Today I ran my 10th Army Ten Miler. After 10 times you’d think there wouldn’t be much more to say about this race, but this year was different in many ways. I wasn’t at my best and the humidity was at its worst, but my 2017 Army Ten Miler recap isn’t as quite as gloomy as the weather.
Security was high with almost constant helicopter surveillance.
I used to gripe about pre-race logistics for this race, but at least that much was easier this year. I had a business trip from Thursday to Saturday, and one of my Moms Run This Town friends was kind enough to pick up my race packet for me. I stopped by her house on the way home from the airport and got home just before 10 pm.
The weather forecast was looking iffy–mid 70s, high humidity, chance of thunderstorms–so I added a giant trash bag to my race day gear, and chose a lightweight t-shirt and shorts for my race outfit. I was in bed by 11 with my alarm set for 5 am.
- First time I ever applied Body Glide to my feet (to ward off blisters in case of wet socks). I didn’t like how it made my feet feel slippery.
When that alarm went off I hit snooze a few times, started the coffee maker, and got ready. I drank one cup of coffee, made a half PB + honey sandwich to eat later, and checked the ATM website to make sure the weather wasn’t causing any changes. I had decided to leave the house @ 6, and my usual Sunday 6:00 am alarm went off as I headed out the door.
I parked at the same shopping center garage I parked at last year, and it was just getting busy as I arrived. It was a short walk to the Pentagon, but a looooong walk to the starting line. I logged over 3000 steps by the time I got to my corral!
Arriving early means no lines!
Since I had arrived so early to make sure I could park easily, I had about an hour and a half until race time. I made a stop at the pristine port-a-pottys, ate my sandwich, and passed the time people-watching. The announcer kept advising us to heed the weather conditions (87% humidity), stay hydrated and watch for the medics every 1/2 mile on the course.
- First time I wasn’t freezing waiting for the race to start.
- First time I was warm waiting for the race to start.
- First time I didn’t have pre-race jitters.
I was in the second corral, so I could hear all the ceremonial events–the Invocation, Presentation of Colors, National Anthem, and Wounded Warrior start.
I was struck by the flags at half-mast (for Las Vegas) and
awed by all the service men and women lining up to race.
2017 Army Ten Miler Race Recap
The cannon went off for our corral at 8:08. I was glad the rain had held off while we were waiting, but it started to drizzle right as we started. I would have welcomed an air-clearing downpour, but it was a persistent drizzle that hung in the air and made the road slick.
- First time not trying to set a PR
goal hope was to finish with an 8:45 pace, based on my results at the Reston Perfect 10 two weeks ago and figuring the relatively flat course would balance out the warm, humid weather. Aside from the first too-fast mile, I did pretty well through the first 6 miles.
I noticed right away that my Garmin splits were not matching the course markers. I tried to stay closer to the tangents, but I was more concerned with running on a flat surface and avoiding potholes. My first mile was off by 0.1, and it grew from there to an extra .23 by the time I finished.
I don’t know what this Garmin data is based on, but it certainly could reflect how I felt during the last 2/3 of the race! Yes, I started off strong, but then I tanked!
On the other hand, my heart data shows that my effort was consistent, even if my output wasn’t. It’s also interesting to see that my average heart rate during Reston was only 138 bpm, despite it being a really hilly course. More proof that I’m a fair weather runner!
This veteran and wounded warrior embody the Never Quit motto
and why this race never fails to inspire gratitude
for those who truly give their lives in service to our country.
It’s not even fair to say I had a goal of hitting an 8:45 pace, because when it got hard, I wasn’t willing to push myself to run faster. I saw more people needing medical attention than I’ve ever seen before, and while I don’t think I was anywhere near my breaking point, I just wasn’t committed to running harder. I didn’t really train for this race, I’m still treating my plantar fasciitis, and the weather was miserable.
Lest you think I’m whining about the weather, I’m pretty sure his is another first.
The event was downgraded due to the high heat and humidity
and they shortened the course by about 1 mile after I finished.
As a ran that last, long mile to the finish line, I tried to pick up my pace, but it was an uphill battle even on the flat stretch to the finish. I was glad to see that I finished in under 90 minutes, and pleasantly surprised at the 8:45 average pace my Garmin gave me. Official race results won’t be out until tomorrow, but dividing my running time over 10 miles give me an 8:57 pace–one of my slowest ever, but this is a case of you get what you trained for. 😉
From the day I signed up for the 2017 Army Ten Miler, I planned on it being my last. I’m all about those round numbers, and stopping at ten Army Ten Milers seemed fitting. After today’s slog I’ve got no desire to run this course again, but we’ll see what happens when registration opens next year ….
Did you see my recap of our anniversary century ride?
Luckily the weather was much nicer for that all-day event
What’s the worst weather you’ve had to race in?