Saturday, September 5, 2009

Finally ... Football

After a good six miler Wednesday morning, I rested Thursday and Friday. I wanted to run at least one of those days, but Dori was battling a virus. She feels fine. Her donor Hans is ready for anything that's thrown at my girl, knock on wood.

Dori's scrap comes on the heels of Pepper, our dalmatian mix, having a mini-scare. His tail was infected a few weeks ago; he was yelping and having trouble sleeping. So I took him to the vet. After a few days of expensive doggie drugs, he started improving. He's also fine.

This morning, I joined Team Chicago for a 13 miler. We ran a similar route as last last week, starting at Grassland Park. The route begins next to an elementary school, weaves through a subdivision and opens up at Mile 1.5, passing an historic home and crossing the Harpeth River. At this juncture, we come upon an expansive, hill-framed farm of soybeans. For two miles along a rolling road, we passed nothing but inspiring horse farms and the homes of several country music stars. Sara and I ran this part of the run.

After a refuel at 3.3, I pared with Dexter, a priest who is friends with his parishioners Eddie and Laurie. Father Dexter is an impressive guy who has run 31 marathons, with two more on this year's calendar. He's the only African-American priest I've ever met from outside our country. I really enjoyed hearing about his journey and his parish.

I ran most of the next four miles at the front of the pack, pacing the group and processing my own thoughts. For the last three miles, I rejoined Sara, and we talked about college football and some of our unimpressive behavior in college. She's an Ole Miss fan, and some of you know I like my Commodores. Dori, the kids and I are getting ready to attend the Vanderbilt-Western Carolina game.

Last night, the kids and I attended a formal dinner honoring nine former Commodore greats by inducting them in the school's Hall of Fame. We had many takeaways, including how a 6'4'' Lady Commodore basketball player thanked her parents for teaching her to "embrace her advantage" instead of worrying about being taller than her classmates. The parent of another Commodore athlete said he asked his six kids every year at the dinner table to set new goals.

Greatness doesn't just happen. You have to make it happen. Kathryn and Will were very attentive. Proud Dad just watched. It was a highlight of the year.

I ran 27 miles this week, not far from my schedule. Next Saturday, Team Chicago is preparing to run 19. That will be a record distance for me.

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