If you want honesty…
The truth is I totally forgot how much I love this race.¬†
Because I normally run the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM,)¬†and it falls two week after the Army Ten Miler (ATM,) I usually skip the ATM. I skip it because it is taper time during my marathon training, and there is no point to race a 10 miler, when I should be running at my marathon pace. Different race distances are run at different paces.
However, the running community definitely sets up the ATM with the idea that many marathon runners will run it in prep for MCM, and many¬†marathoner do run it for that reason. The course is very similar to MCM, both start at the pentagon, and both include, the street along the waterfront under the memorial bridge, the national mall, and the 14th street bridge.
The Washington, DC area has tons of race, however after, 7 years of running races in the area, they all kind of feel familiar. This can be to my advantage because I know the roads I am running on, however it can also get boring.¬†I love MCM’s race course, because it feels different from all the rest. But, ATM’s race course is a little bit similar to MCM, so it is no shocker that I love ATM too.
The Expo is two days long. You can either pick your bib up on Friday or on Saturday. I normally go on Friday – it is best to get there early so you have more option on merchandise. This is a big big race, close to 30,000 people, so stuff and sizes go quick. Unfortunately, this time I got there late on Saturday, and a lot of stuff was already cleared out.
One of my favorite vendors is ONE MORE MILE. They are known for their funny quotes. I followed my tradition and got a comfy long sleeve running T- shirt from them. This time I got the one that said, WTF on the front, Where’s the Finish on the back. ¬†It fits my personality perfectly, because you can find me saying that out loud during the last mile of almost every race I run.
I don’t get why anyone would skip the expo or rush through it. The expo gives you the opportunity to find some great running gear at a discounted price. It also gives you the opportunity to learn about new products or new races and running organizations. It also is you last chance to get anything you may need on race day, including gu, sports beans, socks, etc.
So my advice, never skip out. Go to the expo, and take your time shopping around.
THE NIGHT BEFORE ATM
I didn’t eat a pasta dinner like most runners do before a race. It was only a ten miler, so I wasn’t too concerned about carb loading. Instead, I made Indian. I have been making Indian recipes in my slow cooker. I’m pretty obsessed so I will be sharing recipes in future posts.
Before bed I set up my race outfit. I am not a morning person, so this has become my night before race ritual. I get everything ready, so I can easily make it through the dark early morning hours. I got a new outfit from lululemon. This is normally a big no no. Every runner knows never to wear anything on race day that you haven’t run in before. But again it was only a 10 miler so I wasn’t too concerned, plus I have the shorts and tank top already in other colors, so technically I have run in them before.
I woke up at 5:30 am right before my alarm went off. I was ready to get up early and hit the pavement. L came to pick me up right at 6:15- she is never late. We parked at pentagon city and walked over to the start.
At the pentagon, we stripped down, checked our bags, and headed to our corral. L and I were in different corrals, but I stayed back with her, so we could start together. Raiza hung with us too.
Lina and I at the start.
Wounded Warriors sky diving to the start. ¬†The sun was rising and it was breath taking.
Shoes are very important to a runner. Lina, Raiza, and I, we run in Newtons. I’m wearing the orange Gravity. Lina is wearing the purple Motion. Raiza is wearing the yellow Distance.
Before my wedding, I was working out like a crazy person. After, I was mentally and physically drained. I was burned out from being so competitive with myself. So I needed to relax this summer.¬†¬†I didn’t have a running watch most of the summer, because my garmin forerunner 50 died. So all summer¬†I was running whenever I felt like it, for fun.¬†¬†So for this race, I didn’t have a game plan, honestly, I had no clue how I was going to do.
HOW I DID
Whenever I run a 10 miler I always try to get under 1:30. The weather was perfect, and I was feeling good. I decided to just run whatever I felt. Turns out the first half I was running around an 8:30 min/mile, not a bad pace at all. The last half I wasn’t as consistent. I looked down at my watch and it ranged between 8:30 and 9 min/mile. I was still feeling pretty good though. By the time I saw the finish line, I sprinted as fast as I could. I made it with official time 1:29:24. It’s not a PR for me, but I kept it under 1:30. Once I was finished, I thought to myself I could keep going. I love that feeling. I am definitely a distance runner.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED
Before my wedding I was working out like a crazy lady. I was lifting and running 5 days a week. This summer I got really busy with life, something had to give. I have to remind myself that although running is a passion of mine, I have other passions too. Plus running is not a job – It doesn’t pay my bills. Sometimes I need to focus on other things. So this summer, I did focus on other things. I ran casually to have fun and stay in shape. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do during this race. I didn’t really train, I just ran shorter runs a couple times a week – WITH OUT A WATCH. Turns out I felt amazing during this race! There wasn’t one time during the race where I felt pain or wanted to stop. I just kept running and it felt good. I am really happy with my time, even though it wasn’t a PR. This race, definitely lit a fire in my heart, I think I got my running Mojo back! ¬†It was also great to run with my running buddies Lina and Raiza.
What fall races have you run? Have you ever trained with out a watch?
¬© 2014 sweat1xdaily