Nashville Half Marathon Recap

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What a weekend! I am not sure where to even start this post. As anticipated, our weekend in Nashville was incredible. The events and fun of the weekend were interrupted by a 13.1 mile half marathon on Saturday morning but took nothing away from the weekend! Let me say it like this:

1. Nashville is NOT flat

2. A BUNCH of people run in this race (30,000 or something like that)

3. David Schroeder and his wife are about the nicest people on the face of the planet.

4. Nashville, Tennessee has vaulted to the top on my list of 5 best places in the United States

Imagine a city that brings all of your favorite things in this world into one place. Music, lyrics, entertainment, authors, publishers and everything deep fried in something. THAT is Nashville, Tennessee. Our journey started Friday at packet pickup where we met up with Matt and Rachel Wojnarowski. After some pictures and fun, it was off to finally meet Dave Schroeder and his family for the first time in person. The rest of the evening we spent filling up on carbs and catching up with one another.

Way too early Saturday morning we were up and out the door. The Weather Channel was broadcasting threats of severe thunderstorms, hail and the Doppler radar was one massive mess. It looked like something out of the movie “Independence Day” hanging over the city of Nashville. We made our way to the race and jumped in to the stream of people already going through the starting gate. 13.1 miles later, not a single drop of rain touched down! We had made it through another memorable half marathon. The course was full (and I mean FULL) of long, slow, steady inclines. These were not hills, they were inclines. The personal highlight for me came around mile 11 where I was able to high five Sock Monkey as he stood on the side of the road cheering. It doesn’t take much…honestly….

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TobyMac Sends Us a Shout Out!

Last night I received a very special message from my good friend Dave Schroeder and none other than TobyMac! This is just wicked cool. David was with Toby, Max Lucado and Third Day yesterday to prepare for the upcoming Make a Difference Tour. They took time out of their busy schedule to send Heather and I a quick note about the Country Music Half Marathon this weekend. We will all be hitting the streets for 13.1 miles and cannot wait! Special thank you to Toby and Dave for taking the time to do this. The kids now think Heather and … Continue reading TobyMac Sends Us a Shout Out!

Saturday’s Lineup

On Saturday morning my wife and I will all toe the starting line for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee. We originally signed up for this race as a way to connect with our friends at Thomas Nelson and specifically, Dave Schroeder. As the weeks and months leading up to race have come and gone, the list of people running or attending the race continues to grow. With every name, the excitement and anticipation of this weekend builds to a fever pitch. Some of these names may not mean much to those reading this, but to me, they all represent friendship and admiration. The people we will meet in Nashville are CEO’s, Publishers, Artists, Authors, family and friends. I told Heather yesterday that it was going to be tough for me to focus on running when there were so many people I wanted to meet. Check it out:

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Saturday's Lineup

On Saturday morning my wife and I will all toe the starting line for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee. We originally signed up for this race as a way to connect with our friends at Thomas Nelson and specifically, Dave Schroeder. As the weeks and months leading up to race have come and gone, the list of people running or attending the race continues to grow. With every name, the excitement and anticipation of this weekend builds to a fever pitch. Some of these names may not mean much to those reading this, but to me, they all represent friendship and admiration. The people we will meet in Nashville are CEO’s, Publishers, Artists, Authors, family and friends. I told Heather yesterday that it was going to be tough for me to focus on running when there were so many people I wanted to meet. Check it out:

Continue reading “Saturday's Lineup”

A Little Crazy…

In one week, my wife and I will embark on an incredible 4 week journey. Actually, the 4 week journey will mark the completion of a journey we have been on for well over a year now. The journey has taken us to cities like Charlotte and Phoenix for half marathons. This will also mark the end of a whole lot of training. While most would say we’re crazy, the reality is that we’ll actually run less miles the next 4 weeks than we do on a “normal” week because we will be recovering on the weeks between races. Next … Continue reading A Little Crazy…

When Friends Let You Down

Friends
Image via Wikipedia

As I sit here tonight reflecting on those moments that led to Calvary, one jumped out at me right away. Matthew 26:36-45 tells the story of Jesus in the garden. Knowing what was soon to happen, Jesus asked three friends to go with him and wait while He prayed. 3 times he returned to find them sleeping. In short, they let Jesus down. Ever been there?

