Y’all. Can we talk about how much stinking FUN the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler was this year? I always enjoy this race but this year was especially fun. Let’s get into the recapping and I’ll share all the good stuff with ya! I have to say this is definitely the funnest Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Race Recap I’ve written and here’s why:
- The weather! It was amazing. About 40ish at the start and in the low to mid 50s at the finish. This was perfect running weather. I wore my Oiselle lux funnel neck, my singlet over that and my long roga shorts (affiliate links). It was the perfect combination. I was never too hot nor was I ever too cold.
- So many fun friends running this race! From my Oiselle gals, to other bloggers to friends from various aspects of my life, I was rarely in a stretch where I was running and could not see someone that I knew. It was awesome.
- The cherry blossoms were in bloom! This is the first time the race has coincided with peak bloom in years – and it’s never happened when I’ve run Cherry Blossom. It sure makes the race more fun during Hains Point when you have beautiful cherry blossom trees to gaze at.
Now on to my full recap. Settle in, this might take awhile.
I’m skip recapping the expo and all that jazz because
this recap is already going to be long enough I’m not that into expos. I like to usually do one lap and that’s what I did this year. Cherry Blossom’s expo is in a great location – the National Building Museum – and there are a ton of vendors so lots of fun stuff to buy. I did get a Run DC sparkly soul band, which was awesome. Aside from that, I was in and out. The DC area Oiselle gals did a fun lunch the day before the race and it put me in a really good mood to run. Morning of, I was fortunate enough to have K drop me off very close to our meeting point. Michelle, Julie, Jenny, Kathryn, Prianka and I took our pre race photos and then headed off to the corral.
Michelle, Julie, Prianka and I all started in the same corral and agreed on a meeting point after the race in case we were separated. We all were looking to run roughly about the same 9:30ish pace and so started together. For the vast majority of the race, I had one or more of these ladies in my sights. We were all excited to run (I was excited to run with my new Forerunner 220 – I love this thing!) and before we knew it, we were off!
- Miles 1-4: Per usual, the race started off (and stayed for the most part) pretty packed. We tried to get up to the front of our corral but somehow were in the middle, so the first few miles were a crush of people and lots of weaving. Michelle, Julie and Prianka and I were pretty much together (or close) for most of these miles. 10:03, 9:32, 9:27, 9:26
- Miles 5-8: During mile five (I think), the course was cut short by about .5 mile. Apparently there was some kind of accident investigation and so we got a bit of a shorter race. I was a bit bummed because I knew I’d PR pretty much from the start, but decided that I’m going to claim the PR anyway (I figured out roughly what my 10 mile finish would’ve been based on my pace). By this point, I could see Michelle just ahead of me, but had lost both Prianka and Julie. I was really enjoying the cherry blossoms but my legs were starting to fatigue a bit. Michelle and I were running together for a few minutes when all of a sudden a gal runs up to me and says, “are you Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC?” When I answered yes, she introduced herself as Christy from Planes Trains and Running Shoes. We chatted for a few minutes and then she sped up – I read later on that she also PR’ed – congrats Christy and nice to meet you! 9:32, 9:37, 9:29, 9:34.
- Miles 9-10: At this point, I was pretty ready for the finish but trying to keep my pace under 10 minute miles. I was approaching the last hill in the race (not really a hill more of an incline but it feels like a hill by this point) when all of a sudden a friendly gal ran up to me and said “hey are you Courtney? I love your blog!” I was so pumped. It was Kat from Kat Runs DC and it was so nice to meet you, Kat! Then two wonderful things happened right after one another. First, I saw a proposal on the course! It was awesome (she said yes) and totally pumped me up. Then, Tiffany from Tunderholmes flew past me on the course and shouted “Hey Courtney, I love your blog!” – so fun (and I swear I’ve never had that many people recognize me from this little slice of internet). Such fun! 9:43, 9:39.
I finished the 9.5 miles in 1:31:17, which is a 9:36 pace (the same pace I ran my current half marathon PR – pretty awesome since I haven’t done speed work since last summer — thank you Pure Barre!). I think I would’ve finished that extra half mile in about 4:45 (give or take a few seconds), which would’ve given me a ten miler finish time of ~1:36. That is JUST over my A goal…and a HUGE PR. I’m really really proud of my performance in this race and completely convinced that my Pure Barre obsession helped me run strong today. I’m calling this race a total success!
After the race was fun because I got to meet up with my friend Meghan, my buddy Mar and my Oiselle gals again. Mar ended up running the 5k instead of the ten miler, but they still gave her a ten miler medal – hilarious! All in all, I had a wonderful day and I’m thrilled about how I raced. It was also a very good day for most of my buddies so congrats to everyone who raced.
Since I love race recaps so much, I’m hosting a linkup for Cherry Blossom Race Recaps. The rules are simple: linkup your race recap from this year – you can linkup a recap of either the ten miler or the 5k. It’d be great if you linked back to this post, but no pressure. This is just for fun — but remember: only Cherry Blossom Race Recaps.
Have you ever run amongst the Cherry Blossoms? Did you race this weekend?