My grandfather had brain cancer and was not diagnosed until it was too late, he had stage 4 cancer and they had not given him long to live. It was very hard on my grandmother as it would cause major mood swings and he would just walk out of the house at random times, causing us to go try to find him. He was diagnosed a few weeks after Thanksgiving and made it less than four months passing away in mid-March. It was really hard on me seeing him fade so quickly, he was quick witted and a master carpenter. His memory is living through all the things he made for the family. I have a jewelry box, pop out box, picture frames, shelves, dominoes and cribbage set that he made. Not to mention the lawn decorations several family members have, the rocker we had as a kid and even a foosball table. I even made a school project of a pyramid using 1/2 x 1/2 inch blocks glued together that he cut out all the blocks for, complete with the tunnel.
I run this race dedicated to him each year. This year the forecast was not looking great, I woke up to rain outside and was happy it was only a 5K. I just prepared to wear my hat and hopped in the shower, thankful to hear the rain stop but knew it could return. I headed out of the house later than I wanted and was hoping it would not end up being a close call. I parked a mere 14 minutes before the race was scheduled to start. As I was jogging towards the startup to warm up myself on the chilly morning, I came upon my dad so I walked the rest of the way with him. We then split ways for the start and I walked farther up, I ran into a friend, Michelle, and we chatted until the race started.
I immediately started off hard hoping for a repeat of my last 5K and was hoping to hold it, even though my legs still seem to shaking off some tiredness. About a half mile in my breathing became labored and knew I had to dial it back some. We turned the corner to head to college ave and you can see the storm coming in, the wind picked up and the barriers were beginning to slide all over the place. We made the turn onto College Ave and battled the 25mph winds head on. I wanted to stop to walk like so many others but pushed through.
We then made the turn, headed down the steep hill and ran next to the Fox River. I run this section every Tuesday so I knew what I would need to do, when you hit the last half mile you run into the Hill of Hope, a steep long hill and when you crest the hill it's only 3.5 blocks to the finish. I was passed by way to many kids at this point and I just had no kick left in me. Once I finished I immediately found a place along the side to watch for Michelle and my dad, and the rain started to get harder as time passed. He had worked 13.5 hours the day before and has been having foot issues so he couldn't even run the last 2 weeks. He finished in an amazing time of 34:08!
*walkers not included
*I failed and did not get a single picture of the race or afterwards :(
Afterwards we head downtown Appleton to Dr. Jekyl's for a few beers, we were just happing to get out of the sleet at this point in time. We were happy to be done and relax, when the sun finally came out everyone in the bar cheered and the crowd started to disperse. I headed home to cozy up at home with showers passing through