Race Report: 2010 Cherry Blossom 10-mile Run

April 13, 2010

My second Cherry Blossom 10-mile Run was a success!

Cliff’s Notes: Great race, gorgeous day, got to meet up with great friends. Beat last year’s time, but that may be because I didn’t wait in a port-a-potty line like last year.

Long, overly-detailed Version: Packet pick-up went well on Saturday. The process was efficient, and I love exploring running expos. I bought a super-cute headband (and paid way too much) from the sweatybands table. The free race t-shirts are much cuter this year, and I regret the decision to upgrade to a technical shirt. (I picked up a blue free shirt because I’m switching with a friend who got the technical shirt – long story). Saturday night I prepared by laying out all of my race clothes and accessories, attaching my bib to my shirt and my timing chip to my shoes, charging up my iPod and Garmin, and having a light pasta dinner. Maybe it’s not necessary to “carb up” for only 10 miles, but I’ll take any excuse to eat pasta J I was in bed by 10:30, as I am a giant dork.

I got up bright and early (well, DARK and early) at 5:30 am. I got dressed quickly and had my new standard pre-long-run breakfast: 1 slice wheat toast with almond butter and a small banana. I was trying to be quiet and not use much light so that I didn’t wake up my husband (we were still living in a hotel because of a freak electrical explosion at our apartment).

I caught the 6:18 metro train, exactly like last year!  I love that the train is full of nothing but runners. (The DC Metro system opens 2 hours early for the race.)  After a few stops, my childhood neighbor and friend happened to get on the same train as me. Random! We knew we were both running and had planned on meeting up, but had not planned on metro-ing together. She and her mother had bought me a magnet that says “I know. I’m slow. Get over it.”  I was kind of insulted, but I need to take the magnet’s advice and “get over it” because I’m the one always telling people how slow I am!  And the magnet has a John Bingham penguin on it, so I like it.

We got to the bag-check area and met up with a few girlfriends, including a new friend from sparkpeople.com!  It was about 55 degrees, and I hemmed & hawed about whether to wear my long sleeve shirt or leave it at the bag check tent. I ended up leaving it behind, and I’m glad because things really warmed up in the sunshine as soon as we started running.

The run went well! It was cool to run a race with the Garmin, because seeing my pace was motivational, especially when I was faster than I anticipated early on. Check out my Garmin stats! The race flew by! Last year I remember it dragging on, but this year I kind of spaced out and before I knew it, it was mile 7.5!  That’s around when my tummy started to cramp a bit (but nowhere near as bad as last year). I took a few walk breaks after that (but before that I had only walked while eating some gu).

Just like last year, my husband was there to cheer me on around mile 9.5! He’s so good 🙂 Then I ran to the finish line, woohoo!  Two of my good friends from college were there to cheer me (and some of our friends) on right after the finish line. They snapped this photo of me. Look at that silly smile. Like last year, I was deliriously happy running this race, and sometimes I even realized that I was smiling like a fool. I think the only times I’ve ever experienced a “runner’s high” is while racing.

My official race time was 2:04:09 (12:25 pace), which beat last year’s time of 2:14!  However, last year I probably spent about 10 minutes or race time in a port-a-potty line, and this year there was no line, so my performance was probably about the same. But I’m counting it as a success, because at least I was smarter about timing a potty break!  And it the race felt easier and quicker than last year.

Here were my splits:
Mile 1: 11:47
Mile 2: 11:48
Mile 3: 11:19
Mile 4: 11:13
Mile 5: 11:44
Mile 6: 12:05
Mile 7: 12:23
Mile 8: 12:33
Mile 9: 14:53 (includes port-a-potty stop)
Mile 10: 12:42
Overall: 12:13 (Not sure why this is different than my pace per the official race results. Maybe the Garmin didn’t count my port-a-potty time?)

After the race, I met up again with my racer friends Jenny, Deirdre, Mackenzie, Emy, and Rebecca, and our cheerleader friends Mike (my husband), Jeni, Katie, Todd and Kurt. We wanted to grab brunch together, so we wandered around DC until we found a restaurant that could accommodate our ginormous party. We found a place with a great (if pricey) brunch with bottomless mimosas!  mmm.

So where do I go from here?  I am registered for another 10-mile race (The GW Parkway Memorial Classic) in two weeks. That race is much hillier and I’ve never run the course, so I am not going to shoot for a specific time (my goal is to finish). Then for my 5/16 half marathon, my goal is to beat last year’s half time (2:58). Then for my fall 10 miler (The Army 10-miler), my goal is to beat 2 hours (so 12:00 pace).

Here are some interesting race tidbits:

Favorite signs:Encouraging sign,” “Free Oreos & Beer” (he was actually handing them out!), “Free Lap Dance at Finish Line” (not sure if she was actually handing those out), “Go Mommy Go!” with cute chanting kiddies, “Trample the weak hurdle the dead,” and “Don’t stop. People are watching.”

Favorite Runners: Santa (I think he might’ve been the real one), a juggler and a rope jumper

Favorite T-shirts: “Beat the bus,” and “I’m only doing this to post the photos on Facebook.”

In conclusion, it was a beautiful race and a great day.


3 Responses to “Race Report: 2010 Cherry Blossom 10-mile Run”

  1. great work! glad it was such a beautiful day and that you had such a great experience!

  2. Congratulations on such a great run! I’m so impressed, and what a beautiful place to have a race. We lived in DC a few years ago and I do miss a lot of things about it.

    Love your pictures!

  3. […] 27, 2010 Another 10-miler done!  This one wasn’t as happy as the Cherry Blossom 10-miler two weeks prior, mostly because of my bad attitude and poor […]

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