Short story: 1:30:49, which was a PR, but not my goal.
Mile 1 – 9:28
Mile 2 – 8:37
Mile 3 – 8:32
Mile 4 – 8:24
Mile 5 – 8:53
Mile 6 – 8:59
Mile 7 – 9:22
Mile 8 – 9:11
Mile 9 – 9:02
Mile 10 – 9:19
(Times don’t add up exactly as garmin says I ran 10.16 miles.)
The logistics of starting the Army 10 Miler were actually a lot less worrisome than I expected. I had no trouble parking where I planned, even though I left my house 15 minutes later than I planned. Security was a bit more relaxed this year – they just made sure you had a race bib on. Last time they actually asked if you had a prohibited item (cell phone, ipod, camera, etc) and did a visual inspection. This year I could have walked through with my cell in my hand (rather than in my shorts pocket). Porta potty lines moved smoothly. The weather was absolutely perfect, sunny with a nice breeze. I was chilly while I was waiting, which is the perfect way to start a race.
I got in my appropriate corral with about 8 minutes to race time. I happened to be right near the 9:00 minute pacer. Since that was the speed I was planning, I decided to run with the pace group. Eight minutes passed before we got to the start line. Finally, we were able to start running. The first mile was spent getting around slower runners and walkers (really – you should not be walking at mile one if you are in the 9 minute corral. really.) At the end of mile one, I was about 30 seconds off of goal pace, as was the 9 minute pace group.
For the next three miles, I ran hard to keep up with the 9 minute group as the pacer made up time. HUGE mistake on my part. HUGE! I didn’t walk the water stops and several times when I looked down at Garmin, I was running around an 8 minute pace. I should have dropped back after mile two when the pacer kept trying to make up time. I was running too hard too early. But, I decided to try to stay with them until mile 5.
I ended up staying with them until the water stop just after mile 6. I was DONE. I need to catch my breath and my legs felt like lead. After walking the water stop and getting in a decent amount of gatorade, I picked up the pace again and got close enough to see the pacer. I figured I’d hang back, but keep them in sight. At the start of mile 7, I knew I was running out of steam. I should have had my GU at that point, but I couldn’t remember when the next water stop was. I slowed down and just tried to stay under a 9:30 pace.
At the end of mile 8, there was another water stop, but I didn’t eat the GU. Not sure why, but in retrospect, I totally should have. I drank gatorade and sped back up to an 8:50 pace, but it was too late in the game. I had very little left to give and the last two miles were a total battle. I pushed as much as I could. In the last mile, there were a number of uphills to get over the bridge back into Virginia and it was all I could to do maintain my pace. I did manage a sprint for the last tenth of a mile, but it wasn’t a particularly impressive one.
My planned race involved going out slow (did that), maintaining a 9-9:15 pace for the first 5, a GU at mile 5, and then a gradual increase in pace. I don’t know if that plan would have gotten me sub 1:30, but I’m pretty sure it would have allowed me to finish stronger, instead of being totally spent long before I hit the finish line. All in all, I’m happy with my time and I ran a strong race for the most part, but I don’t think I ran a smart race. I did notice the monuments this time though. ;o)
After the race, I grabbed some water, chatted with a friend who was volunteering, and headed to my car. I didn’t grab any food as the line was horrendous and I needed to get home. I hadn’t thought to put anything in the car to eat, so I was ravenous by the time I got home. After a quick snack and a shower, we headed out to the National Zoo’s Autumn Conservation Festival, where I walked a number of hilly miles. Amazingly, my legs felt fine today. Guess I’m stronger than I was when I ran this two years ago (and then could barely walk for days LOL).
Chip time: 1:30:49, approximately 8000 out of 21000 total finishers, top quarter of my division.