The Pain And Glory Of Botak100 Solo (Part2)

29 06 2009

“I am tired as a dog, but I will sleep as a god.” -Dr. Jose Rizal

Going into this race, I have only one thing in mind: to finish it just in time. As a participants of BDM102 and TNF100, I knew how difficult it was to finish an Ultramarathon.

Here’s my story…

Riding a Cher’s bus, I left San Pedro Laguna at 7pm last Saturday, June 27, 2009. Although the race will start at 1am, I traveled early anticipating a colossal traffic flow due to the extension of MRT here in the south. As I attended the Botak CLP a night before the race, it took me 4 hours to reach UP Diliman and so I decided to be at the venue early. In any races, the rule of thumb is, better early than late.

As the bus approached the Susana Heights exit, Marissa, my maid, called me up stating that Romy, the one who wrote his ordeal at this blog (TNF: Terribly Neurotic Fallacy Part 2) wanted to talk to me. We conversed and I’m so glad because Romy volunteered to be my pacer and my assistant and he asked me If he could bring my racer bike so that assisting me will not be as difficult as literally running like what I’ll be doing. I said yes but there was a problem: My racer bike was being padlocked If I’m not using it, and the key was inside my drawer and my maid has no access on it. I told Romy about it and discouraged him but he insisted saying he can pace up with me up to 100 kms. Overjoyed about what I’ve heard on the phone, I allowed him to be my pacer.

As the bus approached the Magallanes area, the time was only 9pm and it’s too early to be at the vicinity of the race because the Organizer will only be accepting baggages starting at 11:30pm so I decided to spend some quality time at Starbucks in Buendia and sipped espresso latte. There, I made my final strategy for this race since Romy will be with me. I will not overuse him. He will be my pacer only from 50kms up to 100 kms, so that his fresh legs can always pace up with me. After spending an hour in Starbucks, I took a bus going to Philcoa and from there I rode a taxi to AS Parking Lot in U.P Diliman where this gigantic event will happen some couple of hours later.

I arrived there at 11:30pm, with only a handful of runners present. As time passed by, I saw some familiar ultra-runners and chatted with them. It’s nice feeling to be with them once again, it’s weird that while we will be competing with each other, it’s like we are team mates and not opponents. This is the real essence of Ultra-running, that running (or walking ) side by side in conquering a 100 kms distance-there is already a fraternal bonding among each of us.

At 12 midnight, Romy arrived. Finally, God sent me an angel! And I discussed to him my plan, I gave him the course map and in few minutes, the race will start.

I met Atty. Jon Lacanlale and he introduced me to his staff if ever I needed help. That was so touching.

After a short program, the race started and in my watch it’s 12:58 am.

0-50 kms

The first 50 kms was a piece of cake for me for I finished it in 6 hours and 5 minutes. (In the BDM102, I finished the first 50 kms in 7 hours and 3 minutes and in the TNF100, my first 50 kms was 13 hours and 5 minutes.) So, this was a good start and great improvement on my part. I conquered so many unfamiliar places here through running: from UP Diliman-hilly course inside UP-Commonwealth-Tandang Sora- Ever Gotesco- Sandiganbayan- Fairview Market-Regalado Avenue-SM Fairview as turn around point all the way to QC Circle going back to the starting line-that’s the halfpoint of this 100 kms race.

At km 25, I used M’c Donalds toilet. Eventhough I took Immodium 1.5 hours before the race, I was not spared from that predicament. That ‘pooed’ time took 15 minutes and some customers of that fast food chain were amazed seeing me in my complete running attire, with sweaty body entered the store’s premise at a very unholy hour at 3:30am.

Later, I returned the favor to M’c Donald’s other branch, for I bought M’c Chicken with rice at km 44 and I ate that while walking. In Ultramarathon, time is always so precious to waste it away, for the qualifying time of 18 hours must be attained. Sacrifice first, leisure later! So I ate while walking because seating for not so fast runner like me will be a deviation.

