The Cherry Blossom 10-miler was this past weekend. I went into the race with a 1:09:56 PR from February 2013 on a hilly course so I thought a 1:08:XX on this flat course was possible. My friend from college was in town for the race and she stayed with me and we went over to the race together. It was a great day for running. While it was cold waiting for the race to start-and I had to wear my puffy ski mittens for 9/10 miles-I wore shorts and a short-sleeve shirt during the race. As usual lots of people commented on my gloves but what can I do?? I get REALLY cold hands! Even in the relatively warm DC winters, even WITH my ski mittens, my wrists get too cold and I sometimes can't rotate them to turn the key to get into my apartment after a run. But I digress...
So the race was gorgeous-CHERRY BLOSSOMS, MONUMENTS, SUNSHINE, COOL WEATHER-and I was on pace. I hit the 5 mile mark around 34:30 but shortly thereafter the course loops around Hains Point and there was a FIERCE headwind. I tried tucking in behind big men but it simply did not help. My pace rose to 7:15 min/miles. We turned around with about 2.5 miles left and with the wind at my back my pace dropped to just under 7 min/miles. I told myself to hold it together but don't kick too soon but don't slow down, just be consistent, but I would have to push the last mile to PR, and I really should be able to run be able to run a sub-7 min/mile for 1 mile, but don't go too soon. That was pretty much my thought process for over two miles.
I will share that I have a whole bunch photos from the race and in almost all of them I look ROUGH. My finish line pics are ugly-but so are my 6 mile pics. If nothing else, I certainly look like I was out there trying hard!! This is one of the better pics. It is from mile 9.25.
With 3/4 of a mile to go J4 cheered me in. I was running close to my limit. I soon saw the clock and sprinted. The finishing pics seem to comically show I was trying harder (and/or simply looked worse) than those around me. I rolled in with a 1:09:38 (6:57 pace).
And I am very happy with it.
My previous results from this race:
2003: 1:19:00 (7:54 pace)
2004: 1:23:34 (8:21 pace-with bronchitis)
I am at a place in my running that is far beyond where I ever thought I could be. I remember fighting to stay under 8 min/miles back in 2003 and being thrilled with the result. That was huge. So this year's race is just bonkers to me and I am trying to appreciate the moment. I mean, you never know when your lifetime PR will be, right? A lot of people get pregnant to have babies! And being preggers throws a wrench in your training. Hopefully that will be me one day and I think knowing I need to get my run on now makes me run faster!
In short, things in life are good. I love being engaged. I love running a lot. I love planning for the future.