so... about the 5k...
My first 5k didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped. I thought that running with a group and knowing it was a true race and counted for something would be great motivation to improve my distance, but it was hard. I had a lot of factors going against me... I worked 10 hrs overnight prior to the race, I hadn't eaten in a loooong time, and my water ran out 45 min before the race started. I've learned in the past 2 months that hydration is everything when it comes to running. I've also been cheating for the last month since the temperature soared to over 95 degrees on several occasions, so I wasn't prepared for the heat and humidity and what felt like 3.1 miles of an uphill battle.
Despite everything that went wrong, I did it. I ran my first 5k, and my first race ever. I can scratch that off the list of goals to accomplish, and move forward to longer distances and the many races I have lined up on my calendar in the months to come.
I never run for speed, so I was satisfied with my 32.01 time in the 5k. I found myself at the front of the pack during the start of the race, and before I knew it I had completed the first mile in 6.5 min. Not good. I usually strive for a 9 min-mile pace, and I wore myself out much too quickly. My competitive nature kicked in, and I couldn't stand to watch anyone pass me. Next time I'll be sure to line up in the very back and force myself to go slower than I want. 32.01 might be a pathetic time for many, but I was just glad to cross that finish line in one piece. I have plenty of years ahead of me to improve my time and start winning these races.
I knew when I showed up at the Country Music Hall of Fame this morning that the Fourth of July Music City run was in honor of our troops, being that it was Independence Day, but I wasn't prepared for what I learned after the race. While I was rehydrating and catching my breath I pulled the new t-shirt out of my bag to check it out, and saw what was printed on the back:
Proudly supporting currently deployed 278th Armored Calvary Regiment in Iraq
I immediately lost it. In my mind I was running for Nick and my other friends in the 278th and thought about them every minute of the run, but didn't realize that the entire run was dedicated to them and the Wounded Warrior Project. The combination of endorphins flowing through my blood and the emptiness I feel until Nick returns home safely collided for a 15 min. post-run sob in the middle of the Country Music Walk of Fame. I had just finished my first real race since becoming a runner, and a new me, and I hadn't talked to Nick in over 2 weeks. I felt like a whole new person... a new person that he had yet to meet. I feel like I've dealt with this deployment well over the last 7 months, but I also feel like he has missed out on so many important things in my life. I couldn't handle another milestone that he wasn't a part of.
The day wasn't completely lost though, because a few hours after arriving home I was shocked to receive a call from Nick. It was amazing. We were able to talk for nearly an hour, and words can't describe the way it felt. 2 weeks might not seem long to go without talking to someone, but when it's your best friend and your rock that you share everything with 2 weeks can feel like an eternity.
I can't help but count down the days until he's finally home. It still doesn't seem real, but I don't think it will until I'm safe in his arms once again. It's impossible to understand just how much I miss him.
If you haven't already, please check out the donation page for my half-marathon training. 100% of all donations go to the Restore Ministries of the Middle TN YMCA. I need your help to make my dream of becoming a half-marathon runner a reality!