For those of you who read my last post, in the comments you may have noticed that someone offered to put together a team for the Army Ten-Miler. Since he is in the reserves, he gets to register two weeks before the general public. What does that mean? I can’t “forget” to register in time. I never realized that there are so many races in Washington, DC, which is a city I love. I believe everyone has a city, one that fits them and is a reflection of their inner self. So why is it DC for me? It is a very different city than most large US metropolises. Its layout and city planning are very open. In 1910 a law was passed to limit the height of newly constructed buildings. What this creates is a city that is open to the sky. Add to that the Roman architecture, and you get a sense of the culture and history. There are places like Rock Creek Park, which is like a piece of nature cutting deep into the heart of the city. Numerous memorials and monuments litter the city, each with their own history and story. I could go on and on about DC. However, I will not. I’ll save that for another post, perhaps. For now, let’s get back to the Army Ten-Miler (ATM).
So a reader and contributor offered to put together a team. Now we just need runners. I have started the process to reach out and recruit for this team. After reading up on the race, I learned that if you don’t cross the five mile marker by 9:45 AM they end your race. At first I thought the race started at 9 AM. That would mean you need to run a 9’00” pace. Not bad, faster than me, but not bad. Then it hit me; that only works if you are in the first wave. There is no way I could make that! I took a deep breath. I had agreed to do it, so it meant I would just need to train harder. Before I let panic mode set in, I decided to look up that race start time. Turns out that it starts at 8:00 AM. I can do that. I’m ready for that run. Now with that out of the way, on to my Easter run.
I woke up this morning and the Easter Bunny had given each of my kids, my wife and me each a basket full of treats. Ah, the Easter Bunny, you deliver to me once of my vices, the jelly bean. Or rather, a large quantity of jelly beans. It is only fitting that I had planned to run ten miles on Easter. It is the best way to burn off the calories that would surely be consumed in jelly bean form. Did I mention that I love jelly beans?
I normally bring hydration with me for any run ten miles or longer. I also bring with me a snack, PowerBar Energy Blasts. Unfortunately, I am out of energy blasts. Instead, I opened a pack of PowerBar Energy Bites. Not quite the same thing, not even close. They are too dry to eat while running, so they are only good for a pre-run bite. Therefore, I have decided to sign up for a monthly delivery of Energy Blasts through Amazon.com to make sure this oversight doesn’t happen again.
This is also my first planned long run since my sprain. It has been more than a few months since I needed my hydration bottles, and now they are missing. I knew this would make for an interesting run. On top of that, this run would be along the same path I took on the day I sprained my ankle. It sounds like a bad sequel, “Rural Run 2: This time, no hydration or snacks.” If I had brought jelly beans as my snack, it would have seemed somehow wrong. So off I went with nothing but the one small 6 ounce bottle of Gatorade I could find and an iPod.
When I left the house, I was already tired from two hours of walking around the zoo with the family this morning. The first three miles of the run were rough. Out the door I already had a headache, and my right knee, right shin, and left ankle were all screaming at me. No matter the pain, I always give my run at least two miles to let the joints lube up and get the juices flowing. By mile two, it still wasn’t feeling good. I decided to give it another mile, just one more. By mile three, no pain… only the road. The run itself was uneventful until the run back. On mile seven I encountered another runner – human this time. She was ahead of me at one point. Her pace was similar to mine. I pushed to catch up in order to have a companion on the lonely road. Sadly, she turned in a different direction than my intended route. So then I was alone once again. It had been good to see another runner. I hadn’t felt so crazy to be out there in the middle of nowhere.
By mile eight I was approaching the place where I had sprained my ankle. Not this time. I watched each footfall to make sure they landed securely. I noticed the size of the potholes in the area. No wonder I had sprained my ankle!
As I said, the run was uneventful. The most important part was that I completed it. This is the longest run I have done since the sprain, with an OK pace of 11’20.” Not the greatest, but good enough. The true test will be tomorrow morning. By then my ankle will tell me how good of a run it truly was.
What do you take on long runs?
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