Monday, January 28, 2008

Running with Will

Yesterday, Will ran with me and Pepper at Radnor under ideal conditions. The park was filled with nice families, young couples and slap-happy dogs. Will and I ran at a very easy pace. I wanted to see how he would do since the longest he's run is about one mile. He really did well, even up a hill at the 1.5-mile mark. All in all, we ran 2.75 miles, rested and then did a 1/4-mile sprint.

I had visions of running this morning, but I slept poorly last night. I think I woke up at least four times, so I decided to bag the run and try to fit it in before dinner. Things worked out, and I ran a hard 3.75-miler tonight in the neighborhood. I felt like a runner again! I ran hard up hills and kept a good pace throughout, probably around 8:20/mile. The last mile plus was easily 8:00/mile and I didn't feel winded. Some days are like this ... you just feel great. This is good news ... my body is applauding the training.

Speaking of runners, I saw presidential candidate Mike Huckabee today down near the Capitol. He was in town ahead of Super Tuesday next week. I asked him if he's staying with his running (he's lost 110 pounds since about five years ago), and he is, running about 20 miles a week during the campaign. He said he plans to run the Boston Marathon in April. Talk about impressive.

The most interesting part of my day was talking with NBC campaign reporter Carrie Dann, who is one of at least four reporters embedded with the Huckabee campaign. She's a recent UVA graduate filing reports for the network and the MSNBC political blog. I was sitting with her as she hammered out an update today, which you can read here. She captured some good humor from the governor. The actual site is pretty cool ... I'm going to bookmark it.

Anyhoo, I enjoyed talking with Carrie, who is having the time of her life. I mean, c'mon, you're a few years out of college, you're on the road, seeing the whole country, covering the presidential race. Sure, you have to talk once in awhile to a cheesy Tennessean, but Carrie has a front-row seat to history and is building a nice resume. She's taking in our cultural differences, meeting a ton of people and giving the NBC/MSNBC audience a fair look at all these campaigns. Contrast that with what's been happening in Kenya the last month, and Carrie has a good gig. God bless America.

Last weekend, I was again reminded why we are huge Vanderbilt fans. I received an e-mail from VU Baseball Coach Tim Corbin, who visited Dori by surprise this summer. He was just checking in to see how Dori is. I told him how proud I was of her fortitude, resolve and character, noting he and his team would be impressed by her toughness. He replied Dori is a "tough nut" who he would start behind the plate (catchers have the toughest job on the team).

At Kathryn's basketball game on Saturday, Will hung out with VU Wide Receiver George Smith, who keeps the scorebook each week. I know, I know ... what were you doing at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning? Recovering from Friday night's festivities, if you were like me. Will and George talked straight for an hour, shooting baskets at halftime. They covered the kind of ground you would expect from two jocks, one established and one budding - including the NFL draft, Christmas gifts and VU basketball. Will smiled the whole time.

Kathryn's team won, 16-6. She's really improved her game since last year. Will's team has yet to win a game, but he's learning a lot through a tough year. I think he's gaining some first-year learning experiences that will make him a better player and teammate. The key message from me has been - Perfect is not achievable, but giving 100% effort is.

Last thing and I'll run ... The kids and I were at Target yesterday afternoon, heading back to the car, when I heard, "CRUNCH!" I looked up to see a fairly large truck still recovering from an awful jolt, delivered very close to our van. The car delivering the blow was an old Cadillac tank driven by an older lady who looked like Mrs. Roper from "Three's Company." She was even dressed like her, in one of those showy smock dresses with competing patterns.

The lady looked seriously overserved and/or overmedicated. After she pummeled the truck, she got out, assessed the damage to the cars (it was significant), and then mosied into the store without leaving a note on the truck or staying behind. You wonder what planet some people are inhabiting.

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