When I reached the Starting/Finish Line, there I saw Romy. And we’re heading for the last 50 kms which was the real battleground. Maybe, If things will go my way, I could finish this race in 15 hours. I was able to finish my first 50k in 6 hours, so finishing the last 50k in 9 hours was only realistic and in my capacity, I knew I can do it. After changing my clothes and shoes (from New Balance to Adidas), We’re in for the last 50kms of this race.

Until bad things happened!

51-60 kms

With Romy now at my side, I felt stronger and confident. I have a comrade, an assistant who can boost my morale and uplift my sagging spirit. There we traveled some parts of Katipunan and Balara all the way to Loyola Grand Villas.

But there was some problem.

At km 59, my Adidas Supernova 6 was too tight for my feet already. I thought that will be only for a moment, but I was wrong. This Adidas shoes was not new to running. In fact, I used this in some of the races. How come this thing happened?

61-70 kms

As Romy and I reached the Tumana Bridge, I refilled my hydration belt with water coming from the aid station.

At km 62, However, in some parts of Marikina, Romy asked my permission If he could eat first his lunch and he will just wait for me in the next Aid station. Thinking we will be traversing the same route, I allowed him and continued my pace, not realizing that the route will be diverted to JP Rizal to Bayanbayan Ave. all the way to Ordonez. Now, I don’t know how Romy will find me. To make things worst, my back pack was with him, containing powergels and bars and all of my supplies, including my cash.

71-80 kms

Going back to Tumana Bridge, my feet ached as I have never experienced it before. I wanted to remove my shoes and run barefooted just to ease the pain but seeing sharp objects and unpolished stones hampered my decision.

At this point, I’m hungry but my back pack was with Romy. The sun was also so unforgiving at this time, and its scorching heat tormented my already wasted body.

At Km 72, as I drank the last part of water from the Aid Station in Tumana Bridge, I noticed that the water was contaminated with many dark particles. I just poured it on my head instead of drinking it but since I already took so many of it at km 60 onward, the damaged has been done, for now-there’s this major revolution inside my stomach.

At km 73, I ‘peed’ and my urine was so yellowish in color signifying I’m dehydrated. Worried about my condition, I knocked at a door of a nearby house and I asked If I could drink some water. The woman in her 30’s gave me an ice cold water in 1.5 liter coke bottle, I refilled my hydration belt first and took the remaining, consumed a glass of it and poured the remaining part on my head. And I bowed my head privately, saying a prayer for this woman. “Lord, whatever blessings you will give to me, please, give the half of it to this woman…” I thanked her so many times and I continued my path.

At km 74, There was this familiar guy wearing a Pinoy Ultrarunner singlet (he was ahead of me) who was clapping his hands as we met at certain point in the Riverbanks, yelling, “Go, go, go runnerforchrist!.” (Although I was not wearing anymore my singlet ‘runnerforchrist’ at that time) To you bro, whoever you are, that applause was so instrumental for me to move on. God bless you.

At km 75, nearly covering the 24 kms Marikina Riverbanks route, I saw Romy yelling at me but he’s at the other side of the Riverbanks and we’re separated some kms apart. At last, my supplies! I made a gesture for him to just wait for me.

At km 76, an Ultra-runner Jun Jaramillas gave me a bottle of gatorade and at km 77, an unknown runner wearing adidas kotr singlet offered me a sliced apple. God bless both ofyou!

At km 78, I was with Romy and the first thing that I ate was my powergel. For 16 kms, … I haven’t eaten anything. I can’t blame Romy though. Also at this point, it rained heavily in the Riverbanks

At km 80, we reached Aid Station of Botak.ph but I can’t run any longer. The adidas shoes did much damaged to me than anything else. I was so thankful for the staff of Jinoe’s group for gatorade, banana etc. There I also met Rico V. (Sheerwill), Quennie and many others. At the turn around point, I replaced my socks only to find out that my spare socks were also wet due to rain.

I already reached 80 kms. The remaining 20 kms will be chaos and painful.

