Restoring The Medical Mile

Posted: June 12, 2011 in Love and Marriage
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My wife now has two silver medals from the Cox Health Medical Mile hanging on our “wall of fame.”  This is where we display all of our race bib numbers and medals from the various events we participate in.

Our "Wall of Fame"

Last year, after she ran the half-marathon that inspired me to get back in shape, I set my sights on running a 5K as a goal for myself.  The Medical Mile is an annual event in Springfield that benefits the Children’s Miracle Network.  Recently, they added a 5K run/walk, and I chose that event to be my first.  I used the C25K program and some trail running with my wife and our son to train, and I hoped to be able to run it in under 30 minutes.

At the event, they hold the mile run first, then the 5K follows after about a 30 minute break.  Some runners participate in both, and my wife was to be one of them.  I waited by the finish line to cheer her on in the mile, and she ran a faster time than she had in any of her training runs.  Unfortunately, she used up so much of her energy that she struggled through the 5K, battling the heat and developing a headache partway through.

I had no idea how to pace myself during the 5K, so I just tried to let my body tell me how to fast to go.  It was a hot, humid day, but I felt strong as I approached the finish line.  My lack of experience kicked in there and I didn’t even look at the clock to gauge my time.  I ended up missing my goal by one second, posting a 30:01.  I was a little disappointed, but I was glad to have completed my first race.

Afterward, we hung around for the award ceremony, mostly to see if we would win any of the random door prizes that are usually given away at these events.  Both of our mouths fell open in disbelief when the announcer called out my wife’s name during the medal presentations.  She had been training for 5K’s;  the mile was something of an afterthought, so we hadn’t even considered where she had finished.  It turned out, she placed second in her age group and eighth overall!

Our separation made it a bittersweet day.  It was great to be sharing this part of lives, but I would have given everything I had to have our marriage back.  I was proud of myself for running the 5K, and proud of my wife for her accomplishments, but there was a hole in my heart where she should have been.  I took a lot of pictures, bragged about her medal to everyone I could, and tried to make the moment last as long as possible.  In the end, though, we were going to go our separate ways.

For this year’s race, which was held last weekend, she moved up into the 40-49 age group, so we figured that gave her an even better chance, but you never know with these things.  She had also been spending more time enjoying our new life together and a lot less time training, so she didn’t even commit to running the mile until a week or two beforehand.  Her training runs weren’t very good, but I figured she’d pull out a better time when it was the real thing.

She didn’t run nearly as well this year as last year, but we tried not to be disappointed.  We were glad to be part of supporting a good cause and glad to be together.  That was the biggest difference.  Last year, there was all the stress of our marriage problems and the uncertainty of our future clouding everything we did.  We were working hard and training well, and we were both getting into really good physical condition. Mentally and emotionally, everything was marred by the fact that we weren’t together and things weren’t working out for us.

This year, we thought it must be a mistake when the same announcer again called my wife’s name as the second place winner in her division.  We didn’t think she had placed and had almost left before they even presented the awards.  This year’s Medical Mile and 5K would have been a successful stop on the restoration tour even without a medal to show for it.  Getting to bring one home and add it to the wall just made it that much more of a special memory.


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