Running with Pops

A major thanks to everyone who chimed in with my previous post, you people are wonderful. I’m so grateful to have all of you in my (virtual) life.

Today I woke up late to find my house puppy-less (he is getting snipped). My father was getting shpilkes and demanded that I keep him entertained for the day. Looking at the weather, 90° with a dewpoint of 72°, I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to venture out. My father promised to take me to a shady spot and guaranteed he would run slowly.

Did I mention my parents live 0.31 miles from Valley Forge National Park? The park has a fantastic path, unfortunately 75% of it is in direct sunlight (and hilly!). Rather than take the traditional path, we drove to a gravel/dirt path in the part that is 75% in the shade. Thank goodness, stepping out of the car I was greeted by a wave of heat.

Now my father is my original running partner, but he hasn’t been running regularly in the past year. In high school and college we used to run a three mile loop around the park, back then we never thought we’d run farther. But last May I convinced my father to run a half marathon with me. Lets just say he seriously kicked my butt. Today was not the same. For the first mile things were going well, our pace was slower (as to be expected in this heat). Then he started backing off, declaring a walk break every so often.

Toward the end our walk breaks became more frequent. I’d see him glance at his Polar hrm and then I’d feel him slowing, apparently he takes his heart rate quite seriously. He claims that his road blocks are purely mental and I have to believe it. I don’t know how to help him through this, to get him back to his old running routine. How does one push to keep going when your brain is telling you that you can’t? I’m sad to see that he hasn’t been making the time for himself, hopefully when I return in August I can drag him back out onto the path more frequently. (And perhaps we’ll bring the two pups with! Did I mention there may be a new pup in the household? :c)

Do you second guess your running abilities? How do you break through your mental barriers?

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About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on July 7, 2011, in Running and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Well shame, shame on people for not giving this post more attention! {Haha, even though I was one of them a few minutes ago….} I really enjoyed this post and though running is something I won’t be doing with my father now {he’s 76, overweight, a chain-smoker and would sooner jump off a bridge than quit his habits or run} it makes me want to do some type of father-daughter activity when I next see him. My mom passed away two years ago, so he’s the only parent I have and I cherish him!

    The only time I second guess my running is when I think about my speed. I’m a new runner and awfully slow! Plus I’m still nursing a tiba stress fracture…. :-/ Blah.

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