Previous month:
April 2016
Next month:
June 2016

May 2016

Limavady - 28 May - 8 of 22

Limavady - another beautiful day and another great parkrun venue with a lovely drive up from Holywood via the Glennshane Pass.

Limavady-A Glenshane Pass

Thanks to BT colleague John Kelly and his brother Mark for running with me, setting the pace and for very necessary "Head up, Tim!" encouragement.

At this run, there were 7 volunteers and 37 runners.  The course is three laps, with the return half of the lap in welcome shade on a warm day.

One of the volunteers scouts around and can check how things are going on his bike - first time I've seen that.

Roe Valley Leisure Centre is five minutes walk away from the finish line.  Coffee and biscuits are available - thank you to the Volunteers.  Apparently the Leisure Centre waives the fee for parkrunners who need a post-run shower .

Saturday was the first World Blood Cancer Day,  organised by DKMS (previously Delete Blood Cancer) and Belfast Live featured the Limavady run.

Coming up to the weekend, I was preparing a slot for a Family Service in our church, on the theme of perseverance.  The very significant encouragement from my fellow parkrunners helped me achieve a Personal Best.   

"Heading up the final incline, my legs really wanted to stop.  I would have stopped for a few seconds, as in previous races, but the encouragement, energy, positivity, momentum and sheer human goodness behind me powered me on.  Without a break, I finished the course."

A big "Thank You" to everyone who ran that extra, fourth, lap with me.  That imaginative show of support will stay with me for a long time.

What I ended up saying on Sunday was shaped by this powerful experience, write-up in this separate post.  

Photos for Limavady are here, and looking forward to next week - Newtownabbey's Valley parkrun.

Best wishes, Tim.

 

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £8480

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £400

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 10

 

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Time

Position

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

36:22

177/209

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks 

37:05

222/237

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

42:10

386/390

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

40:22

140/155

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

38:10

162/167

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

39:18

136/145

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

37:56

94/103

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

35:42

32/37

41.97%


My Story for God's Glory - Carnalea Methodist Family Service 30-May-2016

Carnalea Methodist Church 29-May-2016 – Family Service

Perseverance – “Keep on keeping on”

Readings

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

“My Story for God’s Glory” – Tim Page

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians about “running the race”, he was talking about the “Isthmian Games”.  From 582 BC to about 400 AD, these games happened every two years at Corinth, on the land bridge – or isthmus – in Greece where Corinth is located.   Events included chariot racing, wrestling, music & poetry – which women were allowed to compete in, and running.  The prize for each winner was a crown, of pine leaves or ivy, and massive prestige.

Entering the games was a big commitment – ten months training and then, maybe, you’d get selected to play.

At Sullivan school in Holywood, around 1980, I was the least sporty Sixth Former in my year.  Computers were just appearing in schools and I was abIe to dodge rugby, hockey and athletics by helpfully offering to support teachers learn about the computers arriving in their classrooms.  Looking back, this was a mistake since I stayed unfit.  I’ve done some sport on-and-off since.  However, after serious illness and a stem cell transplant in 2013, and months in a hospital bed, I deeply appreciated regaining the mobility and freedom that rehabilitation brought.  I now see that I have a responsibility to do what I can to stay well.  So I decided to do a 5k run, and achieved this goal at Victoria parkrun last November.  This personal breakthrough was such a positive experience that I then decided to run all of Northern Ireland’s 22 Saturday morning parkruns in support of two charities… 

  • Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI that does cellular-level research at Queen’s
    and also
  • Global charity DKMS, which signs up prospective stem cell donors, potentially a life-saving act

So far, we have promoted both charities, raised £8800, signed up 62 people as potential stem cell donors, and encouraged 10 people to run their first parkrun.

I have learnt some lessons about striving for a specific aim.   On this running project, I have to:

  1. Keep my aim in mind, organising my life around where I want to get to
  2. Train and strengthen my self – body and mind – to be able to succeed
  3. Be connected to a network of people for mutual encouragement and support

Reaching my goal of running 22 parkruns this year means saying ‘Yes’ to a few things and saying ‘No’ to lots of things.  As Gandalf says to Frodo,

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

I made another decision when I was 12 years old, choosing to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  And, I have a very, very long way to go.  Right now, in fact, my running life is better organised than my faith life!  What I can offer, though, is a question arising from our Corinthians reading that I’m currently asking myself –

“How can I live my life so that I’m not running aimlessly but, rather, walking through life with Jesus Christ, living in the world as He wants?”

