Monday, September 01, 2008

Today's Special Guest

I usually take Monday's off from running ... originally [and again, now] it was to rest and recover from a long run on Sunday. Then it was just because I had no energy, a foul tummy and was too dehydrated from the neighborhood football gatherings to gather the strength to put in even a couple of miles on a Monday morning.

I woke up on Labor Day morning, after finishing a huge mileage-pounding August, with full intent of taking the day off. But as I posted in reply to one of my friends taking a rest day:

"Me too ... That being said, I'll probably do 3 or 4 later today."

Sure enough, sometime around 3PM, I couldn't keep myself still.

I put my running gear on, threw some cargo shorts over the bottoms, and told D'Kid, "This is what we're gonna do ... we still have to get you some school stuff. We're going to go up to the high school; if the track is open, we'll stop there on the way home after we get your stuff ... Otherwise we'll go to your school track for me to train. You can sit in the shade on the bleachers, and count my laps for me - if you want to. Either way, you'll need your mp3 player, a book to read and we'll bring Gatorade for me."

The track was, in fact, closed [unusual, but not surprising as there was construction being done]; so after our stop at WalMart, I parked Vicki VUE at the newly refinished school parking lot, and we proceeded to the shady haven of the bleachers.

I had no idea how long the track was and didn't really mind ... I did some stretching, set my timer for 45 minutes and began.

I did the first lap in 2:30 - a 1/4 mile at 9:00 pace would be 2:15, but it was hot and only one side of the track was shaded, so I was not going for any speed workout.

I stayed at that pace, whatever it was, and finished Lap #6 in 15:00, exactly.

D'Kid begged me to stop for a drink, so I did. There were a couple other families on the track now; kids practicing on their bikes, Moms and Dads just walking. Mariel greeted the ones she knew from school by name, she justs said "Hi" to the others with a great big smile and "... My Dad's training"

The next 30 minutes passed by easily and quickly as I kept an eye on my soon-to-be 3rd Grader.

It didn't occur to me until returned to the car, shed my soaked Dr-Fit muscle shirt, guzzled the end of the Gatorade and started back home, that she had NEVER seen me run.

Usually, I am just walking into the house afterwards, while she's having breakfast, if she's even awake.

As I shifted to leave the parking lot her little hand rested on mine, then another on my forearm.

"I'm really proud of you Dad. That couldn't have been easy; but you did it ..."

No, that's just the salt dripping in my eye; I'm not crying.


Frankie said...

Very cool my friend!

Kris said...

awesome story! She sounds like a great kid, you are a lucky man to be her dad.