Cherry Blossom Race Report

Be warned: I am not one to report mile by mile because, quite frankly, they all sort of blend together and I never remember specifics…

I went to DC Friday night to stay with my friend A for the weekend. Our friend K flew in Friday night as well. It was a great weekend to be able to spend time with the two of them. We awoke Sunday to a cool and rainy day. Thankfully, the race itself stayed pretty dry, with only an occasional mist, and I actually stripped down to a t-shirt and shorts for the majority of the race.

I didn’t really have much of a time goal in mind going into Sunday. I hadn’t really trained for this race, per se, and didn’t have much of a taper to speak of. I felt good when I woke up, and pretty much decided then to try for an average pace of 8 minute miles. My strategy? Run the first mile in whatever time I could, knowing the course would be crowded and it would not be fast. Hold 8 minutes and reassess at the halfway point. Crank it up the last few miles, which seems to happen no matter WHAT my strategy (might as well include it, I guess). This seemed to be a good way to go, because I came in at 1:19:24!

I do have my splits, even if I don’t have much of a description of the race itself:

The first few miles was a loop around Haines point, next to the water. The trees were pretty although the roadways were pretty narrow, making the early-race crowds especially thick. The one advantage of the weather was that I didn’t need to stop at any of the water stops, so I could cruise on by some of the crowds. I was actually surprised at how many people seemed to stop at all the stops, drinking Gatorade like they’d just come out of the Sahara. I was also a bit confused as to how exactly the race directors set up the corrals, because there seemed to be a lot of people who didn’t belong so close to the front. Oh well.

My legs felt ok afterwards, it was just hard because the weather was not conducive to hanging out and stretching a lot – my energy went to staying warm waiting for my friends and finding the driest tree I could. My knees and ankles got a little stiff, I’m guessing from the rain and cold. I stretched a bit on the Metro ride back, but then between being lazy the rest of the afternoon and a 4-hour bus ride back, I was worried this morning when I woke up. I’m surprisingly fine, turns out.

This week I will be cutting back mileage down to 25 miles or so in anticipation of next week, when my 24/55 training plan officially begins! I also have a 5K race on Sunday – we’ll see if that is a race or a run. It would probably be smart of me to not kill myself, although knowing me I’ll probably want to at least do decently. We’ll see how I feel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s