Well, suffice to say, my four-week couch to 10 mile training plan worked. It wasn’t optimal, but I managed to do it without major mishap or injury. The plan: 20 miles/week for four weeks. The races: the inaugural Ragnar Relay in DC, and the following week, the Army 10-Miler. Why? Because I was injured all summer long.
Ragnar was brutal, but fun. A ~182-mile odyssey more or less down the C&O canal, from Cumberland, MD, to Washington, DC, overnight relay style, with 11 of your friends. And if they’re not your friends to start, then they are at the end. Well, at least 5 of them are, thanks to having to be in 2 separate vans of 6 runners each. In the end, we had a killer singlet that our resident designer, Marc Harkness, designed. We were also the first team to cross the finish line in the time trial-style race, and we ultimately were 5th in our division (out of 54) and 17th overall (out of 109).
The ATM had its own challenges. For instance, I’d never run more than 8 miles at one shot. And I’d never had to fuel up during a run, but I knew that I tended to bonk at about 6.2 miles (convenient for 10Ks, actually). Sure enough, the first 6.2 miles went swimmingly. Even mile 7 to 8 went well. Then that dastardly and interminable 14th Street bridge showed up. And I’m convinced that the last mile is short (and consequently, mile 8 long). There is no way that I threw down a sub 9 minute mile there. All in all, though, I’m pretty pleased that I 1) didn’t die and 2) averaged a pace under 9:30. The worst part of the race was running to catch the Metro after the race was over. Ouch.