Thursday, October 25, 2012

Army 10 Miler Race Report

TIME: 51:44, PR*
PACE: 5:10
I arrived at the Pentagon parking lot at 6:20 AM.  I chilled out in my car for a bit, and then headed towards the race starting area around 6:45 AM.  Crowds of runners everywhere.  This race was HUGE.  Too many people.  I made my way to the baggage area to drop off some stuff and do a warm-up.  I made the warm-up pretty short(10 min), and did plenty of stretching.  We lined up on the front start line behind the wounded warriors and wheelchair athletes.  An honorable event this is.  There was a moment of silence in remembrance of lost soldiers/fighters/loved ones overseas.  The sun came up quietly in the distance, with a beautiful clear blue sky for it to fill up.  I found Matt at the start and we got ready in position. 
We blasted out on Jefferson Davis Highway.  I went out conservative and felt pretty relaxed.  Plenty of runners started out in front of me.  I hit Mile 1 in 5:10.  We then made our way uphill around the ramp towards the Arlington Bridge.  I then began to pump my arms a bit and pass runners.  I moved up not too far away from Sam Luff(GRC's top runner), up ahead.  We then crossed the Arlington Bridge and the sun was strong.  Should've worn the shades, dammit.  I saw Beth and her Mom cheering at the end of the bridge in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  I also heard the GRC guys cheering for me, then behind me Jake and Dave, who I knew were salivating to catch me.  I hit Mile 2 in 10:20, another 5:10 split.  I surged onto Constitution Avenue and ditched my gloves around Mile 2.5.  We ran on the rolling Virginia Avenue.  Mile 3 was 15:20s(closer to 5:00 split).  I was rolling.  I came up on a runner in red and together we worked back and forth for a bit.  I ended up meeting him after the race-he came all the way from Alabama.  We made another turn and blasted towards the Kennedy Center.  Mile 4: 20:30ish(5:10 split). 

 We went underneath the Arlington Bridge up towards Independence Avenue.  I saw Beth and her Mom again cheering.  I wanted to stop and kiss/hug her.  Gotta keep going though...

Mile 5: 25:35(5:15 split).  A little slow, but I was in perfect position for +/- 51:00.  This course was also not easy, in my opinion.  There were lots of turns, and the inclines were certainly more prevalent than the Cherry Blossom course.  I pushed on through to the second half of the race, where the pain begins to set in...

I continued down Independence...alone.  The runner in red had gone up ahead with Sam and a few others.  I split 31:54(5:08 pace) at 10K.  I kept them in my sight, but it was difficult to reel them in.  I could also hear Jake and Dave and a few others not far behind, which was motivating.  So I ran scared.  Crowds were all over the place as I headed towards our Nation's Capitol.  Racing in DC is f%ckin awesome.  I then made the awkward square loop that had like 4 turns.  That sucked.  I headed back on Independence towards the 14th Street Bridge.  I split a few ticks over 36:00 at the 7 mile mark.  3 miles to go.  Time get tough.

Well, the 14th street bridge was tough.  I could see some runners up ahead, but was still running alone.  I know how to push myself though.  I hammered across the bridge and my endurance was there.  My turnover was still good, and I climbed up the gradual inclines steadily.  I could hear, however, Jake and Dave not far behind.  Mile 8 I split a 5:15, which was a little slow again but also I was going slightly uphill.  I knew I had enough left to finish strong the last 2 miles.  I just had to get across this damn bridge! 

The bridge seemed like it would never end.  I then hit Mile 9 in 46:30(a 5:12 split), but I heard footsteps behind me.  Son of a bitch.  I made the downhill exit off the bridge(thank god).  The runner was close behind.  Who was it?  I immediately guessed it was GRC's #2 man Jake running me down.  Dammit.  I surged as I made a right turn up the freeway toward the finish.  Not far now.  Just hold on!!!

The runner then came up on me and surged in front.  I was surprised to notice it was not Jake.  This guy was a GIANT, easily a foot taller than I(or so it seemed).  He was coming on strong.  He had an American flag on the back of his jersey. 

He would not win that easy.  I am never easy to beat.  I will make it hell for him to beat me.    

I hung on to him and surged to make a move, sprinting ahead.  People cheered as we roared towards the finish.  He then ran up beside me and passed me again.


I didn't have much left.  I surged one last move on him but was no match for his last kick.  He beat me in the last 50 yards and I settled but ran strong toward the finish.

I'm not sure if it was or not, but I have heard rumors of the course being a bit long. Jake Klim, who I find knows many of DC's races all too well, and is not the type of person to question distances usually, writes about the course: check out his blog
At any rate, I am happy with the effort I gave and how strong I felt.  My target was 51:00 give or take, and this was a great turnaround for me from last month's half marathon. I am feeling great.

I am also very proud of Maria who PRed by 2+ minutes(also weaving around slower runners) to finish in 82:00. 
I went right into high mileage again this week, in preparation for the marathon.  The day after the race I actually ran 17 miles.  I did not do a trackworkout this week though so I could recover from the intensity, in anticipation of a hard long run this Saturday.  Should be over 100 this week.

1 comment:

  1. Great race, Chris! :)

    That bridge is flipping killer. It seems like it never ends!