Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

When I was running this morning I was thinking about my dad. I really don't want to say that we have a complicated relationship because that makes it sound like the relationship is BAD or fraught with drama or resentment and that's not the case. It's more that my dad is *somewhat* of a stereotypical Italian male and in many ways I am NOT your stereotypical Italian female :) (As a side note: I generally dislike stereotypes but there are too many stereotypical shows out there right now re: Italians--Cake Boss, RHONJ and of course the older but much-loved Sopranos...) Anyway, I was actually thinking that I am not a stereotypical (Italian) female because of my dad which is actually kind of funny/ironic. My dad nurtured my sense of curiosity from an early age and never made me feel that I couldn't or shouldn't do anything because I was female. Among other things, he taught me how to read a map, use tools/assemble almost anything, work on my car, understand the stock market and to love sports (notably, Auburn football and Atlanta Braves baseball).
We don't talk on the phone all that often, but I know that I can call him at ANY time and for anything. We actually have talked a bit on the phone more recently and had some wonderful conversations, but I know not something likely to materialize on a regular basis. That being said, my dad has never met a stranger and he has an amazing ability to relate to people from all walks of life.

My dad and I are both highly emotional/sensitive and either of us are more likely to tear up at the little things in every day life than at a funeral (though we both cry at those too). I am highly driven and much of my early drive stemmed from not wanting to disappoint my dad in any aspect of my life. I am sure I have disappointed him many times anyway, but I know he is incredibly proud. School programs, dance recitals, band concerts and everything in between he was ALWAYS there. He is the dad that would introduce himself to my band directors/college professors/other random people who were in a superior role to me, and with tears in his eyes, thank them for the role they serve, not only to me but to the group at large. Used to be soooo embarrasing but now I know, that's just my dad. And now? I actually find it kind of endearing.
At the "Monkey Park" (1981)

He took me to the park and to get ice cream as a child (a Sunday tradition); taught me the transactional value of the dollar and the rewards of hard work; paid my out of state tuition even when times were tough; reminded me that at the end of the day, we only have our "name" to fall back treat others with fairness and respect and usually the favor will be returned.

To say that I love my dad is an understatement. Our relationship may not always look like a Hallmark card, but it's OUR relationship to nurture and grow and for that I am grateful.
Happy Father's Day!
Auburn Football Game (2009 or 2010)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Impromptu racing...and a streak ends...and begins again

After a whirlwind week of "maid of honor-ing", work travel and catching up back at the office, I think I know my name again. But seriously...holy shite this has been a rough 7 day stretch. Total FWP, I know, and I am grateful for all that I have, but I'm pretty tired and ready to curl up on the couch tonight catching up on "Sister Wives" and other really bad TV.

That being said, "the streak" ended and began again in DC after I arrived too late to make it to the hotel gym (11:15p) though I picked it up the next morning with a 4.6(ish) mile run (according to g-map pedometer since I forgot to charge my Garmin) and then another 6+ miles of walking later that day. I had actually planned to run at home that Sunday morning but I woke up nauseous with a horrible migraine and went straight back to bed with just enough time to get packed and ready to head to the airport for my (delayed) flight to DC. I really would have hopped on the mill at 11:15p but I was staying at a boutique hotel and the gym truly was closed (I couldn't just access through a key card.) Anyway, not one to let a single day lost stop me, I'm back and committed to moving on through July 4.

A few cell phone pics from DC...

This is what happens when you ask a nice stranger to take your picture...he only gets the FEET in the background. Oh well!

 View from WWII Memorial looking towards the Washington Monument

I was zoomed in from across the street. I was originally trying to run where those tourists were and got yelled at by security/the Secret Service! I have probably never run so fast the other direction in my life!

So now, my latest "dilemma"...I got a notification Wednesday (either from BTC or Active or some such) about a 5K this weekend "Strides for Steel"  that advertised itself as all downhill (point to point) and FAST. I pretty much decided that I would probably sign up and do it and even though I haven't been doing any specific speed training and that it might be hotter than hades with a 9a start it might be a good place to try and FINALLY get my sub-30 5K. I know, maybe not particularly fast for most but it's still a 9:39 pace and fast for me and given course conditions maybe I could pull it off?

I was texting with Amy yesterday and we were trying to reschedule our running plans for this week and she mentioned that she was doing this same 5K this weekend. Hmmm....she is a great sport at letting me push her but I know her training hasn't been where she wants it lately and I don't know if she would be game for this.

So the question is: do I run with my friend or do I try to PR?  I have run many races with friends where the goal between us was clear (stick together no matter what, stick until someone needs to drop, run at different paces and meet at the end) and I always say there is a place for social running and goal running and it's important to have both. I would like to hang out with my friend but I also really want to get this sub-30 monkey off my back so I can move on for a little while! Thoughts?