Army Ten Miler Recap — Lucky Number Seven

This year was my seventh time running the Army Ten Miler, and the 30th anniversary of the race. Since I started the day without much of a plan and ended up with an unexpected PR, I will remember this Army Ten Miler recap as Lucky Number Seven. 

30th Army Ten Miler

This year also was the 30th year for the GW Parkway Classic
I guess 1985 was a good year for running!

With all my recent racing, I’ve got my pre-race preparations down to a simple routine. I fix homemade spaghetti and turkey meatballs for dinner.

Carb Loading for Army Ten Miler

I lay out my gear, and leave myself a list for the morning:
Gatorade, Garmin, earbuds, phone.

Gear for Army Ten Miler

I relax with a beer, check out other race preparation posts on Facebook, set my alarm, and go to bed early.

The Army Ten Miler has wave starts, but I wanted to make sure I was lined up for the National Anthem at 7:40 and the Wounded Warrior start at 7:50, so we planned to leave the house at 6:45. I decided I would skip my pre-race shower, so I set my alarm for 5:30.

Pre-Race Breakfast
When my alarm went off, I got dressed in my race gear, put on a jacket, and took Tiger Lilly out for a short walk to assess the weather (50F) and drink some water. Then I fixed my usual pre-race breakfast, filled my water bottle with Gatorade and made final sherpa logistics plans with my husband. That’s when I looked at the course map and realized that they had tweaked the route again this year.

Army Ten Miler 2014 Route
See that little loop at the bottom? We used to make a right at the end of the Fourteenth Street Bridge and run another mile to the finish line, but this year we reached the end of the bridge at about 8 1/2 miles, turned left, and did a short loop through Crystal City. Hmm.

When we got to the Pentagon, I took a moment to enjoy this gorgeous sky.

Army Ten Miler Sunrise

I took it as a sign that this was going to be a great race!

I spent a few minutes trying to find people, but gave up when I realized that my wave started earlier than I thought, and that I needed to use the porta pottys. I was walking to my corral when they started the National Anthem, and was pleased to see everyone stop and listen. At the Arm Ten Miler, people take these ceremonies seriously.

I was touched by the convocation, especially when the chaplain reminded us to notice the graves of the fallen that we would pass as we looped through Arlington National Cemetery, and all of the monuments and memorials we would see along the rest of the route. Nothing was more moving than seeing the Wounded Warriors on the course.

Army Ten Miler Wounded Warrior

I don’t usually take pictures during a race, but I wanted to remember and honor this soldier and be grateful for the sacrifices that so many have made so that I can enjoy the freedom of waking up on a beautiful Sunday morning to run a race through our nation’s capital.

This being the Army, everything was right on time, and my wave started at 8:16. I had no specific goals for this race, but was hoping to be faster than I was at the Reston Perfect 10, when it was warmer and hillier. I might have had an 8:25 pace at the back of my mind, but I really wasn’t focused on my pace. I was enjoying the day and just tried to keep a hard but sustainable pace.

Army Ten Miler Splits

I was happy with my first split time, and surprised at the sub-8:00 splits for the next two miles. I don’t think I saw that fourth split time, but I remember trying to pace myself better (and save something for the bridge) for the next few miles. I felt really strong for the first section of the bridge (mile 7-8), but had to work to sustain my pace for the last, sunny, section. I definitely was getting tired by mile 9, but I knew I had more to give for the last mile, so once I passed the 9th mile marker I tried to pick up my pace again. I was huffing and puffing as I reached the Pentagon parking lot–and thrilled when I realized that I was not going to have to go up one last overpass to reach the finish line!

Army Ten Miler Recap

When I saw the time on my Garmin, I thought it might be close to a PR for this race, but I had to pull up my Race Recap page to make sure. 🙂

I collected my medal, picked up a banana and some snacks from the post-race offerings, and made my way to the shuttle bus back to the other end of the Pentagon parking lot, where my husband was waiting. (He rode his bike to cheer me on along the course, and headed back to the Pentagon after seeing me at mile 9.) I was deciding whether I would take an ice bath when my calf cramped up as I got on the bus, so we stopped at Starbucks and got ice on the way home.

ice bath

Now I’m ready for my next race — the .US National 12K on my birthday in November! 

Is there an event you do year after year?

Do you have any races left on your 2014 calendar?

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24 Responses to Army Ten Miler Recap — Lucky Number Seven

  1. great race and love your recap. i love that you took the time to honor our soldiers- current and former. love this! congrats on the PR!
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…Friday Five: Five Favorite Fuels for RunningMy Profile

  2. Congrats on a great race! I had a rough one today. It was my longest race this year since my injury and I forgot how hard it was. I kept saying that I didn’t care what my time was and that I only wanted to finish without walking. So I am going with that. There’s always next year right?!
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…5 Healthy Vegetarian Meals to Fuel Your WorkoutsMy Profile

  3. Wow, congrats on an amazing PR!! This was my first ATM and I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to do it next year. It had very much the same feel of MCM and the wounded warriors, really humbling for sure. I didn’t run a PR, but definitely raced it. It was a beautiful morning and we really lucked out with the weather!

  4. Congratulations!!! Great race. I’m not sure I knew that a beer was part of your pre-race preparations – I do hope there’s a post race beer, too. 🙂

    You have been racing a lot – so awesome to see how much you are crushing your times. Congrats!!!! Love the inspiration of this race, too. So grateful to those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.
    carrie@familyfitnessfood.com recently posted…Wow!My Profile

  5. Carla says:

    SO SO SO PROUD OF YOU.
    Yep.
    P-WORD.
    PROUD.
    Carla recently posted…Is there a happiness set point?My Profile

  6. Congratulations – I love the medal for that one.

    I’m just a beginner, however I can see the appeal of doing the same event year after year, and might start doing it.

    But I’m also tempted by seeing new places and shiny new runs!
    Louise @ Louises Fitness Journey recently posted…First Half Marathon … aimed for 2hr30 ……and achieved..My Profile

  7. Congrats on the surprise pr!! Those are fantastic splits!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Ready for a rematchMy Profile

  8. Yum Yucky says:

    It’s mind-boggling how you have the ability to do an ice bath. Oh-my gawwsh!
    Yum Yucky recently posted…9 Moves for a Better BootyMy Profile

  9. Congrats!!! So so happy for you!! OK – next year I think that I have to come to DC and run a 10 miler with you! Well, maybe not with you exactly since you’re speedier than me 🙂
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Grokker + You = #BeABetterYouMy Profile

  10. Kim says:

    WooHoo – awesome job on that PR – great race!!!
    I think I would love that race – seems like it would be very emotional.
    Kim recently posted…Unconditional LoveMy Profile

  11. Marie says:

    My dream is a DC race, any DC race really. This looks awesome congrats on a great time!

    http://happyandundignified.blogspot.com/
    Marie recently posted…Monday Musing: Fundraising for CharityMy Profile

  12. Jennifer says:

    Congrats on the PR! How did you like the mini course change? Do you prefer Crystal City version?
    Jennifer recently posted…NYC Marathon Training 10/6-10/12 – Week 17My Profile

  13. Awesome job Coco! Congrats on your PR!!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Training Check-in – Week 11My Profile

  14. Wow. Congrats on an amazing race, and super speedy pace.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Unexpected GainsMy Profile

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