81-90 kms

As we left SM Marikina, the last 6 kms of the Riverbanks was a struggle for me…

km 82- I needed to poo again but the place were crowded. I entered one public toilet but there was no bowl inside it. I just prayed that I will not be humiliated just in case…I can still control it, but how long?

km 83-I’m dizzy and wanted to vomit and I instructed Romy for us to sit down.

km 85-I tried to run but my feet was too painful and doing this will only aggravate my ‘stomach discomfort’.

km 89- I’m walking as though I have no more strength on my legs. At times, I was holding on to Romy’s shoulder.

91-100 kms

km 95-At the Loyola Grand Villas, I felt again the strong urge to ‘poo’ but this place has no place for emergency like that. No tall trees, no grassy areas. This place is like Ayala-Alabang Village in Muntinlupa where houses are all mansions. I continued to recite by heart Psalms 23.

km 96 -Unable to walk anymore, I bought a pair of slippers in a nearby store. As I removed my socks, I have so many blisters, parts of my legs were swollen and there’s a deep cut on my toes. I tried to run again, but that wound hindered me.

km 98-A guy (I’m sorry bro, I forgot your name), greeted me and called me ‘runnerforchrist.’ He introduced himself saying he regularly reads this blog but since my mind was in limbo at that time, I can’t recall it anymore. That greetings and applause enabled me to do my last kick.

km 100-As I ran wearing a slippers while I carried my shoes on my shoulder approaching the 100 km mark, the finishline…the announcer proclaimed my arrival. I finally made it in 17 hours and 22 minutes, 25th place over all!

Thank God I made it but the history behind it was too difficult to describe. Therefore, I’m not recommending ‘Ultramarathon’ for those runners who are not yet ready to test their limits.

I stayed there until 7pm and watched the event came to close. Three runners arrived but did not meet the qualifying time of 18 hours.

For me, I’m so blessed to have finished it even with those ‘not so good’ experiences. It was another milestone for me, defying all odds, almost reaching my limit.

To Summarize…

My pain:

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And my Glory!

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God be Praised!

Next: My Assessment/Feedback for this race.

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 3:14





The Pain And Glory Of Botak100 Solo!(Part1)

28 06 2009

“Lord, You are my rock and my fortress.” -Psalms 31:3

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Arriving the area at 11pm, June 27, 2009

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At the starting line, 12:30am.

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Race Director as he delivered brief message.

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With Ralph and Albert (RUND2DMOON)

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Already ran a 52 kms at this point.

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At Km 55.

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At km 70

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At the Marikina Riverbanks…

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Reaching the Finishline just before the cut off time of 18 hours. Ohhh how sweet! 25th over all, out of 70+ runners…with a time of 17 hours 22minutes and 20 seconds. And my 2nd out of 3 Ultramarathons this year in 3 succeeding months.

Next Topic…My Recap, the pain and glory for this race.

God be Praised.





Botak100 Carbo Loading Party!

26 06 2009

“All men may not be brothers, but that’s the way it feels after an Ultra marathon. You feel – you can’t help but feel – that you all understand each other.” -Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Last night’s Botak 100 Carbo-loading party was highlighted by the presence of its CEO and an elite Ultra runner, MR. Guarin. His passion for running was really awesome when he ran more than 3,000 kilometers in 87 succeeding days in different parts of the world way back in 1983. His stories gave me enough breathing room after I commuted all the way from Laguna to UP Diliman in more than 4 hours due to heavy traffic and some space before this momentous event, my suppose to be 3rd Ultramarathon for this year.

I was able to get also my personalized singlet from Botak..

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Sir Guarin himself, he’s bigger than life.

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Luis aka Gingerbreadman who will be joining a 50k, a familiar face and Ultraman Jun…

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Elite runners from Baguio…

Some of my classmates in the recent BDM102 and TNF100 were there , (Sorry George and Company, pictures taken were so blurred), there are a few who will join the 50k, and not too many were newbies.

Where are you Atty. Jon?

And Ronaldrei?

