I've started packing. I'm heading out with my mom pretty soon to Fort Lewis area to search for a place to call home and wait for James.
In pretty much one picture, this is what I accomplished during the deployment. This included my 10k medal, 5 half marathon medals, the caution tape "human lives" that I claimed from 4 human runners in my Zombie 5k last Sunday, and my greatest accomplish: my first marathon medal. Theoretically, I may do another race or two in 2012 but I'm done with racing until James gets home.
I also included my Team Salute singlet. Even though it was pretty uncomfortable, I did end up wearing it in the marathon. I exceded my goal of $520 and raised $657 for Salute Inc, an organization for military families in need. The Chicago Marathon Team Salute runners (about 100 of us) raised over $75,000. Training for the marathon became about something greater than just me, and I'm so proud that I was a part of it.
It felt strange to lay it all out …
I did a zombie run. Again. James and I actually did one last year. This year I did one with my brothers. This year I actually did catch 4 humans (humans had 3 flags to signify "lives" and got a 20 second head start)! Here is a picture of the zombie start. Maybe not a "happy picture" but it was really a fun race so I'm using it anyway. And the zombie dude next to me does look pretty happy.
That's me in the orange singlet and my two brothers to the right of me. I know. I look pretty scary. We added some blood last minute so I actually didn't even know I looked that scary until later.
Then afterwards we went out to dinner and still had our Zombie make-up on. And yes, we got some stares. And scared a few children (unintentionally, mostly). It was fun.
These are most of my favorite girls from the youth group that I volunteer for (including my co-leader and one of my best friends Sarah on the far right). This is back during a winter retreat and I know them and love them even more than when this picture was taken. I'm going to miss them a lot when I leave to go back to Fort Lewis.
I hadn't heard from my husband in a several days. That always kind of makes me nervous when he's not able to give me a heads up about it. If I wake up randomly in the middle of the night, I'll sometimes check my iphone to see if I have any new emails from him.
Then this morning, he emailed me and told me that he was at his new location. He's now at a much safer place for the rest of the deployment and doesn't have any more patrols. No more worrying about IEDs or getting shot. He's on a big base with walls and barbed wire and guards with guns and lots of Americans. It took a few minutes for that fully to set in. Then I told my mom and asked her if we could break out some wine to celebrate. At 10am, haha. And then I started crying out of relief.
The danger is pretty much over. I say pretty much, because it still makes me nervous that he's in Afghanistan at all. But really, the danger is over. I have to keep telling myself this, because I thought that I would…
Chicago, I always knew you would be my first. Oh goodness, where do I even start?
The Expo. It was the biggest expo that I've ever been to. I kind of felt like I was at Disneyland for runners. They had a really cool wall that you could scan your number and your name would appear with "Amy Owns 26.2" or "Amy Owns Chicago." I actually waited in a line to get this silly picture but I'm glad that I did.
Nike Chicago (formerly Nike Town, which just opened back up after about 6 months of remodeling) had this pretty cool thing going with the hashtag #ownchicago and the @chimarathon tag. There was this screen (that Nike Chicago also tweeted) that was made of twitter names. The more that you tweeted about it, the bigger your name was. Apparently I tweeted about @chimarathon a lot.
So I thought that was pretty dang cool. Then I went over to try to sign up for one of the official Nike Pace teams and hit a conundrum. There was a 4:10 group and a 4:25 group. Not a 4:15 …
Oh, golly it's coming fast. It's hard to believe that I signed up for this race 8 months ago. Holy cow. I just got my confirmation ticket/packet in the mail the other day. It's a 36-page participation guide booklet. I'm a little overwhelmed to say the least. Soo much information. My pace tattoo also came. For 4:15. Ah I don't even know if 4:15 is realistic for me. I'm still going by Jeff Galloway's Magic Mile calculator.
Also, I met my goal for my Team Salute fundraising. Yay! Actually I went over. I have some awesome friends and family. Here's the only problem.. I'm not really a fan of the Team Salute singlet.
So.. in Brooks and Nike stuff, I'm pretty much always a small. This is actually a medium. It's too short, and the neck holes and arm holes are too small. Plus, I kind of wanted to wear a bright color so that my family could pick me out easier in the crowd. Since I hit $500 in my fundraising, I'm supposed to get a Team Salute runnin…