Ever been in the storm of your life and had friends disappoint you?

Ever felt like when you needed them most, they were sleeping on the job?

Ever found yourself caught between frustration and discouragement at the darkest hour?

Continue reading “When Friends Let You Down”

Help Celebrate 13 years in 13 Miles

I mentioned it in a previous post, but my wife and I are both running in the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee on April 24th. I am looking forward to this half marathon on so many levels. Short of Charlotte (God’s Country), I don’t know that I’ve ever been more excited about a half. This one is not about the time or the distance. This one is about friendships. From friends in Columbus that are running to Thomas Nelson friends we are connecting with for the first time when we get there. I believe some very special things await us in Nashville, Tennessee.

I wanted to highlight our friends Matt and Rachel Wojnarowski and their story heading into Nashville. Would you consider supporting them? We are honored to call them friend and share in this special day. Details of ways to support Matt and Rachel are below:

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Last Chance Half Marathon Recap

I am sitting here tonight reflecting on what turned out to be a pretty good race this morning. To be honest I have been dreading this one for a few weeks now. Originally I put this on the schedule knowing that my good friend Jeff was running in it too. Initially I forgot that he was running the 10K version so I signed up for the half marathon. What made this one unique is that it is a 1 mile course. Depending on your race, you ran the appropriate amount of laps to complete your goal. In Jeff’s case, that … Continue reading Last Chance Half Marathon Recap

Phoenix Half Marathon Recap

On January 17th, my wife and I took part in the PF Changs Half Maraton in Phoenix, Arizona with our good friends Troy and Catherine Plant. Since it took place during my 40 Day Blog Fast, I am just now getting to the recap. As I look out my window at the mounds of snow, I think part of me is hoping that posting this will bring some sunshine back to the Buckeye state as well. I cannot recap this event without first thanking Troy and Catherine for making our trip to Phoenix so memorable. From the moment we landed, … Continue reading Phoenix Half Marathon Recap

Sharing the journey

With the Country Music 1/2 Marathon just a few short months away, I made the insaneĀ decision to sign up for the “Last Chance for Boston” 1/2 marathon on February 28th. I figured it was a good way to stay ready and motivated for the Nashville half. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t get the memo about keeping the snow away so those of us in Columbus could train appropriately. Like most of the country, we have been hammered with snow around these parts. Training has been alternated between the “dreadmill” and outside runs in the snow. This half marathon is unique in … Continue reading Sharing the journey

Which One Are You?

My wife and I were having a discussion recently about friendships and I shared a philosophy that I have about them with her. I don’t know if it’s accurate or not, but I have come to believe it is. Maybe it’s my desire for one or the other, or simply an observation. This is where your feedback would be appreciated. I am interested to see if others see themselves in one of these two categories. So here goes: I believe that there are two kinds of people (and friendships) in this world. The first type of person (person A) has … Continue reading Which One Are You?

Restored

In about an hour I am leaving town to attend a wedding rehearsal. It is with great honor that I have been asked to take part in the wedding of my best friend. The honor and joy I feel for him comes from watching a new chapter be written on what has been a tough journey for him. I remember a time when all we saw in front of him were dark clouds and storms. Tomorrow night, his wedding will mark the start of a new journey and the completion of the promise of restoration. Below is a post I … Continue reading Restored

Remembering Stef

Many of the readers of my blog prayed, commented and supported my good friend Stefan Tarapchak throughout his journey with cancer. Through Stef’s blog, you now have the opportunity to remember Stef with resources from his funeral. I received many requests for a copy of the service and at this time we are unable to get the service posted on the web. We have, however, done our best to put the pieces of the service that we do have onto his site. You can find each of the speeches given and the slide show that was created for his service … Continue reading Remembering Stef

