When we went on our East Coast vacation, we spent a couple of days with FTH’s long-lost cousins, one of whom is an Army veteran. Before we headed to the DC area, he and his sis drove up to NYC to meet up with us. There he asked me if I wanted to run 10 miles. I needed to do another long run, so I said yes.
Fast forward to our last leg of our vacation (DC), and I finally realize that he meant the Army 10-Miler! I looked it up and was a little apprehensive. My back was killing me, still, and I was sooooo close to backing out. I mean, I was about to text him at midnight the day before. FTH convinced me to stick it out because he figured I’d regret it if I didn’t do it. He was right.
I had about 4 hours of sleep, got up at 5:30AM and got ready. Cousin1 picked me up at 6:30AM and he brought along another Army vet friend. The best way to bond with new family members? >> Having to pee and making them stop for me to pee between cars in a parking lot because I couldn’t find a proper restroom at 7:30AM on a Sunday morning, near the Pentagon. (Hey, I’m not the only one who couldn’t wait.)
The website strictly forbade cellphones, cameras, and other electronics except for GPS watches like Greta the Garmin. Therein lies the problem – I couldn’t bring a camera with me to take pictures of all the great monuments and sites of DC! Gahhhhhhh. I get it. I mean, we _did_ start at the Pentagon for cripes’ sake. But there were plenty of Army dudes in their camo uniforms working as race workers.
Oh and let me tell you, it was the most fun thing to see – Army men and women in their camo uniforms/gear, handing out water and Gatorade, and cheering us on. It was a sight to see! I wish wish wish I snuck in a camera or my BB.
It felt really good to be in a race, to have a purpose. The folks who were cheering on the runners were motivational. Some areas had less cheerleaders, but that’s ok. The sites kept me motivated. There were many fun shirts worn by runners – Army nurses, veterans, different battalions and squads, Marines, Navy, military schools, and people running in memory of their lost loved ones. (Damn the rules! I wish I took photos of these shirts too.)
My CIL and his friend whipped past me from Minute 1. Their average mile was something like 9:30. I laughed and said, “Uh I’ll just see you at the finish line. Seriously.” It was not my best race at all, but it was also a spur of the moment run. I think my time was something like 2:20:00. (Yes, it’s ok to stare – I was really slow.)
By Mile 8 to 9, I was TIRED. I walked that mile and finished as strong as I could. I haven’t downloaded Greta’s numbers yet but I’ll post them when I finally turn it back on.
Overall, this race was the perfect ending to our vacation. I finished the race, met up with family, ate lunch, showered, and headed to board the plane. (I was wiped by the time I got to the airport with FTH.)
I’d definitely run this race again. Next time, it’ll be more serious and I’ll have trained a bit more. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up to my new cousin!
Mileage: 10 miles
Time: somewhere around 2:20:00