Army Ten Miler is my favorite race of the year. The weather is perfect for racing, and this year was no exception. As tradition would have it, my mom was in town for the 6th year and my sister decided to join this year, too. Family, running, and perfect racing weather – what more could I ask for?I didn’t know what to expect going into ATM. I’ve been running but, quite frankly, I feel like I’m just going through the motions. The fall is extra busy for me (with work) and I haven’t had much time to log meaningful miles. My long runs hurt, my speed work hurts, and even my easy runs hurt. To top it all off, I had to work the Army Ten Miler expo – my first time working and running an event. I was hoping I could run a speedy race but didn’t know if it was doable given my lack of training, time, and rest/recovery.
I woke up feeling excited. That’s always a good sign. We arrived at the Pentagon around 7am. It was enough time for me to check my extra layers, hit up the porta potty, and head to Wave 1 for the 8am start. People thought I was crazy for wearing just a sports bra, but I was happy I decided to run sans arm warmers. I made my way to the start, seamlessly I might add, chatted with a few friends, and was ready to run.
By mile one, my legs were already struggling to keep up with my lungs. I knew I wouldn’t PR, or even come close, so I tried to enjoy the race/weather. When I see all of the wounded warriors participating in ATM, it makes me extra thankful that I have two legs and I’m able to run. Around the time my legs gave out, I saw my good friend, Elyse – Elyse was my running angel. We talked the whole race (other runners even commented on how impressive it was to run and talk for 10 miles) and it really helped keep my mind off of the fatigue in my legs (I didn’t realize working/standing at an expo would take so much out of me). By mile four, I was less focused on time and more focused on finishing the race in a decent time. We pushed each other when we needed to, and held back at other times. Thanks, Elyse, I’m so thankful you were willing to run with me! As always, the race was very well organized and run. The soldiers and volunteers are top notch – and they’re a HUGE reason the race is so successful. There was plenty of water, and since the porta potty line was shorter than usual, I’ll say there were a decent amount of bathrooms (but, there can always be more). Race morning logistics are easy and I never feel rushed. (All key factors in whether or not I want to run a race, and actually enjoy the race)
Age Place: 61
Sex Place: 181
I didn’t run a great race, and I’m surprisingly okay with that. Again, I didn’t know what to expect given my hectic work schedule, and I can’t be too upset considering I was on my feet Friday/Saturday. ATM will always be my favorite race – and this year in particular, I was less concerned about time, and more concerned about enjoying the time with my family. BJ ran a PR, my mom came close to beating her PR, and KP was great race day support. We celebrated with post-run mimosa’s and brunch – I can’t think of a better way to end ATM 2012.
ATM 2013? I’ll be back for a re-match!