Posing with my newest shwag: a t-shirt and flag from this morning's Baghdad Ten-Miler. This race is the Baghdad edition of the Army 10-Miler, which will take place in Washington, D.C. the same day (which is actually, like, tomorrow, but it is 8 October). Our weather was perfect; I was actually cold this morning. I hear it is raining in D.C.
My Last Blog from Iraq
Well, today marks the end of an era for me, so to speak. As I type this, I feel a little strange. I am not sad, I am not ecstatic; I merely am. I just can't believe I'm leaving, finally, for good, and I can't believe I'm actually going to miss Baghdad.
I've carved out a nice little life for myself here, and I think of Camp Victory and Camp Liberty as my community. I know the people, and they know me. It's like moving out of the neighborhood you grew up in. It's inevitable, and it's good progress, but it has sad edges to it.
I am really happy that I got to do a final road race here before departing. I realized last night that the 8th is the Baghdad edition of the Army 10-Miler (an annual event in Washington D.C.), and I decided I had to run it. I think that everybody is known for something, and what I am known for here is running. I cannot describe how happy I am to have been able to squeak in one last hurrah here by running this race. It was an AWESOME event, and the T-shirt kicks butt. I was fully unprepared for a 10 miler, so my goal was to just run it and not actually race. I've only been running three miles about every other morning or so lately. I basically just ran my regular 3-mile pace and added 7 miles to the distance. Haha. I finished in 72 minutes, 22 seconds, and that was good enough for third place female, overall (7:17 average mile). Not great, but not too shabby, either! The coolest part is, the top 5 male and female finishers got these awesome Iraqi flags embroidered with the race name, the date, and our place. Not a bad departing gift at all, if I do say so myself.
I said goodbye to all the race regulars, and they agreed it was a pretty cool send-off. I was sad to bid some dear friends goodbye, too, but I think I'll see them again. Everybody wants to visit San Diego, so at least I have that going for me. Right, Ami? Right, Paul?
Well, it's about that time. I have to go throw my "famous" purple running shoes over a telephone wire before I depart, so I guess I'd better head out. I'll blog soon from Kuwait.
Peace out, Baghdad. I hope you get your $h!+ together real soon.