Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015...Hello 2016

This is it. The last day of 2015. This morning I ran 5.76 miles to finish the year with 2015.01 logged running miles. Put simply, I was blessed by God with a fantastic running year.

I set a goal last New Year's Day to run 10 marathons this year. On December 19th, I finished my tenth for the year at the Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon in Little Rock. A couple of fellow Marathon Maniacs, Ryan Westin and Ed Childress, ran with me and paced me to a PR of 4:17:16. I was fortunate to run several shorter races too, hitting a PR of 14:20 last March in the 2 Mile at the Chase Race and a PR of 48:39 in the 10K at the Capitol City Classic 10K.

Not every running experience was rosy though. I ran the Soaring Wings Inaugural Marathon as a pacer. The weather turned unseasonably warm and humid that day, and I failed miserably in my attempt to finish in 5 hours. Pacing the RussVegas Half Marathon didn't work out too well either, even though I crossed the finish line right at my goal pace. Misplaced mile markers on the course convinced me I had to drastically pick up the pace the last five miles, causing me to leave behind several runners who were counting on me to get them across at 2:10.

But the tough times just make the good runs seem even sweeter, and I am certainly grateful for all the experiences of 2015. Every race, and every mile gave me chances to share Amanda's story and the source or my strength, Jesus Christ. Sometimes there were opportunities to directly address others and sometimes indirectly, but I definitely felt God's presence all through the running year.

So the question arises, what's in store for 2016?

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. ~ James 4:13-14

Well...I've learned not to say what I'll do, but without goals, it's too easy to drift and stray. So I'm going to set some goals, but they'll be quite different from those of the past couple of years.

This year, my goal is to NOT run 2016 miles, and not run so many marathons. That might sound crazy to those who've followed me the past couple of years, but you read right. I'm not planning to run as much this year. That doesn't mean I won't be running. But this year, I'm going to try to run fewer, but faster, miles.

I want to try to run fewer marathons, but more shorter races. I'm also hoping to hit PRs in every distance I race. Not necessarily PR every race, though that would be nice, but to strive for at least one PR at every distance I race this year.

Many might also have noticed that I've let this blog pretty much go for more than a year now. I hope to remedy that too, and post regularly. So you can look forward to more race reports, and more short sermons on my daily Bible reading too.

So, as I close out 2015 and start a new chapter, titled 2016, I want to wish everyone who reads this a very happy and blessed New Year. I hope to see you at the races, and to hear from you here and via our social media pages.

May God bless and keep each of you this year! Thanks for reading!

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