The sun had just started rising when I left the house. The air was crisp and chilly, and no one was on the street. I guess that’s typical at 7 a.m. on Sunday. But today I had a mission: run the Army 10-Miler!
It was my first time running this race, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew there were 35,000+ runners and that it started at the Pentagon. I didn’t study the course, but looked at it long enough to know where the water stops were (I’ve improved immensely with hydrating!).
While I waited in my corral, I could hear the start guns going off for the different waves. Wounded Warriors and wheelchair racers started first, and by the time I had reached the start line, I saw several of those soldiers whizzing by me toward the finish. The athleticism of those racers was impressive! Everyone cheered as they passed. It got me excited! I love the energy on race day!
With large races comes a slower pace (at least for me). It’s difficult to break away from the crowd, so instead of wasting energy early on, I conserved, thinking that I’d be able to find some space later on.
Many soldiers ran in the race; some injured, others not. Most inspirational to me were the young amputees. One really got me choked up. He was a young double amputee with two blade-like prosthetic legs. It seemed that he may have been a new amputee; his face showed pain and frustration as he walked, and a soldier under each shoulder helped him along. “You got this!” I yelled. “You’re doing great!”
It was hard to see someone younger than me struggle with what I assumed was a war injury. It made me thankful and appreciative for our military. It’s easy to forget the sacrifices they make for us, especially when so many of them are on foreign soil.
As I plugged along, I heard a “Go Team!” Luckily and quite by chance, fellow TNT teammate Cara found me around mile four. We were both wearing our purple TNT shirts and that’s how she found me! I was excited to have someone to run with, especially a teammate. I’ve become accustomed to running with a partner, and I actually felt myself ease up and settle into my pace. Cara and I run similar paces, and had lots to talk about: her upcoming wedding, our backstories, our jobs. We crossed the finish line together and snapped a picture!
There are many perks to distance running. Besides carb loading and the fun running gear (I tried Injinji toe socks today. Love!), it also gives you the excuse to accomplish nothing remarkable for the rest of the day. It’s quite glorious, actually.
After rolling out and icing, I’ve done nothing today except eat, sleep, and watch football. Oh, and another plus: no work tomorrow! The office is closed for Columbus Day. I’ll start my morning with barre class, and then hunt for the perfect shade of neon green nail polish for race day (TNT colors are purple and green).
Let the countdown begin! Marine Corps is in TWO WEEKS! 🙂