This morning, as I was nursing Gabriella, I was thinking how awesome it would have been if he could have met her. He was kind of a tough guy, but had a soft spot for long eyelashes and a sweet smile. She is so beautiful, there is no doubt in the world - he would have loved her. I tried not to get too emotional, after all it was only 6:15am. So we got ourselves together and headed out to the Military Appreciation 5k. Stephen sat in the back with Gabriella (I swear the rear reclining seats have me driving Ms Daisy more often than not!) and I heard him tell her how today we were going to think about Grandpa and how she didn't get to meet him...I almost lost it.
We arrived at the packet pick up just in time. I met up with Heatherand Kelly before the race. It was really cool because I've talked to Kelly in our running moms group on Facebook but you never really think you'll meet people that are in these groups. She was here on vacation and I thought it was awesome that she decided to do this 5k!
We all run different paces, Heather runs like she has a rocket up her butt (and I mean that in the nicest possible way and only a tad bit of jealousy...lol), I'm in the middle, averaging about a 9:30mm, and Kelly is about a 12mm. When it came to start the race we gave high 5's all around and headed to our estimated places amongst the modest crowd. It was 8am and probably already 80 degrees out, and I just knew this race was going to be a tough one. I wasn't really expecting to come out with a PR, so really it was just about getting out there and showing my appreciation for our veterans as well as active military.
I started off pretty good, a solid and surprisingly easy feeling 9mm pace for the first mile. I thought maybe if I could keep it up, I would pull a PR after all! As the second mile approached I could feel a slowing of my pace and an increased need to pee, seriously, this whole 6 month old has impacted me in ways I never thought, I found myself wondering why there wasn't a port-a-potty at every mile marker...lol I also felt the sun beating on my face, and I kept thinking I could use a little help moving... I wish I had a really inspiring story about how I felt myself being lifted and carried across the finish line, as if my dad was a wind at my back pushing me to some astounding PR... but nope, that didn't happen... knowing my dad he was up there looking down, shaking his head wondering why in the world I would be running when no one was chasing me!
Heather had what she called one of her worst 5k's at 25 minutes and change, a result I would probably have taken the whole crew to Tommy Bahamas for a round if I had accomplished... and she placed 1st for her age group!
I finished in 29:33 (I think, official results haven't been posted yet) - which is about par with my last 5k finish of 29:22 from May 7th. I placed 2nd for my age group. I will always say, I love small local races, it's good for the ego... I am about to get serious with my cross training, so watch out! I feel like my next race, an 8k on July 2nd, will have me setting a new PR.
The best part of the day for me was being able to snap this shot of Kelly. She just heard that she placed 3rd for her age group... I literally just turned around and snapped it, I didn't even look really... Running a 5k to support veterans, $20 (well for me it was free *veteran*), meeting up with friends to run on a hot morning - $3 in gas & a bottle of water, capturing your new friend with such a genuine expression of surprise, elation & accomplishment - PRICELESS!
So at the end of this hot, humid, emotional morning, I found myself smiling... how could I not? It's not about PR's or awards (although these things are nice)... it's about sharing experiences with people. At the end of the day - it's about making the most of every day, remembering moments of the past and continuing to live in the present... I know for me, these moments won't be forgotten...
In remembrance of Clifford T. Harris, August 30, 1946 - May 29, 2008...
I miss you Daddy!