Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Counting Down The Days

It's so close to the race: 10 days!  I'm really, really excited for that morning.

There has been a lot of exciting stuff that has gone on lately with my fundraiser.  First of all, I reached my $2,000 goal!! Thank you to everyone who supported me and donated toward the cause.  It means so much to me and I can't thank you enough!  Thank you for all of the love and support!


Also, I was asked to be on WSMV Channel 4 in Nashville to talk about my story!  I will be filming for it next week (around the 24th or 25th) and it will be aired sometime before the half marathon.  I want to give a shout out to my buddy Tim Zollner for hooking this up for me.  Thank you Tim!!


Running is going great.  It's been a really busy week with class projects, tests, and studio work, but I feel pretty good for the race!

Have a blessed week!

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:14 (ESV)

Matt

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Fast Mile

Today I did not have a lot of time do a long run, so I decided to sprint a mile.  I finished in 6 minutes and 50 seconds, which was awesome for me.  I finished the mile then just jogged back to my house another half mile or so.  


I'm on a water drinking diet (with some juices here and there) up until the race.  It's amazing how good you feel by only drinking water and cutting out sodas.  You all should try it sometime...


Race is in 17 DAYS!!


"But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness." - Psalm 86:15 (ESV)


Matt


Monday, April 9, 2012

Crunch time

It's crunch time! Ready to rock the half marathon in a few weeks! I went out and bought new "ironman" socks and wow how it makes a difference. I didn't even feel my blisters when running and they didn't irritate them at all. It was a good investment I must say. Here's the short run I did today... I felt great.

Monday, April 2, 2012

4 weeks until the race

Starting the countdown.  It's 4 weeks until the race.  I can't wait for it!  I ran a little bit of the route today and it was kind of rough.  I haven't run in a couple of days because I have been out of town, but I ended up running about 7 miles today.  Didn't get to time it or anything but it took about an hour or so.  My blisters started flaring up again which was a bummer, and I had to walk a couple times, but overall it was a pretty good run with my friend Mary Claire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA9vSfNqbZk&feature=youtu.be&fb_source=message

Matt

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The race is in sight!

It is now less than a month away from the half marathon.  I have raised over 3/4 of my goal and I'm on the rise to reach it in a few weeks.  This training and fundraising has been such an amazing experience for me.  It has taught me a lot of things about myself, and it has also allowed me to meet a ton of new people. Everyone has showed me so much support through this, and I can't thank all of you enough!  I can't wait until the race on April 28th.  It's also one week before my college graduation.  There is a lot of exciting stuff coming up in my life.

My fundraising video is in the final stages of production.  We're putting the background music to it now, and it should be ready by the end of the week for you all to see.  It has turned out amazing and I want to thank my friend Kirk for doing all the video production for it.  I also want to thank my buddy Rudd for driving his truck up and down the street so many times just to get the shots we needed.  I want to thank Landon for taking great pictures during it!  And last but not least, my buddy Daniel for scoring all the music for it.  I'm so excited for you all to see it!

After my 11 miler a week and a half ago, I haven't ran a whole lot.  I had really bad blisters on the bottom of my feet so I have been taking it easy.  I did however run the past 2 days in which I was really happy with my times.

_________________________________________________________________________



I hope everyone has a great day!  I'm headed to West Virginia to run sound for a show.  Hoping to doing some running in the early mornings!

Matt

Friday, March 23, 2012

A busy week!

This past week has been extremely busy for me, but it has been awesome.  As said in my last post, RESULTS Fitness put on a fundraiser event for me last Saturday to help me raise money for the CCFA.  I got the final amount back yesterday and they helped me raise $358!  Thank you so much RESULTS Fitness for putting this event on for me!


On Tuesday of this week I finished filming the 2nd part of my fundraiser video.  I did a lot of running in a street with different camera angles to we can edit in between my speaking parts.  I'm really excited to see how the video turns out.  It'll be a chance for you to hear my story from me speaking it instead of reading it on the computer.  Stay tuned for it!  It should be out before April.  



I ran for the first time since Saturday on Thursday (yesterday).  My blisters finally were healed enough for me to put back on my running shoes and go for a run.  I ran with my friend Kelsie and we just ran a little loop around Belmont.  It was a nice, short run.  Training is going great!  Only a little over a month until the race!

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."  - Romans 12:12 (ESV)

Matt


Monday, March 19, 2012

RESULTS Fitness Fundraiser

So this past weekend was an amazing weekend.  RESULTS Fitness (www.resultsfitness.me) held a charity event for me where all of their classes that day were donation only classes.  All the proceeds went to my fundraiser for the CCFA.  It was awesome!  We raised about $350 and that's not counting some of the donations that might happen early this week!  How awesome is that?! I'll be getting the final amount on Thursday.  It meant so much to me that they were willing to put this event on for me.

I got there around 7:30AM and ran with the running group.  We ran 11 miles.  I can't tell you how good I felt running it.  Yeah, my feet are killing me now with big blisters, but it was totally worth it.  It's about 5-6 weeks from the race and I have ran 11 miles.  I'm definitely going to be ready by it.  I just have to keep working hard and pushing through.  All of your support helps me do that every single day.



