|2004 calendar marking my very first run|
I was sorting through my deceased wife's wife's things when I stumbled upon a 2004 calendar. In there, I marked my very first race - a 5k in Napa Valley, California on March 7th. It was a memorable day marking the start of my life on the run.
My wife and young son came along with me driving early in the morning. Unsure of what to do, we were there at six for an 8 am start. Where is everybody? My wife and son went back to the car to sleep but I told them to to meet me at the finish line 40 minutes after the start, my expected finish time. Nothing else I wanted more than for them to meet me at the finish line of my very first run.
I was in full sweats when I started and middle of the race I was burning hot. Damn it! I wanted to get rid of my layers! I was running at a much faster pace. Before I knew it, I was approaching the finish line. It was about 26 minutes. My wife and son were nowhere to be seen. I was proud to finish faster than I thought but I was bummed they weren't there to witness a monumental race of my life. I was walking out of the chutes when I saw them walking from the parking lot. We were all pleasantly surprised that I was already done.
This same race I met an elderly man who was in his 60's who finished at the same time as me. He said he started running in his 30's and just kept going since then. However, his arthritis had been bothering him so he scaled down to running 5ks from running full marathons. What? 26.2 miles? He completed 14 of them! I was awed at this gray-haired but fit looking man. Before he left, he bid me: Keep running, you can do it, too!
|Run to the cemetery to visit my wife|
It's been seven years since my first 5k. And this Sunday I will be running my 22nd marathon in San Francisco. Bittersweet feelings expected. For wife will not be there at the finish. Nor will she be home when I'm all done. But this race is for you, my beloved wife.
"I will not rest until I rest in Thee." - Praying Runner