Run a Mile In His Shoes

Run a Mile In His Shoes

Become your best self when you are discouraged. Ryan Hall, American Record holder for the half marathon, shares stories of encountering God while running from his book "Run the Mile You're In." Hear how overcame discouragement while running in the Olympics and learned to live in the moment.

33 Minutes • a month ago

Episode Notes

Greenelines with

Dr. Steve Greene

Guest: Ryan Hall

Become your best self when you are discouraged. Ryan Hall, American Record holder for the half marathon, shares stories of encountering God while running from his book Run the Mile You’re In.

Hear how overcame discouragement while running in the Olympics and learned to live in the moment.

Introduction

Dr. Steve Greene: This is the week of the Boston Marathon it was run Monday. I've always had a dream to be a runner in the Boston Marathon. I think probably lots of young athletes … I ran cross country and junior high school and high school, ran it a little bit in other competitive events. I have run 5Ks, 10Ks. I don't know that you would call that a cross country runner, but I ran and I tried to stay healthy. It was something I did for a long time because I was a tennis player. So, I did my long runs and sprints just to try to stay in shape for the tennis court. The older I got, the more I found out that I really liked the golf cart. When I found out they would let me use a golf cart on the tennis court, then I started playing golf and realized that my knees had had enough of those sprints on the tennis court, and that my days for longing for running long distances had pretty well stopped. Golf just doesn't match that. There's a high you get from running that my guest today is going to tell you about. We're going to talk about it, so, I'm going to wait a little bit for I bring it up. But I always felt very spiritual as I worked out and ran and ran through the country. We used to run golf courses in my cross country meets. We've run right through them. Obviously, there were no golfers out there at the time. But we had really good events and I have great memories of my runs. We’re going to talk with someone now, who's the fastest American half marathoner. That's still a lot of miles like 13.5 or something. Ryan's going to tell us about it. My guest has written a great book called Run the Mile You're In. Listen to those words: Run the Mile You're In. It's sort of like dance with who brought you and wherever you are, be there. Ryan's book is about finding God in every step. My guest is Ryan Hall.

Ryan Hall Books

·         Run the Mile You’re In: Finding God in Every Step

·         Running with Joy: My Daily Journey to the Marathon

I'm excited to talk to a runner. At my age, I don't talk to runners very much. I’ve talked to guys who walk really slow. My life has changed quite a bit in these last 40 years. So, I'd like to hear about the title, fastest American half marathoner. When did that happen for you?

Ryan Hall: That was in 2007 at the Houston Half Marathon. Believe it or not, it was my first half marathon. So, it's one of those experiences that I ran far faster than I was planning on running or thought I could even run. Having done that, after my first one, you're always like, Oh, yeah, I’ve definitely run way faster than that. It was a typical experience where your best performances sometimes feel like they're the easiest. And yet, I never even got close to that time again. So, it's still an American record to this day. But I'm sure it's just a matter of time till someone comes up and breaks it. I'm coaching now, so I would love to coach someone to break it as well.

Dr. Steve Greene: So, you were running a half marathon and no one told you, you thought you were doing 880, right? So, you just kept going?

Ryan Hall: It's actually a really interesting experience because it made me realize how important it is that we listen to our bodies. I wrote a whole chapter about it in the book about this topic. It was just such an important lesson that I learned. For example, in that race, so to run 59:43, you have to average four minutes and 33 seconds every mile for 13.1 miles. So, going into the race, I thought if I had a great day, maybe I could average, like 4:40 pace, or 4:39 pace, maybe. As it turned out, I ran the first mile and came through in 4:37. It would have been very easy for me to be like, Okay, I'm just gonna listen to my watch and my watch is telling me I need to slow down. But what I realized is that I was actually running at a very sustainable level, and it actually felt too slow. So, instead of slowing down to what my watch was telling me, I listened to my body, and it is telling me there's more there. So, I continued to kind of push into it and just got faster and faster as the race unfolded. That first mile ended up being the slowest mile of the race for me.

Dr. Steve Greene: In our walk with God, sometimes, we want to pace ourselves, and the Holy Spirit says, hurry up, let's go, get that speed up because you can do more. You're just kind of coasting here. You're getting comfortable, so, here, have some of this and you get to run a little faster, don't you?