Paul talks about competitors being in ‘strict training’.  As a regular runner, I have committed to a regime of conditioning training – to get fitter, stronger, leaner and faster while avoiding injury and improving my 5k PB – Personal Best.

Leading up to each week’s Saturday run, this involves two 1:1 training sessions with my personal trainer, two conditioning runs, and a somewhat painful sports massage to unknot my muscles.  If you’re curious – you can see some videos of this training on the TimPageFitForLife blog.  There’s a particularly entertaining clip where I use ‘Battle ropes’ to drag a heavy metal “Prowler” device around the gym.  Tough stuff.

If a pattern of behaviours is necessary to build physical condition, then there will be some areas we can work at in our faith life.  In our Carnalea Family Services, we try to offer something to everyone, whatever milestone you’re at as you run the race.  So, in a few minutes, we’ll sing a beautiful hymn, know to the older generations represented today, “May the mind of Christ my Saviour live in me from day-to-day.”

First, though, as a computing enthusiast and electronically well-connected guy!, some practical ideas to young people starting the race – for your own pattern of personal training … your practice of spirituality through your life to keep fit for the race you’re on.

Using words from the hymn,

“May the mind of Christ my Saviour live in me from day-to-day”
A phone app like PrayerMate can be helpful in organising people and topics to pray about

“May the Word of God dwell richly In my heart from hour to hour”
The Bible App is great.  It includes audio readings of The Message, and reading plans where you tick off each day.  Nicky and Pippa Gumbel’s 'Bible-In-One-Year' is a helpful resource.

“May the love of Jesus fill me As the waters fill the sea”
Of course, developing a lifelong spiritual practice is not merely about apps.

In 2008 Elizabeth Porter took me to a Service of Healing led by Rev David Jardine.  Each time I have gone to this service over the years, it has been helpful.  He spoke about how we respond to the poor, including the person that we see sitting on the street.  He said that to ignore people made in God’s image wasn’t good.  So, be open to the prompting of God’s Spirit about responding to poor people you come across throughout your life – a £1 coin, or a sandwich & drink from a shop, or a smile and ‘Hello’ are some options.

One other thing – Jesus built into his life times of getting away from the crowd to be still and listen to God.  Wherever you are on your race, consider planning in time to get away from the crowd, and away from the Internet, to 'Be still' and know that God is God.

So. As you work out your Spiritual Practice,

“May the love of Jesus fill you.”

Focus on your aim – following Jesus Christ – and organise your life around that aim

 

Finally, I have learnt the importance of the gift of encouragement in being able to persevere and keep running.

I wasn’t looking forward to Saturday’s run at Limavady.

I didn’t know anyone at Limavady.

Also, the Limavady parkrun website showed the slowest runner’s time as under 34 minutes, whereas I average in the high thirties.

Further, we were having some press coverage for World Blood Cancer Day.

And, while Ruth comes with me to all the parkruns as “Professional Supporter”, this week she had to pick up our son from the airport instead.

I set out alone and, overall, felt a bit exposed.

At every race I’ve had an experienced runner to set the pace – it was great to have BT colleague John Kelly running alongside me.   I tend to drop my head as I run, which restricts breathing but John kept encouraging me ... “Head up!”

Limavady is a beautiful course of 3 laps.  Finishing my second lap, most of the runners had already finished the race, and were getting ready to head to the nearby Leisure Centre for coffee.

One parkrun volunteer said “Do you mind if they run with you?”

“No problem – please do.”, I said.

Immediately, behind me, materialised a posse of experienced runners, encouraging with their good humour.

Heading up the final incline, my legs really wanted to stop.  I would have stopped for a few seconds, as in previous races, but the encouragement, energy, positivity, momentum and sheer human goodness behind me powered me on.  Without a break, I finished the course.

Limavady parkrun volunteers 28-May-2016

My phone battery died before the results were available, so I left Limavady not knowing my run time.  When I got home, Ruth met me at the door.  “Fastest run yet!” Ruth said – a new Personal Best of 35 minutes, 42 seconds.  I got a kiss!

The guidance and support of people around me, combined with my own focus and training, enabled that personal best.  I have learnt that encouragement can improve physiological and psychological performance.