I will be updating every day this week with the workout I did!  I'll have the final amount raised from the fundraiser on Thursday! Stay tuned.

http://www.active.com/donate/TN12VIRGINIA/Longworth

http://www.facebook.com/longworth

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you."  - Psalm 32:8 (ESV)

Matt


Friday, March 16, 2012

1/15/12

Went on a late 3 mile run tonight with my friend Ellie.  I had to break in my new running shoes, and I must say they feel great so far.  I had no problems with them and what a difference new shoes make when running.  I felt so much lighter when hitting the ground because of the great support from the shoes.  My old pair was kind of thinning out and I could really feel it as my foot struck the ground.  Definitely a wise investment today to get the shoes.  AND, they were only $40 from the Nike outlet store down in Cool Springs, TN.  I'll say that's a win.

We ran alongside 12th street tonight.  I really enjoyed the route.  It was a change from what I usually run. Usually I run the same routes on the same roads, but changing up your routes are very helpful when running.  I've learned that it keeps you excited about the run because it's new scenery or a new road.  You're not expecting when the next mile marker is because you don't know.  On my routes I usually do I know exactly where 1 mile is, and where 2 miles is at.  I make those checkpoints, but at the same time I know exactly how far I have to go to get there so it is more of a "wow I still have that much longer to go" than it is a "I wonder where the next mile is at."  It keeps me "on my toes" (ha) while running and makes me keep going.  So, change up your route every once in awhile.  It's a new adventure.

Also, I love running with people.  It makes the run a lot more enjoyable when you can talk with someone.  It is also a motivating factor.  If you ever want to run let me know!

10 miles this Saturday.  I'm ready.

Matt

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Shoes



It's always exciting getting new things.  I got some new running shoes today because my other ones were giving me pretty bad blisters.  I'm excited to take them out on the street and see how they do.  I'm running 10 miles on Saturday morning so I am going to get them broken in probably on the run.  For some reason when I get new things, a motivating spark appears and I am more excited than ever.  I hope that spark carries me all the way through to the race!

"And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" - James 1:4 (ESV)


Matt

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3/14/12


It seems as if it is a lot harder to run when it's hotter outside.  My time was still pretty good today, but I felt as if I was running really slow.  My legs were feeling pretty heavy and my knee is still irritating me really bad.  Hopefully that will all get worked out pretty soon and it will go away...

What I look forward to after every run is my protein shake, banana and sometimes some yogurt.  I think about it during my run sometimes and it helps me move along.  Food is always a good thing to think about while running....

I ran today with my roommate Daniel Chioco.  He's an awesome guy!  He's a political genius.  Y'all should all check out his YouTube channel here:  Daniel Chioco YouTube

Hope everyone has a great day!

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe." 
             - Proverbs 18:10 (ESV)

Matt

3/13/12

      It is getting so beautiful out here in Nashville.  The trees are blossoming, and the grass is growing.  Also, the eyes are becoming swollen because of allergies.  Not fun...

      There's about 6 weeks left of training and I am feeling pretty great.  The only thing that is bothering me is my knee still.  I've always had a bad left knee, but it gets pretty stiff when I run and I try not to put too much pressure on it.  If anyone has any suggestions on knee support and great ways to take care of it, please let me know!  I'm doing my best but advice always helps.  Here are the results from today's run:




       I'm going on a pretty long run this weekend which I am pretty excited about!  It's with the RESULTS Fitness group (http://resultsfitness.me/).  They are holding an event for me THIS Saturday at their gym. All classes are donation classes and all the money goes towards my fundraiser.  I'm so excited about this.  They are amazing in setting this up for me and helping me out.  Sign up for a class!  It's going to be awesome!  Check out their website and Facebook for more information on how to sign up.  Also, help spread the word!  Check out the flyer:



So blessed by all the love and support.

"7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  8  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."
          - 1 John 4:7-8 (ESV)


Matt








Sunday, March 11, 2012

Back in Nashville, and a month and a half until the race

Spring break was awesome. There are some pictures on the previous posts if you want to check them out. I went to Bryson City, NC for about 5 days and rented a cabin. We hung out and relaxed all break, and hiked a lot, too. Such a great way to spend spring break in my book!

Now it's back to reality. Training is still going great. The only thing that I really need to work on is eating right. I'm not doing an awful job at it, but vacation didn't help. I just need to stay hydrated and right now that's my biggest struggle.

There's only a month and a half until the race. Training has gone by SO fast. I can't believe it's even March! This year is flying by. I graduate college on May 5th. Wait, what? I graduate college on May 5th!! One week after I run this half-marathon I have been training for. It's going to be so rewarding. What has been the most rewarding so far though is seeing all the support from you all. Without you it would be hard for me to keep pushing along. Y'all have been such a motivational tool for me. THANK YOU to all of you who have shared your love through this and all of your donations and support!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16 (ESV)

Matt

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More hiking

Today has been such a great day (except for watching Peyton getting let go by the Colts...).  Slept in a little bit and then went on an other hike.  Today's hike was about 3.5 miles and it was a lot more intense than yesterday's.  We started on top of a ridge, hiked down the whole mountain on a "gold mine trail" to the very bottom where a lake was, then made our way back up on another trail.  "Whatever goes down must come up" was something we definitely experienced today.  The hike was great going down.  Very relaxing.  When we got to the part where we had to hike back up the mountain it was not as fun.  However, the training for my half-marathon that I have been doing really helped me out on the uphill.  I did not get very winded and my legs were feeling really good.  It's cool to see results from training!

