Gearing Up For My Ninth Army Ten Miler

This weekend I will be running the Army Ten Miler for the ninth time. It’s a race I have mixed feelings about, and yet I can’t resist signing up when registration opens–and quickly closes–in May. 

2016 ATM Map

Did they tweak the starting line again?

For today’s Friday Five link up hosted by Courtney, Mar and Cynthia, I’m sharing five things on my mind about the 2016 Army Ten Miler. If you’re racing this weekend, I’d love for you to add your recap to the link up I’ll being hosting starting Sunday night .  

  1. The Weather. Runners always stalk the weather before a race, but I stalk the weather even more than usual before the Army Ten Miler because it usually coincides with a change in the weather from hanging-on-to-summer to here’s-a-taste-of -winter. This weekend Hurrincane Matthew makes weather tracking even more interesting, although so far it’s not forecast to impact the weather on Sunday.
  2. Packet Pick-Up Logistics. Packet pick-up for the Army Ten Miler is at the D.C. Armory, which is at the far end of D.C. from my office. I’m hoping to escape work early on Friday so I can get there and home before the worst of rush-hour traffic. 
  3. Race Day Logistics. My husband usually drops me off at the Pentagon so I don’t have to worry about parking, but he’s going camping with his buddies this weekend. (He was out of town when I ran GW Parkway Classic in April–maybe I need a new sherpa?) That wouldn’t be so bad except Metro won’t be opening early on Sunday, so the thousands of runners who usually take Metro will have to get there some other way. The organizers have highlighted two parking garages relatively nearby, but even if they technically have “over 8,500 parking spaces,” the thought of that many cars having to get into those garages and parked between 5 and 7 am brings back memories of the infamous 2011 Hot Chocolate 15K. I’m planning out multiple alternate routes and hoping that I can get into another garage.
  4. Race Goals. Last year I clocked my second-fastest Army Ten Miler finish time of 1:23:23. I just ran the hilly Reston 10 Miler in 1:24:42, but my Garmin measured that course as being slightly short, so I’d have to shave off more than 90 seconds on a much more crowded course to match last year’s pace. If my legs are up to it, I will try to maintain an 8:15ish pace for as long as I can (like I did last year), knowing that the bridge probably will slow me down. 
  5. Post-Race Festivities. I have never hung around for any of the Army Ten Miler post-race activities, mostly because the Hooah Tents seem to be set up for members of specific commands. The website suggests that all runners are welcome to check out the various tents, but I don’t want to be a party-crasher. 

Best of luck to Holly and Courtney and my other friends running the Chicago Marathon this weekend!

Is Hurricane Matthew threatening your weekend plans?

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30 Responses to Gearing Up For My Ninth Army Ten Miler

  1. steena says:

    I love seeing your pre-race goals, because you always crush it!
    Hope all the logistics work out for you! No fun to waste energy stressing over logistics. Good luck!

  2. I have never run a DC race because the logistics scare me! I mentioned before that I want to do the Army 10 miler some day so maybe that will be my first.

    What hotel is the closest to the start?
    I know you mentioned that you don’t stick around for the festivities afterwards, but do you know what the festivities are? Is it something worth bringing the family too?

    Good luck this weekend!

  3. Marcia says:

    The logistics look much like those for MCM, except no Metro?? Oy. All the best with the race! I know you’ll spank it!
    Marcia recently posted…Chicago Marathon Weekend and Girls On the RunMy Profile

  4. Wow, I can’t believe the metro isn’t opening early! I hate race morning logistics. Good luck this weekend!

  5. I’d love to run that race–10 miles is my all time favorite distance. I can’t get my head around the train not being open for the race, tho–knowing that all those runners will be trying to get there.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…How the Friday 5 Messes with My HeadMy Profile

    • Coco says:

      You have got to come to D.C. for this one! The course hits most of the D.C. area highlights – the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Bridge, Lincoln Memorial, Kennedy Center, Tidal Basin (with Jefferson Memorial across the way) …. Have I convinced you yet? ๐Ÿ™‚
      Coco recently posted…Gearing Up For My Ninth Army Ten MilerMy Profile

  6. The worst part of the race is picking up the packets at the armory. Didn’t they used to have it in Crystal City many years ago or was that cherry blossom? I’m not doing it this year but I will be cheering you on. Good luck friend!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Aware With Pink Friday FiveMy Profile

    • Coco says:

      Yes, one of the first years I did it, pick-up was in Crystal City. I think it’s bigger now. And my GPS led me SO FAR astray getting there today. Did I need to drive by the Nats stadium as people were arriving for the first playoff game? No, I did not, it’s in a different quadrant of D.C. but somehow my GPS thought I should swing by.
      Coco recently posted…Gearing Up For My Ninth Army Ten MilerMy Profile

  7. Darlene says:

    I have never run a DC race but I definitely want to. This one sounds like a great one. Maybe someday.

    Good luck.

    No hurricane worries up North.

    Thank God because I have a half on Sunday.

  8. Chaitali says:

    This is going to be my first time running the army 10 miler! I’m excited but also a little nervous about the logistics. I’ve heard it gets really crowded. I’m also nervous since I’m still having some back pain. I’m in the back in wave 7. I ended up getting a hotel room in Arlington the night before the race because of the metro problems. I’m splitting with 2 friends so it won’t be too expensive. And we’re going to uber to the race in the morning. Fingers crossed that the plan works out.
    Chaitali recently posted…Friday Five – books and tvMy Profile

  9. Karen Bayne says:

    The traffic up north has always kept me from looking at any races in the area. The farthest north I go is Fredericksburg. That is nice your hubby drops you off, I do the same thing for the Richmond race in Nov. it takes away a lot of stress.
    I hope you have a great race! That is good it is Sunday, the weather looks much better Sunday than Saturday..not sure if you are getting the rain front, but they are calling for pouring rain here on Saturday.

  10. vicki says:

    Good luck at the race this weekend. I have a 10 mile race on Saturday… my first at that distance, I’m interested to see how I like that distance.
    vicki recently posted…Better Than Chipotle Vegan Burrito BowlMy Profile

  11. Rachel says:

    Totally guilty of weather-stalking. We can’t help it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck!!
    Rachel recently posted…Five Tools for Every Runnerโ€™s Tool BoxMy Profile

  12. Farrah says:

    Whew! 9th time?! That’s really awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€ Early-morning-logistics are never that fun, but it sounds like you have it all figured out! Best of luck to you tomorrow, and yay for not having to worry about parking! :D!
    Farrah recently posted…Things That Inspire YouMy Profile

  13. Have fun this weekend – I’m interested to hear how it goes in terms of folks getting to the race. I think MCM officials are particularly interested in seeing how it goes…Hope you have a great race and thanks for the shout out!
    courtney @ eat pray run dc recently posted…Chicago Marathon Race GoalsMy Profile

  14. You ran the race (or will run it) — you should definitely party afterwards! Although sometimes I’m so tired I don’t want to.

    Good luck!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…5 Ways To Know Youโ€™re Ready for a HalfMy Profile

  15. Anne says:

    Best of luck on your run! It looks like a spectacular day for it!

  16. Good luck with the race, impressive – 9th time- WOW! I would like to find a 10 mile race- sounds like a great distance !

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