Old School

I know I am going to hear about this! It was actually too funny to not post. I must be a glutant for punishment via comments. I post for three reasons. 1. You have GOT to love the New Edition T-shirt 2. Many have commented how much it looks like Austin in this picture (including Austin!) 3. This one time, at band camp…. Continue reading Old School

APD Father Kid Experience Day

Tomorrow my good friend Brian and I are taking a road trip with our oldest children to the All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience in Cincinnati. The event is at Paul Brown Stadium where the Bengals used to play. As an added bonus, we’re hoping to catch up with fellow bloggers and friends Rindy, Matt and Paul Peterson before we head north to go home. I’m sure I’ll have a wrap up sometime next week too. Continue reading APD Father Kid Experience Day

Who's Your Jonathan?

Many of you commented off-line regarding my post “What’s Your Isaac”. For that I thank you. This post is somewhat born out of that post as well. One of the things I will always remember about our Charlotte oddessy is what we learned about our friends. People said heartfelt things to Heather and I that we will forever cherish. They expressed sadness is our leaving, but sincerely wished us the best. They prayed for and with us. They offered their homes when it looked like we might be in need of temporary housing. As Tobymac sings: “Cause real friends are … Continue reading Who's Your Jonathan?

Who’s Your Jonathan?

Many of you commented off-line regarding my post “What’s Your Isaac”. For that I thank you. This post is somewhat born out of that post as well. One of the things I will always remember about our Charlotte oddessy is what we learned about our friends. People said heartfelt things to Heather and I that we will forever cherish. They expressed sadness is our leaving, but sincerely wished us the best. They prayed for and with us. They offered their homes when it looked like we might be in need of temporary housing. As Tobymac sings: “Cause real friends are … Continue reading Who’s Your Jonathan?

No More, No Less

I promise, this is my last reference to the S.L.O.B of the Month award! The reality is that this isn’t even about me, it’s about you all. I received my signed copy of All That Is Within Me from the guys at MercyMe today in the mail. Since you are all the ones that made it possible, I wanted to share it with everyone. I can’t come up with any other creative way to do it, so here’s a picture of what I received. Again, I can’t thank MercyMe enough for the honor. I also can’t thank you all enough … Continue reading No More, No Less

When Love Takes You In

Many of the readers of this blog have gone through the adoption process. For those that have, I would like to introduce you to my friend and blogging band of brother Mud Puppy. While he didn’t ask for this and doesn’t know I’m going to do it, it was on my heart this afternoon. You can read the details and follow the journey of his family on his Blog, but they are beginning the steps toward adoption. To those that have walked where he and his wife are about to walk, would you reach out to them? To those that … Continue reading When Love Takes You In

Facebook’s Cool.

That may qualify as the cheesiest title I have ever called a blog post. Then again…I just used the word “cheesiest” so how bad can it be. Here’s my point, Facebook is cool. I don’t know what else to call it or say. I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes trying to find another way to frame it and I can’t. This is also coming from a guy that de-activated his account a few months ago because I just didn’t see the value in having one. For reasons I don’t remember I fired the account up again recently and … Continue reading Facebook’s Cool.

Refuse To Lose Invitational

It is great excitement that I post this opportunity. Many of you have followed the journey of my good friend Stefan Tarapchak over the past year through his blog and mine. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayer support and love for Stefan and his family during this time. So when I heard about this opportunity to show the Tarapchak family our support and love, I couldn’t wait to get it to the web. For all of those that have asked how they can support this family, or if there is something you can do, here is your … Continue reading Refuse To Lose Invitational

Introducing: Alastair Vance

In case you haven’t noticed I have been doing some housekeeping around this blog. I’m not quite done yet so you might see an occasional broken link or template change here or there until it’s all done. While doing some updating last night to the blogroll, I was reminded of what a blessing the blog community has been to me. If I never would have started a blog, I never would have met many of the incredible people across the United States World that I have. I thought I might take some web space occasionally to introduce some of the … Continue reading Introducing: Alastair Vance

I Ordered Mine!