Here are some pictures from today's hike:



Opening in the trail for a cool view.  The water level
is low this time of year.


Old fireplace from what we think was a house
that was there a long time ago.




















I've loved the trip so far here in NC and in the Smoky Mountains.  It's so nice to get awhile for awhile from work, school, and everyday activities.

“Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me." - John 14:1 (ESV)


Matt


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hiking and pictures

I absolutely love the mountains.  I would love to move into a log cabin one day in some mountain range.  The weather is beautiful and the views are to die for.  It's so peaceful out here!

Today my friends and I went on a 3-4 mile hike on a few trails in the Smoky Mountains.  We came across three waterfalls during it and they were awesome.  My friend Rudd and I climbed to the top of one of them just because we like doing that kind of stuff.  We don't really like to stay on the trails...

It was a pretty good workout.  Hiked up a good amount of elevation and sweated a good amount.  I could do this every day...

At night we like to just hangout, eat, play pool, and relax!

Below are some pictures so far from the trip! Hope you enjoy.

Photo Credit: Hillary Blunt



















And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 

- Matthew 5:2-12 (ESV)

Matt


Monday, March 5, 2012

First run in the mountains

I'm not sure how many of you have ran in the mountains before, but it's pretty difficult.  I ran 1.3 miles (well, according to my Nike + iPod) and I ran it in about 11 minutes.  I was completely exhausted after that.  At the very beginning I ran up a huge hill for about .2 miles and that wore me out right off the bat.  I ended up running to a trail with 3 sets of staircases and did some stair workouts as part of my run.  It was really good for my legs.  The worst part about the run was the altitude and the crisp air.  It was so hard to breathe the whole time...

It's been so awesome here in North Carolina so far.  All we have done is relaxed in cabin watching movies, playing cards, and chatting.  Oh, and of course getting into the hot tub that we luxuriously acquired in our rent.  Getting in that thing every night has made the trip so far!  I'm having a blast so on vacation.

I'm going to try and train a little bit everyday to keep some endurance up.  Tomorrow I will more than likely do some sprints and lots of stretching.  Below are some pictures of the trip so far!






More to come tomorrow!

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." - Jeremiah 33:3


Matt

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spring Break

This weekend I am heading off to the wonderful Smoky Mountains in North Carolina with a couple of friends. We rented a cabin out there and are just going to relax and hangout the whole week. I'm really excited to be able to do nothing and just sit around and read, listen to music, enjoy times with great friends. I'll be doing a lot of hiking and circuit training. I'll probably go on a couple runs but won't go on any really long runs. I'll mostly be doing some sprints up the mountain and getting my endurance up. This will be a good time to focus on speed and heart rate and breathing.



I'm hoping the weather won't be too bad up in the mountains (cold wise). It's supposed to rain a few days but that's okay. It'll be nice to sit in the cabin or sit out on the deck and watch it rain in the mountains. I'll be posting pictures and updating my blog while I am there! Apparently we have Wi-Fi so I should be able to do that!

"6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)

Matt

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 50/51

Yesterday and today I had little runs where I just ran a quick 2 miles. I'm running 8 tomorrow morning so I didn't want to run a whole lot before I went out on my really long run. My left knee has been kind of hurting lately and I'm not sure why. I've been running a little slower lately and so my form might be a little off... Gotta work on it.




http://www.active.com/donate/TN12VIRGINIA/Longworth


Have an awesome day! It's beautiful here in Nashville.

Matt

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 49

Today has been a pretty exciting day. My friend Kirk came over this morning to the house and we filmed an talking section of the video I am working on for my fundraiser. It's going to be a short video giving a summary of my story and why I am raising money for CCFA. I'm really excited to see how it turns out and can't wait to share it with everyone. Here is a shot from the shoot:



I went for a run after we finished. It wasn't a really good run at all... I was wanting to go 4 miles but only ended up doing 2.5. I had a great pace of 8:03/mi but I was so worn out. Not really sure what was going on. I didn't eat anything before hand and didn't get a lot of sleep last night, so that easily could have been a factor of it.

Spring break is coming up and I am going to North Carolina with a few friends to just hang out and relax in a cabin. Looking forward to training in the mountains for a week! It'll be good to run up large inclines!

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for ithose who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28 (ESV)

Matt

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 45

Yesterday in my post I mentioned that I received a text message from my friend Sara saying she wanted to run 7 miles today. I was kind of weary about it at first because I like sticking to my schedule and everything, but I decided to go ahead and do it anyways. I'm so glad I did. It was a really good run and I felt really, really good. All my other runs this week have been awful, but for some reason this run was great. I ran at a pretty constant pace and pushed myself really hard at the end. The only way to get better at running is if you push yourself. It's all a mental game. If you tell yourself you are wanting to stop then you'll end up stopping. You HAVE to tell yourself to make bigger strides and to keep pushing through. That's what got me through this run this morning. At the pace I went this morning I will finish the half marathon in under two hours, which is my goal. I'm really happy about this because if I am already running this pace in February, I should easily be able to meet my goal on the actual race day at the end of April.



