Race Report – 2010 Army Ten Miler

First off, this race is emotionally very tough.  I grew up in the Midwest, an area of the country known for the intense support of the military.  And this race is filled with military – active military, retired military, family of military, etc.  There are a lot of wounded warriors participating, both in wheelchairs and on prosthetics.  There are also a lot of people wearing shirts reading “In memory of” or “In honor of.”  And then there are the spouses and children running “with” their family members overseas.

It’s intense.  And it always makes me want to run faster and run stronger.

Now on to my run.  Since being diagnosed with heart rate issues (must write post about that), I’ve had to slow down.  In fact, I’m thinking that I should set up a series of new PR goals – PRs for “before” issues and PRs for “after.”  I know that I’m never going to beat my old 10 miler PR, but it would be nice to have a new PR to go along with my new run/walk pattern.

For this race, I used a 2/1 walk/run pattern.  It felt a little bit slow, but I have to say, I felt really strong for the whole race.  My first mile was faster than the others, and that’s probably a bit because of the excitement of a race and a bit because of the way I set my watch.  Because I like that my Garmin 305 shows me my mile splits, I have it set to beep every 3 minutes, and then when it beeps, I watch it for the minute of walking.  So that means that for the first 3 minute interval, I run all 3 minutes.   I had moments where my HR got high, but I forced myself to just slow down, and my average HR for every mile was a very healthy point.

It was a bit of a weird race because a stranger discovered I was doing a 2/1 pace and decided to run with me.  She joked about hijacking my run.  I was alternately irritated and glad to have the company.  Ultimately she couldn’t keep up (though at times, I felt as though she was pushing me), and I lost her around mile 7.  I’ve never run with someone before, but I clearly should try it at some time.

My finishing time?  2:09:36.  A far cry from my old goal of 1:50:00.  But I’m really happy with that.  I kept a sub 13:00 pace.  I probably could have kept it up.  Based on this race, I think that PRing on a half marathon isn’t out of reach.  Not sure if it’s going to happen in my next race (two weeks after this one), but we’ll see.

The Army Ten Miler has some nice finisher’s bling.  Instead of a medal, it’s a Finisher’s Coin, in true military tradition.  It’s a great thing to have, something to pocket for a good luck charm or just keep on a dresser to remind you of your accomplishments.

Answering questions

Yesterday, Kris asked

By the way, how did you get to sing in the choir at the Capitol Fourth?  Can you share your background in music?  You’re also a runner!  When do you find the time?  What is your favorite type of music and who is your favorite artist?  These are things we’d love to know about you.

I actually got to sing in the choir at A Capitol Fourth almost by accident.  The choir that performs is officially the Choral Arts Society of Washington.  Of which I am not a member.  Because they don’t have enough members available every year to perform in A Capitol Fourth (it’s summer, people are busy, spending time with family, etc), they put out the call to other local choral groups, including the group that I am in, the Cathedral Choral Society.  A few weeks back, I got an e-mail through our listserv asking if anyone wanted to sing on the Capitol grounds for the Fourth of July.  I honestly didn’t know that this meant A Capitol Fourth – I really didn’t know what it involved.  But we were given a person to contact for more information.  So I did, and I secured myself a spot, and then I realized what I had volunteered for.  Dumb luck, I guess!  I’m definitely watching closely for the call for volunteers next year!

I actually ended up in CCS almost by accident as well.  I was telling a co-worker that I missed singing, and she told me she had a friend in CCS and sent me the address to the website.  Just so happened that auditions were coming up in a week, so I auditioned and I was in.  I actually only sang one concert with CCS this season – I auditioned in January and sang the March concert, then was out of town for the May concert.  But I’ve reauditioned and am planning to participate next season.  Singing in the National Cathedral is incredible!

My background in music… I think I sang my first solo in church when I was in kindergarden or first grade.  It was a Thanksgiving song and I still remember some of the words.  I sang all through school, performing in choirs at school, cantoring at church, performing in musicals both in school and with community groups.  In college, I pretty much ditched voice for band.  I could sing anywhere at anytime, but getting the chance to play my French Horn was much more rare.  I still took voice lessons and gave a senior recital, but never bothered to major or minor in music.  I didn’t want something I loved to become a chore.  I’ve sung a few weddings as well, though not since I moved to D.C.

Other than voice, as I mentioned, I play the French Horn, though not much lately.  Played from 4th grade through college though.  I started piano lessons in kindergarden and took lessons for years, but it’s definitely not one of my talents.

I don’t know what my favorite type of music is.  I like a lot of different kinds of music, and it kind of all depends on my mood.  But I really like a good melody, especially if it’s something I can sing along to.  But it can be a slow ballad, an upbeat pop song, or the chorus to a rap.  Doesn’t matter.  I also really like orchestral music with a lot of brass.  I loved getting to sit right behind the orchestra (and right behind the horns!) while they played John Williams’ Olympic Fanfare last week.  It was so good that it gave me chills.

Favorite artist?  It probably all goes back to James Taylor, to be honest.  I was sort of raised on his music and you really can’t go wrong with his stuff.

According to iTunes, lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Kate Voegele, Girlyman, Hem, Vienna Teng, Michael Buble, LeAnn Rimes and Timbaland.  Yes, that’s a weird “and,” I know.  But TH fans, I did just buy his album from the iTunes store and so far, I’m really liking what I hear!

When do I find the time to run?  Well, looking at my training log, the answer is “I don’t.”  But really, it’s not so hard to set aside 30 to 45 minutes after work to get in a workout at least three times a week, sometimes more depending on what’s going on that week.  I’d like to get back to working out before work, but 5:15 is just so early!  I try to put in a chunk of time on the weekends as well.

Thanks for the questions, Kris!  I really enjoyed answering them!

The Taylor fans come and the Taylor fans go

Well, as I have learned from yesterday’s post, the way to drive people to your blog is to talk about Taylor Hicks.  Don’t expect any of those readers to stick around, but thanks to everyone who commented.  And yes, I did delete a number of comments that were clearly designed to be inflammatory.  Mr. Hicks sure has an interesting following of lovers and haters, that’s for sure.  But hey, even the haters spread the word.

Still not quite recovered from my plague, which is disappointing.  But I guess when your sinuses are completely congested for weeks, it takes a while for all of that to clear out.  Which is exactly what’s happening, to everyone’s disgust.  I sound horrible, with all the coughing and nose blowing, but for the first time in weeks, I feel good!  No one believes it though.

I updated my running log yesterday and realized just how long it’s been since I’ve really been on a good run.  It’s disappointing.  I ran a ten mile race in April and now, I’m not sure I could run a mile without stopping.  I recently read something that indicated that if you take more than 4 weeks off from running, you should start from scratch, though you’ll find yourself improving faster than a real beginner would.  So that’s my plan.  I found a beginner running plan and I’m just going to work from there.  I figure if nothing else, maybe I can use this as a chance to work on my speed.  Yes, I ran a ten mile race earlier this year, but I was SLOW.  And this way, I hope to prevent any injuries. 

I’m planning to start this new running plan tomorrow.  Why tomorrow?  Because it’s supposed to rain tonight, and while I don’t mind running in the rain, it doesn’t seem the best way to usher in my return.