Archive for September 12, 2010

Landry Grace turned two weeks old about 30 minutes ago.

It really is pretty amazing that she has been here only 14 days, not even as long as a marathon taper, but already, I can’t imagine the world without her.

I've grown 1 1/4 inches in two weeks!

This morning I left the house for 14 miles hopefully at Marathon Goal Pace – which for me heading into Austin Marathon Training is 7:30 min./mile.  1 hour and 45 minutes give or take a minute or two.  This run would push our weekly mileage to 46.2, with another 20 miles on the tri-bike.  The most mileage I’ve run in a week since training for Boston last spring.

As I left the house and tried to shake loose over the first mile my thoughts immediately went to wondering what kinds of things Landry and I will have in common, and what things she will share with her Mom.

Growing up my Dad’s son we shared a lot of common interests.  Pretty much anything and everything that he enjoyed doing, I thought was pretty cool as well.  Whether it was him working with his hands, (my father is an amazing carpenter – now retired), shooting pool, watching boxing (huge Rocky Marciano fan) or going to the gun club on Sunday’s in the winter – I pretty much wanted to be right there with him.

But when it came to baseball, that is where we really shared a common bond.  By all accounts, my Dad was a tremendous baseball player when he was a young man.  In fairness, he was a tremendous athlete.  He had never swung a golf club before he turned 21, but was a scratch golfer by 35.  Pretty darn impressive.

But baseball, and in particular, rooting for the Phillies was something that we both enjoyed doing immensely.  He would tell me stories about going to Shibe Park and watching Robin Roberts pitch, about the collapse in 1964, how Dick Allen could hit majestic home-runs and of course, how Joe DiMaggio was the greatest baseball player to ever lace up their shoes.

We would spend nights laying on the living room floor listening to Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn call the games on the radio – long before Cable Television and Direct TV.  We would throw the ball in the backyard for hours and he taught me about the game.

How to judge where a batter would hit a ball, how to turn a doubleplay,  how to hit, catch, throw, pivot and slide.  He turned a little runt of a kid into a pretty darn good player – one who was always the first to the park for practice and the last to leave.

Hard work and the desire to be your very best.  To DO your very best, no matter what it was, is something that I got from my Dad at an early age.  I’ve carried that life lesson with me all these years later.

He never ran a footrace that I am aware of.  But my Dad is as responsible for me becoming a relatively decent marathoner than anyone else.  Perhaps even me.

This brings me to mile 5 today, not quite half-way through our run.  I started thinking about a few packages that arrived this week for Landry.

First to arrive was from my friend Danica out in California.  Danica writes a tremendous blog Chic Runner – if you are not reading her blog, you truly should be.  Nobody does it better.

When I opened the package from California – I saw the smallest of Nike boxes.  Tucked inside were the coolest pink running shoes – size 2C for little Miss Landry.  Now mind you, these were not just little sneakers.  When I say running shoes, I mean running shoes.  The soles, uppers, cushioning – all 100% authentic.  What a wonderful surprise and an amazing gift.  Danica – you really are the greatest.

My First Running Shoes

A couple of days later “Aunt Barb” back in Pennsylvania sent Landry a pink Adidas Running suit that looked eerily like my Boston Marathon Running Jacket from this year’s race.  Once again, the fabric, wicking material, anti-chafe stitching – all 100% spot on perfect.

Gearing up for Boston

During my run I started to think about whether or not Landry will think her Dad’s running is “pretty cool” or if she just won’t see the point in logging mile after mile in the Texas heat.  Will she get excited for race day and enjoy competing, or would she rather stay inside to read a book or lounge by the pool like a native Texan should?

Will she enjoy working in the yard with her mother or will she like riding on the back of Dad’s Harley?

That is part of the magic of the experience I guess.  Not knowing the way the story will end until you read every chapter.  Her first word, her first step, losing her first tooth, her first day of school, all things that no matter how curious I am about them right now, I’ll just have to wait and see like everyone else.

The only thing I do hope for is that she has a passion.  No matter what it is, whether it is school, dance, sports, science, art or even, dare I say it, running.  I hope that she finds something she truly loves to do, and works hard at it, to be the very best that she can be.

Just five more minutes Dad ....

No matter what it is, I’ll be proud of her and wonder where all the time went.  How back in September of 2010 she used to fit in just one of my hands and fall asleep with my pinkie finger in her mouth.  These are the days right now, truly amazing.

How did the run go?  1:45:00, spot on perfect.  Not a second too slow, not a second too fast.  Perfect.  Just like my little girl.