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;)

Friday Favorites: Spring Is HERE!

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday!

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Linking up with some of my favorites…Andrea, Erika, and Narci. Blog your favorites from this week and join us! 🙂

– ONE –
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MY FRIENDS ARE COMING THIS WEEKEND!
We are racing the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler on Sunday in Washington, D.C.! Last year, the race was the first weekend of April and the trees weren’t at “peak bloom” yet. Since the first weekend of April this year was Easter, they obviously moved the race but also hoped the trees would be looking pretty for the weekend. Apparently there are live cameras and the National Park Service is keeping a close watch. Serious business! Pretty pictures here.

– TWO –

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Flashback to my drive home to Maryland on Monday. I cannot wait for the weather to be consistently warm because the cold weather sends me to the gas station constantly to put air in my tire. Yes, tire. Not all four. Just one. I took my brother to the gas station with me when I was home so he had to do my least favorite chore. At least I have a car to drive. That is a favorite. 🙂

– THREE –

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The little things are the big things. This leather ottoman has changed my life. I searched high and low for one that would match the furniture in my family room and then I spotted a brown leather one right at home in our game room. Thanks for sharing, Mom. 🙂 And yes, I’m an outfit repeater. But I promise the leggings were washed;)

– FOUR –

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Studying outside. Need I say more? It was a tad windy, but so worth it!

– FIVE –

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I know I pay a great deal of money to be in graduate school, but there is nothing sweeter than an email canceling the rest of your day. 😉 Apparently, a tower in Northern Maryland got messed up and it knocked out the power in ALL of Southern Maryland and DC. I wonder if President Obama got the day off, too?

– SIX –

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In 2013, Johna and I signed up for The City Spree. It’s a scavenger hunt type race. You get a map with a bunch of different colored checkpoints on it and each checkpoint is worth a different amount of points. If you get there first, you get the most points. As more people go to those checkpoints, the total points you can get at that specific place decrease. Basically you want to run the fastest to the most obscure locations so you can get the most points! And you have about 2 hours to do so. There is no course for the race…it’s just you, your map, and whoever you decide to run with! It is labeled a 5K or a 10K, but when we ran in 2013, we did about 8 miles. Last year, we went to sign up again and we realized we were famous! Ha! They used a picture of us running on their website.

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The checkpoints are always a little hidden, so we do crazy things like take the stairs two at a time and climb through fences to find them;) The other night, one of my co-workers from the YMCA sent me a screenshot of an email she received from LivingSocial about the race this year. We are famous again!

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I don’t know why I think it’s so fun that they keep featuring our photo. It’s just so cool! Running is such a fun sport for me and I really love Brooks’ slogan “Run Happy”. I think this picture is the definition of Run Happy. 🙂

“April showers bring May flowers” is in full force but it is supposed to be sunny and 70 this weekend. I can’t wait! Happy weekend to YOU!