2015 Navy Ten Nautical Miler Recap

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Two weeks ago I participated in my second straight Navy Ten Nautical Miler on the naval base in Millington, TN. I loved the race again this year despite the higher temperature and humidity for the 2015 version. As the race progressed, it became more of a just finish mentality rather than pushing for a PR. I am not going to lie, I struggled greatly during the run, and questioned this whole running thing! I ended up finishing the race about 15 minutes slower than last year, which seems to be a theme for this heat and my running. The heat got so overwhelming, but I finished and once I cooled off, my rational mind took over and I was eager to run once again.

Battle of Midway

D-Day

The distance of 10 nautical miles is clearly not an arbitrary distance. Rather, it has some significance from the Battle of Midway. The Battle of Midway was a major victory for the US Navy in WWII, and marked the first naval defeat in almost 100 years for the Japanese Navy.  The battle was between June 4 and June 7, 1942. And since the battle was in early June, the race is likewise held in early June, despite the heat and humidity this time of year in Memphis. As was stated at the event, if the US Navy had won the battle in October, the race would be in October.

2015 10NM Race Swag

2015 10NM Race Swag

Swag: A+:  This race provided one of the better goody bags that I have ever received. All runners received a good-looking tech shirt, financial book, race decal, KT Tape sample, race logo mixing cup, 10NM race decal, as well as some other promotional items and race literature. Finishers received a fantastic finisher medal that was a heavy-duty anchor on a navy and gold cord. It is an awesome finisher’s medal and certainly stands out on my wall. Also, the Cool Zone fans and ice bag chairs were lifesavers on the hot morning!

2015 10NM Race Medal

2015 10NM Race Medal

Course: B+: Mostly flat course with some rolling hills that serpentines through the naval base and a brief stretch of country road. There were water stops at each nautical mile and good crowd support along the way. From the guys handing out cold beer at nautical mile six and the kids with Super Soakers spraying runners right before nautical mile 7, the spectators helped make the race even better. The only downside was that the course between nautical miles 7.5 and 9 incorporated a track around the barracks/family living units on base. It was a boring stretch of the course.

Overall: A:  Great race, with lots of support and excellent swag.  I love that there is a reason why they host the event and amount of support from the community as well as the naval sailors and officers. This is a must run the race for those in the Memphis area, and it will certainly be one that I return to in the future. And I am certain that next the weather will be brutal, but I am still looking forward to getting another anchor medal!

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2014 Goals, Halfway Point Check In

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Before the year started, I composed some goals that I would like to reach this year.  And since it is the halfway point of 2014, I decided that it would be a good time to look at them once again.  Consider this an accountability exercise.

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

  1. Run a Marathon. This was not an exact goal since the marathon was 12 days into the year, but it was my first marathon and warrants some mention.

    Very nice looking medal

    Very nice looking medal

  2. Redeem My Germantown Half Marathon.  I did not exactly set a land speed record this year, but I was not injured and I did complete the race, so this goal is complete!

    This was after I finished the event and I had a chance to clean up a bit.

    This was after I finished the event and I had a chance to clean up a bit.

  3. Become a Tough Mudder and a Spartan.  50% complete with the Tampa Special Ops Spartan Sprint in February.  I ended up missing the Tough Mudder event in June.

    My awesome race medal!

    My awesome race medal!

  4. Try New Races.  So far this year I have run in 11 new (to me) races. There was a full marathon, a Spartan Race, 10 nautical miler, and multiple half marathons. Country Music Half Medal
  5. Run More Half Marathons in 2014 Than My Entire Life Prior.  Speaking ofhalf marathons, so far in 2014, I have completed 5 half marathons which is the same number for my entire life prior to this year.  And with 6 more half marathons on the horizon, I should have a couple of chances to eviscerate this goal.

    Log 1,000 miles in 2014

    Log 1,000 miles in 2014

  6. Run At Least 1,000 Miles. Well, at this point to be on pace for this goal I should be at 500 miles.  I am actually at 439.09, so I am 60.91 miles short, so I will need to pick it up in the second half of the year to reach this goal.  February, March, April, and June were all sub-par months.  I need to average 93.485 miles per month for the next 6 months to reach 1,000. USMC Fitness Boot Camp
  7. Focus On Cross Training. By joining the USMC Fitness Boot Camp, this goal will be realized by the year’s end, I just have to stick with it. 10NMMedal
  8. Continue My Race a Month Schedule. So far in 2014 I am 6 for 6, so this goal is going strong.  And I have already paid for at least 1 race in each of the next 6 months, so it is all on me now.
  9. Complete At Least One Pull Up.  Well, this goal has been completely ignored.  I am no closer today that I was at the beginning of the year.  Completing this goal is not looking good, but there are still 6 months left to realize it.

After looking at the data, 2014 has gone rather strongly for me, even if my running times have been somewhat lackluster.  There are some areas that I have lagged, but I have realized quite a few goals as well.  With a few tweaks and adjustments, I should be able to improve on my 2014 results.

Navy Ten Nautical Miler Race Recap

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Running races with unique distances and/or themes is always tempting for me.  For one, these races stand out when reflecting on other events and another reason is that your first attempt at a new distance is a guaranteed PR!  Sunday was the Navy Ten Nautical Miler race at the naval base in Millington, TN, which is just north of Memphis.  Ten nautical miles equals 11.5 miles, so the race was just short of being a half marathon, but still significantly longer than a 10K.

At first, I wished the distance was a bit longer so it would count in my Half Fanatics stats, but after the opening remarks for the race, the distance of 10 nautical miles is clearly not an arbitrary distance.  Rather, it has some significance from the Battle of Midway.  The Battle of Midway was a major victory for the US Navy in WWII, and marked the first naval defeat in almost 100 years for the Japanese Navy.  The battle was between June 4 and June 7, 1942.  And since the battle was in early June, the race is likewise held in early June, despite the heat and humidity this time of year in Memphis.  As was stated at the event, if the US Navy had won the battle in October, the race would be in October.  Thinking about the race in the context of naval history gives it new perspective.

The race organizers did an excellent job of organizing the event, from the race expo to sponsors to race day management, everything seemed to go smoothly.  I honestly did not know what to expect from the race, but they certainly know what they are doing.

10NMSign

As I prepared for the race, I was very concerned with the heat and humidity that I would have to endure.  Especially after the West Tennessee Warrior Run two weeks ago and the brutal temperatures throughout the prior week.  And then, there were several thunderstorms over the weekend, so the chances of terrible weather seemed like a certainty for the event.  Luckily, we dodged a major bullet with the weather.  The temperature started at 70 and was only 75 when I crossed the finish line!  And throughout the course, the humidity decreased from 100% to 86%, and the dew point dropped 6 degrees as well!  This, coupled with the fact that the sun remained behind the clouds for the majority of the morning, led to a much more pleasant run than expected.

About halfway through the race, another runner approached me and asked if I had run in the Germantown Half Marathon.  After I affirmed that I had, he told me that he thought it was me, and that I was running much better at this race than that one.  He went on to tell me to keep at it and we parted ways.  I ended up finishing the race ahead of him and while refueling he approached me another time to congratulate me on a strong run and reaffirm the improvement that I had made since March.  It was a nice gesture, I thought, and I certainly ran a much stronger race here than in Germantown.  In fact, if this race was the 1.6 miles longer, I would have finished within a couple of minutes of a PR!  I guess my runs in the extreme humidity the last couple of weeks really helped!

All kinds of swag

All kinds of swag

Swag: A+:  This race provided one of the better goody bags that I have ever received.  All runners received a good-looking tech shirt, hot/cold race logo pack, financial book, race decal, KT Tape sample, race logo plastic cup, as well as some other promotional items and race literature.  Finishers received a fantastic finisher medal that was a heavy-duty anchor on a navy and gold cord.  It is an awesome finisher’s medal and certainly stands out on my wall.

Excellent finisher's medal

Excellent finisher’s medal

Course: B+: Mostly flat course with some rolling hills that serpentines through the naval base and a brief stretch of country road.  There were water stops at each nautical mile and good crowd support along the way.  From the guys handing out cold beer at nautical mile six and the kids with Super Soakers spraying runners right before nautical mile 7, the spectators helped make the race even better.  Also, all the yells for my new Green Lantern tech shirt were appreciated.  The only downside was that the course between nautical miles 7.5 and 9 incorporated a track around the barracks/family living units on base.  It was a boring stretch of the course.

Overall: A:  Great race, with lots of support and excellent swag.  I love that there is a reason why they host the event and amount of support from the community as well as the naval sailors and officers.  This is a must run the race for those in the Memphis area, and it will certainly be one that I return to in the future.  And I am certain that next the weather will be brutal, but I am still looking forward to getting another anchor medal!

Races I Can’t Run This Year

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I got a Facebook update yesterday from the Navy Ten Nautical Miler stating that this year’s race is a causality of the Sequestration.  That means a very well received race in the Memphis area is no more, at least for this year, and any early registrants will have their registration fees refunded to them.  It is sad news, but honestly, I wasn’t going to be able to run the race this year anyway, but hopefully it will return next June.  But this got me to thinking about races I wanted to run this year but could not due to injury or scheduling conflicts.  The following is some of those races:

  • Germantown Half Marathon: peroneal tendonitis sidelined me for this, I might run it next year
  • Oak Barrel Half Marathon: peroneal tendonitis sidelined me for this one as well, but it would have been difficult to run it anyway since I was hoping to be one of the final 100 registrants for the race and those slots were sold in under one minute!  I will do my best to add this to next year’s itinerary.
  • Flying Pig Half Marathon: big race in Cincinnati, OH that I couldn’t financially swing this year.
  • Navy Ten Nautical Miler: travel schedule and the Sequestration eliminated it this year.
  • Hero Rush: fireman themed obstacle race with various locations around the country, but the one in Tennessee is the same day that I will be running the Warrior Dash in Jackson, MS.  Maybe next year.
  • Key East Half Marathon: Susan and I went to Key West on a part of our honeymoon and the town was a blast, so any excuse to return is a good one to me.  Maybe 2015 (WDW Marathon will be in January 2014).
  • Spartan Race: another obstacle race that I would like to do, but they don’t have any near Memphis, and traveling to one this year is not going to happen.  They offer three different distances (not at each location though) for different levels of competitors, which is a good idea.

There are a couple races not mentioned above, but it is no certainty that I run them this year.  Susan is a little skeptical about me running in either of these events, but I want to try both eventually.  They are as follows:

  • Tough Mudder: this seems to be the biggest and baddest of the obstacle runs out there, and even requires you to sign a death waiver!  Now the waiver is probably a mix of hype for the race as well as a preventative measure in case something does happen.  The problem is the three closest locations are at least five hours away, and the Georgia and Kentucky events pose scheduling conflicts for me.
  • Tupelo 14.2 Miler: Labor Day weekend this year, so the timing works, but it is very hot on September 1 in this area, even at 5 in the morning, and the training prior to the event will occur in even hotter temperatures.  However, I will be two months into my marathon training, so maybe working this in will be a little easier.

Just writing this post has got me itching to get this boot off even more and get back to training at 100% capacity.  I am exactly one month away from running my first Warrior Dash, and I don’t want to embarrass myself on the course.