Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Triumphant 10 Miles



13289 /21636



6.5Mi Split

Net Time


Army 10 Miler complete! :) Let me recap for you. Friday was an extremely bad day, sort of out of nowhere. Other people interfering in my healing process cause me to wonder what the heck I am supposed to do because no matter what I do someone has got something to say. Although I hit a little rough patch and was not looking forward to the extremely active weekend, Nick said one of the sweetest things. I was talking with him on the phone emoting how I just didn't know what to do anymore. "I can say with complete confidence, you continue to do what you are doing." Ah, just what I needed.

So I get ready Saturday morning and we get to the airport hop on our plane take a one-hour bumpy flight into Baltimore, bus from the airport to the rental car building, rent the car, stop for a healthy Panera lunch, ride into DC to the Armory to pick up our packets. It was overwhelming because of the sheer amount of people there at the Expo. Amanda and I got our packets with our bibs and our awesome long sleeve t-shirt and browse the fun gear. Next we head to our hotel, through A LOT of DC construction traffic. We checked in, freshened up, and headed to one of Mike's friends (from officer training) in-laws house. It was a good night of catching up, getting the 411 on this race, carbing up and consuming large amounts of water.

Laying down to sleep I started to get very nervous I would be claustrophobic during the race. Once my mind calmed down the 5:15 am alarm came nice and early. We got up and got ready, ate a Powerbar, drank some Gatorade and off we went. We were in the second group to start so we followed the time schedule and then lined up to start. Nervous nervous! Once we started it was great. I was also worried I would hate running without my ipod (because I DO hate running without my ipod) but I hardly even noticed. We had a great pace and Amanda was a very motivating running partner. There is one part of the course when you retrace the way you previously went so while we were running approx the 5th mile there were people on the other side of the road running the 7th back toward the end. When we hit the 8th mile I was not sure my legs would make it. My muscles felt very fatigued. I knew I would finish, I just wanted to slow down. I let Amanda get ahead of me for a while and I would keep an eye on her and if she got too far I would hustle closer to her. At one point I told her to go ahead and I'd meet her at the finish line. "Nope," she said calmly, "we're doing this together." So I grabbed some energy from somewhere and we hit the last mile. The best part was coming around that last curve, seeing all the spectators, and finding the people with our matching t-shirts, cheering for us! Then the last straight away we both just looked at each other and sprinted (or what we had left of a sprint). Crossed the finish line holding hands, hugged after that, we did it! Then we were corralled into the banana/water/spectator area. Found our friends, took some pictures, waited for a few more of our party to finish.

I ran with garb all over me. Our shirts were in honor of Mike, I had my AWP pin on my shoe so that when I looked down I could focus on all of us who have done this exhausting race in real life. I had both Mike's dog tags and Nick's dog tags tucked in safe keeping, and my mother's cross around my neck. I needed to draw strength from everyone that day.

I'm sad I didn't meet up with some of my friends that were in town for the race or other things that day. Little bit of a bummer, but after the race I was so exhausted and we just didn't have much time. We also stopped by Arlington because Mike's mom and sister wanted to see section 60. I showed them some spots that belong to husbands of my friends, and we were amazed at the amount of new plots with plastic markers and no headstones yet. Hard to fathom how recently they were walking this earth. I was sobering but an appropriate wrap up to the weekend, reminding us why we did this race.

More pictures of the actual race to come!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nothing Cohesive.

Ok it's kinda of crazy how people are on the same wavelength. I have been struggling with my identity lately and it's something I'm aware of but can't figure out how to fix. Not even how to start. I don't exactly know who this person is that feels happy now. I don't know what to do when I lay down in bed and don't spend hours crying and wishing for some type of peace. That may sound weird, because while I was there all I wanted was peace, relief, acceptance. Now that I feel closer I'm so confused. (sounds like the grass is always greener type of thing).

I was just talking with a widow friend last night and explaining that everything just seems more complicated now. Having a relationship is difficult to begin with and this suitcase of baggage that I am not willing to give up does not make it easier. Not that that is what Mike is to me, just what losing him has given me. The two men who notified me should have just brough me biggest one they could find and said "here you go- you're gonna take this everywhere from here on out." I am happy that I can have really great (sometimes repeated becasue I need to hash everything out) discussions about the things I'm feeling uncomfortable with because I know that that is something I need to have if someone plans to be with me. Sometimes those differing opinions sting because they hit so deep.

In other news-- The Army 10-Miler is Sunday! WOOOO! I am ready, I am a runner, I am going to finish this race, and it is going to be awesome. (This is what I repeat to myself throughout the days now.) I am excited to experience the race, the atmosphere, the whole thing. I'm very nervous. While I was running yesterday I decided that I just need to remember to keep my head up and take everything in. I could care less about my time, just that I finish the race. I know physically I can run ten miles without dying. So I'm there for the experience; to meet the thousands of other people and know their stories; to tell them about Mike; to meet some fellow widows who I've never met in person; to share this with Mike's sister Amanda, and his mom and friends; to look around and realize I'm running past the Capitol or the Washington Monument. To cross that freaking finish line and feel a little bit more (*bad ass*) proud of myself! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Revealing my points of anger.

In the early hours of the morning when lily wakes me up to go outside we do our business and usually go back to bed for a bit. These are the hours that deep thoughts start to cross my mind, maybe because I'm less trained to fight them when I'm half asleep. I am back in bed, doing this sort of stretching/meditation I do. I tend to sleep all crunched up in various forms of the fetal position which makes my back and leg muscles less than happy in the morning. Stretching helps them feel better and gives me time to breathe and let go. This morning as I was doing this a thought that seems obvious now that I recognize it floated to the surface. I am angry that life has me back in this situation. I am angry that I have to do it again. It feels like some kind of cruel joke.

I have met someone who I didn't think existed. That's really the best way for me to put it. He's jumped on my crazy train and has been a very sturdy source of support for me. Without diving into all the specific details of Nick (unless you want to hear them, ha) he has patience beyond measure and has walked forward with me and then taken a pause when I throw up my arms and tell him I'm too overwhelmed and things need to slow down. I very rarely look into the future. It doesn't matter what or how much I plan because life has it's own plan. Nick is a planner. I think it's something he was born with but his career dictates that he maintain that point of view. Nick's in the army.

Now you see. How did this happen? What is my deal? So these are the things occupying my mind lately.