Thursday, April 19, 2018

2018 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race Report

I opened my 2018 race season with classic runner's rite of spring here in DC - The Cherry Blossom 10 miler.  The 6 weeks or so leading up to CB10 I was feeling great and training was going really well.  I was optimistic that a 10 mile PR may be in the books, but hesitant, knowing my previous PR was something I pulled out of nowhere on a blustery day in 2016.  More so than a PR I just wanted to have a performance I was truly capable of and proud of - unlike 2017 when I completely blew up just 3 miles into the race.

Race Day Magic!
Finally, race week comes around and I'm excited to get out there and see what I have in the tank!  Early in race week my body had a different plan - hello Cherry Blossoms and every other blooming thing and HELLO allergies.  Oh my goodness I've never had seasonal allergies that knocked me on my butt and made my face want to explode.  Thankfully with some flonase and time they mostly passed other than leaving me with a weird dry cough and discomfort with deep breaths (turns out that's not ideal for running hard).

I hit the CB10 expo early on Friday and just in time to catch Meb giving a talk.  If you ever have the opportunity to listen to this amazing person and athlete talk about his experiences - GO - you won't regret it.  I picked up my bib and was slightly excited to see I actually go myself into the Yellow Wave this year - which is the very first wave, including the seeded runners.  I was hopeful that there would be a bit more room to run in the yellow wave.  I took it easy the rest of Friday and Saturday and prepared for Sunday's race.  Pre CB10 dinner of spaghetti and meatballs (100% homemade folks - yes even the noodles).

Grabbing the final necessities!
Race Day - Sunday! My usual go to is biking to this race but with post race brunch plans downtown and a hot shower available at my office I decided to drive in and job down to the start.  I was able to avoid the usual bag check disaster and just jog down as my warm up before shedding an excess layer and jumping in the starting coral.  Once the layers were shed and we were just waiting in the coral, it was cold.  Very cold.  I couldn't wait to start running.

I had a conservative race plan and knew that the key to me running close to my PR would be smart racing.  The gun went off and I nailed my first mile just under 7:20. Now the plan was to stay right around 7:15 until about mile 6 or 7.  Well, I got excited, I felt good, the energy was awesome and it was PEAK blossoms!  I dropped the pace for miles 2 and 3.  And 4.  I was feeling awesome, thinking this just might be a great day. 

Then mile 5 - I held on to that 7:20 and kept fighting to hold on to it for miles 6 and 7.  And even 8.  Then we rounded Hains Point, which was in full bloom and gorgeous, and also found ourselves running dead straight into a headwind.  And that aggressive pace during miles 2 and 3 came back to bite me. As always the hill during the last 400m was hard, but I crossed the finish line feeling good and proud of the hard effort I put forth on the day. 

The finish area was fun and I quickly found many fast friends and stopped for pictures before deciding we were all too cold.  We grabbed heat sheets - which weren't working too well in the cold and wind that was whipping around, before each heading our separate ways.  Finished up a solid race which ended up being about 1 minute slower than my 2016 time (PR) with AYCE brunch at The Hamilton with a group of friends.  Great way to kick off the 2018 race season and I'm looking forward to opening my tri season on Sunday at Rumpus in the Bumpas. #readytorump

Proud to represent DC Tri Elite and our sponsors including Road Runner Sports - Falls Chuch, Teveekan, XX2i Optics, Louis Garneau, Rose Physical Therapy Group, DC Tri Club, Xterra Wetsuits, Rudy Project, Osmo Hydration, Honey Stinger, Base Salts, and my sponsors AltRed, Cercacor, and SBR!