After my run I went back home and fixed me a little breakfast and then headed to school. I went to the Beaman center (or the student center) and picked up a slip of paper from the front desk that has a scripture on it. Here is the scripture:

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful." - Colossians 3:15

"And be thankful." I think sometimes we take our lives for granite and don't realize how much we are blessed by God. We have so much good in our lives that we need to start focusing on that instead of all the negative things. We need to "let the peace of Christ rule in [our] hearts," and just relax. God is so good, and we tend to overlook that sometimes.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Going on a 6 mile run tomorrow morning.

Matt

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 44

For some reason my runs this week have not been that good. The time is pretty good, but I don't feel good running them. Today I had to stop after 2.5 miles and rest for like a minute. I just feel like my body weighs 100 pounds heavier than it did last week. Hopefully I overcome this soon because I want to get back to running freely again.



Got a text from my friend Sara earlier today asking to run 7 miles with her tomorrow. I'm going to do it, and it's going to be awesome. We are going around 8:00 AM. It'll be good to run with Sara again because it's been a couple weeks!

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" - Psalm 27:1 (ESV)

Matt

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 43

Day 43... What?! It has already been 43 days of running and training? It doesn't seem real. It has gone by so fast and I have enjoyed every second of it. I've had my up and down runs, and I will continue to have them, but I am getting to a point where running just comes easy to me and I just do it. It's been a great time so far, and I am looking forward to more and more training.

This past President's day weekend I chaperoned on a church youth retreat with Forest Hills Baptist Church. It was incredible. I love spending time with the youth and love getting to know them and share God with them. The theme of the weekend was "Living Love" in which we talked about how to share God's love with people. We talked about how we needed to be connected to God in order to share God's love with other people. Because without Him we can't share his love to others. I think all of the kids had a blast on the retreat, and I know the other chaperones did as well. I'm so blessed to be apart of this church!

I haven't really been able to run since the Polar Bear 5k run last Wednesday because of the retreat and everything. That being said, my legs were pretty stiff on today's run. I felt like they were 3x heavier. I even stretched and warmed up before hand. I didn't feel great on the run, but I did finish with a pretty good time:



I have raised just about $1,000 towards my $2,000 goal already. It's been so amazing to see how God has worked through this. Thank you all for the continuous support!

http://www.active.com/donate/TN12VIRGINIA/Longworth

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." - John 13:34-35 (ESV)

Matt

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 38 and this weekend

I'm still on a high from my 5k run on the 15th. This week has been an amazing week of training, and I'm really proud of myself for pushing through it and working so hard at it.

This weekend I'm going on a church retreat! I'm not sure if or when I'll have time to run (or if there are places to run) so next weeks of training will be a week of pushing hard and probably running an extra day.

Have a wonderful weekend and I will post about the retreat when I get back!

Matt

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Days 35-37 and a great 5k run!

I need to start getting back into the routine of putting up a post everyday. Lately though I've been doing my run then moving onto something else very quickly. Here's a recap of the past couple of days:

Day 35 (Monday)

Monday is usually weight training day. I was going to lift a lot of weights, but since I have a basketball game this week, I didn't want to be so sore to where I couldn't shoot and I'd be useless (haha), so I decided to do minor weights and then practice basketball for about 30 minutes. It was very beneficial!

Day 36 (Tuesday)

Tuesday was a great run day. Because I was planning on running the Belmont 5k run the next morning, I decided to just run a fast mile on the treadmill. When I say fast, I mean fast. I have never ran this fast of a mile in my life. I ran it in 6:44! I was so exhausted after it and sweat was pouring out of me, but I felt so good pushing through and getting that done.

Day 37 (Today)

Today was awesome. I woke up at 4:45AM to run the Belmont Polar Bear 5k run. Registration started at 5:30AM and the race began at 6:00AM. I felt so good today. I finished with a personal best of 22:50!! My previous record was about 25:30 or so. I even stopped to tie my shoe for about 20 seconds or so. I was so proud of myself and so happy that I accomplished that. I even got a half marathon t-shirt for the race I'm training for in April, AND a discount for it when I sign up. Great day? I think so.






I love running. I've learned to simply just love it and enjoy every second of it. I was talking with a new friend last night, Meredith, and we were just saying how awesome it is to run and to just let go of everything. It's a time where you don't have to worry about anything else. It's such a great feeling.

Have a wonderful week! A new post will be up tomorrow!

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." - Psalm 32:8 (ESV)

http://www.active.com/donate/TN12VIRGINIA/Longworth


Matt

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 33/34

So, I said in my last post that I was going to teach Rudd how to play Racquetball. Well, I kind of did, and he kind of showed me, too. We played four games and we each won two! There WILL be a tiebreaker game coming up soon...

On my cross-training day I not only played racquetball in the morning, but I also had an intramural basketball game that night. We lost by 2 point, but overall it was awesome. I absolutely love playing basketball, so it was great to get back on the court and play in a competitive game.

