This February, my girlfriend Claudia asked me to join her in training for a marathon with Team in Training. I decided I needed a challenge and would like to meet some new, healthy friends. I had never considered myself a runner but was up for the challenge. I also thought a marathon would fit nicely with The Daniel Plan my small group had just started.

The training schedule was to run 3 days a week on our own, and with friends, and training runs were every Saturday morning. As our mileage grew, I discovered running wasn’t so difficult anymore. My legs finally stopped burning and I felt like I could actually breathe! I started to really enjoy those long, early morning runs. I found I was sleeping better and was too tired (or relaxed) to get upset about many things.


On June 5 this year, I finished the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon. I had a great time! Who knew 26.2 miles could be so fun?

At The Daniel Plan Fun Walk & Run health fair on June 11, I did the hydrostatic body fat testing. I lost 3% body fat and gained 10 pounds of lean muscle mass. Most of all, I feel strong and capable and powerful. I gained confidence.

I learned several things:


  1. If you find yourself with a sports injury, (I had some tendonitis) make sure your Doctors/Physical therapists on your health care team are athletes themselves. They will understand, speak to you differently, and have a different kind of expectation than non-athletes.
  2. Early on one of my experienced running buddies Elliot said “learn to control your thoughts. You can’t just let your mind run away on you.” That was a great reminder. I was hearing discouragement such as “Why don’t you quit while you are ahead,” “This is not your sport or your season.” Don’t listen to all that crap. Stand on the truth of the Word of God. What does He say? And if you wish, just calmly respond to discouragers; “Why would you say something like that to me?” It may stop them in their tracks.
  3. My running Coach Melissa said, “You are an athlete, now eat like it!” You are eating for performance. If I ate too much ice cream, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. It was not worth it. The magic recipe for staying hydrated was chia seeds and coconut water in a good protein shake that you like. I also found that if I drank soda, I struggled with muscle cramps. I enjoyed earning and burning the pasta.
  4. Learn to make the foam roller your best friend.
  5. Learn at least one new thing a week about your sport….A recipe, some anatomy, cross training, reading an article etc.
  6. Get good quality sleep! Your performance will suffer otherwise. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can do many things well on no sleep. Hmmm where have we heard that before?
  7. DON’T QUIT!  (I consider myself a runner these days! You will be proud of yourself) Get moving!