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,


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)


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)


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:

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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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!


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)


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.


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!


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)


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)

Donate Here


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 4 - Water is essential

Water, water, water. I was always told at sports practice to "drink my water" and "stay hydrated." Even when I was not in practice I was told to drink water. To be honest, I always took it for granite. I always said I would, but decided to leave my water bottle at home, or simply "forget" it in my car. All this changed after I was in the hospital for 10 days for my surgery. I was not allowed to have water, or anything, for about 8 out of the 10 days. I was being hydrated by IV's, but it's simply not the same as drinking a glass of water. I hated it. It was miserable. The only thing I could do was wipe the inside of my mouth with a little green sponge that was maybe the size of my thumb. Occasionally I could crunch on ice, but I only could do that for about 3 of the days I was there. I was so tempted every second to just beg for water, but I knew I would have had to stay in there longer if I did that. Now after the hospital, I drink water all the time. I always have a water bottle on me, and I refill that water bottle at least 2-3 times a day. It helps me stay hydrated, and it really helps with my training. Nothing is more satisfying than going on a run and ending it with a mouth full of refreshing water.

Today was another 3 mile day. I decided I would go to the YMCA because it was freezing outside (we even have some snow flurries...), and I would rather not run the risk of getting sick. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill and I felt great. On the treadmill I increased my speed about every .5 miles, but I kept the elevation the same. I finished the 3 miles a little faster because of the lack of elevation change. Results:

Tomorrow is 30 minute cross training. Should be fun!

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." - Romans 5:3-5


Day 3!

This is going to be more of a short post, but I wanted to start off by saying how thankful I am for the people who have already donated. It means so much to me, and I really appreciate it! I've already raised $225 towards my $2,000 goal and it hasn't even been a week yet! Thank you do much for those of you who have donated!

My run today was a great one. I felt really good for the two miles, and I didn't stop at all. I ended up running later at night because I didn't have time to during the day. Results:

Looking forward to tomorrow's workout!

Read my story:

"So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." - James 2:17 (ESV)


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 2


Today was day 2 of my training. It consisted of a 3-mile run. I found out that the YMCA is exactly 3 miles from house, so that made this run pretty easy! Well, except for the huge hills I came across on the run... That wasn't very fun for my first time out in a long time. I did okay for my first time out though I think. Here are my results:

I stopped two times to walk and catch my breath, but other than that it was a steady run. After I made it to the YMCA, I did some stretching and then caught a ride back to the house with my roommate Aaron.

Overall it was an awesome day of training, and I felt really good after the run. Yes, it was very exhausting, but it was good to complete it and get it done. Looking forward to the next one!

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

Matt Longworth

Day 1 of Training

It's about 2:00AM right now, so day 1 is technically over, but I just missed it by a couple of hours...

I decided that I am going to blog about my training. I'm hoping to put a post up every day after I train to track my progess and talk about improvements. I started a 12-week training program, but since it is about 14 weeks until the race I am going to repeat the first 3 weeks twice. Because surgery was very intense back in November, I'm starting out VERY slow and making sure everything works out alright the first couple of times, and then I will start to slowly increase repetitions in weights and distance in running. This training and fundraising is so important to me, so I want to make sure I'm staying healthy and not over-doing anything!

I'm following a plan that a friend gave to me that he used when he started running his first half-marathons. Here is a link to the plan:

Day one of training was strength and stretching. Let's keep in mind that I have not lifted weights since, well, I don't know how long. After surgery I was not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds for 4-6 weeks, and even before surgery I was not lifting weights that often...or, ever really. I went with my roommate, Aaron, to the YMCA and started my workout. Didn't push myself too hard today. Just did a few reps on bench press with light weight, and a few dumbbell exercises for the arms and back. We threw in some lunges to get my legs some attention. The most important thing for me today though was stretching. I needed that really bad, and I sure did feel great after I finished a stretching routine. It's amazing how great stretching really is. We finished at the YMCA with a little basketball in which Aaron beat me in both H-O-R-S-E and P-I-G... It's okay, next time I'll win :)

At the end of each blog post I am going to put a bible verse that was on my mind that day, or that really made an impact to me recently. On sundays (my day of rest in training), I am going to post a little devotional as my entry for that day. Please feel free to comment and join in on the devotional if you wish! Scripture is important in my life, and I want to share that with all of you by doing the devotional and sharing God's word.

This entry's verse is from the book of Joshua:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9 (ESV).

I help coach a 3rd and 4th grade basketball team, and this was the memory verse for this week. I find it so fitting for my situation right now in beginning my training for the half marathon. The LORD is with me wherever I go, whenever I train. He's commanding me to be strong and courageous in my training. To not give up whenever I feel weak and want to give up. Training is not going to be easy especially since it has only been about 2 months since surgery. However, this verse will always be with me during it, and it will help keep me going strong.

Day 2 (1/10/12) Preview:
A 3 mile run is on the schedule.

Until tomorrow,

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Blogging my training

Hey everyone!

I'm running the Country Music Half Marathon and raising money for CCFA.  I was diagnosed with Chron's disease in October of 2011, and had major surgery on November 3rd.  My goal is to raise $2,000 by April 28th (race day).

I will be blogging about my training process and keeping everyone in the loop on how it is going.

If you would like to donate ANY amount, please visit this website:

Thank you all so much!