Friday, October 29, 2010

San Jose Marathon

It's officially called Dean Karnazes Silicon Valley Marathon (DKSVM) in San Jose, CA. Dean Karnazes is no less than the Ultramarathon Man and Silicon Valley is the hub of the tech world, as you all very well know. Of course, these big names names are used to attract runners to join the race.

However, I think calling it the San Jose Marathon is a name big enough to encourage more runners to sign up. After all, its namesake is St. Joseph (San Jose in Spanish), a man known for his strength and faith. And for us runners, we could learn a thing or two about him.

Remember that St. Joseph had to lead his pregnant wife Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. A straight line from these two points would be around 80 miles. Mary rode a donkey while Joseph walked. It is estimated that this journey back then would have taken at least 4 days.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two Nudges During Mass

The second reading at Sunday mass today was from 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18. As the title was read, my wife gave me a nudge. It was a secret nudge every time we hear a reading taken from the book of St. Timothy, which is our only child’s namesake. Unexpectedly, when verse 7 was read, my son, sitting on my other side, also gave me a nudge. The verse read:

I have competed well; I have finished the race; I kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

It was a verse alluding to running. It is one of our favorite inspirational running quotes which we first read in a tribute to Ryan Shay, a young USA Marathon Champion who collapsed and died during the Olympic Qualifying Trials in 2007.

The verse was part of St. Paul’s letters from prison to St. Timothy. Timothy was St. Paul’s trusted disciple and companion during his missionary journey. When he wrote this letter, Paul knew that his time was near. He had fought a good fight.

As runners, we know how to fight a good fight means. We know how to train hard and give it all you’ve got in a race to the finish.

So I pondered on that little nudge from my son who is seldom expressive of his feelings to me. I thought it was a sign of our bonding. It was a nudge that needed no explanation from either one of us. We both knew what it meant to us.

The letters between Sts. Paul and Timothy also spoke about their relationship. Though Paul was his mentor, Timothy provided comfort and encouragement to him during times of trial. It was a very special relationship, which ultimately, helped build the foundation of a Christian community.

So a nudge from my wife and my son, my two great sources of inspiration and comfort, on both sides, I love it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

"To not do your best is to waste the gift."

My son Timothy quoted Steve Prefontaine in his tribute to his cross country coach on his last year as coach for the school team. His coach told him to alway do his best. He has been with his coach for the last 7 years. My son started from the back of the pack to become one of the lead runners in the diocese. In his last season for cross country, he finished 6th overall out of more than 180 runners in his division. Every run, he said, he did his best for God and and for his coach.

This weekend, I have a couple of really good friends who will also be doing their best and not wasting the gift (of health, I would say).

God speed to Annabel, Barb, and Barbie who will run the Nike Women's in San Francisco, CA and Rolando who will run his first half marathon in Long Beach, CA. May your run be filled with blessings and may you find peace and joy in every mile marker you pass. Do your best and don't waste the gift! Have fun out there!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

May the wind be always at your back!

Sending forth blessing to 4 friends of mine who are running races today.

To Melanie and Steve running the Urban Cow Half Marathon in Sacramento, CA and
To Annabelle and Enrique running the Rock and Roll Half in San Jose, CA.

Here's an excerpt from the traditional Irish blessing --

May the wind be always at your back! God bless!