How do you recap your 8th time running the Army Ten Miler? I’ll start at the end and then go back to the beginning. I came close to last year’s PR, running it in my second fastest time. My foot was fine. The weather was fantastic. The bridge still sucked but I won that mental battle and finished strong.
My husband picked this weekend to host his annual office get-together. We decided that getting chili from Hard Times Cafe was the easiest way to have hearty and vegetarian options, but I knew loading up on chili might lead to regrets (or worse) on race day. I carbo-loaded with chips, pasta salad and the apple pie that someone made from apple trees in their backyard–you just can’t pass that up! I sipped one beer over the course of the evening and drank lots of water.
Before I went to bed I put out all my gear, and left myself this important note:
“Garmin” written on a sticky note from the Lawyers Have Heart 10K.
What other race gives you sticky notes as swag?
I thought I set my alarm for 5:00 am, but really I just turned on my 5 am alarm that is set up to go off on weekdays. That could have been a major fail, but I also have my Vivosmart set to go off at 5:00 am every day, and that woke me up. Phew!
After my usual race morning routine (shower, dog walk, PB toast, one cup of coffee, several trips to the bathroom), I was ready to head out.
Yes, I do like to wear Pavement Runner’s shirts for my races.
We left the house a bit later than usual (~6:30) and paid the price with heavy traffic around the Pentagon. We still were able to find parking by 7:00 am, but next year we will try to leave earlier again.
My husband walked with me as far as he could, and then I headed to my corral. The corral was still pretty empty, so I snuck my phone out for a picture.
I always am moved by the singing of the Star Spangled Banner before races, but it is even more special at the start of the Army Ten Miler, in the shadow of the Pentagon, surrounded by soldiers, as the wounded warriors are about to get their head start. I really am thankful to live in this country, and grateful to all who serve.
I was in the second wave, but they gave each wave a countdown and cannon start, which I thought was really cool. As I was running the course, though, whenever I heard a distant “boom” I couldn’t help but think of the Hunger Games!
The course was the same as last year, which put the bridge at miles 7-8. I used my Garmin 225 to monitor my pace. I saw sub-8:00 a few times during the first few miles, but knew that was not sustainable. I aimed for 8:15, which felt do-able. The 8:21 split for mile 6 reflects some crowded turns (that’s where we run around the block to make that little square on the course map) but when I saw my pace lagging I was able to kick it up again. I’m surprised and pleased at how well I did across the bridge, but can see it took a toll on those last two miles!
8:09, 8:02, 8:08, 8:01, 8:08, 8:21, 8:16, 8:21, 8:33, 8:28
The Army Ten Miler does finisher coins instead of ribbonned medals.
My husband tells me it’s a military thing.
We took the shuttle bus back towards where we had parked, stopped at Starbucks for my post-race ice bath coffee, and headed home. We didn’t have to stop for ice since there was enough left in the cooler from our get-together. My husband’s sherpa duties now include lugging a cooler upstairs and dumping it out on me in the bath tub. 😉
That 10K time must be wrong!
My official finish pace is 8:20, but according to my Garmin I ran an 8:15 pace over 10.1 miles. Either way, it was my second fastest time. I knew I was not trained to beat last year’s PR, and was thrilled to beat my 2013 time–even if only by a few seconds.
All of my race gear worked out well. I had Nuun in my water bottle and really appreciated not fussing with a fuel belt that won’t stay put now that I have the Orange Mud Hydraquiver. When I finished my race I noticed that my instep felt a bit sore–as if it were bruised. I will have to scrutinize my new WaveInspire 12s and make sure they aren’t the source of that problem. I haven’t noticed any soreness after other runs, but the last thing I want is for new shoes to give me a new injury!
Do you have any big goals left to conquer in 2015?