This was my 7th running of the Army Ten Miler. Considering I’ve only lived here 8 years, that’s a pretty good streak. And I have to admit, I was excited about hitting the 7 year mark because it means I get to do early entry next year. It’s the little things.
The weather was absolutely perfect yesterday morning. A little cool, but beautiful. I took Liz’s advice and drove to Pentagon City Mall and parked in their garage. I met up with Liz and we hung out in her car for about an hour. Definitely made the morning wait a whole lot nicer.
While we were waiting, I realized I had forgotten my watch. That’s probably a race first for me. I’m not sure how I managed to do that. But what I hadn’t done was put everything I needed in a single pile. I’m an experienced racer, after all. Why would I need to do that? It’s fine to have my clothes in one place and my watch and HRM strap (which I did wear) in another place. Lesson learned. Next race, everything’s going in a single spot.
I met up with my friend Jen before the race, and we hung out in our corral together. Liz had a much faster qualifying time, so she was well ahead of us. I really like how the Army Ten Miler corrals people. There are fenced in corrals with a huge balloon arch in front. You can’t miss your corral. It’s so simple. Then, when it’s time for the corrals to start moving, the balloons are taken with you, so you just continue to follow your balloon arch. This led to some humorous moments, like when our balloon arch got caught in a tree. The arches are all brought up to the front and then joined together at the start line. It’s a really cool way to do it.
Jen and I didn’t plan to run together, but were running similar intervals (I used the RunKeeper app on my phone) and I realized we were at a similar pace, so I caught up to her. It was definitely strange to have NO CLUE what my pace was. I could have used my Strava app on my phone, but I wasn’t sure how much that would kill the battery, plus technically phones weren’t allowed on the course, so I didn’t want to be looking at it the whole time. Of course, people were listening to music and using headphones, which also wasn’t allowed, but what can you do?
It was really fun to run with Jen on the course. We’ve never really run together before, so this was a lot of fun, and it was nice to not be thinking about my pace at all. I just sat back for a nice easy run.
I love this race. There’s such a positive spirit. You don’t get the cranky runners you see at so many races. It’s patriotic and really respectful. Just a great ambiance.
My finish time was 2:17. I have to admit, I wanted better, but without a watch or any idea of my pace, I’ll take it. Unfortunately, after the race, something happened and the finisher’s coins weren’t there for the later finishers, which was a bummer, but we’ve been promised they will be mailed. Things happen, and if any organization can make it right, it’s the Army. I’m excited to add my coin to the other six in my collection!