I just got back from an amazing weekend in Washington DC.
The main reason for this trip was to visit Jeremy's cousins and to run the Army 10 Miler. Of course if I was dragging my butt up to DC for the weekend, I was gonna make sure that I also had a chance to visit some other friends from way back in the day. But that's a different post.
First, the Army 10 Miler.
For the last 4 months I've been training to run this race. When I started 'running' back in May, I could do about 3 miles in 34 minutes. Since then I've been out on the trail 2-3 times a week at distances varying from 3-8 miles. I even did two 5K runs to see what it was like running in a big group. By the time race day came along, I felt confident that I could at least finish in the required time (15 minute/mile pace). My goal: finish somewhere between 2 and 2 1/2 hours.
I was fortunate to be in the first wave so I had a little more time to make it to the 5 mile marker by 9:30 (cutoff time). Turns out that I didn't need this extra time, but you know, it's always nice to have. As a pleasant surprise I found out that my friend from college, KB, and his wife, Janine, were also running the race and were also in the blue group. Surprisingly out of 3,000 people in our blue group, I managed to find them! It was great starting off with them and passing back and forth for the first few miles.
The first few miles went by quickly. Mile 1 approached before I knew it, then mile 2, then mile 3. Somewhere between mile 2 and 3, I tore off my long sleeve shirt and wrapped it around my waist. It was fairly chilly in the early morning but it had warmed up nicely and was around 55 deg for the race. Perfect weather. I hit mile 3 around 28 minutes and mile 5 around 48 minutes. My best 5 mile time yet. During mile 5 you run past the runners coming back toward you during their mile 8. I looked up just in time to see Jeremy toward me. He was doing great. At the mile 6 water station I slowed down to a fast walk and took a bit of water and a Clif shot packet. Since I knew mile 7 and 8 would be a bit uphill I kept running and saved my "fast walking" for then.
I was surprised how little I really had to "fast walk." Every time I slowed down I found myself wanting to keep running. I was a bit concerned at this, as I wasn't sure this ability to keep running constantly would last another 3 miles. At mile 8 the bridge begins. This is seriously the longest bridge ever. Okay, maybe not ever, but when you're running across it, it feels long. I mean, it just keeps going! A bit of the way onto the bridge there was a guy dressed as Michael Jackson handing out beer. The smell of it almost made me puke. Around mile 9 I knew that I'd make the 2 hour mark and decided to try to beat 1 hour 45 minutes. My feet had started hurting but I was still surprised how good I felt. As we came into the home stretch I slowed down a bit to look for Jeremy and was happy to see him cheering me on. I sprinted toward the finish and raised my hands in joy. I had finished my first 10 mile race and I felt pretty good... for now.
My official results were:
10:17 min/mile pace
top 66% overall
top 52% of females
Now I say that I felt good after the race... for a while. It took me about 10 minutes to manage my way through the crowd and back to Jeremy. When I got to him, I felt my stomach start to turn. For the next 3 hours my stomach was terribly upset. I have no idea why, but I'm suspecting it had something to do with those 10 miles I just finished. Damn you running! And that was just the worst part. It's 2 days later and my stomach still isn't right. Though I had a good run, so I guess you gotta take the good with the bad.
Besides the stomach pains for a few days, I also noticed that I had a very tough time getting out of bed the next day. And by tough I mean I could barely move. Wow. Even after riding my bike 170 miles, I never feel as sore as I did the day after running this race. I miss my bike.
All in all it was a fun race, and I'm sure by the time sign-ups come around next April I will have forgotten about the pain, and sign up again.