Ryan Hall: Absolutely. That was my story with all my running, just being in tune with the Holy Spirit. As a runner, it's so easy to get caught up in numbers and following the schedule for training. And you're just getting robotic-like about your approach to running and training. I find that the more I lean on the Holy Spirit and allow that to shape and direct and make little changes along the way, the better I am. But it's way easier to just follow a plan written on a piece of paper than to follow the Holy Spirit. But I would say the results of partnering with the Holy Spirit and partnering with your body are far, far greater than following a plan that maybe someone has written out for you.

Dr. Steve Greene: I mentioned in my opening that Monday was the Boston Marathon. Do you have any desire to run that? Or have you already run it?

Ryan Hall: I wrote a chapter in my book about one of my best days I ever had, and that was in the 2011 Boston Marathon. I ran the Boston Marathon four times all the way in my career. But this one year in 2011, we had a really nice tail wind. The thing about Boston is it goes from Hopkinton into Boston, so it's a one-way course. If you get the tail wind, you can really roll on it even though it's known as being a challenging course with hills and all of that. It's not typically super-fast. But this day, literally I felt like God was pushing me along the courses we were going. And that ended up being my fastest marathon I ever ran. In one of my most special memories from my career.

Dr. Steve Greene: Were you in Boston the day of the bombing?

Ryan Hall: I was supposed to run in that year's race, and I got hurt. I still went to the race. I was meeting other runners, encouraging them, doing autographs, pictures, stuff like that the days leading up to the marathon. Then the morning of the marathon, I was flying back to my home in California and I was trying to get back in time because it was my wife's birthday. When I landed in San Francisco Airport, my phone just blew up with all these text messages from concerned family members and friends. So, I quickly hopped on the news and saw the images that were coming from the Boston Marathon bombing and was just horrified by, it was like surreal. I had just been interacting with these people who were at the finish line, and it just took the wind out of me. Later on, I remember President Obama went back to Boston and gave a really inspiring speech that got me and then also another one of my teammates, Meb Keflezighi, all fired up. We were texting back and forth about how we were going to bring the best version of ourselves to the next year's race in 2014. I wrote a chapter about that experience in my book as well because we're able to kind of work together a little bit. He was having really good day and I was having not as good of a day, and we were able to kind of work together to give him the best chance possible to win that race. He ran the race of his life and ended up winning, and that was probably the most historic win by an American in the marathon ever. We were really trying to make a statement that day to the world that we're not going to be bullied by terrorism.

Dr. Steve Greene: That's good. And it certainly was a bullying attempt. Tere were so many people affected by that race and that event that still carry that memory with them. And as a runner, even if you weren't there, it still bothers you. It's still something that you can't get out of your mind as you run anywhere, and realize how vulnerable you are.

Ryan Hall: It totally changed the landscape of races in general. Security is much, much tighter now. You watch the finishing stretch of the Boston Marathon just lined with police officers, the whole last 600-meter stretch. So, we're taking precautions to try and prevent things like that from happening. But unfortunately, we can't. As much as we try we can’t always prevent everything.

Dr. Steve Greene: I've always thought of the Boston Marathon is the opportunity to chase guys from Uganda. About all I ever saw them was the back ends is they got those favorite positions and got to run way ahead of us and about any race I’ve ever run. So let's apply that to the Olympics. You are a two-time Olympic runner. Tell us about a couple of those experiences.

