First off I was reminded of how awesome my friends in DC are. I mean, I know they are and I love them all, but It was an amazing weekend during which there just happened to be a race.
I made the executive decision on Friday to get on an earlier flight to DC, which was a very good decision. I arrived at 5:30 instead of 10:00 PM. I got to hang out with Thai Phi and her awesome son Ethan. He is the best 4 year old ever. He said we could be friends. I am totally holding him to that.
Thanks to my friend Barry I didn’t have to go to the Army Ten Miler Expo. He picked up my packet for me. This save precious fun time and me spending money on running crap that I don’t necessarily need.
Saturday was full of catching up with friends which really meant not staying off my feet. I did a short shakeout run in the morning. Hello DC humidity. I still hate you. The fun of the day the the Cox Farms Pumpkin Festival. Thai Phi, Lauren, Ethan and I went. This place was crazy. Slides, hayrides, games, animals, bands, more than I could imagine for a pumpkin farm.
Thai Phi hosted a pasta dinner the night before the Army Ten Miler. I think maybe half the people there were running. The rest just like food and social events.
Army Ten Miler
I raced this in 2009 and loved it. Of course I think it was my first (maybe second) race in DC. I didn’t run it last year because it was too close to Chicago/I was injured. When I signed up this year I knew it would be an excuse to go back to DC and see my friends. I did my usual race prep the night before and set all my stuff out. I had a pretty simple race plan. Go out easy for the first mile and then push for the next 9. Brilliant I know. It took a lot of time to come up with that.
I borrowed Thai Phi’s care and drove myself to the metro to get over to the Pentagon. Bag check was in the same place it had always been, but everything else was different. The start was moved, getting to the corrals was horribly marked, I did not like the changes (it turned out this was a popular opinion).
I chatted with a couple guys before the start. I was in wave 2 which was a huge mix of two corrals. We started at 8:10 to Party Rock Anthem. Even if my plan had not called for going out slow there was no choice. I expected this. I knew the course would be crowded. I did not think it would stay crowded for so long. As we were running over the bridge from Virginia to DC one of the volunteers yelled “welcome to DC” which brought a huge smile to my face. I felt really good for the first couple miles so just kept up my pace. Somewhere between miles 4 and 5 my garmin decided to make up distances. I had to only watch pace for awhile and then restarted it at mile 5 so I would have accurate mile times. Everything continued to go well until about mile 9 during which I could not move faster no mater how hard I tried. I was obsessively checking my garmin knowing I was really close to my PR. The crowds were ridiculous. I felt like I was weaving around people almost the whole race and it got worse at the finish. Get out of my way people. I have a finish line kick and don’t want to be slowed because you can’t finish. Yes, I know that’s harsh. I don’t care.
Results: 1:27:00 Another cool race time. Course PR by several minutes. Less than 30 seconds off my 10 miler PR. I blame the people.