Get well soon Jonel…We’ll miss you.

Nonetheless, those pastas served were great!

I arrived home at 12:30 midnight, slept at 2am…

Few more hours and we’re IN again into another Ultra!

God be Praised!

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The Day And The Hour…

26 06 2009

“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” -Luke 12:40

death sup

The whole world was shocked on the untimely deaths of these two popular people, the ‘king of pop’ and another actress, a former ‘Charlie’s Angels’ mainstay who died today due to cardiac arrest and cancer respectively. Their deaths gave each one of us a stern warning, that life is short and death is sure! While many will say that men are not created equal, in the eyes of Death, we are all equal. Death has no favorites. We can’t bribe him or influence him. Each one of us has his own specific ‘day and hour’ wherein we will meet the Son of Man face to face and give accounts of everything we did here on earth, whether good or bad.

Each morning remember that you may not live until evening; and in the evening, do not presume to promise yourself another day. be ready at all times, and so live that death may never find you unprepared. Many die suddenly and unexpectedly; for at an hour that we do not know the Son of Man will come. When your last hour strikes, you will begin to think very differently of your past life, and grieve deeply that you have been so careless and remiss.

Happy and wise is he who endeavors to be during his life as he wishes to be found at his death. While you enjoy health, you can do much good; but when sickness comes, little can be done.

Do not rely on friends and neighbors and do not delay the salvation of your soul to some future date, for men will forget you sooner than you think. It is better to make timely provision and to acquire merit in this life , than to depend on the help on others. And if you have no care for your own soul, who will have care for you in time to come? The present time is the most precious, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.

A young actor then, was interviewed and he impressed many by saying that he invested his money in acquiring multiple life insurances, pension plans and he already bought a piece of land for his burial in a prominent cemetery. In the sight of the world, he is wise. And Until now, that actor is still alive but unfortunately, he is not living righteously. He mocks many Christians and in one time, he made a joke which was blasphemous in the sight of God. I don’t think his preparations will be of great value when the Son of Man comes to judge him.

It is sad that you do not employ your time better, when you may win eternal life hereafter. The time will come when you will long for one day or one hour in which to amend; and who knows whether it will be granted?

God be Praised!

The Lighter Side: Famous Movie One Liner…

1. Jerry Maguire , (1996), “Show me the money”, Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise)

2. Con Air, (1997), “There’s only two men I trust. One of ‘em’s me, the other one’s not you”, Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage)

3. Gladiator, (2000), “At my signal, unleash hell”, Maximus (Russell Crowe)

4. A Streetcar Named Desire , (1951), “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers”, Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh)

5. Psycho , (1960), “We all go a little mad sometimes”, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins)

6 “I’m the king of the world!” Leonardo DiCaprio in “Titanic”

7. “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?” Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate”

Exposing The Works Of Darkness:

“Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the last days some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of the devils.”- 1 Timothy 4:1

One of the busiest bookstores is Metaphysical center in San Francisco, selling about $12,000 a month. It offered courses in palmistry, reincarnation, astral projection, numerology, and others. Another bookstore sells ritual robes, amulets, incense, crystal balls, etc. The film Exorcist gained $70 million in a year and the book by that title has 10,000,000 in print. Big colleges and universities offer credit courses on the occult.

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Predicaments Of Botak100!

24 06 2009

“The Lord delights in the way of a man whose steps he has made firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” -Psalms 37:23-24

difficulty

Yesterday, just 3 days left before the Botak100 event, I discovered that my car has some mechanical trouble and so I brought this to a reliable car technician to have it checked up and the assessment was given to me some 20 minutes later, ball joints must be replaced and my signal light was defective too, I told the technician to just replace it but he said they don’t have ball joints and signal light for this type of car (Daewoo Espero Limited Edition 2000 model Matic).

I called up Good Gear in Pasay City, the sole distributor of all Korean car’s spare parts but unfortunately, they don’t have ‘those parts’ at this time, delivery will be coming next week or the most is until July 15, 2009.

