Monday, December 20, 2010

Hills and Chills

I had an outstanding weekend of running. Saturday morning I did 6 by myself and then another 18 with Meghan, which gave me a 24 mile day. I haven't run with Meghan for a while, and I enjoyed catching up and chatting away the miles. We ran at a steady pace and I felt like I could keep going forever.

I finished the 24 miles in 3:22:46, which roughly equates to a 3:40 marathon - none too shabby.

Then Sunday morning was the hills smackdown. Three of my buddies took me up on the challenge, and I was really up for it.  The weather down by Bull Creek was wonderfully chilly, I had no hangover from the 24 miles the previous day, and ran the 10 miles around the Ladera Norte neighborhood over 10 minutes faster than I ever have before. That included some waiting time for folks to catch up with me, and I had plenty left in reserve.

Then we hit the trails. I was thinking that I would take some time to find my trail legs, but I switched right back into it and hammered a reverse Kens loop. I wanted to see how far I could push on the uphill switchbacks, and it turned out I could push them all the way until I ran out of switchbacks to push against.

So I went all the way back down and did them again, then completed the loop. When we finished, I had that same feeling that I could just keep running forever.

I think I'm in killer shape for Rocky Raccoon. Hope I can hold onto it until February.

We picked my parents up at the airport last Wednesday. They'll be staying with us for three months, so our little house is bursting at the seams. Of course, my father-in-law is mad, but what else is new. He doesn't talk to me anymore anyway, other than barking orders and complaints.

And I've learned that whatever we do he will never be satisfied - it will never be right, or good enough, or fast enough.

For the most part I try to hold my tongue (with just a couple of spectacular exceptions), but it's so hard when he treats my wife like dirt.  Nancy says that's just the way he's always been, but it annoys the hell out of me and puts a strain on everyone (though I have channeled that simmering anger into some huge PRs this year).

And it makes me appreciate Nancy even more for the strong, caring, patient and wonderful woman I do not deserve but am very grateful to have.

I just feel so sorry for Gavin. He's very sensitive, and used to love his "pawpaw". But he has had to come to terms with the fact that "pawpaw" very obviously does not want him around.

That's hard for a 5 year old to understand. It's even harder to explain. Gavin is not perfect by any means, but he has a big heart, is very kind, and is a wonderfully charismatic and engaging little boy.

He deserves better.

Thankfully, my parents do want him around, love him for who he his, and are more than happy to spend as much time as possible with him and Dylan.

I haven't seen him this happy in months, and I'm very grateful to my mum and dad for that.

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