Monday, April 4, 2011

Cherry Blossom 10-Miler - I did it!

Hello everyone! As the title indicates I finished the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler. Yay! I know I did not write many blogs about my training, granted I haven't been blogging much in general, but the main reason why you didn't hear much about it was because I was really scared. I was scared I wouldn't be able to finish. In the weeks nearing the race I was getting really discouraged with my training and the fact that my sister and Justin were so much faster than me. As my sister says, "If there is no evidence, it didn't happen." In other words, if I stopped blogging about the race and ended up chickening out and doing the 5k instead of the 10-miler then no one would know any better (except me). 

However, I continued to train and with Justin's encouragement I started to feel more confident. Despite not having run ten miles before the race (my longest run was about seven miles), the Cherry Blossom course is mostly flat which makes it a relatively easier run.

Anyway, here is quick synopsis of my very first race!

5:10 AM - Justin wakes me up after only a few hours of sleep. We were both up watching the UK-UConn Final Four game that ended around midnight. A tough Kentucky loss and a whole lot of nerves probably resulted in us not getting much sleep.

5:45 AM - Head to the metro. Breakfast consists of a granola bar and a banana. By this point I am banana-ed out. I have been eating them everyday for the past week. The metro garage already has a lot of cars parked there for race. Seeing the metro train fill up with runners was pretty cool.

6:45 AM - Get off at the Smithsonian metro stop and follow the crowds to bag check/port-o-potties/corral starts. Man, there are a lot of people here! **Sorry I don't have any pictures pre-race, my stomach was churning and I wasn't thinking of taking pictures at the time, maybe next time!**

7:00 AM - Get in line at the port-o-potties. Lines are crazy long and I can't believe that some of the people whose heats are about to start are still in line. Some people get fed up and leave the line while others like myself (me, Justin and Jill are in the last in the last corral) wait it out.

7:40 AM - Where the heck is Justin? While Jill and I were in line he went to go to bag check-in. Our corral is supposed to start in 15-minutes. Eek.

7:50 AM - We find Justin in a port-o-potty line and while waiting for for him I guzzle down a GU gel and attempt to stretch. I hear the announcer call for the Purple Corral (that's us!) to line up so we start heading over.

7:55 AM - The horn sounds and the purple herd corral starts. I put in my headphones (yes, I know it's against the rules, but I'm a rebel and couldn't imagine running without music), start my RunKeeper app and start running!

After that I kind of lost track of time, I was just so focused on running and the scenery. The scenery was gorgeous. What a great tour of DC! You could see various different DC landmarks (i.e. Washington Monument, Reagan National Airport, Georgetown,etc.), but my favorite part of the race was the stretch towards Hain's Point when you were running down cherry blossom tree lined streets. Runners were stopping to take pictures, but again I couldn't bear to stop so I kept trucking along. Come to think of it, I ran most of the course and only walked a bit when I the hill that was right before the finish line.

A proof pic with the Cherry Blossoms - Don't mind the heavy breathing look on my face >.<

A more enthusiastic pic of Jill

Below are a few pictures that I took after the race. Here is a pic of Justin and I in front of the Washington Monument after munching on our post-race muffin and banana (again!). 

Here I am in front a lone cherry blossom tree, medal and all. Not as pretty as the bunches I saw on the run, but it'll do.

Overall, the Cherry Blossom 10-miler was an amazing experience that was worth all the blood, sweat, tears, and stress. I would definitely recommend it as a good beginners long distance road race with a relatively flat terrain and scenic views.

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