It’s no problem if I’ll be commuting from now on until the technician fixes it , but my concern is all about the Botak100. I’ll be using that car as my convoy and back-up. It’s hard to take chances because most of the success of an ultra-runner depends on his back-up. I experienced it during BDM102 and TNF100. Running a 100 kms without it is a chaos in the making. No problem if it’s only a 42k, but a 100k is difficult, a mammoth task to reckon with.

I have now a second thought on whether or not I’ll join this race. But after I sought God’s guidance regarding this matter, I’ll go for it.

With this in mind, I’m now imagining the same scenario in BDM102 and at km 85 and I don’t have a back -up. That was so difficult. I was in the midst of deciding whether or not I’ll finish that race, not because my legs cannot do it any longer, but I don’t have supplies anymore.

The memory of that scene frightens me.

What if “if I’ll fail this time?”

Honestly, I don’t like to fail, but I can handle it. As a devoted Christian for so many years, I know where my strength comes from. I know that even if I DNF or so, I’ll survive. My family will still love me. Christ is still in his heaven. My world will not come to an end, regardless of my performance.

It’s the similar belief, though, that makes me determined to be a good steward of my body and mind I’ve been blessed with. If my belief merely made me accept failure and defeat, it would be a crutch-a weak, sad alibi. People who criticize Christians for being less competitive-and Christians who are less competitive-have missed the point of faith.

It’s my belief that lifts me up when I’ve failed. It’s my faith that reminds me of my true significance when the world has been laid at my feet because of my success finishing a race. To call myself a Christian and then to not strive to be the best I can be and do the most I can with what has been given me would be the height of hypocrisy. Being a Christian is no excuse for mediocrity or passive acceptance of defeat. If anything, Christianity demands a higher standard, even more devotion to the task.

If the rain will not stop, that will give me another problems…I need to change my shoes and socks every now and then and since I don’t have a back-up, I think that’s not possible.

I’m still optimistic that many miracles will happen along the way and some angels will be there again guiding me. But if that will not happen, my faith is still intact for I know whom I believe and I’m persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day…

To all Botak 100 solo participants, and to some of my BDM102 and TNF100 classmates, see you at the starting lines this Saturday!

God be Praised!

The Lighter Side:

Premiere magazine chose these as the greatest lines from movies:

1. The Godfather: Part 2, (1974), “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino)

2. Star Wars , (1977), “Get this big walking carpet out of my way”, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)

3. The Empire Strikes Back, (1980), “Never tell me the odds”, Hans Solo (Harrison Ford)

4. Sudden Impact , (1983), “Go ahead. Make my day”, Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood)

5. Top Gun, (1986), “Take me to bed or lose me forever”, Carol Bradshaw (Meg Ryan)

Exposing The Works Of Darkness:

“Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the last days some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of the devils.”- 1 Timothy 4:1

The occult boom prevalent today with the wildfire spread of astrology. It then extended all the way from Satanism and witchcraft to the edge of science. One American in five expresses belief in astrology. Adherents of other movements include: Transcendental meditation (4%), some sort of yoga (3%), mysticism (2%) and eastern Religions (1%).

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A Living Legacy!

24 06 2009

reputation

I personally believe that deep in the soul of every man is the desire to leave behind a good name.

No matter how hard a man works, no matter how much wealth and notoriety a man accumulates, no matter how many frequent flier miles he logs, or how many trophies he received, it is always a fair question to ask, What will I leave behind?

What we leave behind is called legacy. It’s more than bank accounts, real estate. It is more than “Athlete of the Year” award. More than newspaper clippings. And certainly, more than a wooden box planted 6 feet deep in the earth when it is all over. It is the mark we make in life that lives far longer than forty, fifty, or eighty years. It’s the footprints we leave at a workplace and the fingerprints we leave in the lives we love. It’s the way we do things and the reason we do them. Legacy is as close as we can get to immortality this side of eternity.

