Did you briefly think I went and ran a race without telling you I was going to? If so, then I fooled you! Plus the race isn’t until tomorrow, so if you did think I ran a “secret” race today, I fooled you twice!
I thought I would borrow an idea from Deb’s blog and recap a previous time I have run this race on the weekend it’s being held. I think it’s such a neat idea she had to do that, and hopefully she doesn’t mind my borrowing! I don’t remember as many details from my races as she does, though. (Although the journey to the start line could be a race report on its own. Hang tough)
We are traveling back to October 2011, and my first race after a roughly one year hiatus from running. I don’t know why I took that year off. I graduated from college, started work 10 days later, got married a month later, and then was in training for 3 months for work (and was out of town every week). It’s no excuse, but running just kind of fell by the wayside. In March 2011 we traveled to Virginia Beach and I watched Barry run his first full marathon (Shamrock Marathon). Spectating that race and feeling that excitement was the final push I needed to get back into running.
Naturally I went home and started searching for races. I found the Richmond Half Marathon, which would take place in November. I signed up for the half, Barry signed up for his second full, and I sat down and devised a training plan that would begin at the end of June. A couple months later, I realized the Army Ten Miler lined up perfectly with my training plan, but it was sold out. Barry said he wasn’t interested in that race, so I stalked the transfer boards that ATM had set up for one race entry. It was intense and the demand was high!
Finally, I got a bib and I was in! My first race back was going to be the Army Ten Miler and I was thrilled. For me, the ATM was just one of those “bucket list” races I really wanted to do. It probably had to do with the fact that I grew up outside of DC so the thought of running a race through DC sounded like a lot of fun. I had no idea what I was in for.
Barry and I traveled up to my Dad’s house the Friday before the race. We went to the expo on Saturday, which was held at the DC Armory. It was very crowded at the expo, which would end up being the theme of the weekend.
Race morning arrived and we headed to the metro station to catch the train into DC. I was really worried about the metro trip in, because the metro stations do not have public restrooms. As our train arrived at the first stop, the restroom became the last thing on my mind. I could not believe the number of people getting on the train! It just increased from there, until it got to the point where the train would make a stop and no one could get off or on, because both the train and platforms were so crowded. My poor dad was also trying to navigate his bike through this mess. I think part of the problem was that there were a few trains shut down for maintenance, but it was out of control.
When we finally arrived at our stop, Barry and I were able to squeeze off of the train, but my dad was stuck with his bike and had to ride the train to the next stop. It was kind of scary getting out of the metro station. It was overcrowded and people were getting squished up against each other, because the escalators were still running but there was nowhere to go. As you exit the metro you have to swipe a card and wait for the barriers to open so you can walk through. This was causing a major bottleneck, and they later opened the gates to let people just get out.
As soon as we got out of the metro station, I located a porta potty. Then I kissed Barry goodbye as I headed for the security line to get into the runners staging area for the start. I made it through and had time for one more quick stop at the porta potties (which were numerous within the staging area) and then joined my corral and the throngs of runners.
I warned you that just getting to the start of this race deserved a recap of it’s own! The race started near the Pentagon and before I knew it we were off! Around mile two I saw my dad standing at the end of the Memorial Bridge. I hollered for him, but he missed me because it was so crowded!
And then I proceeded to wander aimlessly through the finisher’s area trying to find my dad and Barry. We hadn’t set up a spot to meet and it was so crowded. I finally asked a stranger to use his phone and got a hold of my dad, and was able to meet up with him. Then I used his phone to touch base with Barry, who was still at finish line. It was chaotic and not what I needed after running 10 miles.
|Touching base with Barry. I’m pretty sure this is what I looked like
to the nice stranger who let me use his phone to call my dad.
We are professionals when it comes to smiling for pictures. I finished in 1:42:16 and wrote the following in my running log: “Had a pretty good race- ran the entire way w/ a pretty even pace; very crowded getting there and on the race course; 10:13 pace.” That about sums it up. Maybe I just should have used that as my race report??