Category Archives: Cherry Blossom Training

Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Pictures!

So I wrote a picture filled recap of the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler a month ago, but never posted the pro pictures from Brightroom Photography here.  There are some interesting ones…

Karl looks determined...

I look completely stupid...

Sprinting towards the finish line (and gasping for air?)

And my absolute favorite one…

Sprinting to the finish line -- finally a picture where I have BOTH my feet off the ground!

And I'm done! Official net time 1:55:14

I don't tknow how I didn't drop my camera here! I forgot to zip up!

Lindsay and I excited to be DONE.

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Filed under 10 Miler, Cherry Blossom Training

Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Recap

Saturday I had a horrible day volunteering for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler expo for my guaranteed registration for next year.  I’ll spare you from the details, but to sum up each organizer was telling me to go to a different spot, the security guard started yelling at me to leave the building, causing a scene — when I was just following orders from one of the organizers of the volunteers and not one came up to handle the situation!

It was a horrible experience, and don’t think I will be volunteering for this race ever again, the guaranteed spot is not worth it.  I brought over 12 people to volunteer with me, and I’m treated like crap (I’m definitely sending a letter to them about this).  When I finally was sent in the right direction, the organizer of the information booth, where I was assigned to, was such a sweetheart and such a contrast from the other people I encountered that morning, that I broke down in tears.  Wish I was kidding.  The rest of the day was not bad though, most runners were incredibly nice to us folks in the info booth.

But anyway, this is a recap of race day!

We woke up way too early, and made our way into DC to meet the rest of the running group, I was even sporting our running group t-shirt!  We were tight in time before bag check closed (seriously, why does bag check closes 25 minutes before the very first wave?), and then we made our way into the porta-potty line, but having learned from last year, we knew where the empty ones were at, and spent less than 5 minutes in line, and then Lindsay (who would be running my pace) and I even took some time for pictures…

Posing in front of the Washington Monument before the race

Loading up on energy gel before while waiting for the race to start

Last year the race was overcrowded, but this year they added another 3,000 people to it, so with 15,000 registered runners, it got even worse.  The Cherry Blossom Ten Miler is a DC tradition, but unfortunately, it lacks organization.  The way the whole race was run, you would think it’s an inaugural race where they still haven’t figured out the glitches, but this race has been going around for 38 years!!!

The race was crowded throughout THE WHOLE FREAKING TIME.  Adding to the crowds, there was bottlenecks, after bottlenecks.  I got elbowed, tripped on and bumped more times than I can count (not once while taking pictures, so don’t blame my camera posing on that).

The course, however, is beautiful, so I took a bunch of pictures throughout the run:

Approaching the Lincoln Memorial at around mile 1

Near the Watergate Steps right after passing the 5k mark, Memorial Bridge on the back

Lindsay by the Watergate Steps

Going under the Memorial Bridge

I had a great run, and I was having a blast, even with all the pushing!  Lindsay wasn’t doing as good — it was definitely a bad day for her running-wise, but I kept by her side (even after she persisted that I drop her and go a faster pace).  I knew that if I did try to go faster (and I totally had it in me that day), she would immediately stop and walk, maybe even give up, so I didn’t give her the chance to do it.  Plus, if I went faster, I might get bored with the lack of company and someone to talk to, so I might not have had the best race for me either (not that Lindsay was doing much talking, but I was blabbing on the whole freaking time).

About 5 miles in, next to the Tidal Basin, Jefferson Memorial in the back

At the Tidal Basin, Washington Monument in the back

Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument (and a few people running towards porta-potties in the distance)

This year it got too hot too soon in DC, so the Cherry Blossoms were nowhere to be seen.  Tons of people were disappointed, but I already knew they were gone.  Last year, the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler was my first ever long-distance race, so I was just putting one foot in front of the other, and don’t remember a thing from the race course — I didn’t notice ONE cherry blossom even though they were abundant.  This year, I was having a great run (really!) and was able to spot the only blossoms still out there (seriously, those three trees were it):

I had such a good run, and could definitely had pushed myself, but I don’t regret one bit sticking next to Lindsay.  My knee started bugging me around mile 5, but I didn’t let it bother me, and I was still smiling and laughing the whole time, chitchatting with people who passed by and commented on my skirt (review of runningskirts.com to come soon), and making jokes.

The funniest part of the run was this discussion, around mile 8:

Runner:  “I LOVE your skirt!”
Me:  “Thanks!  The shorts keep riding up though, so if you see me with my hand up my crotch, it’s because I’m trying to pull it down!”
Runner:  “And here I thought you were having a good run!”

Last year, the water stop at mile 7 ran out of water (and a volunteer had the nerve to tell me “next time run faster”), luckily this year, all the water stops had plenty of water.

Lindsay continued to have a hard time on this run, and with half a mile to go, she claimed she was going to walk.  I yelled at her (and was later thanked after she was done) “No, you have 5 minutes to go, you’re not walking now, just keep up with me!”

When I finally saw the finish line, I took off.  I had a lot more left in me, even after sprinting towards the finish line.  Karl even mentioned that he doesn’t usually see me smile when I’m sprinting towards the finish, but I wasn’t even tired yet!

The finish line, however, was a disappointment.  There was a big sign with “Post Race Water” but the water was long gone.  Last year I was having such a hard time with the heat, and needed water right away (actually, in most races, I’m desperate for water at the finish line).  How can you have 15,000 runners and NOT have enough water for them at the finish line?  I’m slow, but there were still thousands of runners behind me!

