Well, another Army Ten-Miler has come and gone. I wasn't going to run, because of job committments, but at the last minute everything fell through and so I figured, why not? I did great- ran my own personal record of 1:50:21 even though (read on for the rest)

  1. It was HOT
  2. They ran out of water at several stops
  3. Everything that could go wrong that morning (except not getting to the race) DID go wrong
  4. I really wanted to be in California, not running in the blazing sun, high humidity, and no shade
  5. I am heavier and in worse shape this year than I was last year (hey, I recently lost a baby so I'm giving myself a break here)
  6. And Oh, did I mention it was HOT???

I'm glad I ran, but I've got to tell you- it was NOTHING like last year!

Main problem for me was that the water ran out toward the end, and really! The people behind me needed the water MORE than the people in front of me. Then, it just felt like ... "drudgery" is the word we decided on earlier. There just wasn't the same sense of camraderie.

Sure, was still amazed at sloshing through the gatorade. Sure, there were people in costumes (Wheaties and a Bananna to name a few), and others running in memory of fallen heros. Sure, there were several "Missing Parts in Action" participants, and I got a personal boost out of clapping for and saluting them as I passed. And of course, the volunteers were AWESOME!

But it just wasn't the same. There was no band and obvious photographer around the 8 mile bend. It just felt like everyone wanted to go home. And I didn't feel energy building during that last mile. It was almost as if getting on that bridge with no shade (after no water for the past 5 miles) was more than we could bear. I encouraged myself with knowing that I was holding a decent pace and that with all htat posing I did for the photographers I was going to have some awesome pix (NOT! take a look), then got discouraged as the finish line food stop had run out of cookies (had only muffins and green bananas- but at least they gave us big bottles of water). To top it all off, there were so many people they had to shut down that particular metro entrance and I had to walk about a mile to catch the train home. Not fun. And the trains were a mess. I should have been a little late for Christian Education, and ended up missing the whole service!

All that whining was really put into perspective this morning, though: I found out this morning that we had a casulty. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Michael Banner. My condolences to you all. It's such a shame too, because they were trying to get the medics out as I crossed the finish line. I had already passed a stretcher on my way in, but I guess they were trying to get an ambulance through. But people wouldn't move out of the way until the announcer had to call out folks by bib number and clothing type, such as "you in the purple zebra hat, please move out of the way! You are holding up the medial team." I don't know if it mattered by then, but I'm glad *I'm* not one of the ones who was holding up progress.

All-in-all, I'm glad I ran and if it weren't always during the weekend of our Pacific Northwest meeting, I would sign up for it next year. But work has caused me to miss it twice (and this time cost me even my stepdads retirement) so I will have to find another run next year. :-)