This past Sunday was the day that I’ve been complaining about for months. The Army 10 miler. And you know what? I survived!
Luckily this race was about 15 minutes down the road from where we live so Dennis dropped me off right by the Pentagon at 6:30 a.m. I found my running group’s tent, stretched, drank some water, warmed up, and nervously headed toward the start line.
This race was HUGE. Over 30,000 people huge, so naturally I had to fight my way to the start and find a good spot. Because it was a Army race, they were pretty clear that headphones were not allowed. Although I found that people did bring headphones, most didn’t. I have never run that long without headphones (except for the Boilermaker 15K but I ran that with a friend – HI ANN! – so it was different since I had someone to talk to) I really thought not having music would mess with me but honestly, I didn’t mind it. There were so many interesting conversations going on around me that kept me occupied enough.
I felt good all the way through to mile 8. At miles 3 and 7 I had a Gu, and at miles 2, 4, 6, and 8 I made sure to stop and walk through the water stations to be sure I was properly hydrated. I was keeping about a 9:30 pace until mile 8….that’s when it went down hill.
However, I didn’t feel bad. As much as I was worried that I would hit a wall (like I did last week when I ran with my friend Sue) that never happened. Even though I started a run/walk regimen for miles 8 through 10 it was more because my knee was bothering me a little and I just was ready for the race to be over. I was never miserable, and I never once felt like I couldn’t finish.
My time? 1:42:30 with an average of 10:15 min/mile. This is exactly 11 minutes longer than my results of the Cherry Blossom 10 miler but honestly, I’m not mad. I did what I could and I’m happy with my results. I felt great (still do!) at the finish and to be honest, it’s the first race since the Cherry Blossom that I actually finished feeling this way. So it’s all good.
The other positive that came out of this race is that I’m actually feeling a lot better about running. I stressed out so much over training for this race. I told Dennis at least three times that I was giving up my bib. I came close to tears while running last week’s 8 miler with Sue, this 7.5 mile “split” run, and even wrote about trying to convince myself that with time, I will eventually love to run again. But I had a great support system – Dennis, my friends, my family, and even you – and I realized that despite how stressed I was during the training, when you’re out there running the race with all those people around you pushing and motivating you to keep going (which they all did!) it’s a completely different feeling. I remembered why I signed up for this race 6 months ago.
As I walked off my jitters while waiting for the sun to come up at the race site, I knew I made the right decision.
Thanks everyone for all of your support and for helping me get through this wall. And thanks, Sue, for my beautiful flowers!!