I registered for the Army Ten-Miler when I knew we were moving back to Virginia with my friend, Amy. Hey, $75 for ten miles isn’t bad. I was used to runDisney prices. I had every good intention that this was going to be the race where I would PR in everything, and this was just going to be the best race ever! Ha! I laugh at all my good intentions. Remember how moving takes up a lot of time, and it’s hot as fire in VA? Apparently neither did I.
I will say the one good thing about being under trained was that I got a lot of rest during the summer months, and during the training I did do, I didn’t feel pain in my IT Band. So that was GREAT news!
Army Ten-Miler Expo
The Expo was at the D.C. Armory. We went on Friday mid-morning, which was a great time to go! Parking was easy, the expo wasn’t too crowded, and we were in and out. Well we did have to get a picture with 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist Paul Chelimo and do a bit of shopping.
The morning of the race was cold, windy, and cloudy. It even was raining on and off, and I was nervous. I’m not a rain runner. I always think of wet socks and blisters.
We parked at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. Here’s a tip: Park on the very top level, because they leave that door open to the bathrooms, so we were able to use a real bathroom before the race. Race time was 8:00 a.m., and we started walking to the corrals around 7:15 a.m. It was about a 10-ish minute walk. We had plenty of time to bag check, which was not really a smart idea to use. More on that later.
I wore shorts and a Sparkle Athletic Skirt and a short-sleeved shirt. I also had on a throw away long-sleeved shirt, a poncho, and a runDisney space blanket. Yup, I’m a wuss, but I was glad to have all of that in the corrals. I was cold.
Luckily it was only sprinkling at the start, but that wind. They couldn’t have people parachute down to start the race like they usually do, but it was cool to see the helicopters flying overhead.
Army Ten-Miler Race Recap
The race started and we were in corral F, so we started about 8:30 a.m.The race course itself was beautiful. The runners and crowd were supportive, and it was inspiring to see all the dedications on runners’ shirts to fallen soldiers and to see Wounded Warriors running. That’s what kept me going.
Amy and I decided to do a 3:00/:30 run/walk interval. We ran the first mile just to get some space to walk. The scenery was gorgeous as you run around monuments and through D.C. You do sometimes run through not-so-pretty streets, but really the morale of the other runners fuels you.
I was grateful for the cold as the race went on. I shed my long-sleeved top, and the wind was sometimes hard to run against, but it was much better than running in the sun and heat. As I looked at my Garmin, I was surprised to see that I might actually PR this race.
So we kept on running. Water stops were plentiful, and there were a few real bathrooms along the route around the monuments. We didn’t stop at all to use the bathroom during the course. At one point, poor Amy said she needed to, and I looked at her, and said, “I might PR, just pee on yourself.” So maybe I shouldn’t have stopped to take pics at the monuments. Sorry, Amy!
My longest training run was 7 miles before this race. I had low expectations and really just wanted to finish injury-free. I don’t know if it was the weather that helped, but we were averaging around a 10:30 per mile pace. It felt comfortable until around mile 8. Here’s where I had to dig deep, and just keep going. The bridge is a killer when you just want to be done.
My Garmin had us running 10.4 miles, so our pace was slower according to final race results. I was a bit disappointed when I only PR’ed by 1 second! But it’s still a PR, so I’ll take it.
We received our finisher coins and our snack kit, water or Gatorade, and a banana.
After the race, you can either walk back to the starting area by the Pentagon or take a trolley. The trolley line was long and there were about 6 lines. I can’t remember exactly. It took a good 30 minutes to get on a trolley, and the bag check-in is not near the finish line or the reunion area. We had checked jackets, because it was cold, but we couldn’t get to the jackets anytime soon! We didn’t receive any space blankets at the finish either, so I was freezing! That’s my one and only complaint.
Everything else went pretty smoothly. Next time I would just choose to walk to bag check, even though it’s kind of a lengthy walk. I don’t know why I thought that bags would magically appear at the finish.
Overall, I loved the Army Ten-Miler, and my finisher coin! No medals here, and I did not care one bit. I’m adding this to my race repeat list!