Today was the big day. My boyfriend and I had our 10K this morning. Neither of us were very excited. We didn’t train well and ate pretty poorly this entire week. When I asked if he was excited he responded by saying, “It’s just another day.” So you can only imagine how we felt when the race organizer told us that they changed the course from last year and added trail running to the route. To be fair, we didn’t run this race last year, but no where online did it say that trail running was included. And to make it even worse, they decided to make the course easier for the 5K runners by minimizing the number of hills. How much sense does that make? So before we started the race, my boyfriend and I decided that our only goal was to finish.
We started the race at different times; I started almost at the back of the pack. We talked about running the race together, but the more we talked about how unprepared we were, we decided it would be best to run our own race. I tried looking for him, but never saw him. To keep myself focused, I singled out runners who were in front of me and tried to pass them. It worked. At the two and half mile mark the course split for the 10K runners and the trail running began. Oh my goodness, talk about a workout. Trail running is a beast of its own. There were some pretty tough hills and I was struggling to get up them. One runner in front of me had a shirt that said “use walk breaks” and that’s exactly what I did to get up that final hill.
Somewhere between miles three and five, I saw my boyfriend. I had just reached the top of the hill and he was on his way down. He stuck out his hand and we high-fived. I probably would’ve smiled if I wasn’t so tired. When I ran my half marathon last year, he was hundreds of miles away and couldn’t be at the finish line to congratulate me (No one was there which still bums me out when I think about it). But this morning, after he crossed the finish line, he waited until it was my turn. There’s just something about seeing a familiar face at the end that makes me feel like I conquered something special.
Before the race started I had no intention of checking my official time, but when I finished the clock said 1:00:45. It seemed like I was running for longer than an hour so I was curious to see how I did. We checked our race times and to both of our surprise, we both finished second in our age group. Heck yeah! I think we were both more proud of the other than we were of ourselves.
Although we’re both very busy, we try our best to support each other whenever we can. For me, that means attending intramural games or watching him host comedy shows and concerts. For him, that means watching me give a presentation to a group of students or attending a program hosted by my department. We do a lot of things separately and independently. Not that we don’t spend time together because we do, sometimes it’s just rare. Which is why our marathon this fall, hopefully, is even more special. It’s something that we’ll not only be able to do together, but also accomplish together.