Today’s theme over at the Runners’ Lounge is a salute to running dads. Since my dad is my favorite running partner, this should be an easy post to write.
I’m incredibly lucky.* My dad is one of my closest friends. I’m sure there was a time when I didn’t like him (high school?), but overall, he’s been someone I can go to about pretty much anything. I may not always follow his advice, but I always listen. This has been a hard year amongst my friends as several have lost parents or dealt with parental health issues. It’s really made me appreciate that not only do I have a healthy dad, but I have one who can still outrun me.
For as long as I can remember, my dad has been a runner. I did not run much, but I do remember running with him a few times in high school. Most of the time, though, I wasn’t willing to pick my (chubby) butt off of the couch.
As I’ve gotten older, though, running has become THE thing we do together. For a long time, we’d just go out for a run at an easy pace for 2-3 miles. I’d ask for advice about whatever my problem was and we’d chat. It was a great way to have some time with my dad and work out some issues in my life. We’d figure out financial stuff, plan how to build the kids’ tree house, discuss his retirement (or not) plans…
In the last couple of years, our running relationship has changed. I started running races and began to train for the marathon. My dad was one of my biggest supporters and helped keep me company for parts of my training runs. He also raced a couple of races with me. Now we have a competition to see who can race all 50 states first, but with a goal of running as many together as possible.
One thing I’ve learned about my father is that he is way tougher than me. I don’t mean physically. He’s in amazing shape for a 60 year old and can definitely keep up with (or sometimes flat out beat) me. But beyond that, he has a mental toughness that I have yet to achieve. He always seem to be able to dig deeper, no matter how hard we’ve run. We always race together when we race, but when we get to the finish line, he’s always able to find that little bit more and push me just that little bit extra. I can only hope to someday be that strong.
Thanks, Dad, for being the best running partner (and dad) a girl could ask for!
*I’m one of the luckiest people around because both of my parents rock. As I get older, I realize just how amazing it is that I have such a good relationship with them both and that they still have a wonderful relationship with each other. I can only hope that someday my kids think I’m as awesome as I think my parents are.