I’m going to share a few comparisons with you all before I get into the meat of my Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Race Recap. Last year, I ran the shortened 9.4 Cherry Blossom course in 1:31:17. This year, I ran the full course (no accidents race morning, thank goodness) in 1:31:12 – besting my previous PR of 1:35:58 by almost five minutes. Last year, I wrote that the weather was “amazing.” This year it sucked – high winds and cold temps. As I said on Instagram, it was a lovely winter morning in DC. Last year the cherry blossoms were in full peak bloom. This year the trees were bare – peak bloom came in the middle of the week and the 35+mph wind gusts blew most of the remaining leaves to the ground. One thing remains the same every year I run this race – I absolutely love it. It’s one of my favorite and the race that truly made me love the ten mile distance. This year, I had the pleasure of serving as one of the race’s Social Runners, which was really fun. Thank you CUCB team for the chance to run this race yet again! Read on for my race recap!
The weekend kicked off with an invite to the VIP Cherry Blossom Dinner where I got to see Meb once again! My picture of him is grainy, so you’ll just to trust that I was there and it was awesome. Also, the food was really really good! I very much enjoyed it! Caitlin (my NC friend, not my local gal) was in town for the race and she got to be my plus one that night. We had a blast and then promptly headed home to get ready for our windy race!
After taking the picture above with my Oiselle gals, we prepped for the race. I was not excited about taking off my hoodie and pants, but alas, I finally let them go and headed into the corrals. Due to the extreme wind (25+mph with gusts up to 50mph), the race had decided to remove all signage from the course, lest any signs fall and injure someone. That meant that the start was a bit more hectic than usual since there was no signage.
Miles 1-4 (9:57/9:14/9:13/9:16) Mile 1 was my slowest mile of the whole race by a long shot. This course is always pretty crowded but it was pretty crazy this year since there was no wave start due to the weather. I literally saw people walking in the first quarter mile. At times I felt like I was trying to get around a wall of people. It got a bit better over the next few miles, but the course remained crowded for the vast majority of the race.
Miles 5-8 (9:16/8:49/8:48/8:48) Five miles in and I was still running side by side with one of my run club gals. We were having fun and working hard. It’s funny though, because once we started running the sub-9 miles, our conversation pretty much stopped for a couple miles. Once we got to mile 6, we passed my friend Janelle from Run with No Regrets. She looked happy and strong – I said hi and Katie and I kept moving. We wanted to get as close to 1:30 as possible.
Miles 9-10 (8:49/8:25) These last couple miles were into the wind on Hains Point and not awesome. However, we just kept pushing through and once we got to the last mile, we really dropped pace. There’s a tiny incline at the end of the race and when I looked at my watch during one point while we were powering up it, I saw 7:xx. We worked hard in those final minutes and in fact, not only did we negative split the race, our last mile was our fastest mile. I know that had we had a bit more space in those first few miles, we could’ve shaved off an extra minute or so off the clock, but I was happy with my time of 1:31:12.
Pretty crazy day. Apparently wind is my thing because the 25+ mph winds pushed me to a new 10 mile PR today. Wasn’t sure what to expect with the forecast but I ran hard & gave it all I had. Grateful to start the race with Christina & Katie and super lucky that Katie & I actually ran the entire thing together. That was awesome. Followed up the epic race with an epic brunch and now am looking forward to an epic nap! Congrats to all who raced today! #cucb2016 #oiselleteamdmv
All in all, this remains one of my favorite races and one I will try and do each year. I’m really pleased with my performance on another tough weather day and happy to have snagged a new ten mile PR!
Did you race Cherry Blossom? Link up your recap here.