the love of God, listen to your heart, listen to the voice of Jesus.
If God, in scripture, affirms the wild donkey that serves no redeeming purpose, the Ostrich that sucks at parenting. Just because they breathe, He pours at His full delight and pride. How much more does He affirm all of humanity, His best idea, one-of-a-kind created in His image? That’s reason enough for the God of the universe to love unconditionally, affirm unlimitedly… just because we breathe.
What’s it going to take?
How many more LGBT people have to commit suicide, begging for life to end? How many more LGBT people have to crawl through this living Hell, tasting the ever constant spit of Satan upon their face as he uses Christians to mouthpiece his declaration that God hates them. How many more LGBT people have to breathe their last, foaming from the mouth in the stranglehold of bullies and bigots? How many more parents of LGBT have to weep until their eyes bleed. Fearing for their children’s lives. Closing the drapes, curling up into the fetal position, all but giving up. How many more LGBT souls condemned, lives destroyed, families broken apart, faiths unraveled? How many more LGBT people have to die at the altar of our Christianity?
What’s it going to take?
But what about my reputation, what about my congregation, what will my family and friends say?
I say to you, who gives a shit? Don’t you get it? Lives are at stake. This is not a joke. We Christians have gotten this completely, emphatically wrong. Search you soul, deep down, you know you have tasted the poison we are pimping as fruit.
While you are dreaming of your future, keeping your ministry aspirations alive, holding on for a life of financial security, family peace, and basic hopes and comforts. There is a whole group of LGBT people dreaming they don’t wake up tomorrow, praying on their hands and knees to die. That’s their dreams.
For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. He went the distance, risked everything, did whatever it took. What was the joy? The full affirmation, the full salvation of all, you and me, just as we are, beautifully and wonderfully made. One and done on the cross. You don’t die for that which you don’t first love and affirm.
So I ask you, what is the object of your joy? Is it your wallet, your pay check, your church attendance, your friendships, family, reputation, ministry? Is that the ultimate, deepest object of your joy?
For Jesus, it was the least of these. The broken, the marginalized, the condemned, the hurting, the discarded, the bullied. Those drifting in the sea of injustice.
Isn’t that enough for you? The life, the wellbeing of a mutual, human being. Their dignity, their divinity?
What’s it going to take? Tell me. I’ll write, pay it, do it.
Your affirmation of what God already has, could be the difference-maker in a life. Hope where there was no hope. Changing everything.
Desmond Tutu said it this way…
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
James, the brother of Jesus said it this way…
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
Jesus said it this way…
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
What’s it going to take?
For some, it’s already too late.
But for others, before it’s too late… I beg you, affirm what God already has.
Grace is brave, be brave.
Affirm.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

2015 Huey P Long Bridge Run

I recently ran the 2015 Huey P Long Bridge here in New Orleans. I've made a short video of it. Care to join me next year?

:)




NP GXSR Ducati bike ride

My son and I took a bike ride recently. This is a video I made of that. One of my first, so please be gentle.

It opens with me getting the bike ready and closes with me riding during a rain storm that I had been battling all afternoon.



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Find X

Well, there was an earthquake yesterday and the day before. I knew that the news of my returning to school would be earth shaking, but earthquakes?
Figures, how much math does it take to figure the distance moved of landmass A over landmass B?
Answer is below:



So, the earthquake is because my kryptonite in school was math.
I can add, subtract, multiply and divide, anything more complicated will get blank stares and sometimes profuse sweating.
Over the years, I've become fairly good at working around problems that require more than the very basic math. I've good at estimating, rounding and swags. 
I know where to draw the line and when to call the psychic helpline for answers.
I decided to bite the bullet and return to school and finish my degree. Transitioning has a funny way of getting you to prioritize your life.
So, to get a degree, any degree, I have to pass  Algebra 1001.
I've taken enough College remedial and 1001 level math courses to fill a semester alone. I haven't passed any that would give credit.
My college career ground to a screeching halt after that last D. I had to drop out and get a real job.
My plans for the future also ground to a halt and today I am not working in the field that I had planned and dreamed of all my life.
I've touched around the edges in the military, but it still wasn't the same. I know, a lot of people end up in careers that aren't what they wanted or expected. My biggest problem with this is that I've always felt that this part of me is a character flaw or is something that I should have been able to control or, that if I worked at it hard enough, I could overcome.
I've come to an agreement with myself, if I stay away from numbers, I won't jump off a bridge.
It's worked for me so far.
Unfortunately a few factors have aligned themselves to force me to confront this.
My nearing retirement from the National Guard is one. The Guard will waive tuition for any state school. Wow! what a deal, right? It is true. The Guard will waive tuition for any state school (again). I paid only for books this semester. I had forgotten what a deal the Guard tuition exemption is. Of course, you do have to sign on the dotted line and be willing to give your life for your country, but hey, you can't live forever, right?

