Sunday, October 08, 2006

Anaconda/Army Ten-Miler

This morning I ran in the Anaconda 10-miler, a shadow race of the Army 10-miler which will be held later today in Washington, DC.

I was surprised by the number of runners here at LSA Anaconda; during the announcements, with many folks still registering, the number of runners was 700. Also surprising, was how poorly the race was organized. The route was convoluted at best; but that is to be expected in trying to get 10 miles in on an airbase in Iraq without getting too near the wire. The problem was that there were not many people giving directions to the runners at the various turns and roundabouts. I did not see a single mile marker, although one person told me they saw a sign at the 5 mile mark. Normally there are larger signs, some way to draw attention to them, and someone calling out the elapsed time from the official clock. In addition, they ran out of water and t-shirts. Let's see, running out of water on a ten mile run in the desert where safety is the number one issue - not good! But, I will give the organizers kudos for holding the race in the first place, and say that they had a lot of people registering this morning. It makes it harder to plan logistics if you don't have a good handle on how many people will be running.

I was happy with my time. My goal was simply to make it an easy training run and get the t-shirt, and that is exactly what I did. I ran the whole way without stopping, felt great during the run, and feel good now.

For me this was a significant day because it was the first race I have run, of any length, since my heart surgery in May, 2004. I'm not sure I even ran for eleven months after the surgery, which was unheard of pre-surgery when I was running 5-6 days per week. Many people I have met who have had open-heart surgery have said that they didn't feel human for 10-12 months after the surgery. I know that was true for me. In retrospect, 2004-2005 was probably one of the most difficult of my life. I am sure that also made it extremely difficult for my wife and three children. So, this race, in many ways, was a sign that those days are long in the past. Now I can start training for another half-marathon, and then for my eighth full marathon!

After the race and a quick shower I headed up to Freedom Chapel for my service. I'm happy to say that the crowds are growing and the music improving. We have some great soldiers and contractors volunteering in the band and in the congregation each Sunday. This Thursday I'll be starting Disciple Bible Study's 8-week course "Invitation to the New Testament". Thanks to First United Methodist in Milledgeville, GA for sponsoring the study.

Hope you all have a great week,



At 7:52 PM, Blogger Leslie Watkins said...

OK, Thanks for reminding me that I could have been checking your blog instead of waiting for you to email us. (I am from the generation that played pong and I hate to be reminded of it, but THANKS anyway...)

Congratulations on your run--that is very impressive!

Porter, James, Clara and I prayed for you and your precious family tonight as we do every Sunday night. (BTW, Clara read your name off the list--it is one of the first things she has read!)

Stay well and don't run into any more walls!


At 4:54 AM, Blogger Shannon Sullivan said... are a superstar!!

We love and miss you,
Shannon & Patrick

At 7:07 AM, Blogger MLL said...

Jim, This is my first time leaving a comment on a blog---cool! This blog is terrific--do alot of the soldiers have blogs?

Congrats on your run, this is really wonderful and will do your heart and soul good.

Keep the emails coming too--I enjoy both.
We continue to think of you so often and pray for you and your family.
Love, ML

At 7:57 PM, Blogger Ann Lewis said...

My Dad, Ralph, told me about you and I felt God's tug to contact you. I come from Florida, St. Peter's UMC, in Wellington (West Palm Beach). I am impressed with your positive attitude that exudes complete trust in the Lord. I can sense your peace through your words. I am a seminary student at Asbury Theological on the Orlando Campus studying Counseling and Servanthood Ministries leading to ordination as a Deacon. I will keep you in my prayers. May God richly bless you.


At 10:31 PM, Blogger Jim Higgins said...


Thanks for visiting and for your posting. I remember my seminary days well - you are in my prayers!

Orlando is a great place. Before coming to the sandbox I led Marriage Enrichment Retreats for our returning soldiers and spouses all over the southeast. We held about half of them in Orlando; it was a favorite spot with soldiers and spouses.

God Bless,


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