I last ran the Army 10-Miler back in 2011, and, because of the crowds, I wasn't entirely sure that I'd want to run it again. (I also say this every year about the Cherry Blossom race and, yet, I seem to keep entering the lottery.) When the fields are large for races shorter than half-marathons, I sometimes find it hard to get enough running space to settle into a pace that I like and stick with it. Part of the battle is getting into the right starting corral, which happened this year.
I wanted to give myself plenty of time to get to the Pentagon, drop off my bag, and line up, so I left my apartment this morning at 6:30, caught the trains just right, and got to Pentagon with what I thought was plenty of time to take care of everything. I was right on schedule until the security checkpoint set up before the corrals. I don't know how the race organizers managed this, but there was only one entrance and maybe 20,000 runners who needed to get through. I spent a lot of time standing in one place until they opened up a second checkpoint only moments before my wave was scheduled to start. I made it up to the start just in time.
The pack was tight for the first few miles of the race, but things thinned just enough after the third mile. Since I'm running a race next weekend, I wanted to push myself just enough to set a PR and not injure myself. I'm proud of myself for running a consistent race (which I'm, happily, doing much more these days).
Here are the numbers:
Previous 10-Mile Record: 1:33:10 (Army 10-Miler 2011)
Current 10-Mile PR (and course record): 1:32:18
Average pace: 9:04
Next up, I'm running with Marine Corps 10K with my dad. Then, I'll focus on my training for the Richmond Half in November.