That was factor #1
Factor #2 is that I'm going to need a degree at some point. I don't see my current career in it's current form lasting beyond the transition. I don't really want for people to see my big butt up in the air while I'm on the floor fixing equipment; so, yes, it is a matter of vanity. Still. Is that a reason to get a degree? As good as any, I reckon.
Factor # 3 is that I'm close to an Associate's Degree. Yes, I know, but you have to start somewhere. I've got 60 credit hours. All I need now is to complete math and then I can probably get a general studies degree and start planning for a B.A. or B.S.

I'm thinking of majoring in Sociology or something in the liberal arts, maybe writing. Yes, I know some of you are already plotting on how to keep me out of a writing degree and everyone else is praying that I at least take a class.
I could get an B.S. in Applied Computer Technology without a whole bunch of work, but that will hinge on how much success I have in this round of math.

On another note, while in class this week, one of the students is, to me, a classic stoner. He just seemed stoned the whole class. I base this on the multitude of very stupid and blindingling obvious comments he made during class. At one point he asked the professor if the dots on the number line were hollow or solid.
The class groaned. I shook my head at stupid and inappropriate comment.
It turns out, he wasn't too far off the mark. I googled his comment: "Are the dots hollow or solid"


What do you know, he might be smarter than half the class.
Wish me luck!
Caroline

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Far Side, but near, very near..

Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees and then other times, you can't figure out why there is a mountain goat in the clouds. These pilots they won't have to wonder long.
i51.tinypic.com

Like Ron White says, "If I crash, it had better kill me, I don't want to limp away...." Sometimes I feel that way about riding my bike. If you have a motorcycle wreck and live, you might wish you didn't. Especially if you don't wear your gear.
I do.
The gear you see in the picture below isn't the only gear I wear. There's more. Gloves, textile jacket, leather pants, boots. Try wearing that when it's 95 degrees and 95% humidity. I have. Sure beats road rash any day, though
My bike; the one I won't limp away from...
This post didn't start out as a morbid look at death or accidents, it just kinda morphed along the way.  I think that if you can't read Calvin and Hobbes; The Far Side is an excellent choice.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hop On One Foot

Your Monday Calvin and Hobbes:
I love CalvinBall! Sometimes it makes you want to hop on one foot.
Calvin Ball
Calvin and Hobbes

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Dirty Job

A very, very dirty job. Unreal, too.
Hey Kids!
Do you y'all watch Mike Rowe and "Dirty Jobs"?
Mike Rowe did not approve this post.
Me too.
Pretty good show, very interesting. Mike meets some of the most interesting people. To Mike's credit, he makes the show what it is. He is also a very intelligent host and presenter. He's also cute in a rugged way, someone who doesn't mind getting dirty. Everybody probably has their favorite show. Mine is the one where Mike is working with a Chimney Sweep and nearly gets burnt to a crisp.


This post isn't about Dirty Jobs or Mike Rowe.
Nope. It's about a show called "True Grime" It's about a company named Crime Scene Cleaners (original, huh?), that is in the crime scene cleanup scene.
True Grime, Crime scene cleaners

This is my new cringe inducing visual slugfest with my battle-hardened sensibilities.
I surrender


It beat me. Truly.
Anyway, they clean it up, you name it, they scrub, soak, shovel, vacuum and pat dry the most horrendous messes. Makes that doggie gift in the other room look like a chocolate marshmallow. (hint: it's not)
Apparently, the turnover at this company is pretty high. The owner called one of his workers a veteran with only 9 months experience. Wow.
These joes work the regular 8 or 10 hours a day cleaning just awful stuff only to be on-call for the other 14 or 16 hours. They get woken (sp?) (oh, well) at all hours, only to be told to go to the roughest neighborhoods and clean awful stuff for hours.
Check one of these episodes out if you're feeling pretty bad about the job you have.
I mean, any job you have to wear a Tyvek suit is going to be pretty sketchy. Me, I'd have to wear two for this gig. Scratch that, I'd quit.
On to the point of this post,
In the first episode, the owner tells the camera that he thinks that his veteran clean-up guy is on Meth and even calls him a "tweaker"!
What a tweaker might look like. Might be Crime Scene Cleaners' next employee

 I'm thinking that this is the end of veteran clean-up guy.
Anyway, I didn't see the end of the show, my stomach could stomach it.
I did DVR the series and managed to catch it yesterday.
And surprisingly, the tweaker dude was still working.
It got me thinking, this is probably the only job that if your employee isn't on drugs, you'll probably offer him some. Seriously.
I don't know how much these poor guys are getting paid, but it's not enough.
Where's Mike Rowe when you need him? Oh, I'd like to see Mike doing one of these cleanups.....M.R. are you listening?
Take Care, and do your self a favor and don't catch this show. You've been warned.
Caroline

p.s.If you go to the network's website for the show, you'll see Facebook tie-ins when you check out the crew. Real people and real relatives. Unreal.

