Here are the top ten things the Army Ten Miler taught me today about running a long(ish) distance race:
1. Your feet can discern an incline way before your eyes can.
2. Hearing the Rocky song for the 12th time is actually not a bad thing.
3. There is a thing called armpit chafing. And it is bad.
4. Don’t peak at mile 7. It makes miles 8, 9, and 10 really painful.
5. People like to yell loudly when everyone is under a tunnel. I don’t get it.
6. Always run with a buddy – I would probably still be at mile 4 without the Chapmans.
7. Almost as important as a buddy is a fan. When I saw The Flying Crane cheering me on with about a 1/2 mile to go, it gave me the boost I needed to finish at top speed. Granted by that point that wasn’t very fast, but still.
8. From a cardiovascular standpoint, playing over 200 minutes of soccer a week is apparently sufficient to be in pretty good shape.
9. Playing 90 minutes of soccer the day before the race, however, is really not helpful to your overall foot health. Or your shins.
10. The race itself is way better than the training beforehand. I think next time I’ll just skip that first step altogether. Not that I didn’t pretty much skip it this time around.
All in all, I wouldn’t exactly say it was something I would do for fun on a regular basis, but it was a good experience. As I predicted, now that it’s over, I’m really glad I did it. If only because I got this shiny new coin: