Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Weekend Recap

This weekend, my favorite friends came to visit! They got into town on Saturday in the early afternoon so we headed straight to lunch at Busboys and Poets. We had many other exciting things on our agenda like checking into our hotel and going to the Race Expo to pick up our bibs;) I only live about 8 miles from the nearest monument but because it was the Cherry Blossom Festival Weekend, everybody and their uncle was in town and I didn’t want to risk rushing around on race morning! We shopped and ate and ate and shopped…then passed out by 10:30 PM to be ready for our wake up call Sunday morning. 🙂

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We woke up at 6 AM to get ready but I was pleasantly surprised to see the sun coming up while we were still at our hotel! Ate English muffins with peanut butter, pinned our bibs on, made sure our devices were charged…race morning rituals. The race started on 15th Street and Independence and the walk there wasn’t bad at all! But as soon as we walked up towards the Washington Monument, we saw all.the.people.

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We hung out and took some photos and then started to walk towards our corrals when the elite women started running. The race officially began at 7:30, but the elite men and women started a bit earlier. Trying to get into our corral was interesting…we squeezed through a fence. There didn’t seem to be any way to get up front besides starting at the back and pushing forward and I always feel bad doing that! While we waited in our corral for our wave to start, the race announcer told us they had to modify the course. Like while the race was happening/about to happen. Apparently, there was some kind of accident involving a pedestrian between miles 4-6, but once we were running, I couldn’t even tell where we made a detour! And there isn’t too much info about the person who got hurt but they are okay! Technically we ran 9.85 miles because of the course modification, but we’re all calling it 10. Go with it. 🙂

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Each corral started running about 3 minutes apart which, in theory, is nice, but there were SO many people in each corral that I really felt crowded the entire time! The first mile was super slow as everyone found their footing and by mile four, I felt like I had a little bit more room to move. Still, I felt like I was driving my car at some points! I had to look over my shoulder, check my blind spots, “merge” into the open space next to me…ha! There were many times where you could find me running in the grass next to the road;)

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Of course, I tried to play photographer WHILE I was running. I’m sure that didn’t look strange at all. 🙂

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It was probably even less strange to see me taking selfies. Honesty hour: I took about 15 selfies before I got an acceptable shot. I needed a normal face, some sun but not too much, and a pretty tree. The people around me definitely thought I was crazy. Yes.

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Miles 1-6 did a nice loop around the National Mall, over the Memorial Bridge towards Arlington and back, down towards the Kennedy Center and back, and then we set off on the path down past the Potomac River. Which is very pretty. And very cherry blossom-y. And very flat. And very boring. Granted, there were water stops…and bands playing…and a bride and groom getting photos taken…and a golf course to look at…but I really felt like I was running on the road to nowhere. The monuments were behind me at this point and I knew that’s where the finish line was so I just tried to figure out when we were going to turn around and it felt like it was never going to happen. Ha! Luckily, I got pretty pictures like the one above. 🙂

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Then at mile 9, I saw a bunch of girls on the side cheering and making a scene and really entertaining all of us tired runners…and then I realized these nice spectators had little Dixie cups of beer and jello shots. Did I take a jello shot while racing ten miles? You may decide the answer to that one. 😉 The last 800 meters of the race was uphill so that was great after 9.5 miles of FLAT! I put on a really loud mean song and legit ran to the finish line. Usually I have nothing left until I can actually see the finish line…yesterday, I was out there to eat that hill for breakfast. And I’m pretty sure there was a photographer on that part of the course so THAT is going to be a pretty picture. Ha!

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This is the race I have been talking about and training for and working towards. I get so nervous about running and racing now that I’ve been hurt and I think I get stuck in my own head. I CAN do hard things and I WILL recover and do it again! Even though the course was cut a tiny bit short, all three of us PR’ed in this race! I think that is amazing. And maybe also due to the fact that it was mostly flat and we are used to Pittsburgh hills but either way, we earned our medals!

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And celebrated with Baked and Wired cupcakes. Because we earned those too. 🙂

I’m still on a runner’s high and a “I love my friends” high so this Monday is going to rock. Do something today to make your Monday rock. You can do hard things! Like make it through the first day of the work week;)

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