Snow Sharks!

Your Monday Calvin & Hobbes post. Does this bring back any memories for anybody? Thinking about those carefree days of your youth? Those wonderful days of letting your imagination run wild? Here you go...

Snow Sharks


Take Care,
Caroline

Monday, July 25, 2011

A C&H day

Boys and Girls,

Here are two comics for no reason other than these are some of my favorite C&H. If you like these, I've got more..So, without further ado, here's your Monday Calvin and Hobbes:

Why can't life be unfair in my favor?
Why Can't Life Be Unfair In My Favor?





Don't you just wish life could be unfair in your favor? Especially on Mondays....



At 35,000 feet....

Don't Look Out Of The Window.....


Sometimes, it's best to be oblivious.

Caroline

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back To School

I'm going back to school! I just enrolled this week and am waiting to schedule classes.
Granted it will only be one class a week, but I'm looking forward to it just the same.
I'll be taking a sociology class and might focus on a liberal arts degree, I don't know.
My wife was surprised to hear about the liberal arts degree, she expected that I'd want to get a sciences degree to round out my computer experience.
I don't think so.
I like what I do, yes. But there are other things that interest me. I haven't checked out a computer book from the Library in about 10 years. This is called a clue, and I haven't even taken my first class!
Look out Dean's List!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lack of coordination

Hey you guys!
Guess what I'm doing, here is a hint:

Hello Mudda, hello Fadda,
Here I am at Camp Granada.
Camp is very entertaining,
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining.

Can you guess where I've been this past week and am this week to come? Yes, that's right, Summer Camp. Or, as the National Guard would rather you called it: Annual Training.
This year's A.T. is turning out to be very boring. Yeah, I know, a complaining soldier is a happy soldier. Whatever.
Yes, I know that I could be doing something, somewhere a lot worse than this, so all in all, I'll take it.

This past week, there were classes all week. Boring, mind numbing, coma inducing, common sense classes. I mostly stayed away from them. The only one I attended was a class on : Army Regulation 670-1: Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia .
As if. We've all graduated from Basic Training, holy crap this stuff suck. But there are "soldiers" parading around here like they were back home on the block.

So, in addition to these classes during "summer camp" they have us performing daily physical training.
Something like this:
An example of a coordination requiring Army exercise
One of the problems I have always had, and especially in the Army, has been a conspicuous lack of coordination. I have never been able to march in formation - in cadence. I am forever stepping on someone else's heels. Always, changing step to get in step. I always liked to march the troops because they had to left-right-left to my left-right-left.
So this past week, we had physical training that included required each soldier in attendance to demonstrate and direct one exercise to be performed by the rest of the platoon. The 25 of us Citizen Soldiers moved into a very large circle and proceeded to do once exercise not to exceed 20 repetitions. Think round robin style exercises that can include everything in the FM 21-20. Mostly, though everybody stuck to the standard exercises that include push-ups, sit-ups, side-straddle-hops, and so forth.
The problem for me is that my turn eventually came up. Like I said earlier, I have trouble marching and not causing trouble in formation, much less trying to count repetitions and do exercises. By the time my turn came up, I was tired of doing exercises not to mention no doing another set of push-ups. My bright idea was to copy an exercise that a soldier in our group who was recently discharged from active duty soldier used.
This was something done with the upper body and arms that looked dorky and turned out to require way more coordination than I was able to pull off.
So I cheated.
I started the exercise by saying in my manliest-command voice:
"The Double Bent Arm Behind The Back Touch And Release - thingy!"- "Starting Position ..........Move!"
When you give PT, you're supposed to control the action by counting the repetitions out loud. I was completely out of my element. I started out way behind and was lost in short order. I went silent and let the platoon count the repetitions and I controlled the stop. That's it. I'm done. No more. I know when I'm out of my element and giving P.T. is clearly where I draw the line.
I think that I'll perform self-directed PT on Tuesday when we return.

Deployed Louisiana National Guardsmen and Saintsations show off their new muscles after a physical training session at Camp Victory in Iraq. The Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints cheerleaders dressed out in an Army physical fitness uniform and joined the group during their routine morning exercise. Mobilized Jan. 5, the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is currently deployed to conduct convoy escort and force protection missions to set the conditions for the responsible draw down of U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Tresa L. Allemang, 199th Garrison Command Public Affairs/256th PAO)
An example of what in shape and coordinated soldiers look like. Also, a fine example of Saints Cheerleaders

