Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race Recap

Sunday morning I woke up super early to head down to DC for the 2011 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race.

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My parents and I were in the District before the sun came up!

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We were going back and forth between driving down and/or taking the metro. The metro opened early for the race but there wasn’t a schedule posted so I wasn’t sure exactly of how often it was running – so my parents decided to drive me down and drop me off, but we scored a sweet parking spot right at the start line! Win!

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Eventually the sun started to rise. It was nice to watch it come up by the Capitol building.

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My Superfans and I were ready to get to the race!

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We headed right across the street to the start line

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and I got ready to get my run on!

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It was kind of cool that the race started and ended right next to the Washington Monument.

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It was pretty cold out there at first, but once the sun came out and I started to run, it was perfect race weather!

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Most people I talked to about the race thought it was pretty crowded, but I feel like I have ran in way worse with so many more people. I was the second corral to go, after the elite runners, so I was up there, but I didn’t feel like I was overwhelmed with people around me.

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I thought it was the perfect amount of people for a 10 mile race!

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And then before I knew it, right at 7:45 – we were off!

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It was a really pretty course and we got to see some great sights along the entire course

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While I started the race, my parents walked ahead around the Tidal Basin to meet me at a few points along the course. While they waited for me to come running past them, I gave my dad (my race photographer for the day) strict instructions to take lots of pictures of the cherry blossoms.

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He did an amazing job, check out some of the great shots he got!

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Photo op of my mom!

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It was the perfect day for this run because the weather was beautiful and the cherry blossoms were all out for the occasion!

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When my parents saw the lead men come flying by they knew it was time to start looking for me!

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And then I popped up to say hello!

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and goodbye! No time to chat – I had a race to run!

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One fun little part of the race course was running under the Kennedy Center. I thought that was pretty cool.

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I am also usually not a fan of races that go out and back where you can see runners going opposite directions on the same road, but in this race it didn’t bother me at all.

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The first 3 miles were pretty much cherry blossom free on the course, so I was excited when I got my first sighting of them and we actually started to run through the blossoms on each side of the road.

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They were really gorgeous to look at!

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I was one happy runner!

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While I continued running, my parents continued taking pictures of the blossoms – I honestly think my dad did a great job with some of his pictures – the blossoms look so beautiful!

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My next meeting spot with the parents was by a water station, which made them pretty easy to spot.

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Here I come –

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And there I go!

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I had told myself early on that I was just running this race for fun. It has been on my ‘to run’ race list for a while now so I was glad I got in the lottery and was able to run it, but I wasn’t planning on attempting to PR at all.

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I started out fast and decided to try to see how long I could hold onto it – I told myself that if I had to stop or slow down then that would be totally fine and I would just enjoy the race and the scenery either way.

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Then I got to mile 7 and realized I was pretty close to potentially PRing. I tried to do some quick math in my head (which is always difficult while running!) and I figured out I was playing with about a minute or two of potential time cushion towards setting a new Personal Record.

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I decided to pick up the pace and see where the race would take me.

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I hung on until about mile 9 and then I started to struggle a bit.

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Luckily the race was soon coming to and end and I also saw my parents at this point so that helped too!

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Not my best moment, but I feel you can sense my struggle here.

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At this moment I was thinking “I am not sure I am going to make it, but I am so close I am going to try!”

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And then the course ended with a lovely incline up a hill – Seriously, why does every race have to end like that? It totally messes with my mind!

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Incline after 10 miles = bad

Incline after 26 miles = way worse!

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Here are my splits:

  1. 8:40
  2. 8:16
  3. 8:05 – feeling speedy!
  4. 8:15
  5. 8:23
  6. 8:33
  7. 8:51
  8. 8:58 – it hurts so good at this point!
  9. 8:37
  10. 8:16 – powering up the hill!
For a grand total of 1:25:37 (according to my Garmin – which also says I ran .11 over) and 1:25:54 (according to the race results)
 
An 8:28 minute mile pace and 1,110 calories burned (it was a good day for Operation Hot Bride!)
 
 

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I beat my previous 10 Mile Race PR by 30 seconds or so! I’ll take it!

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Thanks to mom for coming out to support me!

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And thanks to dad for cheering me on and taking amazing pictures!

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After the race we headed out for brunch and I enjoyed this amazing omelet. It was the perfect post 10 mile run protein filled meal!

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Another fabulous medal to add to my collection!

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Do you have a certain race that is on your “Must Run list?

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1 Comment

  • Reply Andy July 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Great running blog you have been following for a while now

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