Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Triumphant 10 Miles
22048 HRVATIN, STACEY F26
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!
Posted by Stacey at 10:29 AM