If you've read my book, "Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes,' www.runningshortsbook.com (and of you're a runner, you really should read it), you've heard about my daughter Kelly. She truly is an inspiration for all runners.
Always academic, Kelly graduated with honors from the University of South Carolina in three years, back in 2000, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. Within a year, she completed her Master's Degree. Today, she is the Head of the Social Studies Department at Eastern York High School in Pennsylvania.
Kelly never liked sports a whole lot, and frankly, she was repulsed by her Dad's gnarly running feet, complete with purple toenails, toes pointing in different directions, blisters, and general ugliness.Running was not something she particularly aspired to.
Having never run in her life, four years ago she informed me that she planned to run a marathon. It was November, and her marathon was scheduled for June. Keep in mind, she had never even run a 5K race.
In my best encouraging dad voice I said, "That's great!" When I hung up the phone, however, I was convinced it would never happen.
Thanks to Team in Training, a fundraising arm of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, who provided her with some great coaching, she did, indeed, run the San Diego Marathon in June 2010. She also raised over $3,000 for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
In 2012, we both ran the Philadelphia Marathon together, one of the greatest thrills of my marathon career.
Back in October, Kelly and her fiance, Mike, ran the Chicago Marathon for Team in Training, dedicating the race, and the proceeds they raised in the name of Mike's mother, Millie, who lost her battle with leukemia.
Yesterday, true to our Irish tradition, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day, for the first of two celebratory weekends, as we Irish simply cannot get enough of celebrating St. Paddy's Day.
Today, she, Mike, and their dog Maggie ran the Frozen Foot 5K in York, Pennsylvania.
Yeah, I'm Paddy's Day proud.