Ryan Hall: My Olympic experiences really kind of taught me some lifelong lessons. I remember warming up before the Beijing Olympics, it was actually the day before I do an easy 30-minute jog. I was jogging along in the Olympic Village in China and just praying talking to God and asking him for a word for tomorrow's race. He kind of broadened my mind. He reminded me of the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. So, I went back to the dorm in the village and open up my Bible and re-read the story and what I was struck by was those guys hearts towards God. They were able to speak to the king with such boldness just being regular dudes. When they talked to him, they were saying, even if God doesn't deliver us from these fiery flames, we're not going to bow down and worship your gods. I just love how like unoffendable they were towards God. They weren't judging God based on his performance. So even if God didn't show up how they wanted them to, it wasn't going to change their heart toward God. They were still going to worship God; they were still going to love God. That was super huge for me to hear because I needed to have that same attitude for the race tomorrow. Even if God doesn't show up how I want him to. I do feel like I've experienced God strength in races before and not that he doesn’t strengthen everyone … I don't think he necessarily chooses sides out on the athletic field. But I think we can experience God through running and in many other areas. But even if God doesn't show up and strengthen me in way I want him to, it's not going to change my perspective. It’s not going to change my love towards God. That was huge because the next day, the race went out really fast, despite it being really hot and humid, and everyone was talking about how slow it was going to be. But regardless of the conditions, a Kenyan runner just took off from the beginning and really opened up the race and I found myself … my goal going into that race was to get a medal. I found myself way, way back, in like 50th place early on in the race and getting really frustrated. So, I had to remember kind of that lesson of all right, even if God doesn't show up, I'm still going to love Him. I remember in that moment of frustration also feeling like God is something I needed to encourage other people around me. So, that was the last thing I felt like doing. But I kind of forced myself to do it. I've learned sometimes our feelings follow, that we can lead our feelings with our actions. It’s kind of like the fake it until you make it thing. So, I just started saying a few words, to others like, hey, good job, man, you're doing great. Work together, try and catch this next group, which isn't typical for a marathon. You're usually not talking to anyone. And if you are, you're not trying to encourage. That hasn’t been my experience. So, as I was doing that, it just really took all the focus I had. I was internally focused, and focused on my pains, my frustration, my discouragement. Then when I started encouraging other people, I started thinking about them, and how can I encourage and how can I help them. It just totally took me outside of myself and outside of my own suffering that I was going through. As that internal thing happened inside me, it started to manifest itself in my body and I started to feel better physically. I started to my stride got smoother, and I felt stronger. So, I kept passing guys kind of all the way throughout the race. It wasn’t the finish I was hoping for and ended up 10th position. But it's a performance I'm really proud of because had I not had that conversation with God in the middle of it, it could have gone much, much differently.

For more of Dr. Greene’s interview with Ryan Hall, click here.

 

Greenelines Host Information

Dr. Steve Greene is the Publisher and Executive Vice President of Charisma Media. Dr. Greene received his Ph.D. in marketing from Memphis State University. He has worked in television station management and worked directly with over 80 stations throughout the United States. He has worked in marketing capacities with McDonald’s, Jiffy Lube, and Stanley Steemer. He has owned restaurants, a national advertising agency and a syndicated marketing research firm. Dr. Greene has served as the Dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Oral Roberts University. He is also the author of Love Leads, which dispels the myths and misconceptions many have come to accept about leadership.

To learn more about Dr. Steve Greene, connect with him on social media!

Facebook: https://facebook.com/drsgreene/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrSteveGreene

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.stevegreene/

Episode Notes

Greenelines with

Dr. Steve Greene

Guest: Ryan Hall

Become your best self when you are discouraged. Ryan Hall, American Record holder for the half marathon, shares stories of encountering God while running from his book Run the Mile You’re In.

Hear how overcame discouragement while running in the Olympics and learned to live in the moment.

Introduction

Dr. Steve Greene: This is the week of the Boston Marathon it was run Monday. I've always had a dream to be a runner in the Boston Marathon. I think probably lots of young athletes … I ran cross country and junior high school and high school, ran it a little bit in other competitive events. I have run 5Ks, 10Ks. I don't know that you would call that a cross country runner, but I ran and I tried to stay healthy. It was something I did for a long time because I was a tennis player. So, I did my long runs and sprints just to try to stay in shape for the tennis court. The older I got, the more I found out that I really liked the golf cart. When I found out they would let me use a golf cart on the tennis court, then I started playing golf and realized that my knees had had enough of those sprints on the tennis court, and that my days for longing for running long distances had pretty well stopped. Golf just doesn't match that. There's a high you get from running that my guest today is going to tell you about. We're going to talk about it, so, I'm going to wait a little bit for I bring it up. But I always felt very spiritual as I worked out and ran and ran through the country. We used to run golf courses in my cross country meets. We've run right through them. Obviously, there were no golfers out there at the time. But we had really good events and I have great memories of my runs. We’re going to talk with someone now, who's the fastest American half marathoner. That's still a lot of miles like 13.5 or something. Ryan's going to tell us about it. My guest has written a great book called Run the Mile You're In. Listen to those words: Run the Mile You're In. It's sort of like dance with who brought you and wherever you are, be there. Ryan's book is about finding God in every step. My guest is Ryan Hall.

Ryan Hall Books

·         Run the Mile You’re In: Finding God in Every Step

·         Running with Joy: My Daily Journey to the Marathon

I'm excited to talk to a runner. At my age, I don't talk to runners very much. I’ve talked to guys who walk really slow. My life has changed quite a bit in these last 40 years. So, I'd like to hear about the title, fastest American half marathoner. When did that happen for you?

