BACKGROUND INFO: when I ran my FIRST half marathon two years ago, after I cried crossing the finish line and caught my breath, my dad was the first person I called (my spouse was waiting for me at the finish line). I had this idea that the next time I ran a half marathon (or longer), I would like my dad to join me on running the last mile. My dad told me that he would be willing to do that, but he offered to actually run the ENTIRE race with me! Though my dad has been running 10+miles when he goes for a run, he has NEVER registered for ANY type of race. He told me that he was even willing to travel in order to run together. My dad runs faster than I do, but when we run together when I am visiting the family in RI, my dad slows down his pace to match mine just so that we can talk. And he challenges me if I feel I can push myself a little more (we sprint to a certain telephone pole or mailbox or until I need to slow down and catch my breath).
So I was looking forward to running a race (either the one I did at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland) or possibly traveling to DisneyWorld or Las Vegas (my dad has never been to either).
Then the pandemic hit. So many of the in person races scheduled even in OH were getting canceled (even the ones scheduled in the Fall). So while I knew it would be awhile before we could run together in person, I figured the next best thing is to see if there is a virtual race we could do.
Went to a running shoe store last week (was praying that they were “open” again) to have my gait analyzed and to get recommendations for shoes for plantar fasciitis & heel pain (both have which have been challenging to deal with and often interferes with my ability to do workouts). I’ve been dealing with those issues for over a year now. My feet felt dramatically better in the store and went ahead and bought one pair of sneakers! I tried on three different brands and really felt comfortable in two of them. They were more expensive than what I usually would spend, but I reminded myself to look at it as an “investment” (the same way I look at my monthly fees for WW.). My feet felt SO GOOD that I could actually see myself running again! And running more often and doing more virtual races. The next morning, I woke up early and was LOOKING FORWARD to going for a run (can’t recall the LAST time I EVER had that thought!
Running is such a great stress reliever! Looking forward to getting back out there and motivated to continue doing stretches before and after running, icing and also using the foam roller.
I was so excited that evening that I couldn’t wait to tell my dad! He didn’t answer, so I left him a voicemail. But I was still bubbling over with excitement (it felt like my head was going to POP off my neck!) and I didn’t hear back from him within the next couple of hours. I decided to just go ahead and register us for a virtual race in honor of Kobe & Gianna Bryant (there was a discount offered when you registered two or more people, so I took it as a “sign” to just go ahead and go for it! I was trying to wait to discuss it with my dad first, but I also just wanted to pay for it before I could either change my mind/talk myself out of it or the registration sold out. I also went ahead and ordered matching shirts for us to wear (I asked him his shirt size). Ideally, I would love to be able to run it on Kobe’s birthday (August 23rd), but we both have to check the weather forecast in our area and see if that will be an option. It doesn’t matter to me if we don’t run the distance on the same exact day or same exact time. We have until September 30th to submit our times (the medals have already been mailed to us!). I’ve watched sports with my dad since I was a little girl, and I know my dad has always been a huge Lakers fan (despite living in New England most of his life (sorry, Boston Celtics and its fans)).
By the time I talked to my dad the next morning, I told him all the chain of events, and I was hoping that he wouldn’t be mad because I made a decision & spent money on the registration (fees are NON REFUNDABLE). I then told him about my idea for creating a playlist for running for each other so that we can feel connected while we are running. My dad is almost 70 (and he is a Deacon at a church) but when the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa” comes on, he sings all the lyrics! And then we all laugh! It’s one of those moments I cherish to share with my dad each time it happens. His eyes twinkle when he smiles or when he is looking at his children. Us. His legacy.
My dad is so excited about the race and the playlist that he was motivated to go out the next day and went and bought himself new sneakers (TWO new pairs actually!) as well so his feet would be more comfortable. He is looking forward to it. And so am I. I am such a “Daddy’s Girl” (and I’m the ONLY girl, so I joke with both of my parents that “ I am the FAVORITE DAUGHTER! “ And I’m also the oldest, so according to my brothers, that’s why I’m the “bossiest” LOL. I’ve been telling them what to do since I was 13!
I’ve been texting him my workout schedule and then I text him when I finish it. I told him I needed a way to make myself more accountable and to do better at following through with what I planned. My iPhone has been shutting down for over a week and that has interfered with my outdoor workouts. Still trying to resolve that issue.