As you run through this life, be mindful of the example of those who have run the race already.  And remain open to support offered from the people running alongside you.  Recently, Ruth and I thought of the influence on our lives of the late Reverend Cecil Newell, formerly here at Carnalea.  We fondly remember Cecil’s support and visits when I was ill in 2008 - his character, his teaching and example.  When life is otherwise discouraging, such a man’s witness helps us both think “yes, there is something to all of this”.  

I can nearly hear Cecil saying

“Head up!”

 To conclude.  

We get one go at this race. 

Focus on Jesus Christ – consider Him.  He is our Friend and Brother, alongside us for the race.

Work at your Spiritual Practice – your conditioning training for the race you’re on.

And, in following Him through your life, go after your Personal Best, supporting others along their way with words of encouragement, and showing up practically for people when you can.

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”

 

Hymn

May the mind of Christ, my Saviour,

Live in me from day to day,

By His love and power controlling

All I do and say.

 

May the Word of God dwell richly

In my heart from hour to hour,

So that all may see I triumph

Only through His power.

 

May the peace of God my Father

Rule my life in everything,

That I may be calm to comfort

Sick and sorrowing.

 

May the love of Jesus fill me

As the waters fill the sea;

Him exalting, self abasing,

This is victory.

 

May I run the race before me,

Strong and brave to face the foe,

Looking only unto Jesus

As I onward go.

 

Author: Kate B. Wilkinson


Comber - 21 May - 7 of 22

Well, that was such a friendly welcome at Comber today - truly an exemplar for the community aspect of parkrun.  Thank you to Run Director Graham Eve for the welcome.

Great to at last meet Norman "Run Norman!" Mawhinney, who features on our first #TimPageFitForLife video interview.

Thank you to Ruth, now Video Director as well!

It was another great day for support, with:

  • BT colleagues Mark Crothers, John Kelly, Duncan Chambers & Laurence O'Hagan were running, with Dorothy Crothers & Wendy Chambers cheering us on
  • Casey Miskelly, emerging runner, advising me to do cool-down exercises.  Casey aims to participate in the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games, coming to N Ireland
  • Lynn Long, who works with RQIA, said hello ... great to see Lynn again after recent support from RQIA runners at the Belfast Marathon
  • Dean Lester, our personal trainer some six years ago, ran with me - with encouragement to keep pace throughout
  • Eric & Lynne Morrison and Elaine Mercer from Carnalea Methodist Church were supporting again
  • Colin McDowell was running ... great to meet Colin again after Portrush. Appreciated the support.
  • Stalwart supporter Patricia McAuley was running and encouraging again

Comber_HAt today's run, there were 8 volunteers and 103 runners.  As my pacesetter, Mark again brought me in under the 40 minute threshold at 37:56.  The course is four laps; Laurence and Duncan lapped me twice!, but joined the posse to accompany me at the end :-)

Meeting veteran parkrunner Tommy Fee was a surprise and delight.  Tommy ran Comber today as #21 of his 22 NI parkruns.  Next week Tommy completes the full set at Portrush.  I couldn't miss the opportunity of a further video interview - so here's Tommy.

Today's photos are here

And finally, two quotes from today...

'I like to encourage everybody.'
  ~ Paul Edgar

' "Just doing it" is what it's all about.'
 ~ Casey Miskelly

Looking forward to next week's run - Limavady

Best wishes, Tim.

 

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £8375

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £400

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 8

 

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Time

Position

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

36:22

177/209

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks 

37:05

222/237

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

42:10

386/390

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

40:22

140/155

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

38:10

162/167

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

39:18

136/145

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

37:56

94/103

39.50%


Enniskillen - 14 May - 6 of 22

14th May 1994 was a great day for our wedding in Coleraine, and we decided to spend our 22nd Anniversary in Enniskillen's Belmore Court Motel - a friendly place, right beside Castle Coole, the location for Enniskillen parkrun, my sixth of twenty-two.

Thanks to regular supporters Patricia McAuley and Heather Chestnutt for travelling some distance to run with me.  BT colleagues James Maguire and Louise Clarke also came along, running their first parkruns, and experienced runner Garry Clarke briefed me on the course.

Enniskillen-CThanks also to the parkrun volunteer team for stewarding 145 runners on another enjoyable run, and to Event Director Brendy Rasdale for the warm welcome.


