Running. 10, On Great Friday.

Zero Interest. Not on my bucket list. Not sure what possessed me to agree to it.” A colleague at work convinced her to sign up for the SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon in Central Park at the end of the month.

“Rachel, you aren’t a runner. You’ve never run. Do you realize how far that is?”

“Dad, I can always count on you for encouragement. You’re always right there for me.”

So, I watch. Fully expecting her to pull the rip cord and bail.

She’s following the recommended training regimen for newbies. I follow from the shadows as her notifications ping my smart watch, signaling completion of her treadmill runs, her outdoor runs, her elliptical sessions. Her pace: consistently sub 9-minute miles.

Disbelief.

“Dad, want to join me on a 10-mile run on Friday?” Never one to walk away from a taunt, I pause, 30+ year age difference, not having run 10 in how long? don’t remember…

7:00 am, Good Friday, we’re off.

Mile 0.25: She scoots out front. Color coordinated running top and bottom. Fancy “air-cooled” running shoes. Hair in a tight bun. I note the clearance between the ground and her foot lift is inches. Efficient. This pace, no how, no way, is sustainable, for me. 9.75 miles to go.

Mile 3.72: Runner approaches with female Vizsla on leash. Rachel turns back, points and smiles. Our Zeke has been gone for six months now. Legs heavy, Soul heavier. I pick up the pace on the flats and close the gap, Zeke’s gone but she’s here, thankfully she’s here.

Mile 4.21: “Dad, look, Bunny!” I smile, and then back to grimacing. Stomach cramps, pork, pasta and cabbage from dinner last night. On the shoulder, I spot an unopened, 1 oz plastic cap with thick orange duck sauce, which triggers nausea, a belch, and acidic discharge into the mouth. I spit, grab water bottle to rinse, and wipe the mess off the front of me. Jesus, I’m coming apart. 5.8 miles to go.

Mile 6.34: I fast forward a few tunes and land on Cat Stevens and Cats in the Cradle. “A child arrived just the other day. He She came to the world in the usual way. And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon…” Could this be the last time I run with her? My last time running a 10 miler? I need to find some AC-DC or Metallica, these tunes are killing me.

Mile 7.1: She widens the gap, I’m breathing heavily, struggling to close in.  I catch her, draft in her wake. Her gait is steady, her foot clearance steady and inches, her hair bobs up and down. Perhaps this hypnotizes me, I might have a prayer in finishing.

Mile 8.0: Cemetery on left. Feeling about the same as my neighbors here.

Mile 8.5: She’s widened the gap to 500′. She doesn’t look back, she doesn’t wait for Dad to catch up, she accelerates, eye on the finish.

Pride surges, tears well up. That’s right Honey, when you have them by the throat… That’s MY girl… 

A child arrived the other day
He’d She’d grown up just like me
My boy girl was just like me

Time Check: 10.04 miles. 16,822 steps.

Nap Time.


Related Posts: Running Series

 

 

Comments

  1. WOW! This is really great. I admire you both. Thank you, have a nice weekend, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s your girl…go, Rachel!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Impressive! (In every sense of the word.)
    Wishing you & yours a lovely Easter weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Two peas in a pod! Proud of my family – I’ll stick with my walking….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done. Both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful. Kind of choked me up a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. great pic. Congrats. Happy Easter

    Liked by 1 person

  8. freddiegeorgia says:

    Old Farts ROCK!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Kevin Byrnes says:

    Wow, good for you both! Enjoy the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. GREAT photo, pal, and a fun post, too. I laughed so hard at ‘Mile 8’ that I think I may actually have shot coffee through my nose. Hope you and the family have a *wonderful* holiday weekend…

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Anonymous says:

    That was fun to read; congrats to you and Rachel. And please wish Rachel good luck in her upcoming half-marathon. Sounds like she’s ready for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post; congrats to you and Rachel. Please send my best wishes to Rachel for her upcoming half-marathon!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great post David! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Good luck to Rachel in leading the way 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Vera Kanigan says:

    Great photo/post! Proud of you Rachel & Dad! Keep it up! Happy Easter😍💐

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I feel your pride 3000 miles away, David. Congratulations to both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I am glad someone finally kicks your butt and quite fitting it’s Rachel…. I am so happy. Brings back a memory from Citi days. Stay strong my friend 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is impressive and so great! Happy for you and happy for your girl! Great pic, by the way. You’re going to treasure that forever.
    Have a wonderful weekend. 😎

