On Sunday, hubby and I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in Washington, DC. I had no goals going into this race. I knew I could try to push my pace and “race,” but I didn’t want to. I wanted to run alongside my husband and enjoy the scenery in beautiful downtown DC. I didn’t feel the need to shoot for a PR; it was my first 10 mile race so that means an automatic PR! Plus, I just wanted a fun no-pressure-on-myself race.
We picked up our packets on Friday at the National Building Museum in DC. The expo was well-organized, but very busy. We had to wait in one line to get into the building, another line to get our bibs, and yet another line for our shirts. All that waiting around, plus the metro ride, with a 30 lb toddler on my back was quite exhausting!
On Sunday, the fun started long before arriving at the starting line. When hubby and I hopped on the metro, the train was full of runners. We had to stand because there were no open seats and I had the pleasure of witnessing something disturbing. This old runner guy takes something out of his bag. It looked like a tube of toothpaste, but it turns out it was some kind of chafing cream. He proceeded to apply several layers of cream to his crotch right there standing in the metro while chatting with his runner buddy. That, my friends, is one of the many reasons why you don’t handlebars in the metro!
When we arrived downtown, you could feel the excitement in the air. There were runners covering the National Mall.
We went straight to our starting corral because we didn’t have much time to spare; that meant no last porta-potty stop. The corrals were packed. Insanely packed. People were squeezing in where there was no room to stand so I ended up with some chick’s ponytail in my face for 10 minutes. I’m a big fan of personal space so I didn’t really like that part. That also added to my increasing desire lately to start running smaller races.
We passed the time by taking pictures of ourselves.
While waiting for our wave to start, all the fast people were already tearing through the course. They announced that the elites made it through the first mile in 4:27. 4:27!! That blows my mind.
I was glad from the start that I had no time goal for this race because the crowd never really thinned out. We were in close proximity to other runners the entire time. There was a lot of weaving and dodging going on. I really enjoyed taking it easy and enjoying the miles with hubby without any pressure on myself. I took a lot of pictures throughout the race.
We took a bathroom break about halfway through when we finally came upon a set of porta-pots that didn’t have a line with 30 people in it. Then we were on our way again. Hubby started to not feel so hot around mile 7. He asked me to slow down so I did, but he kept having to remind me (sorry, love!). The course was mostly flat which was AWESOME. The only hill that was semi-tough was in the last mile. Hubby was whining that he needed to slow down and he couldn’t do it, waaah waaah waaah. So I literally took his hand and dragged him up that hill. I also sang him songs and cheered him on like a crazy person. I think I just annoyed him more than anything. Hey, at least it was a distraction, right love?
The only really hard part for me during the race was East Potomac Park/Hains Point. It’s not a difficult area to run, but it’s all mental because you can see the distance you have to go around it. That was a very very very hard part of the Marine Corps Marathon for me so it holds some bad memories!
Toward the end, I really wanted us to pick it up until the finish. The crowd was so energizing and I just wanted to really push it. Hubby told me to go on alone, but I refused. We crossed the finish line hand in hand. I hope they caught a good picture of us!
Our finish time was 1:45:02; an average pace of 10:30. No, we weren’t speedy, but we had fun so that’s all the matters! While the race was super crowded, I’d still love to run it again. I have never been so in love with a race course. I loved running past all the monuments. There were spectators along most of the course that kept us energized. It was really awesome.
And because I can’t make it all about me and hubby, here is a picture of my usual running buddy napping on Sunday afternoon; he’s so sweaty you’d think he ran 10 miles!