Yesterday was my long run. I ran with my friends Sara and Emily. I thought the run was only going to be 4 miles, but Sara wanted to do 5. I ended up only doing about 4 and 3/4, but I felt really good doing it. We made some pretty good time, and we didn't really have a route. We just started running around the neighborhood and figured it out as we went. It was a "fun run." Here is what I did:



"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." - Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)

Matt

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 32

So, I have said before that I don't like the cold. Well, I am going to reiterate that I DO NOT like the cold. Especially running in it. The only time I could run today was about 8:30PM, and it was cold. I'm not sure exactly how cold (it probably wasn't as cold as I thought, but it sure felt like it). Trying to run hard and breathing in cold air that pierces your lungs just isn't fun, but it feels so good after you're done. Worked up a good sweat, and felt accomplished after I stepped back into the house to make my protein shake. I ran my best mile today according to Dirk Nowitzki on my running app!



I'm improving all the time, and I'm loving it. It just makes me want to work harder and run more.

Tomorrow is my cross-training today, so I am going to play some racquetball with my buddy Rudd. Looking forward to giving him a lesson in Racquetball!

"On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased." - Psalm 138:3 (ESV)

Matt

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 31

So, I told myself yesterday (and in the blog post) that my goal was to run 2 miles in 16 minutes or under. It was freezing outside today, so I ended up running on the treadmill at the YMCA.


I ran it in 15 minutes!


It was such a good run, and I felt really good. I sweated a lot which was very rewarding after I was done. Very excited for the 3 mile run tomorrow morning!


Matt

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 30 - Setting the bar high

I set out on a big run today. It was the first run I have done in a week because of my sickness, and I am not going to lie, it was awesome. It was my best run yet and I felt so good during it. The weather is beautiful outside today and that really helped keeping me motivated to push along. My roommate, Aaron, told me to be back within 30 minutes, and I told him I would. Here was my time:



I was really proud of myself for getting that pace and time! I want to make that an average pace from here on out, and keep pushing to making it better. It can be done easily, but I need to keep my stride consistent and push myself going up hills. That's the place where I am slowed down the most.

Tomorrow is a quick 2 mile run. I'm wanting to get it in 16 minutes or less!

"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." - John 15:11 (ESV)

Matt

Monday, February 6, 2012

Back to the grind

Hey everyone, It's been a rough past week. I've been pretty sick and so training has not happened. Although, I started back up again today even though I still am a little sick! My throat is not hurting as bad anymore, but I am still pretty congested, so I definitely need to take it easy and not risk myself getting sicker.

Today technically officially started week 2 of the training program (the first 3 weeks I did I am repeating). I hit the weights today and felt really good about it. Tomorrow I run 3 miles. I'm actually really excited to get out there and run because I haven't in a week. It'll feel really good to get my legs moving again and get my time faster.

Thank you all so much for the constant support. About 11 weeks until the race!!

"He heals othe brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." - Psalm 147:3 (ESV)

Matt

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sick

This week has not been a good week. Not only has it been extremely busy, but I have been pretty sick on top of it. My throat is killing me and the doc said it's some form of Tonsillitis. I'm taking medicine so hopefully it will go away soon! My training has been slacking because of it, and I haven't even felt up to really doing anything. Tomorrow, however, I am going to see how I feel and do my 4-mile run. I have to get a good run in this week so I am keeping up with it.

Stay Tuned...

"For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." - Psalm 100:5 (ESV)

Matt

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's been a couple of days

Sorry everyone... It has been a very busy past couple of days. I have been able to do my training (Monday - weights/Tuesday - 3 mile run), but have had no time to write the blog afterwards! This week has been the busiest of the new year so far, but it will go back to a normal schedule after this weekend. Hope everyone is doing well and I will do my best to update this the rest of the week!

Matt

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 20 and 21 - Devotional 3

It's been 3 weeks. 3 weeks of training. I'm loving it. Every single aspect of it. I still have 13 weeks left until the race, and things are starting to look pretty good. I'm doing a 12 week training program that I started 3 weeks ago, so I am starting it over this next week. Yesterday was supposed to be a 5-mile run, however I decided to go hiking for about an hour and a half instead. I love hiking, and it was definitely a good workout.

This week's devotional is about patience. It's probably one of the hardest qualities of life to become "good" at. To be patient is to surrender your expectations on when something should happen. It's a trait that is so difficult to have all the time, at least for me. Whether it's through work, school, relationships, personal wants, or anything else, patience plays a role on how you view everything. It's funny; I was sitting in church this morning and this verse was read before a song:

"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

The Lord knows your life. He knows where it is going to go, and what is going to happen. He already has a roadmap for each and every one of us! We just have to be patient in the Lord and trust him with his plan. He will reveal it to us. He reveals it to us every day. Sometimes we just like to over look it because it may not be what we want. That really is one of the hardest things for me to get. It's so difficult for me to just sit back and relax and let life just happen. I have no idea what God has in store for me, but I will never know if I just ignore it and not trust in Him to reveal it to me. Patience, patience, patience. It's just what we have to do.

