I'm not really sure where I stand on any of those, but I do know a lot of things worked in my favor to make my dream of running the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run a reality.
It all started, several years ago, when I first heard of the event. The 10-mile distance is not a very common race distance, but it's one I like. I am also enthralled with the city of Washington, DC (and all the historic sights and memorials that live there). Marry these two and you have a race that speaks to my heart.
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run is so much sought-after that there's a lottery system to gain entry. Usually taking place on the first Saturday in April, though, the timing was never ideal for me. Heck, up until just last year, I've had prom obligations and dance recitals happening every April. Oh, and there have been several years in there with graduations (at the high school and college level, at various planning stages) of my three kids as well.
As luck would have it, though, I was encouraged to enter the lottery this year (my first "free" spring since I can't remember when) and was offered a place to stay in the Washington DC area. So, I registered, and got in. Score!
Fast forward to race day....
The weather was near perfect (had it been sunny, I would have deemed it absolute perfection). The temps were mild (low 60ish) with almost no wind. Rumor has it this was the nicest weather the race has seen in a few years. I'm totally good with that.
We arrived at the staging area, near the Washington monument, with plenty of time to use the porta- pots and take a few pre-race pics. The cherry blossoms were in peak bloom and looked incredible, and they were everywhere.
|Awaiting the start with Deborah and Linda (above left)|
I'd had my ritual oatmeal for breakfast, as well as a chai latte'. I'd brought along some water (for the ride to the race), and had been hydrating all weekend, but I was feeling quite thirsty as the race began. There was a water stand just past the 1-mile mark, though. I'd also brought along some Honey Stinger chews, with a plan to eat a couple of those near the 3-mile mark and (again) near the 7-mile mark.
The only snag I noticed on the race course was at the water stand stationed near the 10K mark. I don't know if there had been a shortage of cups (or a lot of thirsty runners), but the volunteers were struggling. It was a flurry of water cups being filled (only to have them snatched as quickly as they were set down) and impatient runners. It wasn't a huge deal for me (since I wasn't gunning for a specific finish time), but it did cost me some down time while I walked through and waited.
A short while later, there was a drumming group for our entertainment.
Although I didn't have the energy to push my pace, I was pretty happy with those 10 miles considering the loopiness from the cold meds I'd taken. And, to say I was grateful that there was ZERO coughing while running would be the biggest understatement possible. No complaints; no regrets.
Mile 1 - 9:32 Mile 5 - 9:44 Mile 9 - 9:48
Mile 2 - 9:47 Mile 6 - 9:51 Mile 10 - 9:01
Mile 3 - 9:48 Mile 7 - 10:18
Mile 4 - 10:24 Mile 8 - 9:52
(I'm not sure what happened during Mile 4...that may be when I had to stop briefly to get something out of my fuel belt; Mile 7 was the water stand hold-up. And, I gotta love that mile 10 was my fastest!)
My stats: Official time was 1:38:08 (average pace of 9:49)
**173rd out of 590 (age group)
**4,404th out of 10,291 (females)
**9,257th out of 17,439 (overall)
But this medal....isn't it a beauty?
A few notes:
**There also was a 5K option
**I opted for the basic (unisex) cotton shirt (since I knew I'd probably not ever wear it anyways), but there also was an option to upgrade to a (gender-specific) tech fabric
**You do have to pay extra for the medal ($15)
So, that's my Cherry Blossom experience!
Have you ever done the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run? If so, more than once? Ever done a 10-mile race? Would you buy a new pair of flower-print leggings for a flower-themed event?