I wasn't sure how it would turn out, or even if I would get out of bed come race morning. Sarah and I both were on the fence about the actual race....going to DC, a weekend out of town....no brainer, that was happening. Getting up and running 10 miles? Questionable.
We packed only the essentials and headed to DC Friday after work.
We hung out Saturday, hit up the expo, and tried to make it to some hot yoga. Somehow we ended up at the wrong yoga studio...go figure. No hot yoga for us. Our train malfunctioned and we were stranded underground for a while, with a stench of burning oil and grossness. We made the best of it and Sarah kept looking at the positive side, we were on an underground tour of DC. Score!
We met up with the Crazies, our local running group, at the first Organic restaurant in the country, Nora's. The food was good, at lease mine was, but the service was awful. After two hours and a headache Sarah had to split our bill, between 8 of us, and figure in the taxes because the restaurant couldn't do it. After dinner Sarah and I wandered the streets for a while, looking for something/someplace we could find some breakfast food. We found nothing....
We gave up and headed to our hotel. We discussed the game plan, prepared our race piles, and went to sleep with a 50/50 chance that we would actually get up and make it to the starting line.
I slept well without the pressure of a PR on my mind. I didn't even have concerns of a PW....I knew if I ran it would be a PW. I haven't run 10 miles since June. I haven't run more than 4 miles since June. I have been slacking. I knew it would not be pretty. In fact I knew it would be painful and ugly.
My alarm went off at 6:15. Sarah's did too. I woke and checked my phone to find a middle-of-the-night "Have a great run!" text which helped too. "People" were expecting me to run....We looked at each other and both said, "So? You wanna run?" We both nodded and rolled out of bed. Why not? We came all this way, went through so much trouble to register....I brought a cute running outfit...priorities people! We headed out the door towards the race at 7:15 for the 8 AM race start. My wave was to go at 8:15 but I wanted to stay with Sarah and the 8:30 wave. We were in this together.
As we approached the start it was a cluster of humans! We all were herding together trying to fit through a tiny security check point. I appreciate the security but it was kind of a joke. When we finally got up to the check we just put our arms up and walked on through. The man who checked me pointed at my Spibelt and looked in the total opposite direction and wasn't even looking at the other 30 people who waddled by with their arms in the air. Security? Nope. They may have noticed if I tried to come through with a bazooka but short of that I have no idea what they were looking for.
We made it to our corral and huddled together. It was cold! We finally heard our cannon to get us on our way. It was really crowded, Rock'n Roll crowded. Sarah and I ran along with a nice pace and just enjoyed the atmosphere. About a mile in my legs were feeling really good and I wanted to see how long they would last. My run/walk plan wasn't feeling so good, my legs wanted to go. So Sarah gave me her blessing and I slowly lost her in the crowd.
I had no music. I wanted to just run and not bother with it. I'm so glad I did. The crowd was great! It really reminded me of my first marathon, OKC Memorial Marathon, where everyone there had been affected by the Oklahoma City bombing in one way or another. This was the Army 10 Miler, there were t-shirts memorializing loved ones, in honor of, KIA, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends.... so many people were running for something, someone. So many lives who have been affected by war. It was overwhelming. So many people. As I looked around me I wondered about every single person. What was their story? What are they running for? WHO are they running for? What is my story? Why was I here?
My story began to play out in my head. Mine is one that is not unique to me. So many have experienced what I have. And so many have had more and different experiences. So many struggle with not only the visible wounds but also the invisible wounds of war. So many people! So many struggle day to day....and here I was, I almost didn't get out of bed to run this race. I almost rolled over and went back to sleep. I almost missed this opportunity....
Sarah and I both had similar thoughts and feelings about this race and we both were so happy we decided to get up and run. Being surrounded by so many people who seemed to have a commonality beyond a love for running was a really cool experience, one I am grateful for.
This was certainly not a PR race, nor was it intended to be. I had zero expectations other than to finish. But once I was out there on the course old habits took over. My legs started moving and my mind started wandering. The miles rolled by and before I knew it I was at mile 9. This is where I was overwhelmed with so many emotions, so many I can't even begin to put them all down. I had a lump in my throat and my heart was exploding. My eyes were blurring and I wished my dad could have been there....
|Me and Sarah after the race!|
Our finishers coin was really cool....but I do prefer medals...I can't hang a coin on my medal rack....