Sunday, October 08, 2006

Last 20-Miler. And Photos!

I cheered on runners (two of whom are my friends) in the Army 10-Miler this morning. I didn't catch them on camera (too fast!). But here are two photos to give you a taste of the race, which was held on a picture-perfect, crisp fall day in our nation's capital.

The first is of runners just after the 5-mile mark. Among them were many military vets and active personnel, some with one arm or wearing a prosthesis on one leg. The second is of members of an Army pep band, which played loud and tight renditions of songs such as "Eye of the Tiger."

Last Loooong Run: I logged my third and last 20-mile training run for MCM yesterday. I finally made it to my Saturday long training run group. Except they started without me.

I arrived at 8 am on the dot on a cold, windy and rainy morning. I saw a group of 30 people a half-mile ahead and pulling away fast. They left early! I strapped on my fuel belt and started hustling.

I caught up to the back of the pack within a mile, and the middle of the pack within two miles. The first half of the pack was way ahead - mostly 20- and 30-something male runners running 6:30-8:00/mile pace. Speedy for a long run.

The route, again, was uber-hilly, starting with an almost mile-long climb in Mile 2. Nobody talked much, and I recognized only one or two people. Also, not everybody ran the full 20 miles.

So I ran all 20 (actually, 20.35 miles - it was a bit long) pretty much by myself. Sigh. I don't know why I even bothered to meet the group. At Mile 9.5, it started raining steadily. Breathing heavily, I stopped for a few minutes and despondently chewed a Gu. I was in the outer DC suburbs, and not a soul was to be seen.

I ran the last half faster. Time to go home. I pulled down my cap low over my eyes and willed my tired legs to keep churning. I waved thanks when motorists stopped for me as I sprinted across rain-slicked streets. One 20-something in a truck rolled down his window and yelled encouragement. I gave him a thumbs-up as I ran past.

Total time, including a few rest stops: 3:16.


  1. If I haven't mentioned it before, you've gotten faster than I remember you to be ... or else I'm getting slower.
    Good 20-miler there, indeed. I will be counting on you to have a full meal prepared for me at the end of the MCM when I come cruising in at about 4:30.
    Now what about weekend pre-race? Any plans?

  2. Fantastic run, Rex:) And in that slop? Good for you........

  3. Wow! THREE 20 milers? I was giving myself a pat on the back for finishing my 2nd one (only).

    Just one more reason why you'll be finishing ahead of me :)