I know it is strange to say this when I have not hit 30 yet, but I am not in the shape I once was. This morning was my second Army 10 Miler (Last year, I was rehabbing a broken foot), and my fourth 10 miler overall. It was not my best - likely because I have been working more and, thus, eating and exercising less well.
Still, I finished.
A few thoughts from the finish line:
* Before the race starts, they normally have the Golden Knights (Army Parachute) Demo Team drop in. This year, the Canadian drop team, the GKs, and a third group all dropped in separately. Overkill? Perhaps. But I have never seen three teams jump side by side so as to permit one to compare styles. Some fell in formation; others did stacks (when you attach yourself to another jumper; and still others used a looser form focusing on the flying itself.
* There is nothing like overtaking a runner who with racing with a prosthetic. I have mixed feelings about it - and nothing but respect for them and the volunteers who run with them.
* Under the Kennedy Center Overhang, I overtook a piper/runner. He was tooting out "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," and so forth, while running not that much slower than I. Damn. It was good for morale on a course that does not permit mp3 players.
* Mile 8's time-clock did not work. My sense of well-being took that as a bad sign.
* Mile 9 was a mass of white noise and the thought that "I really ought to train better for these things. (You didn't have time). I really ought to train better for these things. (and so on)."
* 10 miles seems to be the minimum "long" distance - delineated by the chance that you'll rub a nipple raw in the course of the run.
* I stretched, dawdled, got some schwag - Army 10 Miler = best schwag for a run - and got on the yellow line. It went over the river and could still see thousands of runners pouring over to the Pentagon. It's like seeing another train fly past after you've just gotten off the roller coaster, they're in the throes of it as you watch through residual endorphins.