"For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we await for it with patience." - Romans 8:24-25 (ESV)

Have a blessed week,

Matt

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 19



I'm really starting to enjoy my cross-training days. So far I have either played racquetball or basketball. Today, I chose racquetball again with my buddy Rudd. If you read my last post about racquetball you will recall that I got whooped by Rudd. Well, I actually beat him this morning! Once. Then he beat me the other two times. I'll win 2 out of 3 one day...

Tomorrow is the longest run yet. 5 miles. I'll be running with a couple of friends, so it will be fun and we can keep each other accountable.

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

Matt

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 18

Ran a good 3 miles with my friend Chelsea this morning. It was raining a good amount when she came over to the house, but right when we got outside it decided to stop! We did my normal 3 mile loop around West End and the neighborhood. Because we thought it was raining I didn't take my phone with me to track my time or anything. I thought of today as a "fun run" where I wasn't racing against the clock. Saturday, however, I will be running 5 miles in which I will be racing against the clock.

It's been a pretty stressful day due to some complications with insurance and my medicine I am taking. Life gets really tough sometimes, but what I have found is that if you stay positive, and give everything to God, everything will be alright in the end no matter the result. You have to stay focused on Him. He can handle anything!

I have some pretty exciting things coming up through this fundraiser. I don't have all the details yet, but things are to come. Stay tuned!

"The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms." - Deuteronomy 33:27 (ESV)

Matt

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 17

Today was a nasty, nasty weather day here in Nashville. It was cold, rainy, windy, and basically everything someone does NOT want in a day. So, I decided to do my 2-mile run on the treadmill at the YMCA. It was actually a really good run. I kept my average speed at around 6.3, and an incline of 2. I finished the run at about a speed of 8.7. I was feeling really good. Here are the detailed results:



Last night me and a couple of friends went to a workout class at "Results Fitness" on Music Row. It's an awesome house that was turned into a workout facility! The workout was super intense, but I felt so good after it. I haven't sweat that much in a long time, so it was definitely worth it. If you're working for an intense workout during the week, visit Results Fitness! You can get more information here:

http://www.facebook.com/NashvilleResultsFitness

Running with a friend of mine tomorrow, Chelsea Stevens. It's going to be awesome!

"In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." - Proverbs 3:6 (ESV)

Matt

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 16



Great run today. Ran with my buddies Sam Newcomer and Aaron Lagrone. I really like to run with other people. It helps me keep pushing along and we keep each other accountable. I felt really good running today. Burned some good calories and sweated a lot in this weird January weather!

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens." - Psalms 8:1 (ESV)

Matt

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 15 - Strength

I never used to be a big fan of the gym. I was always so self-concious about what other people thought of me while I was working out. "He's weak," or, "he makes funny faces while lifting those weights." The second one I just kind of made up, but I'm sure some people have thought that at one point or another. And yes, I do make funny faces while I work out. But who cares, right? That's what I've learned more as I go to the gym more often now for my training. I really don't care if people are "judging" me at the gym. I'm there to do my thing, enjoy it, and get out of there. Yeah, I'm not the strongest person in the gym, but I am content on where I'm at especially since surgery. I lost basically all of my muscle while I was in the hospital, and so it feels good to be able to get some of it back as I am working out a couple times a week. I really don't even lift a lot of weight, either. I just do enough to push myself and feel good about it afterwards. I have another app on my phone (I love apps) that is called "iFitness" that enables me to create my own workouts and track my data per session. Here is just an example of how awesome it is with tracking data:



It's a really cool app, and if you workout I suggest buying it!

Running 3 miles tomorrow with a few buddies. Should be a great time!

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

Matt

Sunday, January 22, 2012

4 Mile run update - Day 14

Just finished the 4 mile long run for this week. Had a great group this weekend! All three of my roommates (Aaron, Daniel, and Zack) joined Sara and I this week for it. We all had different paces, but we all finished strong. I'm so thankful for all the support I have been receiving through this. If you want to run with us on the weekends let us know! (We usually will run on Saturdays!)



My results were:
- Distance: 4.01 mi
- Avg. Pace: 9.4min/mi
- Time: 38:51
- Calories burned: 467 cal

Had a great run!

"One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray." - Proverbs 12:26 (ESV)

Matt

Day 13 and 14

4 miles and the 2nd devotional



So, usually Saturday's are my long run, but this week I changed it up a little bit. Well, I just switched my day of rest and the long run day. Saturday (yesterday) I was in the studio all day, and the night before I was in there until 1:30am. I decided it would be a good idea to get an extra hour and a half of sleep so I am not extremely exhausted by 2:00pm. It worked! I was kind of tired, but I was able to work and make music like I love to do without feeling like I am about to fall asleep.

Usually on my day of rest I do a devotional, but I am just going to include it in today's post along with my results of the 4-mile run I will be doing later today (results will be posted after)!



Devotional 2 - Worship. Enough Said

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” - Revelation 4:11 (ESV)

Worship is such an essential part of not only our walk with God, but with our lives. I'm not just talking about worship through music, either. I'm talking about worship through everything we do. Reading the word, being a servant, focussing and channeling everything we do on Christ is worship. We need to worship our creator of the heavens and Earth, and the center of all things.

"But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress." - Psalms 59:16 (ESV)

I've been a worship leader for quite sometime now. I started learning in my youth group when I was a sophomore in high school and started leading When I became a senior. I have led big church services, and I have led very small services. I have led devotional groups, and I have led camps. I have learned something very important out of all of it: it doesn't matter how big the congregation is. God is always there, and worship is always happening. I have been discouraged when I expected a lot of people to be at a service and only 20 showed up. I have been very excited when I see hundreds of people out in the congregation. But wait, this isn't about me. This isn't about my ability to sing and play. No one cares how "good" I am at guitar or singing during worship, or, at least they shouldn't. This about giving all the praise and glory to God our Father. It's about giving ourselves to Him as we sing and sing His name. Sure, it can be a distraction if the worship set is not prepared in some type of order, but even if something messes up, THAT'S OKAY. If the words on the screen accidentally go to the chorus instead of the verse and then switches back really quickly, that is fine. Sometimes we let the littlest things distract us from praising our God.

Whenever I lead worship I rarely stick to the so called "script." If I feel led to sing the Chorus again, then I will sing the chorus. If I feel led to to repeat something multiple times, but on the powerpoint I only have it once, I am going to repeat it multiple times. I encourage all worship leaders to not be so dependent on the "script." Yes, make one so there is some order, but if you feel led to sing something else during worship, or God gives you another song, go with it. Don't say no to God. That change in the music could do something so powerful. Even more powerful than it already is doing in people's lives. Witnessing people worship is one of the most beautiful things to witness. Seeing people sing their hearts out and give everything to God through worship really touches my heart. Worship is so powerful, and so beautiful. Worship all day and every day through everything you do. Enough said.

"Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!" - 1 Chronicles 16:9 (ESV)

Amen.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 12



I absolutely love playing basketball. It was my favorite sport to play growing up, and I still play on occasion. I really wish I could get on the court more, but right now I'm focusing more on running. I did, however, join an intramural basketball team that will be starting up next week or so. I am really excited about that. For my 30 minute cross-training today, I shot around with my friend Kevin Grosch (he's on the intramural team, too). It was a lot of fun and it was good to shoot around with someone like I always used to. I'll be posting up intramural basketball results after the games!

It was a nice and easy day of training, which was much needed. I run 4 miles again tomorrow in the morning and then I will be in the studio all day. Looking forward to a great day tomorrow!

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" - Psalm 27:1 (ESV)

Matt

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 10 and 11

Hey everyone, I definitely did not get a chance to post Day 10 up yesterday because of how busy I was with church and studio time, so I am going to include into today's posting.

Yesterday I ran a quick 2 miles for training. I don't really have any routes I run, so I just set a distance on my Nike+iPod app and run until the woman says I am halfway and then I turn around. It seems to be working out pretty well. I finished the run in about 17 minutes.

I recently just downloaded a new app on the iPhone that's called Nike+GPS. It's essentially the same thing, but it tracks my routes for me through the GPS on the phone and saves them for future runs. I also can post my run on Facebook and Twitter and have "cheers" sent to me by people liking or commenting on the run. That being said, if you see a post that says "Matt just started his run," feel free to cheer me on! While running I hear my music dims and I hear a crowd cheer for a few seconds, and that is how I know someone has given feedback. It really is motivating!

It really is much more difficult to run outside than it is to run on the treadmill. However, the treadmill hurts me knees a little bit, so I can stick with running outside unless the weather is awful. Today, however, the weather is beautiful. Nice and sunny and in the mid 40's. That is "warm" compared to what it has been lately. Even though it is a nice day, the hills were not so nice to me. It is so hilly here in Nashville, and those hills really do take all the energy out of me while running. I didn't stop and walk today like I have done before. I kept pushing through up the hills even though I was extremely exhausted afterwards. It was so rewarding to get to the top of the hill and know I didn't stop to walk. Here are my results from today:

Lately I have been tested in patience. I'm a type of personality that is always on the go, and likes to stay busy. However, after the diagnosis and surgery, I have been learning to be patient and relax more. It's still tough for me sometimes, but I am slowly learning... I came across a great bible verse about patience that I want to share with you all:

"He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;" - Romans 2:6-7

Tomorrow's training is a 30 minute workout in cross-training. I think I am going to play some basketball this time!

Matt

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 9 - A new record

I'm really glad I didn't have class until 4pm today, because I definitely slept in until 11am after staying up so late last night. It was much needed after a long weekend in the studio. Right when I woke up Aaron and I went to the YMCA for a workout. Today in my training was 3 miles. I felt really good before I started, so I decided I was going to push myself this time. It was another treadmill run (because it was pouring outside and a tornado warning was issued), but I kept my pace at speed 7 the whole time and finished with these results:



I was really proud of myself for not slowing the treadmill down. I was really, really tired by the end of it, but it was such an accomplishment and I felt really good about what I just ran. It was a new best time for me. Now I just have to transfer that to the streets. I feel good about running 3-4 miles. The half-marathon is 13.1 miles... Luckily I still have 14 weeks to train!

Thank you all so much for the support already. I've received a lot of donations already, and it's only been a week. It's such a blessing!

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:14 (ESV)

Matt

Day 8 - A new week

It's 2:00AM, and I am just now able to write my blog for day 8. It's been a busy day, but a great one.

Today was a start to a whole new week in training. Week 1 is complete. I loved it! It wasn't bad at all, and I am really excited about this week. Today, like last monday, was a workout day in which I did some exercises with dumbbells. I did not make it up to the YMCA, so I just worked out at home in my room. I kind of liked doing that because I was able to play loud music the whole time which really pumped me up. Music, especially worship music, pumps me up so much.

Tomorrow is a 3 mile run. I'm actually really excited to do it. I'm ready to get out there and improve my times each and every run.

This is a short post because it's so late. I'm exhausted.

Matt

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 7 - Devotional Number One

Every sunday I will be posting a devotional up on the blog. The devotionals will be used as a time to share what has been on my heart lately, and hopefully be a word of encouragement to you all reading this. My Christian faith is a very important part of my life, and I feel like this is yet another great way to share it with everyone.

Lately I have been thinking about how BIG God actually is in my life. He's the center of my life, the center of everyone's life, and "nothing is impossible with God" - Luke 1:37 (NIV). HE makes everything possible in this world, and we are nothing without Him. Seriously though, we are nothing without him. God is so powerful, so great, and so mighty that nothing or no one can exist without Him. I don't know about you, but that excites me that I am on God's side.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." - John 14:27 (ESV).

While I was in the hospital I struggled a lot with my faith and my belief. Why would God put such a terrible disease in my life? Why would he hospitalize me right in the middle of the busiest semester of my life? "Why, why, why?" is what I asked every day. It was so tough. I was absolutely miserable laying in the hospital bed all day and staring at the same wall for 10 days. However, I began to realize why God put that in my life. The relationships that I made with people while I was in the hospital are relationships that I will have for the rest of my life. My church family at Forest Hills Baptist church. My doctors. The support from my family. My best friends. I grew so much closer to each and everyone through the hard times. I had someone from my church by my side at my hospital bed EVERY hour I was in the hospital for 10 days straight. 10 DAYS STRAIGHT! How amazing is that?! Everyone took time out of their busy lives to stay over night with me, skip lunch and dinner with me, and help me out when I needed help. God put these people in my life at the perfect time, and they will never be forgotten in my life. Good took awful, awful times and brought great to it. He does that all the time. ALL the time. We just have to stop thinking about ourselves and how "bad" our lives are, and look deeper into what God is actually doing in our life. This verse sums it up:

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." - Genesis 50:20 (ESV).

I was driving down the road the other day listening to the radio, and a song came on the radio that really touched me. I probably have listened to it about 10 times every day for a week. The song is called, "Arms That Hold the Universe" by 33 Miles, written by Steven Fee:

I know it seems like this could be
The darkest day you've known
But believe you me
The God of strength will never let you go
He will overcome I know

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It's gonna be alright

And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He's in control
He will never let you go

Through many dangers toils and snares
You have already come
His grace has brought you safe this far
His grace will lead you home

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It's gonna be alright

And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He's in control
He will never let you go

You can hope you can rise you can stand
He's still got the whole world in His hands
You can hope you can rise you can stand
He's still got the whole world
The whole world in His hands

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It's gonna be alright

And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He's in control
He will never let you go
He will never let you go

He's still got the whole world in His hands
Still got the whole world in His hands

I know it seems like this could be
The darkest day you've known
But believe you me
__________________________________________________________________


He really does have the whole world in his hands, and that is something to always remember. You are safe with God no matter what. My prayer today is that everyone realizes that. That God penetrates our hearts with love and compassion and grace. We are safe in his arms, and it's Christ who makes all things possible. Amen.

Have a blessed week!

Matt

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 6 - A run in the making

It. Is. Cold. Here. In. Nashville.

I am not a fan of the cold at all. In fact, I do everything I can to stay out of it. My hands dry up really fast, and my face feels like it's going to fall off. I'm from Texas. Me and the cold are not friends. That being said, I ran 4 miles this morning at 8am with my friend Sara in 26 degrees weather. We looked like we were living in Antarctica:



We're going to run every saturday! If you're interested in running with us let one of us know! It'd be fun to get a big group together every weekend to run.

Since it's the first week, and we're repeating the first three weeks of training again, we took it easy this run. After each mile we stopped and walked for about a minute then kept going. Since it's the first "long day" run we don't want to push too hard so we get burnt out. We finished in about 40 minutes, which is pretty good for just taking it easy!

I want to say thank you for all of the support through this already. It means so much to me, and it has helped me push a long so many times.

"Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." - Proverbs 11:14 (ESV)

Matt

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 5 - A day on the racquetball court

Today was a pretty easy and fun day for training. It was a "cross-training" day in which I could pick any other physical activity and do it for 30 minutes. Basically the idea of cross training is to do workouts different from what you are normally doing in your training so you work different muscles. My buddy Rudd and I decided we would play racquetball at Belmont. It was so much fun, and it was definitely a good workout. I will say though that I need help playing racquetball. I'm really bad. I got beat 3 times in a row. And when I say beat, I mean killed. I was close one of the games, but I also had a 7 point lead and blew it. I'll get better...


Tomorrow I journey on a 4-mile run with my friend Sara before a long, long day in the studio. Should be a great day tomorrow!

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, (B)for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. (C)He will not leave you or forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)

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Matt