I was hesitant to run this race for a couple of reasons. One, I’ve had trouble breathing all week, and I wasn’t sure if running a 5K race would slow my recovery. With the Army Ten-Miler in two weeks, I need to be healthy! And two, the race benefits a local animal shelter. Why would that make me hesitant? Well, a friend recently had a horrific experience with this particular shelter, and part of me felt really bad supporting an organization that caused so much hurt for her family. We’ve run this race the last four years and thought it was a good cause, but now I just don’t know. In the end, though, I decided that B and I had already paid for registration, so running or not running wouldn’t make any kind of statement one way or another.
I didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to see so many dogs so soon after losing Shadow. B got his dog-petting fix, visiting with every friendly animal on the premises. I was happy to see many smiley dog faces, even though it was bittersweet, but I still wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing by being out there.
So it was with mixed emotions that we showed up at the starting line this morning. I pinned on my race number and set up my headphones, but I stood on the sidewalk until the last minute, only deciding to run and jumping in with the crowd after the national anthem.
We’ve run this race all four years of its existence, and the course has been different at least three of those times. So I really had no idea where I was going, but volunteers stood at pretty much every intersection to guide us. I even saw a few familiar faces out there!
I ran the entire thing, but took it easy the whole way. It wasn’t anywhere near my best time, but not my worst either. But considering I still kind of sound like Darth Vader, I’m okay with that.