Race Recap: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run
On Sunday I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler for the first time and let me just say, I loved this race!
Before I say anything else let me start by saying that the race organizers and volunteers did a fantastic job from the expo to the actual race. I love a well-organized race and I really feel like it makes all the difference. I’m glad it wasn’t another Hot Chocolate debacle. I can only hope that the triathlon in August is this well-organized.
My mom and sister were in town this weekend which was an extra special bonus. They arrived on Saturday and we immediately walked up the street to Taylor Gourmet and had a delicious lunch. My sister raved about her sandwich and my mom had a really good salad. We then worked our way over to Georgetown for some serious walking and shopping. We always like to cram ourselves into changing rooms together and it’s just always a hilarious scene. If anyone is going to be honest about how an outfit looks, it’s definitely my mom and sister!
Oh, by the way, I took NO pictures this weekend. #fail
We ended Saturday with dinner at District Commons. It was a winner! I had been there once before and was hoping my mom would really enjoy it and luckily she did. Does anyone else get nervous when they have guests in town and have to pick out restaurants? I always have a twinge of nervousness when everyone sits down to look at the menu for the first time. I had shrimp and grits and shared the lemon pie with my mom. Delicious!
Sunday morning we were up bright and early. I woke up before my alarm and made some coffee and an english muffin with some White Chocolate Wonderful and banana. It was the perfect pre-race breakfast for me. I ended up in capri pants, my sparkle skirt, my I Love Sweat shirt and my Sweaty Band pink headband. My mom, sister and I started our walk down to the race and immediately were joined by others heading down there as well. I didn’t get to meet up with my friend but did run into some co-workers and ended up lining up in a corral with one of them.
We could hear all the other waves of runners starting in front of us and suddenly it was our turn and we were off. I still had Addy’s Garmin and in my head I was determined to keep around a 10-minute mile average and to finish the race in under 1:45:00. The first mile was slow as all the runner’s tried to find their footing and when the Garmin beeped I saw that we were at a 10:26 pace.
So then I took off. The second mile was 9:36 and then I realized I should probably slow down…but I didn’t. The next 4 miles were run around the same pace (some even faster!! I did a 9:10 mile at one point!) and suddenly it was mile 6 (the race went by SO quickly). But wait, let’s back it up, I knew that Addy was going to be at mile 5 so I was on the look out for her. To my surprise I first saw my mom and sister who were jumping up and down like mad women cheering for me. It was such a great boost of energy! A few paces down the road I saw Addy who was flying in the air with excitement. I’m pretty sure I told her I was running too fast when she asked how I felt. Nice, Stephanie. She ran a bit with me and really pumped me up for the second half of the race. I ran away smiling and feeling good.
And then I had a sudden wave of nausea and was super paranoid I was going to be sick and then suddenly it was gone. It was really weird but I’m so glad it went away. Aren’t you glad I shared that?
Miles 6-9 are basically around Haines Point which was just a lot of solid running without a lot of spectators. At mile 7, I hit my wall. We passed the mile marker and a runner shouted, “less than a 5k left!” which was greeted with a ton of cheers from surrounding runners. I felt people pick up their speed all around me but I felt the complete opposite and I regretted running those earlier miles so fast. I reached for my Honey Stingers and only managed to chew down 1. At mile 8 I said, only two more miles, out loud to myself. And then I looked up saw my friend Ryan on the side of the road. I didn’t know if he had run the race or what (and still don’t know – aren’t I a good friend?) but he came into the road and race with me a few paces and reminded me that I was almost done. I told him I was dying…could I be more dramatic?
When I passed the 9 mile marker, I again told myself out loud, only one more mile. People all around me were really speeding up now to power through the finish but I reminded myself that this race was all about me and that it was OK to stay at my current speed and to do whatever it was I needed to do to keep going to finish this race. My last 3 miles were all in the 10:00 minute mile range with the slowest being 10:14. My friend Katie ran past me with 500 yards to go and while I couldn’t speed up to stay with her to finish it was helpful to “follow” her to the finish. The last half mile is uphill (I know, right) but it was lined with people and I kept breathing, took my time and made it. Right before I crossed the finish line I heard more screaming and turned to see my mom and sister, yet again, going wild on the sidelines.
I felt really good post-race and my average pace was 9:55!!! I beat my goal of keeping a 10-mintue mile pace!! I finished the race with a time of 1:39:11 and I am very happy with it. I definitely feel like the Garmin helped push me through my goal. Knowing my pace was so helpful. I recycled my timing chip in hopes of getting into the race again next year so I can get a new PR. Yup, I am already thinking about this race for next year. Woo!
I am feeling good today but need to work out some knots and tightness on my right leg. Today is my day of rest and then I start on my April fitness goals.
Let’s do this!