I’ve never been good at following directions.

I wasn’t allowed to attend the local Catholic school for three years because I “misbehaved” during kindergarten testing. (My “misbehavior” consisted of identifying all four pictures on a sheet of paper when I was only asked to identify two of the four pictures.)

I’ve broken countless pieces of lawn equipment because I didn’t read instructions, and I almost caused a major explosion and sent myself to the hospital a few years back when I mixed ammonia and bleach in a fruitless effort to unclog my basement drain.

I failed to read directions on the Ohio Bar Exam and I almost answered a major question completely incorrectly. Praise God for the fact that I thought to re-read the directions and for the fact that I caught my error with sufficient time to change my answer!

Having successfully utilized My Fitness Pal to lose 25 pounds over the past year or so, though, I figured that I might be entering into a stage of life in which I am more successful at the entire following directions thing.

After stumbling my way through my first week of half marathon training, I told myself that Week 2 would be different.

It was…but was it different for better or for worse?

I passed on my Tuesday run because my left foot still felt a bit weird and I decided to make a few small adjustments in my training schedule for the week, moving my run to Thursday and doing cross-training on Wednesday and Saturday.

I had a great 3.6 mile run on Thursday. The worst thing about the run was the fact that the high winds absolutely killed my shaven face and I felt like I had been shaved dry with a straight razor all evening long. My foot hurt a bit afterwards, but nothing terrible.

To Butters’ delight, I took him on two walks on my “cross training” days of Wednesday and Saturday.

I love Daddy's cross-training days!

I love Daddy’s cross-training days!

Hal Higdon should make a schedule with seven cross-training days in it!

Hal Higdon should make a schedule with seven cross-training days in it!

Sunday rolled around and I was scheduled to go for a 4 mile run. The former pastor at our church, Pastor Dan Widlicka, passed away late last week and I felt very somber and reflective for most of the day. Before the wake, one of our friends hosted a brunch at which we listened to recordings from the 1950s of Pastor Dan singing. Many of the songs dealt with faithfully following Jesus, and the fact that he sang those songs and continued to follow Jesus through thick and thin for more than 50 years afterwards brought me to tears.

I always admired Pastor Dan. For many years, Pastor Dan led our church through some very lean times and helped keep the doors open during a time when many other people and churches were leaving the Scranton\Clark neighborhood for the suburbs. Because of his perseverance and leadership, Scranton Road Bible Church continues to exist, thrive, and make a positive impact on the lives of people throughout Greater Cleveland over 100 years after its foundation.

The wake was a celebration of the positive impact that Pastor Dan had on so many people in our community, and I left feeling inspired and encouraged. Consequently, I was able to summon up the energy to head out for my 4 miler shortly after we returned home.

I have somewhat flat feet, and I thought that a change in my orthotics might help alleviate my foot pain. I saw some Dr. Scholl’s orthotics on sale, so I decided to give them a try They worked so well that I would be glad to pay full price for them! I felt absolutely no pain whatsoever in my feet during the run or in the days afterwards.

The kind folks over at ENERGYbits sent me a sample to try out (review to come soon!) so I took them before I headed out because my energy level was majorly lacking. My lethargy made the first mile or two pretty difficult…but then the ENERGYbits kicked in around mile 3 and I started feeling like the mighty Shadowfax (Gandalf’s horse in Lord of the Rings). My legs were completely pain-free, Pandora was streaming excellent music, the weather was great, and I felt better than I had felt in weeks!

In fact, I felt so great that I completely abandoned my pre-planned route and decided to stretch out my run a bit longer in order to get a better workout and more fully enjoy the beautiful weather!

I was scheduled to go 4 miles, but I eventually wound up going 5.3 miles.

Of course, my failure to follow my plan meant that I ended the run early once my body said, “You just jumped 1.7 miles in a few days, stop it!” I felt sharp knee pain as I passed A Christmas Story House and began to head back home, so I listened to my body and walked the rest of the way home. Our good friend Addie was hanging out on our porch with Sheila when I finished my run, and we took Butters for a mile walk after I was able to rehydrate and relax a bit.

Do I get a medal for helping Daddy with his training? I'll take a bone instead!

Do I get a medal for helping Daddy with his training? I’ll take a bone instead!

I think this extra walk kept my knee loose, because I , I woke up on Monday feeling no pain whatsoever. Listening to your body pays off!

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how Week 2 went down. Hopefully I’ll be able to acquire the lost art of learning how to follow directions during Week 3…