Running with E.T. August Logs.

E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial

6:00 am, August 4, 2013: 60F. Gentle morning breeze: 3 MPH. Spectacular day for a run. I’m off. Thoughts chattering. Legs pumping but heavy. Thighs stiff. Bottoms of feet tender. All aches emanating from yesterday’s run. Marquis whispers: “Middle age is the time when a man is always thinking that in a week or two he will feel as good as ever.” Yep, that’s about right.

5:30 am, August 4, 2013: Morning weigh in. 60 days left in the Biggest Loser Challenge. I expect a bad outcome. Expectations realized. Loser! Weight: Back up 1.8. And this after yesterday’s grueling 6-mile, rain-soaking trail run with the wolf pack — slopping around in wet woods, dancing on slippery rocks, and sinking in gooey mud. Somehow escaping injury. Rambo. No, Chubby Rambo. I step (waddle) off the scale in disgust. It’s all about intake and yesterday’s feedings.* So Mr. Lewis**, when? When do I learn?

7:30 pm, August 1, 2013: Rachel returns home from work. Dragging. In a mood. She runs upstairs. Comes down. Attired in florescent, glow-in-the-dark green shorts. Matching shoes. Ear buds in. iPhone in hand. Styling!

“I’m off for a run.”
“Wait, I’m coming with you.”
“No Dad. I would rather go alone.”
“NO, I’m coming.”
“NO Dad. I don’t want you to come. I’m not interested in running a time trial.”
“Rachel, you stand right here and wait. I mean WAIT.”

She waits. We go. Road narrows. Evening traffic heavy. I slow to let her pull in front and we run single file. Her hair tightly wrapped in a single braid which bounces up and down in the center of her back. She has a graceful, confident stride. In contrast, my legs are heavy – – long day at work… 3.5 plates of pasta for dinner…laboring to keep up. I’m breathing heavy.

7:30 pm, August, 1992: Miami. I step through the door – – home from work. Susan has Rachel in both hands, thrusting her at me. “She’s all yours.” Witching hours (colic) start at 6pm and run until 9pm. I look down at her. Sad face. Cheeks are beet-red. Eyes swollen. Mucous dripping. Three heaves in succession to catch her breath – – and she fires it up again. Her head still pointy from the forceps. Her eyes. Those eyes. Half human – half Extra Terrestrial. All babies are beautiful? Hmmmm. There’s work here. I strap on the baby carrier and off we go. Our nightly stroll. 87F. Fronds from the palm trees swishing high above us. Salty, fishy air fills my lungs. I pick up the pace and start jogging. She quiets. Motion is calming. My shoulders slouch. Legs are heavy. Thick like the Miami evening air.

7:45 pm, August 1, 2013: Sun setting. Breeze flowing off Long Island Sound is cooling. We stop at the park to get a drink from the fountain. And then walk back to the highway before we start up again. We’re four miles out and have one last towering hill to climb. “One more hill Honey. Let’s bring it home.” I can see her amping up resistance. She re-thinks. Then drops her head. And runs. I watch her widen the gap. I have nothing left. Can’t catch her. She’s done gone and all grown up…leaving her Dad in the dust. A short time ago this would have irked me. Getting beat. No longer. I trudge up the hill where she waits. I put my arm around her and we walk home.

My little, big-blue-eyed E.T. Leading from the front.

Time Check: 6 miles. 55 minutes.

Note to E.T.: Phone Home.

Nap Time.

* Yesterday’s Food Diary: Brunch: Bagel with cream cheese, ham and tomato. Chased that down with two (not 2 halves, 2 full) english muffins with peanut butter and healthy dollops of Smucker’s Orange Marmalade jam. And like a genuine Russian, I dipped my spoon into the jam jar and gulped another 2 heaping teaspoons of jam. Yes, for that moment, it was worth it. (No worries on double-dipping into the Jar. No one messes with the King’s Jam.) Dinner: Bread. Chopped salad. Double cheese burger. Fries. Onion Rings. Lemon Sorbet. And then less than 30 minutes after dinner, my paws are into Chef Fabio’s Pancetta and Parmesan popcorn. Left the table swollen, thinking…NOW, that, was NOT worth it.

** C.S. Lewis: “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” (Thank you Michael Wade, Execupundit)

Credits: E.T. Image

Related Posts: Running Series


  1. That was entertaining. I admire you for getting out there and running!


  2. “Chubby Rambo”???? I’m surprised it’s not all out Roly-Poly Rambo with that kind of Food Diary. 🙂 On another note…every time you write about Rachel, it makes me think about Janie, my very own grown up daughter…and then the tears fall. Such love for our daughters. Thank you for the amusement and the sweet emotion of your words, David.


  3. Ahhh, David, you continue to amuse and amaze… 🙂 I love your running journals, as you know, your food journals, well, that’s a discussion for another day. Let’s just say your “cargo loading” gives me pause…. 😉 love that you got a run in with your girl–she sounds like a doll….


  4. Very nice. Love your personal stories, David!


  5. That is such a beautiful story dad. All babies might not be physically lovely but each human sure is, especially when they grow up in a flash, making you proud to know them. Great share. Thank you.


  6. Daddies and daughters…running after and running behind – but always within reaching distance.


  7. Oh my goodness, I went from laughing to smiling, to just overall happy, to think of you two running together, and how you tie it back to her days in the carrier with you. Sweet, David, so sweet. 🙂


  8. Simply beautiful.


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