Army Ten Miler 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I ran the Army Ten Miler last weekend!  Despite being super unprepared, I really enjoyed it!  I ran this race in 2011-- it was my first race longer than a 5k, so I had good memories of this one.  It's a hard race to get into-- one of those that you sit in front of your computer pushing refresh for an hour until you either get in, or crash the system.

Anyway, it's a great DC race that takes you through both Arlington and Washington and hits most of the major sites along the way.  I snapped a few pictures along the way, in lieu of a real recap.  Enjoy!

Saturday night prep...I spent the afternoon eating football food that consisted of corn, cheese, and buffalo sauce.  Tyler gently suggested I perhaps should maybe consider eating some pasta for dinner.  Smart man.
Sunday morning came early.  Whenever I'm up at dark to run a race I PAID someone to let me run, I seriously question my sanity.  I'm going to organize a lazy man's race that is all downhill and starts at 10am.
0167b41bb867b04c15faecc8e1d640691b487732edMorning sun over the Pentagon.
The corrals were really smooth this year.  We arrived in plenty of time for bathroom breaks and stretching but they efficiently moved the corrals through once the race kicked off at 8am.
Running with my friend and co-worker, Amy, and her friend Jamie, who flew in from California.  She thought we were crazy for loving the cool, 50 degree morning temps-- she was freezing!
We started running around 8:40 and were immediately enjoying the sites and scenes on a gorgeous fall morning... Crossing the start at the Pentagon, we ran toward Arlington National Cemetery…
From, there we ran across the Memorial Bridge, toward the Lincoln Memorial…
Then past the Watergate…
Under the Kennedy Center, with the Potomac to our right…
Past the Washington Memorial…
The Smithsonian…
…and the Holocaust Museum…
And the Jefferson Memorial.
Miles 7-9 are all uphill suck as the course crosses the interstate back into Virginia.  Seriously...everything about it just sucks. I hate hills and I'm pretty sure we walked most of them, which really just prolonged the misery.
And you finally cross the finish back at the Pentagon!
There is no shortage of inspiration on this race.  If running through the streets of history weren't enough, this race is run by soldiers, veterans, and their families who have bravely served and sacrificed for our country.
Active duty soldiers run the water stations...
{I ghosted this man early on the read his sign. He, probably on his 60s or 70s, survived a heart attack and bypass surgery last November and was running a ten mile race a year later.  AND he was from I stopped to say hi.}
So many people run in memory of fallen soldiers.
No words, all tears as I approached this group surrounding a wounded warrior after mile nine.  Something about a double amputee walking toward the finish line suddenly put my knee pain in perspective.  Not an uncommon site in this race- everyone hoops and hollars and cheers and "Hoorahs" as they pass.
A "Marry Me...or at least think about it sign" spotted early in the race.  The poor girl that had to run another nine miles after seeing that!
And these sweet faces were waiting for me at the finish!
I'm a bit of a reluctant runner-- I really enjoy it but I'm not super talented or all that competitive, and I don't have a lot of fancy garb.  But there is just something about finishing a race, and pushing your body, that is so rewarding and emotional and euphoric.  There is camaraderie with the other runners-- you feel as much pride for them as you do yourself-- and appreciation for those lining the streets.  It's fun!  Especially for a girl like me that didn't grow up playing sports.  This was the first race I'd done in awhile and I've got the bug again...  Time to sign up for some more.  Hoorah!
I'd be remiss if I didn't throw out a big "Go Dawgs!!"  What a great weekend!

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