Army 10 Miler

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Done and done!  This morning I ran my first big race with 30,000 of my closest friends—the Army 10 Miler which started and ended at the Pentagon and ran the streets of Washington. I shared earlier my hardcore training tactics—this morning I didn’t have any great expectations.  I was excited and ready to run.  I didn’t want to walk, throw-up, or pee my pants.

10 09 11_7386Corralled runners ready to start.

My neighborhood is the most visually boring place to run, so I figured this morning would be a cinch—running over Memorial Bridge, down Independence Ave, past the monuments, along the Tidal Basin.  I thought I’d be so distracted by the sites that I’d just float through the race.

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Well. That’s not exactly what happened.  I finished and I’m proud of that but it wasn’t as easy as I was hoping it would be.  I felt good through most of the race, but the last two miles were over the interstate and overpasses that seemed to be all inclines with no down hills.  I let myself walk for 30 seconds around 8.5 miles which was the worst idea ever because my body was like, “Oh, we’re done? I can go to the bathroom now?” Nope and nope.  I immediately started running again and finished the race pretty strong (though I was really questioning the existence of the finish line after I’d been running by the Pentagon for several hundred yards and people kept yelling “You’re almost there!” “The finish line is right there! You’re so close!” And it never seemed to appear).

10 09 11_7417_2Here I come!

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I was lucky enough to have my supportive husband who was up at 6am and waiting at the finished line for almost two hours for me and grabbed these pictures. {My unofficial finishing time was 1:49:04.}

10 09 11_7429Me and my friend Ashley after the race

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Glad to be done, but I have the half marathon coming up in a little less than a month so the training’s not over! I slept for a good two hours after I got home and have been enjoying pumpkin beer and this week’s TV ever since. It feels nice to relax…

A few fun memories of the morning:

- The wall of men with their backs turned to the road peeing in the bushes 2 minutes after the race started. {I was so jealous.}

- The running flutist who was playing “If you’re happy and you know it” and everyone yelling requests for “Free Bird!” {Yes, you read that correctly. He was running and playing a flute. And playing it well.}

- The Wounded Warriors walking the race in their prosthetics.  Everyone broke out into applause as we ran by.

- Ashley’s friend Shana standing in a median all by herself who looked like she was jumping three feet in the air when she saw us.

- The spectators and the soldiers manning the water stations.  The spectators were so encouraging and I couldn’t help but think how sweet these people were to spend their Sunday morning cheering us on.  And the soldiers not only did an excellent job efficiently running the water stations but they were always really funny. “The water is just around the corner.  And it’s FREE!” “Beer!  Get your beer!  Yager Bombs next!”

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It was a great experience for a first “big run.” Thanks for reading!  I’ll let you know how the next one goes…

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