Sunday, April 14, 2013

2013 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

The Cherry Blossom 10-miler is by far my favorite running race...ever.  It may have something to do with my knack for PRing all 3 times I've raced it, the idea of cherry blossoms surrounding the course, the race start in my backyard, or all the friends that run and cheer along the way.  This year lived up to my every expectation.

I set a time goal for myself - that according to McMillan and my most recent 1/2 marathon time would not be possible.  It would be a PR and a pace that  I knew I would have to focus to maintain if I achieved my time goal.  Over the past year and half I've come to appreciate my Garmin but I still use the pace calculator to have an idea of what my mile splits need to be at certain markers to keep my entertained during the run - yay for mathematics!  That being said I was still pretty glued to the idea of having my Garmin on my wrist for the run.

As I prepared my clothes and bag check bag for the morning I couldn't find my watch - oh no, I had left it on my bedroom floor!  Fail!  Luckily, I have an amazing roommate who loves any excuse to Bikeshare around town and was willing to meet me at 7:00am to hand off the Garmin!

Sunday morning I took off across Memorial Bridge - closed to car traffic to head to the race start - via bike. It was an awesome ride into town and super easy.  Going by bike is definitely the way to go.  I found a bike
rack, a tree that looked like the meeting place for the group I was meeting with and hunkered down.  15 minutes later...still no else there.  I eventually found Jesse and got the watch, found a toilet with no line, and got really worried about finding Adam and my gear check bag.  After a few minutes of frustration and crowds I found him and quickly took off my warm clothes and checked my bag so I could make it to my corral before race start.

Once comfortably in the red corral I tried to seed myself towards the back of the lead crowd as to not get caught up running to fast but also to not have to dodge around slower runners.  All in all it worked out pretty well.  I went out a bit faster than my goal pace but quickly adjusted for miles 2 and 3 and was hitting my goal pace - but I wasn't using my Garmin at all.  Old fashioned clocks and mathematics - I like to look at the Garmin Data after the run :)

The weather was cool and I'd say pretty much perfect - though there was quite the breeze I noticed while on Memorial Bridge.  Miles 1-3 came and went without much to-do.  I took a gel at mile 3 and continued on my way.  I was grabbing water as we passed water stops and enjoyed the race - even if there weren't many blossoms out quite yet.  I was pushing myself to a slightly uncomfortable place but yet maintainable.  It felt good to be running hard.  Running hard after the winter is always a bit difficult for me - I do too much slow and comfortable pace'd running in the cold weather.

As I passed the 5 mile mark I knew I was right on target and headed towards one of my favorite places...Hains Point.  Most people seem to feel strongly about Hains Point - either they love it or they hate it - and I love it!  The Oreo and Beer man at the tip of the point, the cheering crowds, the water, and the
blossoms and the last few miles!  Hains Point was still great this year - but it was windy!  We hit a major head wind heading out to the point that seemed to slow everyone down.  I tried drafting off bigger people, but to no avail - I pushed on the best I could into the wind.

Soon enough I was around the point with the wind at my back.  I felt strong for the last couple miles - though some race photos show my form falling apart - heel strike!  When I saw the clock at Mile 9 I knew I had to hold my pace to make my goal.  As I came to the end of Hains Point and saw the 1200m To Go sign I started to slightly pick up my pace.  As I ran up the 1 small hill in the entire race and finally toward the finish line I knew it'd be close.  I gave it a final kick with all I had left.

FINISH TIME: 1:19:53 (Woo sub-1:20:00)

I caught up with some friends - near the "correct" tree before grabbing a post race muffin and some warm clothes.  Once re-untied with Adam and gathering a group for brunch we headed off to a great meal and a beautifully sun-shining day.


1 comment:

  1. You are beyond AWESOME,,,you go girl! You are such an inspiration!!!