    Like

  18. beautiful and i think you inspired each other in your own way –

    Liked by 1 person

  19. simply awesome, Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  20. So heartwarming. Proud of you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Verna (Kanigan) Keraiff says:

    Way to go David, beautiful daughter you have – Kanigan’s never give up – Happy Easter to you and your Family!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I admire runners! It really takes a strong mind to keep going past the pain. Rachel looks and sounds like a natural and you didn’t stop once, so be proud of that too! You live to tell another great story ha 🙄 Happy Easter to you and your family ☀️🌺

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Olga Kanigan says:

    Nice photo of you both. Great job proud of you guys. Happy Easter to all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Pretty good story and run… brings back good memories.. you were working all right. sub 10 minutes miles and average hr of 160 bps.. hum, you were working hard. nice going! Keep it up and my best to Rachel… Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Awesome!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Awesome! Congrats.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I have an amazing nephew who has been battling stage 4 kidney cancer for the last 3 years. Two and a half years of chemo, which among other things caused his red hair to turn silver. Dave likes to do Ultra’s. He did a 24 hour thing last month. I think he got 59 miles in 24 hours,
    Anyway, he puts me to shame. I hate walking.
    I do “The Bulletholes Ten”. Its a ten minute walk around my apartment. If I’m feeling frisky, I’ll do two laps.
    I had told Dave about “The Bulletholes Ten” last month. I said “The great thing about “The Ten” is that if I decide I need to bail, I’m never more than 10 minutes from home”.
    Dave looked at me, pitifully.
    “You mean five. You are never more than five minutes from home” he said.
    I paused a moment, quickly reviewed my calculations, rocked back on my heels a bit and grinned.
    “Right, Dave my boy! Only five minutes from home!”
    Dave is not just a great Ultra runner. He’s a damn fine mathematician as well.

    I hate to be “that guy”, but it was Harry Chapin, not Cat Stevens. You might say Harry beat Cat to that song.

    Great post Dave! I’m thinking of getting a fitbit. Maybe it will motivate me.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Dave, great to see you and Rachel together. Amazing that you can still pull 10 miles at 10 minutes a mile. What are you complaining about. I am glad you are enjoying time with your family.

    Sohail

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Anonymous says:

    David
    Rachel is a beautiful young lady. Enjoy your time together.
    Lou

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Christie says:

    I love the Shinning Joy on your beautiful;faces…Keep engaging in those memory making experiences 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Your Good Friday was for sure a Great Friday. Fabulous ! And the pic is awesome…you share a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Peggy Farrell says:

    Congrats…. you did it! Love the father/daughter photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. SO much to love here—The Daddy/Daughter photo (genetics at work *everywhere*), untrained youth vs. veteran codger, Life and Death and Acid Reflux, and the pride, man, the pride.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Aww, you two are too cute. I remember watching my youngest, an accomplished athlete to this day, and that girl could run with a book on her head and never drop it. She didn’t bounce or wiggle, just balled up her energy for the long haul and went for it.

    Hang in there, dad. And yes, while they’re growing up, it seems like we have all the time in the world. Then we don’t. Suddenly we don’t. I’ve cried for years (pretty much over it now, thankfully), meanwhile encouraging my daughters to fly, go, do, be. The wrenching pain passes, to be replaced with concern and feelings of helplessness, knowing I can’t fix the challenges their independent lives pose. The girls (always will be known as The Girls) come, they go. They call, they don’t. I once wrote a poem entitled “Never Have Children.” You can imagine what it was about, the neverending agony of separation, from the day they exit the womb. But no regrets. Only …. life. Gosh. Really? ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  35. So beautiful Bela. Thanks for sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Last week reading your commuter post, I thought of teasing you about the apparent lack of running posts…and here it comes. Congrats to both of you! Lovely picture too.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. The male ego is so fragile. A buddy of mine ran Boston yesterday and was mad his time was 3:50, so he missed “the cut” and wouldn’t be invited back next year. Back when I was young and fast, my best time was 3:59. I miss not being able to run, spitting up and all. Enjoy the memories with your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

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