2016 Army Ten Miler Race Recap

So, my ninth Army Ten Miler is in the books! Since I had so many worries before this race, I will make this recap a story of happy endings.  

2016 Army 10 Miler Medal
My race recaps usually take almost as long to tell as the race took to run, so I will focus on the 2016 Army Ten Miler for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly and Tricia

My Packet Pick-Up Happy Ending

My GPS led me astray–and right past the Nationals Stadium an hour before the first playoff series game–but once I was headed in the right direction, traffic, parking, and packet pick-up were a breeze. I roamed the expo for a bit, but didn’t find anything cool that I didn’t already have. 

2016 Army 10 Miler

Representing the CUCB Ten Mile Run at the ATM!

My Weather Happy Ending

When my alarm went off at 5:00 am, it was raining. I checked the weather channel app an it showed rain through 7:00 am, which I had not planned for. I did some last minute rummaging for my rain jacket (just in case it didn’t stop raining) and cut a neck hole in a trash bag (to keep me dry until the start). It was still raining when I left the house, but had stopped by the time I headed over to the staging area. 

2016 Army Ten Miler Weather

I sat in my car for a few minutes to wait out the rain

My Race Logistics Happy Ending

I had planned to take an alternate route to avoid the inevitable back-ups on the highway, but luckily I tried it out on Saturday because it wouldn’t have worked! On Sunday I left the house at 6:20, and took an earlier exit to approach Pentagon City from a different direction. There was a huge back-up getting into the Pentagon City Mall parking garage, but luckily I knew the Pentagon City Row parking garage was just around the corner, and it had plenty of parking. After a long walk to the staging area, a short line at the port-a-pottys, and another long walk, I was at the starting line by about 7:20.

2016 Army Ten Miler

Soliders making sure Wave 1 stays behind the Wounded Warriors.

I’ve never been so close to the start before, and it was nice to be able to hear the invocation prayer, almost see the Color Guard, and be right there when the Wounded Warriors took off. 

2016 Army 10 Miler

As we were waiting to start, it was hard not to feel unworthy to be there.  I felt unworthy as a runner, as the (mostly) men around me planned their 6-minute/mile runs, and I felt unworthy as an American, being surrounded by so many who give so much more for our country. But the emcee gave a shout out to all of us running the race, and I was grateful to be participating. 

The wind wasn’t nearly as bad as it was at the 2016 CUCB , 
but it was fierce during the final stretch.

My Race Goal Happy Ending

I thought my calf had recovered from the Reston 10 Miler, but even before I got out bed it let me know it was cranky. I didn’t know what to do about it, so I slathered on Biofreeze under my compression socks, and spent a few minutes rolling it on a lacrosse ball while I drank my coffee. I was afraid of aggravating it more, but hoped I could release it just enough to make it through the race. I had a vision of having to drive myself home after a DNF, but quickly pushed that out of my mind.  

My calf felt a bit heavy/tight as I started running, but didn’t threaten to seize up. The first three miles went really quickly: 8:10, 8:00, 8:06. Miles 4 and 5 felt slow, but that just proves that I do not have a good sense of my pacing: 8:03, 7:56. During miles 6 and 7, I tried to pull back in preparation for the 14th Street Bridge. 8:20, 8:19. As I ran across the bridge, I told myself that I was not going to fall apart on the bridge but instead I would RUN STRONG! And I did: 8:16.

After the bridge, there was crowd support again in Crystal City, but I think the rain kept a lot of people away. It was pretty empty around mile 9 (8:12) and sparser than usual along the final approach (8:33). The last 1/2 mile was tough because (a) it seemed to take forever, and (b) there was a wicked headwind . As I approached the finish line I could see the clock ticking towards 1:24, and mustered enough energy to finish in 1:23:xx.