I can’t believe it has been two years since roughly 30 other men and I went through the book “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. Something special happened over the course of the 8 weeks within this group. Although we have all continued on our own journeys, I think what happened in “Wild at Heart” has stayed in “Wild at Heart”. It was something I will never forget. One of the men that joined us for the 8 weeks is a man named Ken Neff. While I did not know Ken before WAH started, I had the honor of getting … Continue reading I Ordered Mine!

A Friend To Me

“There’s times I’d rather kill you then listen to your honesty, but you’ve always been a friend to me” – Garth Brooks You gotta love when you surround yourself with “truth tellers”. I made a commitment long ago to run everything in the discernment process through God, family and close friends. The catch was that I would not keep calling people until SOMEONE finally agreed with my point of view. Each persons input must be considered. Today I spoke with 3 of my “truth tellers” and their responses reminded me why they are in my band of brothers. All three … Continue reading A Friend To Me

Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

What a weekend. The family and I left on Friday afternoon to head to our hometown of Bedford, Ohio for the wedding of Heather’s youngest sister. “My Girls”, “The Boy” and Heather were all in the wedding so it was an exciting time for everyone. There is always a part of me that still loves going “home” to where my roots are planted. While the condition of my old hometown is not what I remembered it to be, one thing is for sure…the people never change. You really can go home. One take away from this weekend is that no … Continue reading Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

What a weekend. The family and I left on Friday afternoon to head to our hometown of Bedford, Ohio for the wedding of Heather’s youngest sister. “My Girls”, “The Boy” and Heather were all in the wedding so it was an exciting time for everyone. There is always a part of me that still loves going “home” to where my roots are planted. While the condition of my old hometown is not what I remembered it to be, one thing is for sure…the people never change. You really can go home. One take away from this weekend is that no … Continue reading Who Says You Can't Go Home?

A Call to Prayer

Many of you have been following the journey of my friend Stef the past few months either through his blog, AC180, my blog or all three. If you are not familiar with Stef, he is an amazing man of God, Christian brother, husband, father and friend. God gave me the blessing of connecting our paths and I am a better person today because of that divine moment. If you would like to know more about Stef, his journey and his family, he has been sharing it through his blog. Today, I want to make a public call to prayer for … Continue reading A Call to Prayer

And The Winners Are….

The votes have been tallied and what would voting be in Ohio without a little controversy? Actually, there isn’t any controversy, I just have mixed emotions about the winners in my Toby Mac “Alive and Transported” giveaway contest. Without further delay, I give you our two contest winners…. 1. Rindy Walton– Rindy has seen Toby Mac 3 times has three sons that will really like this CD/DVD package. I might be a bit biased, but I also have a heart for people that “step out of the boat” and launch a church plant. Rindy is doing just that at Walls … Continue reading And The Winners Are….

Before, During and After

The Girls (Heather and Amanda) and my man “D-Rich” completed another race yesterday. The order of the day was a 5 mile race runĀ for the Armed Forces Honor Run in Westerville, Ohio. As always I was proud of the ladies, but “D-Rich” stole the show with his pre and post run interviews. Check out the quick bit we put up on youtube to mark the occasion. While we had some fun joking around about it, there is something to be said about getting out there and running 5 miles for a good cause. As for me….I’m bringing lazy back. Hey…someone … Continue reading Before, During and After

Priceless….

I may bleed Carolina Blue, but no matter where I may roam, a large part of my heart belongs to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Thanks to the ultimate hook-up from my friend Brian, “The Boy” and I had a chance on Saturday night to soak it all in. Check this out: Brian won four tickets from the local sports station to take part in their “Fan Bus to Jacobs Progressive Field”. Knowing I love the Tribe, he was kind enough to extend his winnings to “The Boy” and I. So Saturday we took off for C-Town with a bus … Continue reading Priceless….

Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

I have had the absolute blessing on several occasions to meet people from the blog world either through my travel or theirs. It happened again tonight as my family and I had the honor of meeting a family that I have the ultimate respect for. Many of you in the blogging community know Rindy Walton and her son Matt. I don’t remember how or where, but somewhere “the matrix” connected our paths. Rindy and Matt’s blogs are more examples of what I’d like mine to be when it grows up. It was even better to meet them live and in … Continue reading Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

The Week Ahead

Big week in my little world. Check it out: 1. “90 Days in Heaven” landed at the library today. I’ll pick it up tonight. 2. The new Michael English CD hit the streets last week. Review coming soon 3. Tomorrow is Primary Day in Ohio. Get out and vote. 4. Really looking forward to the Casting Crowns concert on Thursday. 5. Pray for my friend and brother Stef this week. Especially on Thursday. Refuse to Lose brother! 6. I’m honored to be a part of Daily Blessings “Friday’s are Full of Blessings” starting this Friday. 7. What can be better … Continue reading The Week Ahead

Have a Nice Day

Yesterday was a great day. It all started yesterday morning with Columbus being covered in snow. I smiled as I shoveled the driveway knowing that in a few short hours I would board a plane for Phoenix, Arizona. My biggest concern was what I would do with my winter coat when I got there. I got an early morning laugh when my son asked me if I was going to watch the Carolina game that night on my plane. I explained that they didn’t have TV’s on airplanes, but I would probably be able to watch a movie. Little did … Continue reading Have a Nice Day

Late Night…Early Morning

Wow, it is EARLY. Due to an unanticipated stop to meet up with a friend last night in Cincinnati, I arrived in Kentucky roughly around 2am. I have no complaints though. There is no doubt in my mind that it was a divine moment. The friend I met up with is going through a storm. A big storm. He’s a guy that probably knows as much about me as my wife does. He’s one of those few friends that we let in to our very core. One that we let see what we keep others guarded from. I know the … Continue reading Late Night…Early Morning

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

I remember John Eldredge once said something in one of his books about thinking of the people you would call at 2 in the morning when your world just collapsed around you. That’s a mark of friendship isn’t it? Think about it. You just got some news (good or bad) and it’s 2am, who would you call? I’m pretty sure that most of us don’t set out with tragedy in mind, but when it happens, who are the people that show up in a heartbeat? I have told Heather several times “If I was ever going to go into war, … Continue reading You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

All Pro Dad Kickoff Recap

It’s official, Northwest Columbus now has an All Pro Dad chapter. 32 Dads and approximately 60 children came out early Saturday morning to share breakfast together, have some laughs and take the first step on a journey of being All Pro Dads. I was overwhelmed by the response. From friends like Clay and Stef to some new Dads I have never met, they were all there to make a statement. By attending, they were saying that they are committed to investing time into the most important gift we have ever been given…our children. To all that came out, thank you! … Continue reading All Pro Dad Kickoff Recap

Walking the Walk…

“You can say what you think, but you will live what you believe” – Mark Hall I witnessed something today that still has me reflecting on it. Simply put, I witnessed two friends “walking the walk” in their lives. They probably don’t know I noticed. My guess is that they are not even aware that anyone noticed. I would also bet the house that they are not even thinking “I sure hope someone saw that”. It’s not in their nature. It’s not their style. It is how they live what they believe. What I saw today on two separate occasions … Continue reading Walking the Walk…

Kickin’ it Old School…

It’s official, with this post, I am breaking nearly ever personal blog rule I ever set in place. I think I am also breaking man law #53 by posting a prom picture from high school which includes another friend. All that being said, I am “taking one for the team” here too. By posting this picture I am showing that I did, in fact, once have hair. I’m also showing the early stages of what was to one day become my “sweet mullet“. If you look close enough…you can see the “party starting in the back”. I don’t post this … Continue reading Kickin’ it Old School…

Kickin' it Old School…

It’s official, with this post, I am breaking nearly ever personal blog rule I ever set in place. I think I am also breaking man law #53 by posting a prom picture from high school which includes another friend. All that being said, I am “taking one for the team” here too. By posting this picture I am showing that I did, in fact, once have hair. I’m also showing the early stages of what was to one day become my “sweet mullet“. If you look close enough…you can see the “party starting in the back”. I don’t post this … Continue reading Kickin' it Old School…

