Never have I ever ran (run?) a 10 miler race, or any race for that matter until Sunday. My friend Emma and I have been running together over the last month to prepare for the race. Before starting to run with her, I had only run at most 4 miles, and pretty slow. We ran some long runs together, getting up to 8 miles a few weeks ago. I honestly couldn’t believe I ran 6 miles, or 8 miles. It was crazy. I’m the girl who HATED running the 1 miler in gym all through school. I do not classify myself as a runner.
So Sunday came. We met up at 6:30 am and drove to Rosslyn, then hopped on the Metro to go to the Pentagon where the race started and ended. We made it there around 7:15 and proceeded to wait in line with 20,000 other people to use the porta potty before the race. The first wave started at 8:00 and our wave started at 8:15. Thankfully, since Emma was there, I didn’t have much time to be nervous. She’s run a lot of races before and we just talked and hung out until the start.
At 8:15 we started running. There was fun music and lots of people cheering and carrying on, so the first mile went by super fast. I knew we were running faster than we’d been training though, because I could breathe ok, but definitely not carry on a conversation. The first few miles were fine. We ran right through DC and saw all of the monuments and beautiful fall scenery. I was so thankful it wasn’t too hot outside!
I think when I started wearing down was around mile 5. I started getting so nervous that I wasn’t going to make it. The water/Gatorade stations helped so much- the Gatorade seriously made me feel like a new woman when I drank it. We walked through the water stations every time, but ran the whole race! I can’t believe it.
Mile 5-7 were fine, I was tired, but I kept pushing myself and just tried to think about the fact that we were halfway done. Mile 8-10 were BRUTAL for me. We ran down 395 towards the Pentagon. It was just desolate, and slightly uphill the whole time, and sunny. I wanted to walk or stop so many times. I definitely would have if Emma hadn’t been running with me. Mad props to Emma for being my cheerleader!
We finally came to the off ramp for the Pentagon at Mile 9. Emma just kept saying “You can do anything for 10 mins! We got this”. So true, but I didn’t believe it right then. I kept running and cussing (sorry Emma) and wondering where the stupid finish line was. Finally we saw it. I was so freaking excited. We actually sprinted to the finish line, or ran as fast as we could. I kind of can’t believe I did that either. Our official times we 1:53. YESSS for under 2:00!
We crossed the finish and started walking and I was immediately super lightheaded. I had to sit down with my head between my knees for a few minutes and drink water before I could get up. At least I didn’t have a medic team freaking out and taking me on a stretcher.
After I recovered a little, we walked towards the Pentagon, got bagels and muffins, and took pictures with our Army 10 Miler Coins.
I’m seriously SO proud of myself for finishing the race. I know its not a marathon, or a half marathon, but for me, a 10 miler is a huge accomplishment. I swore to myself as I was running mile 8 that I would never run again, but who knows, maybe I’ll do a race in the spring.