I wanted this post to be different than it’s going to, but as my dear virtual friend Tess says every run has a lesson to teach us and I learned/remembered quite a few from this 10 miler.
This race was a last minute addition to my fall calendar – after racing well under my 1:10 goal for a 10 miler I believed I was capable of a sub 1:05 10 miler – on the right course – on the right day. I felt that Army Ten Miler could be that course and I hoped that in my marathon taper my legs would be more rested to run a fast [remember this is relative to the individual] 10 miler.
Friday night I started to get VERY stressed. It took us over 2 hours to get into DC to pick up my packet and over an hour and a half home. We stayed at the expo for a total of 20 minutes and I can truly say the only bright side of that night was seeing a double rainbow while sitting in traffic.
This reminded me why I try to ask friends as much as possible to get my packet for me for big races. If I had all the free time in the world or didn’t have three little people that need my attention I MIGHT enjoy them more. At this point in my life free time with out my littles in tow is a precious commodity. I hate using up a sitter [favor from a family member] to spend the night in the car. Kuddos to my husband who despite me freaking out multiple times in the car still wanted to remain married to me post race.
Saturday I just had a bad feeling about the race and part of me wished I wasn’t running. I really thought through what my problem was and decided it was because I had put my goal of 1:05 out there and had talked about running the race. I know this may seem insane since I am a blogger and bloggers are notorious for over sharing – but putting my goals out there freaks me out. I keep A TON of my life private and am beginning to think that “secret” races and “secret” goals are the only thing that works for me. I know this because it was like this long before I ever started spilling my life on the Internet.
I had one of my fastest marathons to date 5 months after my 3rd baby and it happened to have been the 3rd marathon I had run in 5 weeks. I told no one, not even my best friends. I got slack and almost lost a friendship or two over it but I am realizing that it is just me and I’m okay with that. If I don’t want anyone to know what I am running I don’t have to tell them, even if they specifically ask. I run better when there isn’t any outside pressure – whether it’s real or imagined.
Now that I said that I can tell you that I have never NOT wanted to run a marathon more than I don’t want to run NYC Marathon. The only reason I am still running it is because I paid $250 and I want to go see my best friends from high school and college who live up there. I want to see their littles and spend time with them. SO I am running and as I told my wonderful coaching client Tess [different from the above mentioned Tess] every marathon finish whether slow or fast is something to be celebrated and enjoyed. I plan on enjoying it.
Back to Army Ten Miler…..
I’ve run the race a couple of times – it was Eric’s first 10 miler and first race we ran together – I ran it 3 months or so pregnant with Miles [baby #2] and I think this was my third time. I’m starting to loose track of how many races I’ve run. [I think this is a good problem to have]
The logistics on a big race stress me out and this race was no different.
On the way to the race I was *chirping* away – what my husband calls my endless chatter in my pre-race excitement….then suddenly I had nothing to say. I had a pit in my stomach and I wanted the race to be over.
Sitting at the start line in the dark with him I reasoned with myself that if today wasn’t my day – it was a GOOD day for a nice run in DC. I was also spending some quality time with him away from our littles and enjoying the moment. He tried to help get into my head and remind me that it was going to hurt to run fast but to just suck it up and deal with it. These are the defining moments in life of a runner. Do you quit when the going gets tough or do you run your body?
I started to feel good moments before entering the coral but was INSANELY thirsty. It was in that moment I knew it was down hill for me. I swear I do not understand why I can not stay hydrated. It’s maddening to me. Such a small detail and such a huge difference it can make.
Emily saw me walking in the crowd and came over to say hi! We had 10 minutes or so of chatting about race goals – upcoming races and just general fun BS. The gun went off…..I tried to go out slow but I felt good.
The new start took you along the finish of Marine Corps and I couldn’t help but feel giddy about feeling good on a stretch of road that is usually a suffer fest for me.
I had wanted that to be my goal pace for the whole race. When you start out at or faster than goal pace you are going to positive split a race. I got a terrible side cramp in mile 2 and wanted to walk off.
I repeated over and over *I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me*
It would help for a little but then the pain took control of my mind.
I was mad and I hate running mad. Mad that my body was not doing what my mind wanted to do.
I asked myself if I was a quitter – I said no.
I asked myself if I would have been OVER the moon over a sub 1:10 finish if I hadn’t had just run a 1:06 weeks early – I said yes.
Despite the pain in my side that did not go away till the bitter end - I pushed on.
It wasn’t the best race of my life. It wasn’t what I wanted to do.
BUT on the bright side better to get the not-so-great races out of the way so I can rock a marathon in the near future.
The finish line was different than I had run in past years – though I missed the previous downhill finish – it did make for a beautiful picture and a nice way to start the morning.
I won’t let this shatter my marathon confidence and if I say this enough or read it enough then maybe I’ll actually believe I am CONFIDENT. Things ALWAYS turn out as they were supposed to be……
Oh and THIS was cool – really really cool. YES I am a BIG RUNNING GEEK and I love it.
Finish Time: 1:07:49
10K Split: 41:37
81st overall Female
859 out of 21,912 runners
This won’t be the last you will be hearing of Army Ten Miler this week. Consider this fair warning as I work through some of the things I learned and other things I was reminded of! DO you have any last minute marathon questions?
Did you race this weekend? How did you do?!
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