2021 NYC Marathon Training: Week 2

Week 2 of training was good! It was also my highest mileage week in over a year: 34 miles.

That might not sound like much to some (or to me from two years ago), but considering the last 12 months looked like this…

…34 miles ain’t bad.

For anyone wondering, an explanation of my gaps:

I’m hoping all of this foot nonsense is behind me. I’m so tired of needing to take breaks from running because my mechanics are off, or I’m stubbornly pushing myself, or I’m not doing enough single leg work / drills / foam rolling / sleeping / praying / chanting / witchcraft spells.

Fortunately, each time I’ve gotten a “thing,” I’ve taken steps to do some kind of strength or mobility work that I probably should have been doing all along.

Week 2 saw five days of running – the most days I’ve run in a week in a while – consisting of two easy days of about 4 miles each, speed and tempo workouts of about 7.5-8 miles each, and an extremely pleasant 10-mile long run.

I was nervous about the long run because the last two attempts at 10 miles resulted in two of those gaps. This time, I kept it nice and slow, and all was well. It was also wonderfully overcast with a chance of light rain that never came, so I didn’t have to deal with feeling like a roasted chicken for once.

I realized just today that this summer marks 50 years since my parents first met.

I’ve been writing about my dad here, but I think to better understand my dad is to understand the relationship he had with my mom. Or, at least, the part I will write about now, which is the very beginning of it.

Both spent their early childhoods in NYC before their families moved them out to the greener pastures of 1950s suburban Long Island. In the summer of 1971, they were in their mid 20s and living in Northport – my dad a young English teacher at the junior high and my mom, I’m actually not sure what she was doing for work, but she had grown up there and I think lived with her mother at the time.

They met through a mutual friend. I think a morning sailing trip was somehow involved, followed by a backyard barbecue later that day. Decades later, once they had four daughters and four grandsons, my dad recounted the story of when he first saw my mom across the yard. “That was it,” he said to me. Indeed, that was it.

Their early 1970s, pre-kids days seemed to consist of dogs, taking photos, going on walks, laughing, and hanging out with friends. My mom was a serious hobbyist photographer, and I have many a contact sheet of the two of them playing around with cameras.

They were married in September 1973 at a local Lutheran church. Neither was Lutheran or even religious. I think everyone just got married in churches back then. If it were today, I feel like they would have just gotten married in someone’s backyard. In fact, the reception that followed was at my grandmother’s house.

My mom wore a white blouse and a blue velvet skirt and beret, because she never did things the standard, predictable, boring way. (Many years later, when accepting her Masters degree, she refused to wear the cap and gown, instead collecting her diploma in a smart blouse, blazer, and skirt.)

My parents were alike in a lot of ways – avid readers, lovers of language, smart, witty, open-minded, inclusive, and kind. They were also polar opposites: my mom outspoken, funny, teasing, a little messy; my dad soft-spoken, gentle, organized, supremely neat.

Here’s a good example of how different they were: this photo was given to me last year by our family’s longtime friend Lynne and taken at her wedding reception. These are the outfits my parents each chose to wear that day:

Their marriage would last just ten years, but their friendship that followed – which, admittedly, took years to develop – would last decades, up until my mother’s death in 2017.

They may have had their differences, but they were both incredible parents: warm, creative, supportive, encouraging. All the things parents are supposed to be. They were that. And I’m so glad they were mine.

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