A Little Taste of Heaven in Week 3 of Avengers Training


Okay, to keep this real, it wasn’t the best week training wise. However, it was a great week none the less overall.


If you remember my recap from last week, you’ll recall that I missed my Sunday gym workout because I felt pretty exhausted. Well, that feeling dragged into Monday and I felt the start of a cold coming on. So, Tuesday and Wednesday, I took the mornings off from running to rest. It meant I would be giving up a training run for the week. However, I had hoped to be ready to go on Thursday…


It worked out! On Thursday, I was up before the sun again to run my 3 mile loop around where I live.


By the end of the three miles, I felt pretty good about everything!


As you can see, my time wasn’t too shabby for me. I hit a couple too many traffic lights to get the time under 36 minutes. However, I felt good while running. I spent part of the last mile switching back to the 1 minute run/1 minute walk intervals. On top of that, I wasn’t feeling the effects of the cold. So, that was huge! The rest was much-needed and this run proved it.


My weekend was going to be very busy. So, I was up before the sun again on Saturday. I want to make my shorter long run weeks be 6 mile training runs. So, I started that this past Saturday.


It was a pretty good run. I did feel a few moments of wishing I had slept a little more. However, I had other things happening on Saturday and this was the only time I could fit 6 miles in. I’m proud of myself for not giving up. The thing that did suck about this run was the amount of time I spent stopped at traffic lights. I didn’t hit too many of them, but the ones I hit stopped me for quite a while. Although, I don’t have a totally accurate number, it was at least 5 minutes and might have been somewhere near 6 minutes stopped at traffic lights. Every time I thought I was building momentum to gain time back that I had lost, I’d come to a red light that pushed it back again. It’s frustrating. However, I realize that the traffic lights can be the blame some times.


Even with all those stops, I managed a decent finish time. It’s not a PR, but I’ve been much slower over the same route. So, I’ll take it. The reason I had to get out early in the morning was that Brooke and I had an adoption training at 9am that would last until 3pm. Leaving the house at 6am to run 6 miles gave me just enough time to finish, get showered, and out the door for the training.

Here’s where the title of this blog post comes in. On Sunday, I would be singing at a memorial service for one of my former professors and conductors. I mentioned Al Clifft earlier this year. He passed away on August 30th. As per his request, a memorial choir was put together that I got to be apart of. We had a rehearsal on Saturday evening on the campus of Azusa Pacific University (where I was a student at one time). I haven’t been on campus since the late 1990’s. So, it was a little surreal to be back. The above video was filmed at the rehearsal. It was so good to see many of my former class mates at APU again. Singing with them was getting a taste of heaven on earth. The song I videoed was not part of the memorial service. However, since we were all in the same room again, our conductor for the service (and those that organized everything) thought it would be fun to break out some of the classics that we had sung before. He Gives Me Joy has always felt like an anthem of the University Choir and Orchestra for the time I was in the group. It was also a song that was very Al. If you take a listen, you’ll get a taste of what it was like to be in the room. At time the emotions were indescribable. All I can say is that it was divine.

I haven’t had a chance to download the pictures yet. However, Sunday’s memorial service was something really special. I honestly can’t put into words what the day was like. Initially, I thought I might get in a gym workout. However, the emotions of the weekend wore me out. I love singing in the Disney Employee Choir for the Disneyland Candlelight Processional. They are a very good choir. However, the people who have been part of the Azusa Pacific University Choir and Orchestra will always hod a special place in my heart. So much talent and so much ministry. It’s just a completely different experience.

The whole weekend was like getting into a time machine and journeying to the past. It was a very good past to re-visit. When I attended APU, the University Choir and Orchestra performed almost every weekend of each semester. Additionally, we went on a weekend long mini-tour to either Arizona or Northern California in the Fall Semester and a 2 week tour after the Spring Semester was over. We would end the Fall Semester by singing for a few nights at the Torrance Marriott Hotel. Add the 3 rehearsals we had each week and the time spent in the recording studio once a year and you can see how much time we all spent together. One of the things that Al Clifft brought to the choir was the element of ministry to musical excellence. We weren’t just performing great works of music together, but songs meant to draw others into the presence of God. All that time together creates this sense of community. What was great about this weekend is to see that community is still there. Many of the people I saw this weekend are friends on Facebook. However, it’s so much better to see them in person.

I may have only finished 2 training runs this week. However, I have absolutely no regrets about how the week turned out. I was battling a cold to start the week. The extra rest helped me knock that out before it got really bad. The runs I got in this week were good quality runs. Given how busy the weekend was, I’m proud of the fact that I even got in 1 training run. Singing for the memorial service was a total slice of heaven for me. So, no regrets at all. Come Tuesday morning, I’ll be back at it.

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