Journey with me as I ever so slowly attempt to run 50 races in 50 states by the time I am 50...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Run Home Jack

Okay so today's title kind of has nothing to do with today's post, but I was trying to think of something from a movie or book related to fathers and running and the first thing that came to mind was this chant from Hook. Although not about running, it is a good movie. I however, was never captured by pirates or brought up by a father who neglected me for his cell phone, so I am abandoning the analogy and leaving the title as is for you all to fondly remember Ruffio, the awesome food fight, and Tootles losing his marbles. If you have never seen the movie, I am sorry for you. It is bangarang.

Now onto the post!

Sunday morning's Father's day 10K was one of the high points of my racing "career." My dad and I signed up for the race thinking we would take it casually, running "for fun," meaning we would not try to be competitive but just stay together. Usually this is difficult for us as I like to start quickly while I have my energy and slow down a bit near the end and my dad likes to start slow while he gains his energy to pick it up after a couple miles. If we run our own races, it can feel like a battle between us. If we try to stick together while running our own preferred ways, we can drive each other crazy. So staying together and staying casual was the plan. However, as soon as we started I realized we were going pretty fast. Not elite fast, but fast for a casual 10K. I said nothing and kept running. After the 3rd mile I thought, okay, we are doing pretty well...and dad kept up with if I can keep up with him for the last three, we might have something here. We were in step the whole time, having fun, but pushing fairly hard. I quietly picked out women around my age to pass while I knew my dad was doing the same with the older men. We crossed the finish together, and more importantly than realizing I set a new PR (48:51), we learned that we could push each other, have fun, and run as a team.

My dad won first (and second!) in his age group. How do you do this? Make sure the race volunteers accidentally give your bib to someone else forcing you to re-register. If the person who took your bib ends close to your time, your name will appear in the top spots twice!

And hey- I won second in mine! It was cool to wait together for our names to be announced. I'm pretty sure we looked like a couple of people on happy pills. My dad won an overnight and breakfast for two at the Renaissance and I got to hug a former Steeler (my friend Jessica's idea, which I glady stole).

On the way back, my dad laughed and said, "Well, we learned one thing. The two of us can't run a race for 'fun.' " He was kind of right. But it was fun. Thanks, dad.

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