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Race Result

Racer: Reid Kiser
Race: Army 10 Miler
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2007
Location: Washington DC, DC
Race Type: Run - 10 mile
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 1:14:16
Overall Place: 1129 / 17633
Age Group Place: 170 / 1849
Comment: Is it still August?

Race Report:

The ATM has been a key race in my reborn ďhealthyĒ life. This is the race that got me off my butt and into long distance running. The journey started 6 years ago when I was 29 and overweight and now I am in the best shape of my life and getting faster. This was most likely the last year I will run ATM for several reasons. Itís a great race and the success of the race has made it very popular. The goal was to PR since I havenít run a Ten Miler for time in over 3 years. It should be a cake walk, so the real goal is 70-75 minutes.

This was a ďCĒ race tune up for Marine Corps Marathon and getting back into dealing with crowds and feeling out the pace and my running legs. My goal was to hold the first five miles at a 7:30 pace and ramp up from there. I decided not to run with any heart rate or GPS pacing and run by feeling and mile splits. The humidity was brutal for this being the second week of October. I am not a huge fan of humidity given my high sweat and salt excretion rates. The positive thought for me to get through this was it would all be over in a little over an hour. I popped 4 Endurolytes twenty minutes prior to start and finished off my water bottle. I kissed my wife good bye and wished her and our friend Oanh good luck with their runs.

I did a 5 minute warm up and stretching away from the start and finished up with a couple of strides and began to look for Dave Orton in the green chute. I was red but we were both shooting for sub 75 minute runs, he said jump on in the greens. We talked for a few minutes before the start and as we got to the 2-minute warning he said ďweíll probably be better off if you go over there,Ē pointing to the right side of the start area as we stood on the left. I laughed and agreed that it was a good idea and I will see him at the finish. The gun went off we waddled across the start line and the run began.

My pacing was solid as I did 7:22, 7:23, 7:24, 7:27, 7:30 for the first five miles. Most of which was dictated by the crowd and the terrain. I originally planned on two Accel gels at Mile 4 and 8, but at Mile 2 decided to expedite the plan. The first aid station was problematic and confusing. There was a huge 18 wheel tanker truck and guys running out from underneath it with water cups. I was able to grab some water to get the gel down and moved on. This was a tough day for me mentally. I canít say that I enjoyed a single mile of the race at the time it was happening and often asked why I was doing this. I tried to just let the mind wonder on to something else and think happy thoughts. My mental disposition was probably mostly based on the heat. I reminded myself everyone else had to deal with it as well and that it would be over in an hour or less. I looked inward and tried to find my happy place.

After climbing up Mile 5 to the USDA, thereís a slight downhill grade. I picked things up a bit with the down and the mental half-way hurdle. I hit Mile 6 with a 7:18 pace, but backed off at the aid station and gulped two Gatorades and a water. I didnít move my next Accel gel up in the order since I felt pretty fueled and more in need of fluid. I remotivated in front of the Capitol and the turn for home and knowing I was dropping some time on this mile. This mile would be the slowest at 7:41, but no worries. At Mile 7 heading back up the slope on Independence I start to see people that look like Dave. They have the same shirts but none are wearing a blue cap. Finally I find the blue cap about 200 meters ahead of me running down the right side of the road (my side of the road ;-) )

I was hurting and fading quickly, but used Dave to get my mind off of things and keep him within sight. I thought about how he got ahead of me, if he had his Garmin tracking me, and would I be able to reel him in by the finish? Heíd pull away slightly here and there.

I knew I was a strong runner on the hills and I tend to pass more people going up. I used this to take my mind off if I would catch Dave or not. We were out here to run our own races and get our PRs, it wasnít a competition. I finally make the turn to 14th Street bridge and pull out my second gel and try to get water to wash it down but it seemed to be very problematic in getting a cup. I finally grabbed two, drank one and doused myself to cool off with the other and try to make a final surge.

Mile 8 finally comes and my pre-race plan was to hammer the last two miles at sub-7 pace, Iíd struggle to do a 7:27. My stomach was a little crampy from the gel, my mind was wondering off into the heat of the bridge and I just wanted to walk. The biggest thing I learned of the day was that you can run through the stomach trying to digest and just ignore whatís going on down there and keep plugging. Heading up the incline of the bridge was difficult and I began to catch up to Dave who was completely drenched and I knew he was dealing with the same demons. The motivation at this point was to get the race over within 15 minutes or less. The decision now was do I run up to Dave and say ďHi, letís go knock this outĒ or move over to the left side of the road and try to go on without being noticed. I get within 50 meters and run a flag route to the left.

Itís now Mile 9 and itís 7:11 minutes to ending the misery. I want to surge, but itís another up slope on the bridge and I just canít find the energy. This should have been a 6:30 mile according to plan, but that went out the window with the weather forecast. Finally, the exit ramp approaches and I move into cruise mode and make the turn under the bridge. I had three different groups of people calling my name and cheering me on. I had no idea who this was until after the race. I had a feeling one was Julie Clark and their friend Hillary, but no clue on the other two were until after the race.

The Finish is in sight and 200 meters, if that, is left to go. I begin to think intervals and began a final kick to ensure the goal of 75 minutes is achieved and the morning is over. It was a tough race given the heat, It would have been nice to have 50 degree weather and run a few minutes faster. The takeaways from this day were learning to run a consistent pace, built confidence for Marine Corps, getting through hydration and nutrition issues, and without friends out on the course I would have backed off and not PRíd in these conditions.

Dave and I sat on a curb in the finish chute to take off our chips and dissect the race. We both congratulated each other on PRíing and breaking our goal of 75 minutes. It was a solid effort and itís nice to have training partners with similar abilities and goals and seeing each other at the finish. We grabbed some more water and headed back out to the course to cheer on our wives.

After the race, we joined Shawn, Julie, Hillary, one of the newest RATS, Jennifer Burg. Needing some salt, I quickly order a Bloody Mary, a pint of Guinness and proceed to the brunch stations for an omelet and my comfort food of biscuits and gravy. We run through each otherís races and proceed on with some good Craic. Even with the heat, everyone did really well with there races. It ended up being a great Sunday in many ways and I look forward to doing it all over again in a few weeks for the Marine Corps Marathon.