Ryan’s 14!

So the big news today is Ryan’s 14!

FOURTEEN!

The weather here in Indiana is a lot like it was that December Saturday afternoon when Ryan was born at Community South Hospital in Indianapolis. It snowed yesterday and it’s bitterly cold with the windchill dipping below zero.

We were in the exact same room Andrew was born in July 2001. We would also be in the same room two years after Ryan was born for Luke’s birth. Somehow, Micah missed out on making it a clean sweep.

Wendy had made two trips to the hospital prior to that Saturday thinking Ryan would be born. They sent us home both times after several laps around the halls and still no movement.

The nurses and our friend, Becca Cartledge, had said it would be awhile still and for me to get something eat while I still could.

Interestingly enough, my Mom and I had just sat down for lunch when they called us back saying Wendy had gone from three centimeters dilation to eight! Ryan decided it was time. Like he does with his running and the kick at the end of his workouts or races, Ryan also decided to set things in motion rather quickly.

Of all the deliveries between the four boys, the conversations between Dr. Webb and Wendy during the one for Ryan is one all of us who were in the room will never forget.

Ryan also didn’t waste any time making his presence known into the world known. Unlike Andrew, who was quiet and appeared to look around the room after he was born, Ryan let us know he had a healthy set of lungs as he screamed and cried for the better part of the first five minutes.

It’s funny, I can pretty much tell you the night Ryan was conceived. It was the night of a big basketball game in the Hoosier State in March of 2002. Indiana University had come from behind in the second half and beat top-ranked Duke at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.

I worked in radio sales at the time. After making my sales calls for the day, I also had a bit part with a sports-talk-radio program on the Nifty Thrifty ESPN 950 called “Sports Desk” with Greg Rakestraw.

Moments after the game and as we were talking about the game, Rakestraw commented on air, “Indiana’s population will likely rise about this time in December after tonight’s win by the Hoosiers.”

Well, Rake, Wendy and I did our part.

After a few months, we knew something wasn’t right with Ryan. We knew he was different. Not sure exactly what the problem was, but we knew.

I’m not going to bore you with all the tests that were done, but just know the day we were told Ryan had autistic features my heart sank.

I wrote about the day I woke up and decided I needed to change and be that Dad – https://rueffreport.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/914/

As you have previously read, it’s been an up and down year. Ryan’s had some spectacular highs – crushing his half marathon and his 5k PR’s in the two biggest running events in Indianapolis – the OneAmerican 500 Festival Mini Marathon and the Monumental Marathon 5k.

The biggest highlight would have to be the half-mile stretch Ryan ran carrying the Indiana Bicentennial Torch in the day before the Mill Race Half Marathon.

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Of course, the valley has been Ryan having surgery last month. I know it’s been a few days since I last updated, but like my last post, there really isn’t much to report. I could give you an itinerary of his day, but with my job at “The World on Time,” I don’t really get to see much of him or my family.

I know my oldest son, Andrew, reads this blog. He knows I expect them to sleep in until the sun rises on Christmas morning. Now, I doubt it happens. He’ll conspire with his brothers to be up by 5 a.m.

I can tell you, Ryan gets his stitches out tomorrow morning. Hopefully, Dr. Tentler will give us a better indication of when he can return to running with me. Ryan also has decided to stay in the shoe for the next two weeks instead of a flip-flop.

I have run eight times by myself since Ryan’s surgery. I have solved all the world’s problems. I have figured out some of my own. I have thought about various plots for fictional stories I’d like to write.

Although I have done all that mindful thinking and have had this time alone I have to say, I miss my coach.

Wait, what? “I thought you were the coach?” Is probably what you just thought to yourself.

Actually, Ryan’s my coach. Depending on the workout run, he is the one who sets the paces for them.

Ryan subliminally shows me to go slow during our Long-Slow-Distance runs. He also challenges me during the speed workouts.

Ever since he heard Howard Harrell talk about negative splits, Ryan’s been driven to have those in our tempo runs and especially our races. When he hears my watch beep to mark off a mile he constantly asks, “Faster?” There’s nothing better than watching him pump his fist after a run when I tell him we got faster every mile during a run.

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Not almost, but ALL of those eight runs without him have been tempo runs for me. I have yet to stay at the pace I have set on my watch.

What’s the thing I miss most about my running partner?

Seeing him on my left as he passes me.

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

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