Sunday morning I woke up super early to head down to DC for the 2011 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race.
My parents and I were in the District before the sun came up!
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!
Eventually the sun started to rise. It was nice to watch it come up by the Capitol building.
My Superfans and I were ready to get to the race!
We headed right across the street to the start line
and I got ready to get my run on!
It was kind of cool that the race started and ended right next to the Washington Monument.
It was pretty cold out there at first, but once the sun came out and I started to run, it was perfect race weather!
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.
I thought it was the perfect amount of people for a 10 mile race!
And then before I knew it, right at 7:45 – we were off!
It was a really pretty course and we got to see some great sights along the entire course
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.
He did an amazing job, check out some of the great shots he got!
Photo op of my mom!
It was the perfect day for this run because the weather was beautiful and the cherry blossoms were all out for the occasion!
When my parents saw the lead men come flying by they knew it was time to start looking for me!
And then I popped up to say hello!
and goodbye! No time to chat – I had a race to run!
One fun little part of the race course was running under the Kennedy Center. I thought that was pretty cool.
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.
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.
They were really gorgeous to look at!
I was one happy runner!
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!
My next meeting spot with the parents was by a water station, which made them pretty easy to spot.
Here I come –
And there I go!
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.
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.
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.
I decided to pick up the pace and see where the race would take me.
I hung on until about mile 9 and then I started to struggle a bit.
Luckily the race was soon coming to and end and I also saw my parents at this point so that helped too!
Not my best moment, but I feel you can sense my struggle here.
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!”
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!
Incline after 10 miles = bad
Incline after 26 miles = way worse!
Here are my splits:
8:05 – feeling speedy!
8:58 – it hurts so good at this point!
8:16 – powering up the hill!
I beat my previous 10 Mile Race PR by 30 seconds or so! I’ll take it!
Thanks to mom for coming out to support me!
And thanks to dad for cheering me on and taking amazing pictures!
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!
Another fabulous medal to add to my collection!
Do you have a certain race that is on your “Must Run list?