Monday, October 12, 2015

The 31st Army 10 Miler...also entitled "don't make excuses, you can't deal with the results" or "the wheels on the bus just fall right off".

A cautiously optimistic layout
Going into the Army 10 Miler let me just say I didn't want to be here. I am not prepared, physically or mentally. I've had to skip races over the last 18 months because of illness or injury (breaking my year streaks of doing "x" race) but... come hell or high water, I HAVE to be here. NO way I can miss THIS race. How much so? Well, because of airplane ticket and hotel hiccups, I drove down from Boston at 3:30 am the day before the race, raced and then drove back home after the race. Yup, a turn and burn to race. Ugh. Just one more example of how the wheels have completely fallen off over the last few months. But, it's never about the bad things that's about what you do to deal with them. Right? This race means too much to me (I was in town for years when I was a fat guy to support an annual event on race weekend, watched people race, feeling sorry for myself) and once I finally raced it I knew I'd never miss another. I can honestly say that if I had to walk the whole damned thing, all that matters to me is crossing the line and getting my prized finisher's coin. Ya, I don't know when I became the "it's important to show up and just finish" guy over my normal "nothing less than 1000%, kill yourself racing" guy...but I guess that's just indicative of the space I'm in.

Having any other expectation other than just finishing is pretty ridiculous when you realize the race was the longest I'd run, and the first run I've done over 6 miles in like 3 months. But...I am known for ridiculous expectations. My plan was to not look at my watch and just run on feel. That worked right up until I hit the 2nd mile marker. I missed the 1st marker because I was trying to figure out what the deal was with the course change. By the way I hate the new course! The whole race essentially started a mile later than years past so all the markers I've used for pace were "off".

Miles 1-3 7:33, 7:34, 7:38
I was surprised I was able to hold onto around 7:30s to be honest. I didn't feel like I was running fast but guess I got caught up in the 1st corral runners and felt ok with that pace.
Anxious before, tired after but finisher coin in hand

Miles 4-6 7:43, 7:51, 8:06
I didn't feel bad, but you can see that pace started to drop off quickly. By mile 6, I could feel my body position changing (leaning forward from the hips, shoulders rolled forward) from fatigue and knew that the last 4 miles weren't going to be fun.

Miles 7-10 8:12, 8:25, 8:52, 8:53
And then the wheels started to come off. That stretch of road, coming off the turn at 7 wasn't' fun at all and the new course bears left off the 14th street bridge rather than right to the Pentagon (as it has in year's past) and it just sucked the life right out of me. Add in that I was starting to hurt (my right hip started hurting because of what I wold think was the breakdown in body position) and those last miles felt like an eternity...and by that was! I was absolutely gassed at the end. I finished at 1:22:12, my worst time to date, but at least I got through it and got my treasured finisher's coin. I would love to say I took the time to enjoy the race and the surroundings...but I'd be lying. All I thought about at each mile marker was how far I was off the pace I could've been running. Not enjoyable at all and I think the Marine Corps Marathon in a couple weeks is completely off the table.

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