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.