|My Dad, Dale Owens|
2 weeks before this Father’s Day, I ran Newport Marathon for the 3rd time. I don’t remember what my goal time was but it must have been 3:40 as I clearly remember hand signaling 1 5 1 and a thumbs up to friends at the half marathon point. I didn’t run 3:40. Despite my good friend, Steve, jumping in and trying to “run me in”, my back tightened up and I “quit” around mile 18. I was shuffling up the last hill (yes, there is a difference between quitting and not finishing) and my Dad was waiting at the top of the hill for me. There was no parking available up there, so I knew he had walked to be “out on the course” for me. He ran the last awkwardly steep downhill to the finish with me. I remember being embarrassed to be coming in late. I don’t know why I always insist on apologizing if my time isn’t what I told people it would be. He didn’t seem to care.
I’ll enjoy Father’s day with my kids and their families this Sunday, then head out for Western States, which will be the biggest running challenge of my running life so far. Dad would have loved this. Jeanne would not be crewing alone, as there would have been nothing on this planet that would have kept him from being a part of it. Dad had 2 great sayings, that rattle around in my brain all the time: “It’s not what you do today, it’s what you do every day, that counts”, has been my training mantra for years. “It’s not how fast you go, it’s how slow you don’t go”, I have only started really appreciating and understanding lately.
I have no idea what’s ahead of me, in the middle of next Saturday night, I’ve never been there before. But I know what Dad would tell me to do.