Army 10-Miler: A Success!

22 Oct

Finisher Coin Side 1.

Finisher Coin Side 2.

Yesterday was the Army 10-Miler race in DC which began and ended at the Pentagon.  Everything about the race was smooth and perfect.  The temperature was low to mid 50s and sunny with a gentle breeze towards the end.  The race course was awesome and had variety I was seeking as I’d been noting that a number of my races were hitting the same parts of another course I’ve done.  The race was so well-organized from a great garment check to the waves/corrals to a longer finishing chute to avoid bottle necking at the conclusion of the race.  The only slight aggravation was crowding getting onto metro to and fro but that is to be expected and it didn’t take away from the experience.

Perhaps the biggest joy of all was getting to run this at all.  One week ago, I sprained my ankle hiking.  I did the same hike I had done back in late May at Old Rag.  I even wore the same shoes.  Of course shoulda woulda coulda but I had even considered going to buy hiking shoes realizing the risks of not having stable shoes for this kind of terrain.  Bryan and our friends Dan and Emily were off to an amazing start.  We tackled the uphill and rock scrambles portion and enjoyed lunch at the Summit.  The weather was lovely for a hike and all was going well.  While on the way down the mountain,  I turned my ankle on a trail with lots of acorns, loose pebbles, and medium rocks that required a lot of watching your footing.  I had to sit down a while and the pain left me helpless- did I cry, scream, throw up, or whatttt to make this go away?  The blow lessened after resting it a bit and I started to walk on it.  My confidence walking was shot but I was taking it very easy as we were about 5 of 9 miles in.  Right as I was gaining some pep in my step again, I turned the SAME ankle again (about 15-20 minutes later).  This time it was worse.  Some way somehow I walked the rest of the hike, but when I got home it was really red and more than double the size of the other ankle.  It was time to R.I.C.E. it (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).  The 9 mile final training run I had planned for the next day was not happening and frankly the race was not looking promising.  I laid off the working out nearly entirely all week with the exception of an upper body toning day and walk/gentle recumbent bike ride.  I was pretty freaking bummed.  Across the week it was feeling better, but better enough to run 10 miles?  I was not so sure.

My life for a week after the hike :-/

On Saturday, I did a test 3 mile run.  If it hurt at all I was not going to push it with 10 the following day.  To my surprise I killed it on the 3 miler.  I pushed out sub 9 minute miles.  Still, 10 miles would be a whole different ballgame I recognized.  I went into yesterday with the same game plan…try it and if I felt any pain bow out knowing I gave it my best.  I was really hoping to complete it given all the training though.  That and the fact that Bryan bought me a Good Luck Edible Arrangements.  I wanted to kill it that much more like he said I would on the card.

Mmm Edible Arrangements!

This story has a happy ending per the title of this post and all that I have already said about the race day.  I ran all 10 miles at an average of 9:41 min/mile pace and I felt great the whole time.  Even after the race I was feeling great with only the soreness indicative of just running a long, long way (achy knees and tired legs).  Claire was a fabulous running buddy!  So glad to have had her by my side.   The only thing I’d change about this one was to have had Heather run it too.  She got really sick in the past few days so no 10 miles for her.  No matter though because we’re committed to the Inaugural DC Nike Women’s Half in late April 2013 through Team In Training.  To date, that race is still my favorite- even in spite of the ridiculous San Francisco hills.   Nike just knows what’s up.   Stay tuned for more deets to that end 🙂  Have a great start to the week!

Claire and I after the race.

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