Monday, October 25, 2010
Army Ten Miler Race Report
Whatever I did yesterday in the 26th Annual Army Ten Miler in Washington, DC, I should bottle it up, write it down, whatever, because everything worked.
I finished the race in a personal-best 1:31:40, a good minute and twenty-four seconds better than my previous 10 Miler, the Broad Street Run, in May of 2009.
The day started out clear, with temperatures in the mid-50's. I actually overdressed, thinking it was going to be in the 40's (like Saturday morning), and shed my compression shirt before I left my car at the Metro station. So now I was down to your basic tech shirt & shorts.
I got to the start (directly in front of The Pentagon) in plenty of time, Wave 1 (of 2) with 30,000 runners registered. And when the cannon fired, the congestion was not at all what I expected. I planned on running the first mile in 9:45 because of the mass of humanity, but I actually did it in 9:30 - not bad. I was planning on running miles 2 through 4 at a 9:00 pace to get my time back on track, but after mile 2, I was running a 9:15 pace, which was my goal pace, so I settled in nicely as we passed The Watergate Hotel.
The third mile was down Rock Creek Parkway, by the Kennedy Center, but it got a little congested close to the 4 mile mark due to road construction. Bad road and a lot of runners, but I got to mile 4 at 36:51, still keeping a 9:13 pace. We passed behind the Lincoln Memorial and Korean War Memorial at Mile 4 (see how great this course is turning out?), and headed down Independence Avenue, passing the Smithsonian buildings and the Air & Space Museum, for 2 miles.
I hit the 6 mile mark at about 55 minutes, still keeping about a 9:11 pace, as we went by the Reflecting Pool at the east end of the National Mall, and then in front of the U.S. Capitol building. Then it was back down Independence Avenue for another mile and a half. At the Holocaust Museum (mile 8) I was at 1:13:36, about 24 seconds ahead of my goal pace. We made a left and went down 14th Street.
14th Street becomes I-395, and crosses both the Washington Channel and Potomac River in mile 9. This was the most difficult part of the course - two bridges in less than a mile. But my hill work helped, as I navigated those bridges well. At the 9 mile mark, I was clocking in at under 1:22, which meant unless I "blew a tire", I was going to hit my goal time, and a new PR.
Getting close to the end, one of the soldiers stationed along the course mentioned "two more right turns, and you're home". After the second right, there it was - The Pentagon, and then the finish line, just ahead. I cruised over the mat in 1:31:40. Race results showed that I ran the last 3.5 miles at an 8:40 clip; not bad for going across 2 bridges.
This race was awesome! Picturesque, flat, and fast. I hope to run it again next year - I urge everyone who wants a great tour of historic DC to do the same.