I have two blog posts in the works that I’ll probably never finish or publish simply because my focus these days is, well, out of focus. One post is about my ongoing struggle with my anxiety medication and a recent bout of depression; and the other about my newest workout program, Cathe Friedrich’s X-Train, which I started last week.
Instead I give you a weekend race recap from the Marine Corps 10K that my husband and I ran in DC on Sunday morning. Very early on Sunday morning.
I shall preface this by saying, as the first paragraph suggested, that I’ve not been in a healthy emotional space lately. Part of this stems from the lingering feelings of failure for having bailed on the MCM Marathon and for running the 10K instead. This was supposed to be my big weekend, my moment of glory. A huge red check mark on the Bucket List. But I was running 6.2 instead of 26.2, and that bummed me out.
My husband, who was running the 10K as part of the TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) fundraising team, secured us a hotel room and shuttle service to and from the race through his company’s Director of Operations, a former Marine. We took full advantage of this golden opportunity to have our first night away from our children, ever.
We shopped, we dined out, we received zero kicks to the face while we slept since we didn’t have to bedshare with any tiny humans. The whole evening was downright spectacular and exactly what two weary parents needed.
Our shuttle picked us up at 5:30 am on Sunday morning. Five freaking thirty. We began to seriously question our commitment to this race and I even briefly considered faking an illness so that I could slip back to our room and snooze under the covers until checkout time.
But we didn’t do that and when we arrived on the National Mall and saw the countless numbers of uniformed Marines setting up for the race, we were humbled and instantly inspired to run our race.
And what a race it was. The whole shebang ran like a well-oiled machine. DC police, the National Guard, and military officers galore had the capitol completely shut down for us runners. It was really something to run the completely empty streets and bridges of DC. Well, empty except for the crowds.
The people who turn out to cheer on the runners are just the bee’s knees, bless ’em. Motivational signs, whoops and chants, a marching band, a group of Harley bikers, and did I mention the Marines? I don’t have the right words to describe what it feels like to have members of our military, who already serve our country and sacrifice themselves for my freedom, offer me a cup of Gatorade or a high five. Or tell me “Great job!” as I run by. Or put a medal around my neck and congratulate me. I was sure to thank as many Marines as I could along the course. I waved and clapped for them as they picked up our litter and stood guard at intersections, shouting, ” Thank you for your service, Marines!”
What a great run. Truly. Of course I still wish it’d been the marathon finish line that I was crossing, but today’s race wasn’t about the distance; it was about the heart. It was easy to see that everyone out there, from the amputees running on blades to those with the faces of fallen soldiers printed on their shirts in memoriam, was running with all their heart.
So the cure for my funk turned out to be a healthy dose of kid-free R&R and the best damn 6-mile run I’ve ever had. And the company I kept certainly played a role, as well.