Run and Friendships

We celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this past weekend. Whenever I think about Dr. King and the inspiration he is to so many, I think about love, the choice of love, patience, and compassion over violence. My husband is once again away from home for work. He’s been very, very busy and stressed out for the past 2 months…and every night, I have to remind him to trust God and everything will turn out OK. So for this long weekend without him, I had planned to spend some time down in Phoenix with friends and run my first half-marathon.

Yup, you read right! I ran my first half this past weekend and it was such a fun, exhilarating, and empowering experience. I will admit that I’m somewhat of a lazy-bum so I am probably slightly undertrained for all my races. I am also the internally competitive type, meaning I usually only care about whether I reached my own goals (and not what others are doing or have done). I wasn’t too sure what to expect for my first half so I set the goal of 1) finishing under 3 hours (OK, like I said, I am not only lazy but also slow) and 2) running all of the 13.1 miles. It turns out I ran the race at 2:42 and I was running/shuffling the whole way! I even pulled out a short sprint at the last 50-100 feet! It was very exciting :D

The best part though, about the whole experience, was running and sharing my weekend with friends. One of the best things about living this Army life is the friends you make along the way. My friend S and I had been talking about doing a race together for a long time. We finally decided to meet up in Phoenix for my first half. We were talking and laughing the whole time during the race and I am so happy that we were able to catch up again. My friend K and her husband (who’s an old friend of my huband’s) were also at the race. I just saw K and Co. in November. It was lovely to hang out together again so soon. You see, these are Army friendships. I live in Colorado, S lives in Texas, and K lives in Arizona, so we usually don’t get to see each other. But this time, we were able to all meet up at one place to catch up and share our lives. More than anything, this is one of the gems that makes this transient-like Army life bearable; this is the stuff that keeps us going.

While the trip was awesome, it was a short one for me. I was home the same day as my run (and I could barely walk to my car because my feet were so sore)! After some TLC the next day (lots of sleep, hot baths/showers, a relaxation massage with a foot scrub), I am almost back to normal. I will probably go on a short run later this week but it’s mostly back to work (aka sitting at my desk), yoga, and walking for now. Nonetheless, I will hold the experiences and the joy I felt this weekend in me for a long time. In a larger sense, this weekend was a reminder that despite all my #firstworldproblems, I am more than blessed. I recognize the beauty that is a life with friends and I cherish it. I thank the universe for all the love.