2016 Army 10 Miler

Yes, I did run strong! Not a PR, but better than my 8:20 goal.
Official Chip Time = 1:22:35

As soon as I finished, I knew my calves were shot, but I kept walking to get my medal and post-race food, and get on the shuttle bus back to the main parking lot. By then it was sunny, windy and COLD, and I had nothing but Starbucks on my mind. 🙂 

My Recovery Happy Ending

Once I got home, I enjoyed a warm Epsom salt bath in our whirlpool tub (which only gets used on race day), and then booked a 75 minute sports massage for tomorrow. Thank goodness I took the day off!

Epsom Salt Bath

I really do think ice baths make my legs feel fresher,
but I also think a warm Epsom salt bath would be better for my calf.

I refueled with one of my favorite post-race lunches–Wonton Soup from Trader Joe’s. It’s easy on my stomach, and I figure the salty broth will help rebalance my electrolytes after all the sweating I did.

Trader Joe's Wonton Soup

Look for it in the frozen food section.

If you ran this weekend (the Army Ten Miler or any other race–Brooklyn? Chicago? Steamtown?) I’d love for you to link up your recap. I’ll keep the link up all month. 

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52 Responses to 2016 Army Ten Miler Race Recap

  1. Kim Westrich says:

    Hooray for a race with many happy endings! And for representing CUCB. Take care of that calf!

  2. Congrats on finishing strong! Sorry the rain kept some of the crowd away.
    So is that bridge you mention an uphill climb?

  3. That’s an awesome finish time! It’s crazy how sometimes a fast pace feels “just average” and other times the opposite LOL
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…More Miles? Sure, why not!My Profile

  4. karen says:

    I am so impressed with your pace! Great job 🙂 The wind down here was crazy! really big gusts at times, I wondered how it was further north. Ice and Epsom salts sound great. It is nice you have a hot tub to use.

  5. I always say no to ice baths. Yes to the warm Epsom salt bath.

    Congrats on a great race!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Chicago Marathon Weekend: Perspective from the SidelinesMy Profile

  6. Darlene says:

    Congrats on a great race.

    I ran a half and though I had a PR. It was cold and rained for the last 5 miles.

    And when I got home, I headed straight to my hot tub!!!
    Darlene recently posted…Friday Five: Not Running SoloMy Profile

  7. Teresa says:

    Congratulations, great run! You’ve only heightened my desire to run this race. My husband is in the Army and we were given the opportunity for guarenteed entry this year but had a scheduling conflict. Maybe next year!
    Teresa recently posted…This Week’s Gallivantin’: Slacker, Sluggard and Sloth, oh my!My Profile

  8. Congrats, that is a great time ! And glad to read all the details worked themselves out with a positive end.

    No racing for me this weekend but I regretted it. There is the Paris 20K, a huge iconic race here, that I have only done once (in wind, rain & a 50 degree weather) but regretted not doing it this weekend. The weather was perfect. Three weekends in a row there have been big races with great weather. And I didn’t sign up for any of them !
    Karen @ Fit in France recently posted…I needed some down timeMy Profile

  9. Christy says:

    Well done! Congrats on beating your goal time! I bet your massage will feel so amazing today!

  10. Congratulations!!! You did awesome! It’s so funny how we can think we’re going slower and the numbers tell us otherwise! Running in the wind can be so brutal! And you are definitely worthy to take part in that race…great job! Hope your calf feels better!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Philly Marathon Training Week 10 RecapMy Profile

  11. I did not run it this year but have felt the same way that you described standing with so many of our nations’ heroes at the start. It’s so surreal. What a great race you had! Congrats
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Challah French ToastMy Profile

  12. Awesome job! You’ve no idea how I wish I could 10 mm — so don’t be so down on yourself! Glad that everything came together for you & envious of the whirlpool tub!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…What makes Chocolaterunsjudy tick:10/3-9 Weekly WrapMy Profile

  13. vicki says:

    Congrats on a great finish! It’s great that the race had all kinds of happy endings. Post race Epsom salt soaks are the best!
    vicki recently posted…Braised Brussels SproutsMy Profile

