This week is my dad's birthday AND Father's Day. As a special treat, here is a post about an awesome dad and the awesome passion he gave me.
I don't think I have really talked about how I actually got into running in the first place. It was thanks to a very special guy...
I was not an athletic kid. I didn't do sports in school and although I enjoyed games of casual basketball in the neighborhood and weekend bike rides, I never really got into team sports (aside from one season of softball when I was younger and Colorguard in high school). My brother, however, was a sports junkie. He did it all! Travel soccer, basketball, wrestling. He even did track in high school for a bit.
The first time I remember even thinking about running was when my dad would go off on his weekend runs on the trail by our house. He was constantly doing the 5k loop or the longer 5 mile loop and he always wanted to do fun runs. I don't remember the exact date, but I do know that at some point I wanted to run like him and my brother. They made running seem so cool. I wanted a way to spend time with my dad; we didn't have a lot of activities we could do together.
My brother and dad had Scouts and math and sports to bond over. It was harder for me, a non athletic girl, to bond with them over those things. But running was something they both did that I thought I could do too.
It was a very slow process. For someone who had never run before I had to start at the beginning - loops around my small neighborhood, full of walking breaks. I would run for 30 seconds, walk for 20. Using my brother as a resource, I was able to build up my pace and strength to actually run a mile without stopping! I was quite slow though, but it didn't matter.
Little by little, I got better and was able to do more distance. It was then that I started joining my dad on some of those weekend runs on the trail.
Since then, my dad has remained the one true running partner I can always count on to do a last minute 5k or a virtual race. He is not only there at my races, he does them with me! I even dragged him to Disney to do the memorable but overcrowded and overpriced Disney Princess half marathon. (He did the 5k and wasn't impressed.)
We've done an uncountable number of races together including the local Herndon Festival 5k, the Herndon Festival 10k, the Jingle Jog, and of course every year we do the SOME Fun Run at Thanksgiving. We even did a Nguyen Wedding Weekend 5k with my brother the day before my wedding.
I didn't realize until later in my running career that my dad did the Houston marathon. And he used to run all the time when he was younger. (To clarify he still runs all the time now!)
I guess it is in our genes. But if anyone was wondering why we did a 5k the day before my wedding, this is why. Running has been and always will be one of the activities that brought me closer to my brother and my dad. It is something that keeps us spending time together, even in snowy South Bend.
I also realized while writing this post that I do not have enough pictures of us running together! We will have to get better at taking those pre and post race pics.
Thanks Dad for being the best running partner and for always being up for a spontaneous 5k!