I was very happy to come in under 40 minutes again.  Runkeeper suggested the course was 5.3km - but apparently results can be inaccurate due to GPS signal being affected by the amount of tree cover.

 

Castle Coole is a National Trust property, and it's great that they grant access to Enniskillen parkrun.  Handy to have the coffee shop at the end of the run!

Photos from the day are here.

Next week's course is closer to our Holywood home, at Comber.

 

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £8325

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £400

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 6

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Time

Position

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

36:22

177/209

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks 

37:05

222/237

40.40%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

42:10

386/390

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

40:22

140/155

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

38:10

162/167

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

39:18

136/145

38.13%

Enniskillen-RK


#TimPageFitForLife run schedule - update

With six of twenty-two parkruns now done, here's an update to the run schedule (at end of post).

Due to illness, Larne was postponed to 27-August.  

And, an experienced runner explained that Falls is one of the tougher parkruns - uphill - so Falls is back to 20-August, with Limavady brought forward to 28-May.

In terms of project progress, donations for Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI are up to over £8400!  Also, a £400 donation for Delete Blood Cancer was received at Enniskillen.

With running and fund-raising underway, it's time to start thinking about producing some content related to fitness to promote health, and we'll be working at that in coming months.

Thank you so much for interest and support.

Tim

 

<saving this image lost some detail - if you want a higher-quality copy to print out, please contact me>

Schedule-v2


Queens - 7 May - 5 of 22

After postponing Larne, to complete a course of antibiotics, it was 'back on the horse' this week with parkrun #5 at Queens.

Una Short was Run Director - I appreciated her warm welcome before the race, and thanks to whoever made the excellent lemon drizzle cake after the race.  Yum.

Uber-encourager Trish McAuley, one of this project's sponsors, brought along friends again and I appreciated their presence and interest.  Regular runner David Mark joined us along with BT colleagues past and present.

Fellow Corrymeela member Sarah Williamson offered to run with me as pacesetter.  So, amongst 167 runners (a record number for Queens - parkrun is thriving) we set off.  This was a particularly enjoyable run - the spacious greenery of QUB's Malone Playing fields really invigorating.  My aim was to come in under 40 minutes - so very pleased with 38:10.

I'm now at the point where I can actually talk a bit while running!  So, we shared thoughts on running technique, experience of community and the role of encouragement throughout life.  Sarah is involved in lots of things.  As a regular runner, she completed the New York Marathon in November 2015 for CCC - Confident Children out of Conflict in South Sudan.  If you ever run the NY Marathon, starting on a double bridge - do try do start on the top bridge... there are stories of runners on the lower bridge deck being surprised by wee from above!

One theme now important for me is 'Transformation' - here are some thoughts in an article last year.  In our world, we see significant transformative change at many levels.  In BT, before getting ill, I led a complex technology transformation programme.  Subsequently, the stem cell transplant on Christmas Eve 2013 was a visceral and risky transformative 'reboot' from Tim version 1.0 to version 2.0.  

Returning home after yesterday's run, I remembered that Sarah sometimes contributes to Radio Ulster's Thought for the Day. Checking if any 'Thoughts' were still online, I found this three minute broadcast from Christmas Eve 2015 .  My stem cell transplant was Christmas Eve 2013, so that will be a significant milestone date in the calendar for the rest of my life.

Much rings true here, Psalm 30:

"You have turned my sorrow to dancing again"

For me, each Saturday parkun, and the weeks's conditioning training, represents that positive moving forwards.  The encouragement from Saturday runners and supporters is deeply significant and, potentially, transformative for people.

Sarah's 'Thought' recounts an experience of having a gift, of being asked to share it, and of struggling with the costliness of that.

"Gifts are only gifts if they are shared, if they are given away, handed to others.  Try giving a part of yourself that you might not have given before - warmth, a hidden talent, or even an encouraging word."

We all have the capacity to encourage others in their running / walking / struggling / journeying through life.  If you find a way of giving a part of yourself in the week ahead, it might make a very big difference to someone else.

 

The photo album for my Queens parkrun is here.  

Next week is our 22nd Anniversary, so we're making a weekend of it, and look forward to seeing some friends at Enniskillen.

Best wishes,

Tim.

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £8141

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 5

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Time

Position

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

36:22

177/209

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks 

37:05

222/237

 

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

42:10

386/390

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

40:22

140/155

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

38:10

162/167

39.26%