Lindsay and I are thirsty, but super happy to have finished it!

We went on our search for water, and I waited at the long line to receive my medal — I had to pay $12 for the race medal when I registered, but it was worth it, it was a pretty medal.  I was not happy to see the 5k runners claiming their medals too — they really should have limited the “Ten Mile Run finisher” medals to only people who actually ran 10 miles.  But on this race, not only the 5k runners also get a Ten Mile Run t-shirt, they could pay for the medal too and there was no separate medal for the 5k runners.

Lindsay went off on the search for her parents, Karl finally found me with some water and a muffin (they ran out of bananas too.  WTF, really) and we went to find the rest of the running group, posing for pictures before going back home.

Everyone’s complaint was the same — the course was overcrowded the whole time. Karl was running for time but stuck behind much slower runners early on the course (why do slower runners do that?  Don’t lie on your time when you sign up and mess up for everyone else!).  He still got a PR, finishing at 1:15:32 (7:34 min/mile pace), but his first few miles were much slower than he would have liked, since he was dodging people, and at times forced to run on the grassy parts of next to the sidewalks.

If we are still in DC next year, I will run it again (might as well take advantage of my guaranteed registration), but I have a feeling it’ll be my last one…

I didn’t PR, since I was slightly faster at the Army Ten Miler, but at least I beat last year’s time by a couple of minutes.

Net Time: 1:55:15
Pace: 11:32 min/mile

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Filed under 10 Miler, Cherry Blossom Training, Hains Point Run, Race, Race Report

Runs this week + Cherry Blossom on Sunday!

On Monday, I ran home from work again with Hugi.  After such a great run on Sunday, I was looking forward to this run!

Monday, was not a good day for it…  We ran the same route I took on Sunday, from work to the Pentagon.  I was going a bit faster than my normal pace, but I was feeling ok.  That is, until the first mile beeped.  It was all downhill from there.  I struggled with the heat, with keeping up, I could barely hold a conversation even though we had considerably slowed down.  Karl met up with us near the Pentagon, since I was running with him the rest of the way home (couldn’t have asked for a better husband-to-be!).

When we got to the Pentagon and parted ways with Hugi, after less than 3 miles in, I admitted defeat and asked Karl to walk with me the rest of the way home.  This was the kind of run that makes you wish you would never have to run again.

The good news?  Home is only about 4 miles from work by taking the trails.  We went spinning (for the first time!) on Wednesday morning and I couldn’t find my bike shoes for the life of me.  Once I locate them, I’m going to finally get my bike ready and go back to biking to work!  I can’t wait!!

Wednesday, was my usual weekday run with the running group.  I was so not looking forward to running after the fiasco on Monday.  Plus, my right hip has been hurting since, the same pain I was having around September last year.  I knew I should be resting so I would not be in pain for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler this Sunday, but I also knew that it was going to affect me if I didn’t run at all on Wednesday, so I sucked it up, and off I went.

Wednesday was the hottest day this year so far.  93 degrees!!!  In April!!  The humidity was low, so that helped a bit.  I took a small water bottle with me, which was perfect for the 50 minute run, and ran the whole way with Sherry.  It was a great run again, like on Sunday.  I was enjoying the run, I was having a really good time.  Sherry, not so much, the heat was affecting her a lot more than me, but I didn’t want to say it out loud, because I know I’d be jinxing myself.

It was just the burst of confidence I needed for the race on Sunday.  Though my hip still hurts today, I have no doubt that I can run fine on Sunday.  The temperature is going to be a high of 73 degrees, hovering around 50’s and 60’s in the morning.  Perfect!

Are you running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler?  I’ll be volunteering at the expo on Saturday morning (guaranteed registration next year, woohoo!), and if you’re there, you can find me and Karl at the information desk.  We’re going to have a busy Saturday, from the expo to Vienna for a wedding band trunk show, then a friend’s party at Cafe Asia later, but I’m looking forward to the race on Sunday!

The bad news?  I heard there are no blossoms left!  This heat came too quick and too soon…  I’m planning on bringing my camera with me anyway, but there won’t be any pretty things to take pictures of.  That Hains Point loop will be a looooong boring stretch.

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Filed under 10 Miler, Cherry Blossom Training, Run Commute

Sunday Run!

I missed my usual Saturday run, as Karl and I were taking engagement pictures in DC (I can’t wait to get them!).

So Sunday I met up with Sherry from the running group for a quick hour-long run.  We met by the Pentagon parking lot in Pentagon City, and tried out a new route!  We started at a trail that runs parallel to Washington Blvd, into DC.  You basically start running by the Pentagon Memorial, and that trail joins the Mt. Vernon Trail into Memorial Bridge.  Once we got to DC, we ran along side the Potomac for a bit, before it was time to turn around and make our way back to our cars.

It was such a good run!  The weather was on the high 70’s, but it didn’t feel too hot, I was feeling great throughout the whole thing, just enjoying the run.  I thought this route was going to be boring, but I really liked the change of scenery.  This will be my commute to work by bike (I really have to suck it up and just restart biking to work again), and the trail was a tad narrow compared to the Mt. Vernon, but I’m hoping is not as busy.

After the run, I met up with Karl at the gym for a quick weight training session, then got ready to stuff my face for Easter lunch at my sisters.  So much for wanting to lose weight before the wedding…  I ate like a pig all weekend…

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Filed under Cherry Blossom Training