You might have noticed a theme as you’ve been reading through these.
My dad has been an integral part of my running story from the very beginning. And he was always there at the end of the run or the end of the race for me.
I started running when my dad pushed me in the stroller when I was a baby.
My first race was at age three. I held my dad’s hand the whole race.
My summer mornings as a kid started with runs around the neighborhood with Dad before he’d go to work and I’d go back to bed.
When I ran track and field in high school my dad would rub my shins with Icy-Hot when I’d get shin splints.
It was my dad’s encouragement that had me run my first marathon. And our combined desire to run Boston that had me running my second.
My dad and I started my wedding day by going for a run together.
We bought our BOB jogging stroller with the Christmas money my parents gave me when Iddo was born so that I could run with my own children just as my dad had run with me.
My dad and I shared our miles with each other virtually through live-tracking as well as comments and virtual races as my family grew and more miles than we’d want to run separated us.
On October 30th I told my dad with great pride that Iddo had paced me for a 3-mile run on her bike. He was so proud of her.
And now the rest of the story.
That night he got incredibly ill incredibly fast. We lived the crazy ups and downs of the ICU at different hospitals until November 12th when, after the perfect storm of complications, we said goodbye.
Iddo and I have hummingbirds on our running hats now in his honor. I’m still leaving notes about my miles, who I take and what I see, because I know he is running with me still. I cry for a bit on most of my runs, especially my long runs on Saturdays, because I miss him. And I wish he could watch me and my kids run again in person.
This last Saturday I ran my second half marathon. It was the day after my dad’s birthday, and also two years from the day we found out Izri was coming. I had a special shirt made for it that I’m planning to wear for every race until it wears out, at which point I’ll make a new one. I finished in 2:13:27, about 7 minutes faster than I thought I’d finish. Strangely, my live tracking didn’t work the way it should during the race, meaning Brett and my mom couldn’t track me and my dad was the only one who could.
Afterwards the older three kids ran the 1K again. Izri will run the 1K next year for his first race.
And I know we’ll always be running with Dad.