Ryan Hall: That was in 2007 at the Houston Half Marathon. Believe it or not, it was my first half marathon. So, it's one of those experiences that I ran far faster than I was planning on running or thought I could even run. Having done that, after my first one, you're always like, Oh, yeah, I’ve definitely run way faster than that. It was a typical experience where your best performances sometimes feel like they're the easiest. And yet, I never even got close to that time again. So, it's still an American record to this day. But I'm sure it's just a matter of time till someone comes up and breaks it. I'm coaching now, so I would love to coach someone to break it as well.

Dr. Steve Greene: So, you were running a half marathon and no one told you, you thought you were doing 880, right? So, you just kept going?

Ryan Hall: It's actually a really interesting experience because it made me realize how important it is that we listen to our bodies. I wrote a whole chapter about it in the book about this topic. It was just such an important lesson that I learned. For example, in that race, so to run 59:43, you have to average four minutes and 33 seconds every mile for 13.1 miles. So, going into the race, I thought if I had a great day, maybe I could average, like 4:40 pace, or 4:39 pace, maybe. As it turned out, I ran the first mile and came through in 4:37. It would have been very easy for me to be like, Okay, I'm just gonna listen to my watch and my watch is telling me I need to slow down. But what I realized is that I was actually running at a very sustainable level, and it actually felt too slow. So, instead of slowing down to what my watch was telling me, I listened to my body, and it is telling me there's more there. So, I continued to kind of push into it and just got faster and faster as the race unfolded. That first mile ended up being the slowest mile of the race for me.

Dr. Steve Greene: In our walk with God, sometimes, we want to pace ourselves, and the Holy Spirit says, hurry up, let's go, get that speed up because you can do more. You're just kind of coasting here. You're getting comfortable, so, here, have some of this and you get to run a little faster, don't you?

Ryan Hall: Absolutely. That was my story with all my running, just being in tune with the Holy Spirit. As a runner, it's so easy to get caught up in numbers and following the schedule for training. And you're just getting robotic-like about your approach to running and training. I find that the more I lean on the Holy Spirit and allow that to shape and direct and make little changes along the way, the better I am. But it's way easier to just follow a plan written on a piece of paper than to follow the Holy Spirit. But I would say the results of partnering with the Holy Spirit and partnering with your body are far, far greater than following a plan that maybe someone has written out for you.

Dr. Steve Greene: I mentioned in my opening that Monday was the Boston Marathon. Do you have any desire to run that? Or have you already run it?

Ryan Hall: I wrote a chapter in my book about one of my best days I ever had, and that was in the 2011 Boston Marathon. I ran the Boston Marathon four times all the way in my career. But this one year in 2011, we had a really nice tail wind. The thing about Boston is it goes from Hopkinton into Boston, so it's a one-way course. If you get the tail wind, you can really roll on it even though it's known as being a challenging course with hills and all of that. It's not typically super-fast. But this day, literally I felt like God was pushing me along the courses we were going. And that ended up being my fastest marathon I ever ran. In one of my most special memories from my career.

Dr. Steve Greene: Were you in Boston the day of the bombing?

Ryan Hall: I was supposed to run in that year's race, and I got hurt. I still went to the race. I was meeting other runners, encouraging them, doing autographs, pictures, stuff like that the days leading up to the marathon. Then the morning of the marathon, I was flying back to my home in California and I was trying to get back in time because it was my wife's birthday. When I landed in San Francisco Airport, my phone just blew up with all these text messages from concerned family members and friends. So, I quickly hopped on the news and saw the images that were coming from the Boston Marathon bombing and was just horrified by, it was like surreal. I had just been interacting with these people who were at the finish line, and it just took the wind out of me. Later on, I remember President Obama went back to Boston and gave a really inspiring speech that got me and then also another one of my teammates, Meb Keflezighi, all fired up. We were texting back and forth about how we were going to bring the best version of ourselves to the next year's race in 2014. I wrote a chapter about that experience in my book as well because we're able to kind of work together a little bit. He was having really good day and I was having not as good of a day, and we were able to kind of work together to give him the best chance possible to win that race. He ran the race of his life and ended up winning, and that was probably the most historic win by an American in the marathon ever. We were really trying to make a statement that day to the world that we're not going to be bullied by terrorism.

