This weekend I had the awesome opportunity to run my very first Army 10 miler.
Not only was it MY first, but it was also the 30th anniversary of the race! This is a very coveted race in the DC area and can be very hard to get a bib. The race field is huge, 35,000 people and registration sells out very quickly. My husband and I were lucky enough to get registrations this year and we were going to run as a date!
I headed over to the expo on Friday, the day it opened, in hopes to beat the crowds and that is exactly what happened. I literally walked in and out. Had I not walked around checking out the expo I would have been in and out in 5 minutes. So easy! I looked around the usual vendors that you find at an expo, but I had been wanting a shirt from Wear Blue: Run to Remember for a while, so I scoped their booth out and was able to pick one up! I also picked up a patriotic head band from Sweaty Bands!
The night before the race I went to babysit for a friend so they could go out for their anniversary. Nothing like a good babysitting swap (anything to save $$ on a sitter, they are SO expensive these days! I remember getting paid like $3/hr!). By the time I got home and into bed it was midnight. Murphy’s law would have it that Mini #2 was up at 1 am with a 103 fever. He ended up sleeping in our bed for the rest of the night which meant I got punched and kicked all night so
slept rested very fitfully for the next 5 hours. I was exhausted and finally got up around 5am and got dressed. Around 5:30 I woke up my husband who said that he would stay home with Mini and that I should go run. I felt bad, but he ran it last year, so I appreciated him letting me do it this year!
My training partner, Lisa, picked me up and we headed for the metro. It was a quick ride in and a very chilly morning. I opted to use a trash bag this time to keep warm which turns out was a great idea. We had a lot of waiting around to do before the start. We arrived to the Pentagon around 6:45, hung out inside the metro station for about 15 minutes and then made our way outside. I ran into Cynthia at the start too which was awesome.
The race was broken up into colored corrals. When registering you had to enter a previous race time which then dictated which corral you were in. The race started at 7:50 with the Wounded Warrior start, 8:00 for the first wave and then 8:08 for the second wave which I was in. Each subsequent wave started in 8 minute increments. Each wave was signaled by a cannon shot!
I left my Ultimate Direction hydration vest at home and did a trial run with my new Ultimate Direction handheld (full review to come soon).
I went into this race with no intention of racing it, but totally got caught up in the excitement. It was a new course for me which I loved.
It can get a little boring running the same course over and over, but this one switched it up a bit, and covered a lot of the MCM course including the dreaded 14th St Bridge.
The race was so incredibly inspiring, just like the Marine Corp Marathon last year. It is incredible to see injured soldiers who are the REAL heroes out there giving it all they’ve got….
Seriously….this is amazing, and he wasn’t the only one out there. It’s just so incredibly humbling.
I pushed it pretty hard for the entire race. My hip didn’t act up any more than usual, but it was definitely nagging. I thought I could have had a PR, but we stopped at the porta potties at about mile 2 and lost a few minutes. My Garmin time (minus the bathroom stop):
I totally loved this race. For such a large race, I thought the logisitcs were great and the organization was good as well. I do know that this isn’t always the opinion of many and a lot of people say it is a very crowded race with lots of dodging and weaving around people. I was in the second corral so thankfully I didn’t experience any of those issues, but I’m sure if you are in one of the back corrals this would be an issue. It IS a race with 35,000 people and only 10 miles to spread apart, so it’s definitely crowded. I can’t wait to do this again next year.
And what do you know….I cut up my shirt to send along with my quilt shirts BEFORE I took a pic of it! No race medals for this race, but a nice coin is the way the Army does it!
Has anyone else run this race before? What did you think of it?
Did you babysit as a kid? How much did you make an hour?