Running with memories

“Hello” I said after my Lovely Wife handed me the phone.

It was 11:30 at night.

“Hello, this is Bob, I work with your sister.”  The voice spoke back.  I didn’t know a Bob.

“Your sister died today in a scuba diving accident”.


There are many things that drive us in life.  Many memories that run us down.  Sometimes we have things to prove to the past, to those who went before us, to ourselves.

My sister had run several marathons with my dad and brothers.  She was always “on me” about exercising and taking better care of myself.  I remember one conversation where she asked if I would just walk the treadmill each day.  I didn’t.

My dad never recovered from my sisters death.  Although cancer took his life, I think somehow it would have been different if it weren’t for that night when Bob called.

It has been ten years since my sister passed away.  It has been 8 years since my dad passed away.  Why am I writing about this…?

I started running several times since 2003.  I would run and then stop for some reason.  I don’t know what made this time different.  The main difference is that I didn’t stop.  I kept running.  I know TJ and RS running helped keep me going.  The races have made running more fun.  My Lovely Wife has encouraged me more than anyone.  She has been great.

Ultimately though I think I am running with memories.  Memories of my dad running marathons from 55 years old into his 70s.  Memories of my sister and brothers running with him.  The lack of memories of me doing the same.  I did run a 5K with him once, but really nothing other than that.

As I approach my first marathon, I will be running in the memory of my dad and sister.  They never saw me run.  They saw me overweight and barely able to walk a mile, let alone run a marathon.

So I am running this race on Sunday for my Lovely Wife, for my kids, for my mom and brothers.  But most of all I am going to be running with memories and in memory of my dad and sister.  I think they would have been excited to see this day come.

I know I am.

40 thoughts on “Running with memories

        • Yes it is my first. Actually your second question is a difficult question for me to answer. My answer ultimately would be “Yes to both. I want to finish in 3:30 (8:00 pace). I ran a half last February and finished at a 7:57 pace, so I know it should be doable. However (a big however) I have never run over 20 miles and know those last 6.2 can be rough. So I do want to finish, but I really want to finish in 3:30 if possible. I’ll play it by feel on Sunday. If I reach 3:30, I’ll qualify for Boston. That would be icing on the proverbial cake!!!

          • Wow! That would be amazing! But since it is your first, don’t push past your limits! I missed my time goal on my first marathon and was pretty disappointed for a couple months. I felt like I was a failure and didnt let the idea of the fact that I had finished a full marathon sink in. It almost took 6 months to feel good about it. So don’t get down on yourself if you don’t. That’s my advice.

            Have a great run!

            • Great advice. It is a tricky situation. I don’t want to mess up and go too fast, but I also don’t want to go to slow. What you said in your comment really makes sense though. I hadn’t thought about having that reaction, but I can see how that could happen. Thank you. That really helps.

  1. It is fantastic that you are carrying on with the family tradition of running. It sounds like it is going to be amazing, in so many personal ways, to finish the distance. How great that this time you did keep on running….all the way to a marathon!

    • So true. I’m so glad that I kept running. I can’t really believe I made it this far and am about to run a marathon. Here you are about to run your second half. How far we have come in just a few months!!!

  2. Such a moving post. I agree with the others…those memories and the inspiration of your dad, sister and brothers will carry you through those dark moments. The great thing about the marathon distance is that there’s plenty (!) of time to soak it in, reflect on your journey and enjoy the fact that you made it. They will be running right beside you!

    • Thank you. I really want to enjoy the run and make it fun. I don’t know if or when I’ll run another, so I want to take in the entire experience. Yes, they will be there with me, I believe it!!!

  3. What a beautiful post, and what wonderful inspiration you have to draw on during your race. Run for all of them, but don’t forget to run for yourself too, you’ve earned that right: be proud!

  4. A touching post. Run well and run happy knowing that your sister and father would have been stoked to see you going 26.2!

  5. I guess the best way to keep running is to have a purpose and never lose it. Good luck on your first marathon, I’m sure your dad and your sister would have been happy to see you cross the finish line!

  6. What a beautiful post. Knowing you are taking the same steps as people you loved is a powerful thing. For those who love the sport that much, I can’t think of a better tribute.
    I love the above comment about running as a way to forget your troubles, but also a beautiful way to remember and honor important things.
    You are going to have a lot of people cheering you on – both in person and virtually. You are going to do great!

    • Thank you!!! Yes, I really liked that comment also. I was just thinking yesterday how thankful I am for this blog and the wonderful people like you who have given me great advice and encouragement. Thank you again!!!

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