Dr. Steve Greene: That's good. And it certainly was a bullying attempt. Tere were so many people affected by that race and that event that still carry that memory with them. And as a runner, even if you weren't there, it still bothers you. It's still something that you can't get out of your mind as you run anywhere, and realize how vulnerable you are.

Ryan Hall: It totally changed the landscape of races in general. Security is much, much tighter now. You watch the finishing stretch of the Boston Marathon just lined with police officers, the whole last 600-meter stretch. So, we're taking precautions to try and prevent things like that from happening. But unfortunately, we can't. As much as we try we can’t always prevent everything.

Dr. Steve Greene: I've always thought of the Boston Marathon is the opportunity to chase guys from Uganda. About all I ever saw them was the back ends is they got those favorite positions and got to run way ahead of us and about any race I’ve ever run. So let's apply that to the Olympics. You are a two-time Olympic runner. Tell us about a couple of those experiences.

Ryan Hall: My Olympic experiences really kind of taught me some lifelong lessons. I remember warming up before the Beijing Olympics, it was actually the day before I do an easy 30-minute jog. I was jogging along in the Olympic Village in China and just praying talking to God and asking him for a word for tomorrow's race. He kind of broadened my mind. He reminded me of the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. So, I went back to the dorm in the village and open up my Bible and re-read the story and what I was struck by was those guys hearts towards God. They were able to speak to the king with such boldness just being regular dudes. When they talked to him, they were saying, even if God doesn't deliver us from these fiery flames, we're not going to bow down and worship your gods. I just love how like unoffendable they were towards God. They weren't judging God based on his performance. So even if God didn't show up how they wanted them to, it wasn't going to change their heart toward God. They were still going to worship God; they were still going to love God. That was super huge for me to hear because I needed to have that same attitude for the race tomorrow. Even if God doesn't show up how I want him to. I do feel like I've experienced God strength in races before and not that he doesn’t strengthen everyone … I don't think he necessarily chooses sides out on the athletic field. But I think we can experience God through running and in many other areas. But even if God doesn't show up and strengthen me in way I want him to, it's not going to change my perspective. It’s not going to change my love towards God. That was huge because the next day, the race went out really fast, despite it being really hot and humid, and everyone was talking about how slow it was going to be. But regardless of the conditions, a Kenyan runner just took off from the beginning and really opened up the race and I found myself … my goal going into that race was to get a medal. I found myself way, way back, in like 50th place early on in the race and getting really frustrated. So, I had to remember kind of that lesson of all right, even if God doesn't show up, I'm still going to love Him. I remember in that moment of frustration also feeling like God is something I needed to encourage other people around me. So, that was the last thing I felt like doing. But I kind of forced myself to do it. I've learned sometimes our feelings follow, that we can lead our feelings with our actions. It’s kind of like the fake it until you make it thing. So, I just started saying a few words, to others like, hey, good job, man, you're doing great. Work together, try and catch this next group, which isn't typical for a marathon. You're usually not talking to anyone. And if you are, you're not trying to encourage. That hasn’t been my experience. So, as I was doing that, it just really took all the focus I had. I was internally focused, and focused on my pains, my frustration, my discouragement. Then when I started encouraging other people, I started thinking about them, and how can I encourage and how can I help them. It just totally took me outside of myself and outside of my own suffering that I was going through. As that internal thing happened inside me, it started to manifest itself in my body and I started to feel better physically. I started to my stride got smoother, and I felt stronger. So, I kept passing guys kind of all the way throughout the race. It wasn’t the finish I was hoping for and ended up 10th position. But it's a performance I'm really proud of because had I not had that conversation with God in the middle of it, it could have gone much, much differently.

For more of Dr. Greene’s interview with Ryan Hall, click here.

 

Greenelines Host Information

Dr. Steve Greene is the Publisher and Executive Vice President of Charisma Media. Dr. Greene received his Ph.D. in marketing from Memphis State University. He has worked in television station management and worked directly with over 80 stations throughout the United States. He has worked in marketing capacities with McDonald’s, Jiffy Lube, and Stanley Steemer. He has owned restaurants, a national advertising agency and a syndicated marketing research firm. Dr. Greene has served as the Dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Oral Roberts University. He is also the author of Love Leads, which dispels the myths and misconceptions many have come to accept about leadership.

To learn more about Dr. Steve Greene, connect with him on social media!

Facebook: https://facebook.com/drsgreene/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrSteveGreene

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.stevegreene/

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Run a Mile In His Shoes