As we lined up for the Ladera Ranch Fourth of July 10K, we could not believe that a year had passed since we ran the race and embarked on a year of running and racing together. Our goal was to take it easy and use the race as a celebratory conclusion to a fun year. The 10K consists of 2 5K loops with a long uphill and then the resulting downhill. We took it very easy on the first loop and then picked it up for the second loop. I started thinking about my dad and felt a burst of energy and I took off up the hill, leaving Alan behind. I reached the top and started slowly running backwards, getting funny looks from other runners, until Alan caught up. We then took it easy on the downhill and tried to push at the end (til my knee and Alan's lungs said no); we finished over a minuter faster than last year...not bad for taking it easy.
This 4th of July also marks the 4 year anniversary of my father's death and the 3 year anniversary of my 65 mile run in memory of him. I cannot believe it's been that long; this year is especially rough since I am dreading walking down the aisle without him. When the skies are overcast and the weather is cool like it was during our run, I feel like he's watching out for me; the day of his funeral, it was similar weather (very odd for Memphis during the summer). Miss you, dad.