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

These tired bones

Well, the marathon is over. I almost won.....if it wouldn't have been for ALL the people in front of me, that is. Actually, the good news is that I wasn't last. My time was awful, in my opinion. I mean, after all the training I put in over these last 4 1/2 months, I expected a better finish than my last marathon try. Certainly not an hour over my target time and a half hour over my previous marathon.
In my recent posts regarding transition, hormones and performance, I posted that performance can decrease up to 20%. I don't know where this figure is from, I've tried to find it online, but I can't. You'll just have to take my word for it. My decrease, in percentages is 11% from my last marathon which is a whole year before hormone therapy. So I guess I can take solice that my time wasn't as bad as it could have been.
Go to my Fbook page to see a pic of the bib and medal, while I go and soak these bones.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marathon training and the emotional toll

The post right below this one talks about the emotional toll this marathon training is having. I guess everyone knows that long distance running is mental as well as physical. I have played this game for a long time. Everyone knows that running is also a good stress reliever.  I had been able to use it to figuratively run away from my problems and my transgender issues. You can guess how well that worked.
That's where the emotional toll has been paid most recently. With the changes in my body with the loss of muscle mass, the emotional impact has been heavy. To know that something that has come easy is now so very hard. Different too, I remember runs before hormone therapy that I could seemingly run all day; slowly, but all day. I wouldn't start to get tired until 7 or more miles. Whatever. Now it seems that I am having to adjust pace near the 1.5 mile mark or less depending.
This is like being hit with a sledgehammer. Like I said before, running is mental as well. So runners analyze their performance constantly. I mean constantly. This is the one of the few sports that is purely solitary. I've got no one else to lean on but me. So when I'm breathing harder, running slower, running faster (don't run to fast, don't want to burn out) whatever, it is analyzed and dissected and usually adjusted mid-run.
Anyway, here I am, my performance really totally shot. I mean, I'm down to a walk/run on some of the longer runs that previously wouldn't have been a problem.
So obviously this has taken a physical toll, but an emotional one as well and this has been the hardest toll to pay. As somebody who is active, I had thought that being in good physical shape could make up for the affect hormone therapy would have. Not. I can't even will myself to go further or faster. Even some of the old mental tricks/tools that I used to use in the old days don't work now.
Ugh.
Now another part of this is that the marathon training group that I'm in, doesn't understand why I'm so slow. I put in the same miles, I'm not elderly, I should be up there with the rest of the guys. Instead I'm in the very back. The very back. Waaaay back. Like last.
By the time this marathon is over with, I think that the toll will be paid.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Life Is A Marathon, But Not This One.

I've been training for a marathon. How's it been going, you ask? Not well, actually. I mean I'm training with a group and all, but my performance is simply awful. Dreadful. I've read that the performance decrease before and after transition can be as much as 20%. For me it feels much greater than that.
With the help of my handy dandy Garmin Forerunner GPS. I've been able to log every run since 2007. Some of the performance decrease I am sure is due to age.
However, I am talking a lot of decrease. I started noticing it shortly in my transition process. I am taking a combination of hormones and T-blockers.
Wow.
I guess the T-blocker really works, that and the muscle mass decrease due to hormones.
Let me illustrate:
Two years ago, I was running a 58 minute 10K, I've always been a slow runner or a speedy jogger, but this past weekend I ran 10K in 1:08. The problem is that I am trying to beat my time for my first marathon that I ran in February 2009 of 5 hours flat. I thought that even though I am on hormone therapy, with good training, I could beat beat 5 hours, maybe even <gasp> 4.5 hours.
Nice thought. I have been training with a group out of a local running store. The trainer is a master this and master that, a level III this and level IV that. Not only does he run after we run, but he swims and bikes before. Crap.
So, anyway, I've been receiving some good training and support in a group setting while running. It's clearly not working. I know the trainer is dumbfounded of my performance. I AM the slowest runner in our group. There are men and women, young and not so young. I am still the slowest.
In addition, the emotional toll has been tremendous. Don't get me wrong, with the slooooow down comes the realization that my transition is still in motion, maybe not my feet, but still. There have been times that our trainer has run along side and asked about my health and status and how I feel. I can tell he is puzzled. I run behind the girls/women. I can keep up for about 4 miles, but then my pace gets slower and slower. I can start out at about a 10 minute and 30 second mile pace. Not bad, but then it slows all the way down to about a 12 minute a mile pace. The problem is that I don't see how I can A: beat my old time of 5 hours or B: if I can't beat 5 hours, can I run for almost 5.5 or 6? That is a long time of running. Doesn't seem possible.
Anyway,
With my performance this weekend on our group's long run of three hours, my goal of beating 5 hours is just about shot. I was only able to run 15 miles in 3 hours. And we are starting to taper which means that our training mileage will start to decrease to allow our bodies to recover and be healthy before the race. The race in on February 13th. My long run weekend before last was "only 19 miles in 4 hours. I don't think I'm going to make it.
Who knows, though. Always the optimist.
There are other issues with transitioning and being a runner. I'll cover those next. I'm sure you'll laugh and laugh. ;)