There’s a first time for everything!

This post doesn’t have much to do with clarinet, I’ll be perfectly honest.  But I experienced a couple major “firsts” that I feel I must share.  The one that I’m most proud is from Saturday.  I completed my first 5k race!  It was never a goal for me to do a race when I started to run at the beginning of the summer, but it seemed like something fun to do and something motivating to keep me in shape since I have to wait so long before I ship out.

The race itself was not a true 5k, only 2.9 miles, so just short of a full 5k.  It took place on the UR river campus and the course was really nice, most of it was along the Genesee river (which if you don’t know, is the river that runs through downtown Rochester).  I told myself I was going to go all out because I wanted to get it under 30 minutes, which I had yet to do in my 5k workouts.  Usually I don’t run 100% during my workouts, mostly because I don’t want to overdo it, but there is a little bit of laziness there too!!  I figured I had no excuse not to go 100% here.

I set a pretty fast pace from the beginning, I think because I was so excited and there were about 100 people around me!  I had to remind myself several times that I had to hold back my pace a little if I wanted to make it through the entire race!  But I was still booking – I got to the first mile marker and I looked down at my watch at it said just over 8 minutes!  Woo!  Personal record for a mile for me!  I’ve been struggling to get my miles under 9 minutes, so I felt awesome.  What was really inspiring was a group of Marines who were running next to me in their uniforms with 60lb packs on (oh and boots, no running shoes!!).  Yes, I’ll be in the military soon too, but I’ll probably never be like that.  I’m only doing it to play my silly instrument!  They were very inspiring and motivating!  Totally awesome.

At this point I had a good pace going, and I felt really good.  About half way through the 2nd mile, that’s when I started to pass a lot of people.  I think other people were blasting through the beginning and then they ran out of gas.  I got to the 2 mile marker and I was at about 16 minutes…holy cow!  Even if I had walked from this point I probably would have been under 30 minutes!  I kept pushing on, though, cuz that’s how I roll.  The last mile was the toughest, because it had a lot of up and down hills.  I felt like I was going to run out of gas at the end, but then I saw the finish line, and I decided to really push it and sprint the last 100 feet or so.  I saw the official clock as I was approaching the finish line, and it said 24:05!!!!  I was so proud of myself and happy.  I don’t know what my official time was, because I saw the clock several seconds out from the finish line, but I don’t really care because it was so much faster than I had even anticipated! 

So after a great weekend, I had a lovely meeting with my recruiter.  This is where the second “first” comes in…I’m much less proud of this one.  I had to give a military salute for the first time yesterday!  Haha and it sucked ass.  Now since I’m in DEP I have to do a salute routine before I can enter the recruiter’s office.  Basically it goes like this: I march in, flank left on this Navy rug, do a salute to the American flag in the corner, turn to anyone in the office, hold up my DEP ID card and salute and say, “Future Sailor Herrera requesting permission to board”, and then wait for someone to say, “permission granted”.  And when I leave, I have to salute my recruiter (and hold up my DEP ID card) and say “Future Sailor Herrera requesting permission to go ashore”, wait for them to say “permission granted”, and then turn and salute the flag, and march out of the office.  Ugh, it did not go that smoothly.  I won’t go into details, but it was pretty!  And I was super nervous, which didn’t help at all. 

Last week my recruiter said that the reason that they make us do this is because this is what is expected in basic training, and they are trying to get us used to doing it.  So i guess I’m glad I’m making these mistakes now instead of later!  My recruiters are a little more forgiving than the people at RTC!!!  Ugh, but I was still embarrassed…mostly because Ben witnessed the whole thing!!  LOL!  I’ll get used to it I’m sure…and I’m sure I will be embarrassed several more times before this journey ends!

237 days!!!!

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