21st December 2015
Feels good to get back home. It’s been a while since I last visited my parents. A couple of months, two seasons. Even though this visit was short, I planned it to be useful.
You know what else feels good?
Running in places or events you ran before.
“Down on the Arges River” Half Marathon 2015
The half marathon where the pain was at the limit where I was about to abandon the race (here’s a link for the 2014 edition), which I didn’t, but I still had to take a couple of months break after.
I had a careless start in running, I know, but, in 2015, I had a bunch of lessons learnt the hard way, and now I was in a better shape. Two weeks before this event, I had my PB so far, during training, going circles around the House of Parliament, where I managed to complete a 21km in 1h 44min, at a temperature of 3°C.
Before the race, I did my small ritual. Woke up 3 hours before the race, had a coffee, fed the sharks twice, had a banana and chocolate as breakfast, and headed towards the start.
Today’s surprise was my father. I thought he joked when he told me that he wants to run as well. He took in a backpack some old sports pants and a used pair of running shoes and joined me. I didn’t think he was serious, and I told him that if he wants to do a lap of the course, he should enroll in the 7km challenge. Which he did.
I didn’t see my father running in a long, long time, and I knew he once had some back problems. He is 60+ years old, and on a daily basis, he’s doing aerobics in the morning. A friend borrowed him a red buff, so he was easy to locate on the course. It wasn’t as cold as last year, but I was still worried sick.
The 21km took the start first and, after 10 minutes, the 7km and 14km were next. The course was made of 7km laps. After the first 3km, I saw him, running at a comfortable pace. Before the start I warned him. If he feels any discomfort, he must slow down, walk or just stop.
My father is quite stubborn, but he’s not careless. When I saw him the second time, he was walking. He waved me and started running again. He had 2km more to finish.
I finished my second lap, and there he was. Happy, with his medal around his neck. And I was probably happier. That was the best moment ever since I started running. Today it was all about him. My 21km didn’t matter half as much as his 7km.
I joined my father at the finish after 1:44:18 of running, about the same time I got on my PB 2 weeks earlier.
Once again, the critical point of the track were the stairs. No matter how I wanted to approach them, running, walking, jumping, stair by stair, it took some time for my legs to switch from flat mode to stair mode and back to flat again. I’ll have to train more on that.
It was a great day. My father had this beautiful smile and his medal around the neck all the way home.