Tuesday, July 9, 2013

So this is it...

Yesterday was my last first day, EVER. With the completion of this class, I'll earn my masters degree and move back into my parents' house. Hmm, I feel like that's an oxymoron..

I'm ready to get out there! I wanna go work for somebody and show 'em what I've got! I literally feel like my brain is busting with all the knowledge Grady has shoveled me for the past three years! Yes, I'm completely scared to fall flat on my face and embarrass myself but, at the same time, I've worked so hard for that moment and that opportunity, it's driving me crazy to be jobless one month from graduation.

On a positive note- I recently ran my first 10k! It was the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Georgia. My boyfriend's family has been running the race since before he was born. So have thousands of other runners because this race is the world's largest 10k with 60,000 runners. Can we just take a moment to contemplate that number? 60,000. Runners. I lucked out to be placed in B group, meaning I was the second group to start, after the wheelchair, seeded and sub-seeded runners.

After the Boston Massacre Marathon, I was terrified at what might happen along the route or at then end, inside Piedmont Park. This is probably because I'm such a hypochondriac. I was also afraid the mass number of runners would run me right over. I was in B group, remember? That means super fast. I do not run super fast. I wouldn't even say I run, I just jog. Slowly. Especially up hills. PLUS, we were late getting to the start line so I didn't get a chance to stretch before we took off, zig zagging around hoards of people to make it into our groups before time started. My legs were cramping, it was drizzling a little, and I barely got to kiss my boyfriend goodbye before he darted off to the sub-seeded group. (His one of those really fast people).

Before we started, under the American flag, the announcer recognized those who help(ed) keep us free and safe. Then he counted down and I held my breath. I started five minutes after group A and I remember looking at the start clock, watching it tick closer to 5:00 and wishing it would just stop or get there faster, enough with all this waiting business! And then they waved a flag (which I couldn't see over all the people) and off we went.

The whole thing was kind of a blur because I was so nervous. It's strange, I felt a little like a celebrity having people lining the streets, cheering and staring and applauding me. I tried to stay along the right side because that's where the slow people like to hang out. Unfortunately, businesses like to hang out free things to people along the left side of the street. Boo.

If you've heard about the Peachtree, you may have heard about Heartbreak Hill. My boyfriend told me it was called that because the hill was so terrible people died on it every year. He's such a stinker! This is definitely not true. I think the hill is only a small incline but boy, it lasts forever! Like half a mile forever! Also, it goes right passed the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation hospital. That's were the name really comes from- seeing those people cheering you on who can't be out there themselves. It didn't really break my heart to see them, it made me smile, because they were smiling. It was extra motivation to keep pushing. Also providing motivation were all the people who started walking on the hill. All of a sudden, I felt like I was flying just because I kept pushing while they all dropped off like flies hitting an invisible wall.

After that hill, my knees started hurting a little and the cramps I had before the start started to come back. All the people along the side helped me push on and forget that I was running 6.2 miles (oh my goodness, 6.2 miles!!!!!). Once you hit about 5.7-5.8 miles (this is me guessing- I'm terrible at guessing!) the number of people lining the streets swelled, the music was louder and more frequent and the cheering, bells, and clapping became constant white noise. That was really energizing. I've never felt that kind of accomplishment before. It was really something special that I don't know I can explain properly. It was something like exhaustion, motivation, pride, relief, inspiration, thankfulness, excitement, and power, all at the same time.

So when the time came that I rounded the last corner, started the down-hill stretch and same the 6 mile sign, I was able to kick it into 3rd gear and sprint under the finish line just under an hour. BOOM!
That's how I felt.
Maybe a little bit more like "boom". haha

I think the worst part of the experience would be after the finish, when I ruined my shoes in the park. It's been raining for two weeks in Atlanta and Piedmont was super muddy. I tried to wash my Nikes when we got home but, they'll never be the same. sob.

Other than that monumentous event and weeping over my lack of job, the only other thing I've been doing is cooking. Tons of cooking. My boyfriend's family has a garden which seems to be over producing zucchini and squash. I think I have those two vegetables coming out of my ears!! Time to get creative I guess!