This weekend, I ran my seventh Cherry Blossom Ten Miler. And I think the weather was among the best that it has ever been. This year has been pretty iffy, weather-wise, and while it was a little cool before the race, the day turned out beautiful and the blossoms were still beautiful. Best of all, I got to meet up with some of my Coeur teammates before and after the race. I’m so glad to get to know some of these girls so much better, and I’m looking forward to racing with them again.
As I wrote earlier this week, my goal was something under 2:10. In my head, I had 2:05 wandering around, but I knew that was a long shot, as running 12:30s was going to be a whole lot faster than anything I’ve been able to pull out lately. (Spoiler alert – I didn’t run that fast. This isn’t one of those sorts of posts!)
This is probably the most “local” of races that I run, and I love that the logistics are so easy for me. I get to park at my office building for free and walk down to the race start. I love not having to worry about parking or traffic. I left my house around 6 for a 7:30 race start and had plenty of time. That’s the last time that’s going to happen this year.
Before the race, I met up with a bunch of my Coeur teammates and it was so fun to finally get to talk to these ladies in person instead of just online. Everyone was so wonderfully nice. Seriously, if you ever see anyone in a Coeur team kit out on a race course, just say hi. Such friendly people.
I was in the Purple People Party Wave again this year – it’s the wave of people planning to finish in 2 hours or more. I joke that it’s the wave of people who like to get their money’s worth out of the course, but honestly, it’s often full of people who are stressed about the race time limit. Because of the need to open up roads, Cherry Blossom has a 14 minute per mile pace requirement, so there are a lot of racers in the purple wave hoping that everything goes their way and they make that pacing requirement.
Before and during the race, I ran into a lot of friends, including some I was meeting for the first time in person. Man, the internet is awesome.
As the race started, I didn’t really have a set pace in mind. I knew I wanted to race under 2:10, so I wanted to run sub 13 minute miles, but other than that, I didn’t really have a major goal. I just wanted to try to enjoy the race.
For whatever reason, this race, I just never found that running high, which was kind of a disappointment. I was pushing, but not too hard, meeting my pace goals, and enjoying myself, but I never got that rush that we all often get during races. So when I finished, it was kind of a bummer, even though my final time was pretty darn good.
Of course, part of the problem could have been that I didn’t realize how good my time was.
I ran a 2:07:09. Which is meaningless until I look at my previous ten mile races. This was faster than I have run any ten miler since before my heart issues were diagnosed. I posted that, and my friend Kate said I shouldn’t qualify the PR. And she’s right. I should just reset everything in the spring of 2010 and move on from there. So with that in mind, this was a PR. It’s still a bit shocking to be cutting time from my races when I feel like I haven’t been run training a lot, but it shows just how much all my work on the bike really does help – and I enjoy it so much more.
Now, to see how this all plays out during triathlon season!