  14. What a great race for you Coco! Congratulations. I wish we had more 10 milers in my area.
    You sure know how to recover too! Whirlpool salt bath and a massage should have you feeling good as new! Enjoy your day off as well!
    Tricia @ MissSippipiddlin recently posted…Weekly Wrap 62 Wedding FunMy Profile

  15. Way to go! You kept a great pace! I hope that whirlpool bath and massage take care of that calf!

  16. I’m a big fan of plastic/garbage bags on race day to keep me dry. Last year I ran with it for 3k as it was still raining hard and I waited as long as I could to take it off at a water station. Luckily it stopped raining just as I took it off.
    Great job with your 10 miler! A whirlpool bath and massage sounds great!
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…Valley Harvest Marathon Kids Run 2016 RecapMy Profile

  17. Nicole says:

    Congratulations on your race. What a great finish. I am glad to hear that your calf didn’t cause you to DNF. Good move soaking afterwards in Epson Salt.

  18. What a fun race! It looks like all the volunteers were happy to oblige keeping the line! lol! Good job!

  19. Chaitali says:

    Yay for the pre-race logistics working out well 🙂 Ours worked out well with taking a lyft to the start line too. And congrats on a great race! Your recovery plans sound wonderful.
    Chaitali recently posted…Race 13.1 Baltimore Training Week 6My Profile

  20. Congratulations on finishing strong – you rocked it!!! I completely echo all of your sentiments regarding the spectators – it did seem a little sparse out there versus what I’ve heard about the crowd support in the past. I also COMPLETELY agree with you on that nasty headwind in the finish. Yowza!!! But you nailed it!!! Thank you so much for hosting the link-up – I’m working on my recap right now and will share once it’s done.

  21. Marcia says:

    Congrats on a great race Coco! I’m glad everything came together and all your worries were allayed. Wowzers on the 9th running for you. Awesome!
    Marcia recently posted…Training Lately and Chicago Marathon AwesomenessMy Profile

  22. WOW! You did run strong- congrats!!! I think sometimes getting to the race, parking and getting to the start is the hardest part of the race!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Half marathon training has begun! Week 1My Profile

  23. Awesome job! That epsom salt bath sounds amazing!
    Coach Henness recently posted…6 Months After Baby: Running & Weight LossMy Profile

  24. Awesome job! You deserve it!

  25. Congrats on a great race!!! You held a great pace despite your calf. This race is on my to do list for the future.

  26. Steena says:

    See! You rock! Congrats on a strong 10 miler!
    and omg about the ‘worthy’ !! You ARE!!
    Steena recently posted…Fall Running My Profile

  27. Yay for all of those happy endings! I always worry about traffic and parking with any of the major DC races. Not getting caught in it always helps make for a much less stressful race morning.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Wine and Dine Half Marathon Training Log – Week 2My Profile

  28. HoHo Runs says:

    Very impressive! I love happy endings. Also, great planning on your part to avoid race day stress. I would have loved a warm bath after Chicago but alas the hotel only had a shower. Rest assured, I did get a Starbucks though. I’ll link my recap later. Thanks for linking with us, Coco!

  29. Cassi says:

    It was windy here too. Great job passing your goals even with calf issues!
    Cassi recently posted…The Great Pumpkin RunMy Profile

  30. Love all the happy endings! Great job despite your calf!!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…RnR Brooklyn Race RecapMy Profile

  31. So glad that your calf did not seize up on you. Calf pain can mean trouble in lots of ways for runners. What a great finish time!!! Nice race and what a nice way to recover after!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…Rise. Run. Retreat. The EATS and a CHEF’D giveaway!My Profile

  32. Great job on the run, and I’ll have to try and find that soup at Trader Joe’s.
    Abby @BackatSquareZero recently posted…Stitch Fix Review – September/October 2016My Profile

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