I can still recall the time when I attended a seminar exclusively for the Managers in the Company that I worked before for more than ten years. The title of that seminar, “Seven habits Of Highly Effective People.” Nearing the end of the session, the Lecturer instructed us, the participants, to close our  eyes, as she turned the lights-off while a soft music was being played. She gave us the instruction to imagine ourselves lying inside a coffin while the people  fall in line to give us their last homage, and each of them will say in just one word their impressions on me while I’m still alive.

At the end of the session,  given with 2 minutes each, we  reported  in front of the group what will be the best description that people will say about us when we are dead already. And I cannot forget someone who almost broke into tears while speaking when he said, “People tagged me with the words ‘unforgiving!” For my neighbors knew how my father abandoned me as a kid and at old age he returned asking  for my forgiveness…but I never forgave him. Today, after this session, I will search for him and hug him.”

What will the people tell you as you lay there inside the coffin someday?

Will it be a loving, humble and God fearing? Or will it be unforgiving, self-centered and boastful?

For a man to be able to look into the eyes of his wife and children and to be able to see them looking back with respect, admiration, trust, loyalty-that is a living legacy.

A living legacy doesn’t grow in a vacuum. Neither does it grow in petridish. A living legacy is the product of the consistent hard choices we have been talking about-integrity, sensitivity, humility, responsibility, fidelity and charity. There are no shortcuts. There is no such thing as microwave maturity. A good name doesn’t grow on trees and it’s not for sale at any price. It is not given to an elite few, nor it is withheld from others. It is held out to each of us-ours for the taking-as we are willing to pay the price. As the Holy Bible said…

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver and gold..” -Proverbs 22:1

Good Samaritan: I would like to express my gratitude to my friend “Jerome” who shouldered my Registration Fee for the Botak 100k solo. God bless you my dear friend. May the Lord richly bless you spiritually physically and financially.

God be Praised!

The Lighter Side:

Office: A place where you can relax
after your strenuous home life.

Yawn: The only time some married men
ever get to open their mouth.

Etc.: A sign to make others believe
that you know more than you actually
do.

Committee: Individuals who can do
nothing individually and sit to decide
that nothing can be done together.

Experience: The name men give to their
mistakes.

Atom Bomb: An invention to end all
inventions.

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Run For Glory!

23 06 2009

“The goal of my life is just to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as closely as I can.” –Ryan Hall, the fastest American Marathoner, 2:06:17 at London Marathon, Runner’s World Sept. 2008 issue

While many elite runners run for different reasons, this young man’s goal is extra ordinary. Some run for fame, others for money, a number for popularity, more than a few for beating personal records but this guy’s only desire is to run for God’s glory! He believed that his strength, speed and endurance were all God’s gift that’s why in every races, he always  acknowledged God as the source of His everything.

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Pointing to the One up there who enabled him to win in this race.

A devoted Christian and a loving husband, a former basketball and baseball player-this guy accepted Jesus Christ in his life during his younger years and made a commitment to live a life worthy of His calling. His favorite verse is in the book Of Isaiah (which is also one of my favorites, and I can quote it without opening my Bible), “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint.

I salute you, Sir Ryan Hall-for not only  being an elite runner but because you are not ashame to proclaim  your faith and say those strong words I have written above. May you conquer more places and bring back all the glory to Him!

God Be Praised!

Insights To Live-By:

Today…

I choose love-no occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love, today, I will love God  and what God loves.

I choose joy-I will invite my God to be the God of circumstances. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical…the tool to the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less then human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I choose peace-I will live forgiven, I will forgive so that I may live.

I choose patience-instead of clinching my fist at a new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I choose kindness-I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid, and kind to the unkind for such is how God treated me.                                                       -Max Lucado, When God Whispers Your Name.

The Lighter Side:

Criminal: A guy no different from the
rest….except that he got caught.

Boss : Someone who is early when you
are late and late when you are early.

Politician: One who shakes your hand
before elections and your Confidence
after

Doctor: A person who kills your ills
by pills, and kills you by bills.

Classic: Books, which people praise,
but do not read.

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