Playing Catch Up

One of the most remarkable things that has happened over the years with this little blog of mine is that others have helped to contribute to it. In that way, it’s all of our blog and not just mine. I am humbled and honored when people send me links, podcasts, stories, and other blogs that they think are of value. Often they recommend that I post them so that you all get the benefit of seeing, hearing or reading them as well. With all of the madness the past several weeks, I am WAY behind on getting much of this … Continue reading Playing Catch Up

We Went to a Fight…

What an exciting evening this turned out to be! Stef and I went to a Fight and a Hockey game broke out! Actually it was the Columbus Blue Jackets vs. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks. This would be my first professional Hockey game and Stef even prepped me by sending some instructions. We had a great time watching some fights, a little hockey and sharing stories. The Jackets lost the game, but we had some good laughs. I now know what a “blue line” is and can tell you that overtime ends when the first team scores. Thanks to Stef for … Continue reading We Went to a Fight…

The End of the Innocence

Several years ago the shoe company “Keds” had an advertising campaign that simply asked some questions. I don’t know why it has stuck with me all these years, but it was great marketing. Featured in the commercial was a small girl with her Keds on and the narrator simply said things like: “What size Keds will you be wearing when you lose your first tooth?” “What size Keds will you be wearing when you meet your first boyfriend?” “What size Keds will you be wearing when the first of your friends gets married?” What captured me in this 30 second … Continue reading The End of the Innocence

Into Every Life….

We’ve all heard it said that “into every life a little rain must fall”. Well, when I got off of the plane today and looked out the windows at Seattle, it was raining. Just like the movies. That was about the extent of the “rain” that fell today though. It all started when my hotel let me check in early (which NEVER happens). About an hour later, I had the absolute blessing of meeting Susan and Richard Peralta in person. We have been anticipating this for several weeks and were thrilled when it all came together. I cannot begin to … Continue reading Into Every Life….

Forgiveness?

Our “homework” this week in the Starting Point series is to reconcile with someone for which it is long overdue. Tell me again why we are doing Starting Point? I was the guy that told everyone when we launched this thing that they were to take the homework seriously. I’d sure like to take that statement back this week. When I read that assignment aloud, the truth is that someone came immediately to my mind. It’s now 3 days later and I have yet to make that call or send that email. Why is that so hard? Why, when we … Continue reading Forgiveness?

The Warrior is a Child

I spoke with a dear friend this evening that is facing a storm. Through his journey, others have found strength and seen a faith that inspires believers and those that don’t know Christ. He is a warrior in every sense of the word. But even warriors need a place and a time to rest a bit. When I was growing up, our home had a front porch with a swing on it. It was a place of rest. I had friends in high school that would come over and just hang out on the front porch. More then once, I … Continue reading The Warrior is a Child

The Lord of the Gift

One blessing I can never put into words is the blessing of some great friends in my life. I say this not to boast, rather that I am amazed at the way that God has intertwined our lives in his providence. As I was reading about spiritual gifts in “If You Want to Walk on Water” by John Ortberg, I couldn’t help but think of two friends in particular. Both have given me gifts recently that are irreplaceable, unforgettable and treasured. Both gifts were not necessary, but were given because both of these individuals have, what I consider, the spiritual … Continue reading The Lord of the Gift

The Utmost Admiration

I had breakfast with a very close personal friend last Friday morning. As I drove away from our meeting, I felt a total mixed bag of emotions from the news that I had just heard. While what he told me effects me, our friendship and our journey together, I was thrilled with one thing. He is chasing God. Period. We have shared our desire to be everything that God has called us to be as men, fathers and husbands for a few years now. On Friday, he took it to the next level by literally putting his entire future in … Continue reading The Utmost Admiration

"If It Was a Snake…"

When I was growing up my mom had a rather funny phrase she would use. If I was looking for something that was right in front of me, she would say “If it was a snake, it would have bitten you”! Once again tonight I was in my temple of inspiration (otherwise known as the front yard cutting the grass) and I had that feeling that I might have just been bit. It would seem that something I needed, something we all need has been slowly creeping up in front of me. I just didn’t see it. My wife and … Continue reading "If It Was a Snake…"