Happy birthday to me - I wanna run (pronounced "ruuuun"). This year Jacksonville's annual River Run was on my birthday. Since I am not much of a birthday guy, I decided there was no better way to celebrate than to punish my body for growing old by running 9.3 miles with several thousand other people.
I last ran the River Run three years ago, and back then I trained for it mercilessly. But then two years ago I didn't get to participate because I was gone on my deployment overseas. Last year Rachel and I trained for the River Run, but then I got extended overseas again and didn't return from Italy until the night before the race. I was too jet-lagged to get up the next morning and run. This year, I decided to run the race without training. If nothing else it would be a good study to see how much worse I ran than three years ago. Astonishingly, 28 year-old Billy kept pace with 25-year-old Billy throughout the whole race. In fact, I finished the race in 1 hour and 20 minutes, about 1 minute faster than I ran it three years ago. I guess I am growing older and better (but apparently less modest, huh?).
As was the case three years ago, Brett and Natalie Loucks ran the race with me. However, Rachel had to sit on the sidelines this year on account of Red and Lellow. Natalie's sister Nicola came from Atlanta to run with Nat, while Rachel and my brother Mike watched the Louck's baby Tessa. This is a picture of Rachel saving Tessa from a rabid alligator that got loose at the race. I guess those maternal instincts have already kicked in.
Post-race, as I was cringing and complaining about my old-man knees and wobbly back, Rach and I figured out that the whole darn Klug Crew was 28 now. I had caught Rachel in years (she turned 28 back in September), Tyson is four people years making him 28 in dog years, and the twins are a combined 28 weeks. Rachel baked us all a birthday brownie for the post-race celebration. I wanted to make it a 28 only party, thus excluding Mike from having any brownies and ice cream, but Rachel gave him some anyway.