It was a gorgeous day for a race in DC. Perfect weather. Cherry blossoms in perfect bloom. I heard a lot of runners say that the race hadn’t been this gorgeous with weather and flowers in over ten years.
I am so glad I was there, and this year was extra amazing since I was one of the social runners for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler. I got to meet a lot of amazing people, both my fellow social media folks and so many people who reached out on Twitter and through the blog. What a crazy experience.
I have been training like crazy for this race. Lots of 12 mile runs. But I didn’t prep as well as I should have in the days leading up to the race. I was on my feet a lot at the expo (having a blast!) and I wasn’t well hydrated. Worst of all, during Thursday night’s swim practice, I got a terrible cramp in my right calf and while I didn’t drown (and Kristin helped me get it to uncramp), my leg was sore for a few days.
Now, I’m not trying to make excuses for my race. In fact, I had an awesome race! But I knew that I wasn’t going to have a super fast amazing race. So when we got started and Betsy and I seemed to be well paced, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to run together! She had some time goals and I thought we could very possibly meet them.
Unfortunately, 90 minutes before the race start, there was an accident involving a pedestrian and the race had to be somewhat rerouted. There wasn’t time to add distance, so somewhere between miles 4 and 6, we lost about half a mile. (The race organizers are going to remeasure so that people know how long the race really was.) I have to say though, the change was seamless. I didn’t even notice until we were at mile 6 and my watch only said 5.5ish.
I don’t know why so many people hate Hains Point. I don’t mind it at all. I guess it is long and boring, but when the blossoms are blooming, it’s beautiful. On the way out, Betsy agreed with me. By the time we reached the point, Betsy’s opinion was “Hains Point is dumb.”
Running a race with a 14 minute mile pace requirement is mentally challenging for me. I know I’m fine within that time, but I was trained to really only run just under a 13 minute mile. And when you’re an interval runner, this also means that in the beginning, you’re at the very back of the pack. I knew we wouldn’t get swept, but that doesn’t make it a whole lot easier.
Of course, as per usual, the intervals paid off, and as I had promised Betsy, around the mid-point of the race, we started picking off runners. I’d like to think this was motivating for Betsy, but mostly she just hated me for the last three miles of the race. We appear to still be friends though, so that’s positive.
The hardest part of this race is the tiny uphill before the final downhill to the finish line. Seriously, a hill at the end? What’s wrong with you, DC races? Honestly, it’s not a terrible hill, but it’s the last thing you want to see when you’re nearing a finish line.
We finished at right around 2:05, which is awesome! Still not sure of the exact distance of the race, but I’d like to think that if we had pushed that final half mile, we would have gotten the sub-2:10. We were flying by the end and I’m so proud of Betsy for gutting it out and not shoving me in the Tidal Basin.
Be sure to check out the official race blog and if you’ve written a recap post, make sure you add yours to the linkup!