Friday Faves | Dual Meet Domination and Inspiration

Here’s this week’s edition of running things that got me all fired me up and excited to run!

  • My Lehigh T&F ladies put the pedal to the metal (or their spikes to the speedy new track) and BEAT LAFAYETTE on Saturday! The dual meet is one of the most heated, intense events of the season, and you just can’t beat the spine-tingling energy generated by each head-to-head race. (I nearly lost my voice from screaming so much!) To top it off, I loved experiencing the familial unity shared between current team members and alum, and I relished finally feeling connected to Lehigh again since I graduated. I even got to go on a long run with my “big sis” on the team and a couple old teammates on Sunday. The whole weekend brought back happy memories, and I’m so thankful that I live close enough to be able to maintain those ties with my alma mater. Congrats LUTF ladies! SO proud of y’all!
    Six generations worth of my Lehigh lineage! Goes without saying we've got the fastest family on the team!)

    Six generations worth of my Lehigh lineage! Goes without saying we’ve got the fastest family on the team! 😉

          

  • My totally badass Dad accomplished his goal of breaking 30 minutes in the 5-K at a local race on Saturday, running 29:41 and placing third in his age group! He’s got one pretty proud daughter over here, I’ll tell ya that much.

    dad results

    PROOF! (click to enlarge!)

  • The “We Heart You” project via @PavementRunner – Talk about reasons I LOVE runners. The online community joined forces to send some virtual (but no less powerful) positive energy to Krysten of DarwinianFail.com, who is scheduled to have surgery on February 1. Check it out, it’s sure to warm your heart!
  • Dorothy Beal ran 20 (yeah, you read that right, TWENTY!) miles on the dreadmill this week. I can’t even fathom doing this–mostly because I’m terrified that I’ll fly right off the end of the machine!–but she’s one seriously dedicated runner, and every runner should aspire to be like her. If you’re stuck on the ‘mill, I’d read her post below to learn about how she beats the boredom like a champ. Way to find your strong chica!
  • Definition of my life, via @CoachJenny156327_10151681440899698_765452121_n
  • I’m totally not ashamed to admit that I’ve eaten my weight’s worth of chocolate this week. At least one wrapper offered some wise words to live by!large
  • The Believe I Am ladies shared this feel-good video on their Twitter feed… GIRL POWER!
  • Words to remember from my new training plan creator extraordinaire Budd Coates on running a marathon: “When running the marathon, if you go out too fast, you have no control over how slow you will finish. But if you go out slow, you have total control over how fast you will finish.” 
  • Speaking of marathons, Ted Spiker tweeted this shirt that I need to own because it’s just too funny. I think he should wear it to the Runner’s World Half in October…hint, hint come to the half! hint, hint…   BCBfgPFCQAIsY_H

QUOTE OF THE POST: “Hills are speedwork in disguise.” – Frank Shorter

Read my other Friday Faves posts here

My Dad Is A Runner (And That’s Pretty Freakin’ Cool)

Waaaaay back when I was an elementary school soccer nerd and before I began running seriously, I can remember my Dad and I going for runs together. I can still picture us heading out as the setting Southwestern sun painted our neighborhood a blazing orange hue. We’d tackle the hills together, and I’d race him back down. I doubt we went very far, but I know I loved every second of it. Though my Dad never ran competitively, he’d tell me how he used to take off on impromptu five-mile runs through the snow in Chicago when he was in high school just for the heck of it. I’m sure it wasn’t his intention, but his passion rubbed off on me, and, well, I’ve pretty much been a runner ever since.

Then life kicked in. Between endless soccer tournaments, violin lessons, the arrival of my youngest brother when I was 10, having to deal with my then-insufferable Type A personality, El Paso’s scorching summers, a few extra lbs, stubbornly chronic knee pain, and God knows what else, my dad’s running shoes saw less and less of the roads over the years. And even though he never really expressed it, I’m sure he missed being able to just go for a run.

Around this time last year, his itch to run returned. Taking full advantage of the winter’s cooler temps, my Dad slowly began his build-up. When I was there for break, he could run-walk a five-mile route down the mountain and back. We even went for a 30-minute run together. It was the first time we’d run together in years, and I know I’ll never forget that day. (I actually just teared up thinking about it). Then a few months later in March when I was back at school, I video chatted with my family one night. My mum switched the camera to show my dad, and my jaw literally dropped. Not only did he look fit, but he looked fast. Absolutely incredible. He told me that he’d kept up with his running, and now could run every single step of an eight miler. Witnessing the product of his tenacity as he fought tooth and nail from square one to speedy quick was flat-out awe-inspiring. He even ran a 5-K at my old middle school in 31:36. Not bad for an “old dude.” (Just kidding, Dad!) I physically could not have been any prouder of him.

Come summer, the relentless heat and some yucky medical issues got in the way. Stupid two steps forward, one step back cliche. But when I returned to Texas for this winter break, to my surprise, there was my Dad, eagerly showing me his running log that he’s kept up for the past month. Since I don’t live at home anymore, things tend to slip under my radar on occasion, so I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see that he was right back at it again! And this time around, I can tell you he’s got a fire in his belly to keep up this running streak for good. He’s got his eye on a sub-30-minute 5-K (Ted Spiker, I’ve ordered him to read your blog!), and I secretly hope that he will run the Runner’s World Half-Marathon with me in October. I know for a fact that he can do it. Not an ounce of doubt in my mind at all.

DadTo top it off, he even got to go for a run in the snow again. Mind you, this is a pretty rare occurrence in the desert, so thank you Mother Nature for the spot-on timing of that cold front! (That’s him pre- and post-run with the awesomely goofy grin).

Over the years, I’ve met and read about countless runners with moving and motivational stories. But I can tell you that my Dad’s takes the cake in my world. I’ve run so many tough workouts and races, but I know the effort and perseverance it took for my Dad to get where he is today trumps all of that handily. He’s taught me to never take my fitness for granted and be grateful for every run I have the ability to do. I can only hope that I can be such an incredible influence on my kids one day. And, since no one else in my family runs, that special bond just the two of us share is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. At the end of the day, all that matters is that my dad is a runner, and that’s pretty freakin’ cool. Love ya mucho Dad!

UPDATE: On Saturday, January 26, 2013, my Dad officially broke 30 minutes in a local 5-K race, running 29:41 and placing THIRD in his age group! To top it off, he toughed it out after having the flu just over a week ago! Totally badass. I haven’t been that nervous for a race in a while, and I wasn’t even running, but I audibly squealed and jumped up and down with excitement when I got his text saying he’d done it. AHH! I physically could not have been any prouder of him. When I spoke to him today, I could hear it in his voice that he was still basking in the relief of having accomplished his goal. He also said that he wants to focus on building his endurance so he can run the RW Half-Marathon in October! Sweetness! Do I sense a father/daughter race in our future?!? =) I sure hope so!

Dad sporting his well-deserved age-group bling!

Dad sporting his well-deserved age-group bling! Two thumbs WAY up!

QUOTE OF THE POST: “I have voices inside me that tell me I’ll always feel like a misfit: a tank amid rockets, a redwood among twigs. They remind me I’m caught in a vicious cycle — needing to get faster to get smaller, and needing to get smaller to get faster….With every pound I drop and with every improvement I make, that internal dialogue does get drowned out by the support of others — my wife, my family, my friends, my readers. A pat on the back, a compliment from an unexpected place. And that’s what fuels me to keep pushing.” – Ted Spiker

Who inspires you to run?