Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Carl with a brand new Chloe

This is not meant to be a sad story but one of inspiration.  When I was younger I used to run all the time.  In elementary school I would often spend my afternoons at the track running circles.  I would bike up there and just run and run and run.  I felt free there.  I think my sister might have run Cross Country or tried out and that is how I heard of the sport.  Then in my last year at the Junior HS the High School suddenly let us 9th graders try out for their teams.  So after school I would walk or jog the mile or two to get to the cross country practice.  I made the team.  I don't believe we ever ran 3.1 miles at practice so the first race was a huge shocker for me.  My stepdad Carl made it to the race.  I was out on some course running in the trees and I was getting gosh darn tired.  I think it was around 2 miles that I saw Carl and then promptly tripped and fell.  He says I yelled at him not to touch me because I was worried about being disqualified.  I don't remember that.  I remember him being there and telling me I could do this.  Him being there and supporting me made me believe I could in fact do it.  I got up and finished.  I ended up finishing towards the top of my team even.  He was there for most of my races in High School. 

Today he couldn't be more proud of my running.  He often according to my Mom brags about my ultra running.  Unfortunately he is in the last days of his life.  He has been ill for quite sometime and he made a decision over a month ago to begin Hospice care.  Somehow amazingly he is still here.  He told my mom two days ago that he plans to stick around through the weekend for the race.  I tell you this not to be sad but, because I didn't always realize it but I was pretty lucky to have a stepdad like Carl.  So this weekends race will be with him in my thoughts, not thoughts of sadness but of happiness for the great life he lived and for all of his love and support.  Thanks Carl.  I now truly understand how hard being a stepparent is and you did it well.  I appreciate and love you.


Anonymous said...

This is a great post, he loved being at your races, he does brag you being ULTARA, he is so very proud of you as a runner, lady, Mother and just such a positive person. Thank you, Love, Mom

LongLeggedLinguist said...

This post IS inspiring, but it made me cry nonetheless. What a wonderful tribute to someone who clearly recognized early on your potential. Keep on running and your family is in my prayers.

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this insight to a friend and classmate. Keep running.

kelly said...

Tara I some how missed this blog entry. Today is the day of your big race and I know Carl has passed away which means he is with you today watching your race, just like he was there for your first race.
I am so sorry for your loss, my prayers are with you.