Category Archives: 10 Miler

The good, the bad, the PR hope…

After running the “mile challenge” at bootcamp in the morning, I went for a run with the group that night.  Jen tagged along with me, and we chatted the whole way.  It was a beautiful night, the weather was great (just chilly enough without being cold!), I felt great the whole way, not a bit of pain anywhere.  We finished the 6.2 miles with an average pace of 10:51 — not bad, considering neither of us were struggling to keep up the pace, and we never broke conversation.

So yesterday, despite being tired, I was looking forward to running to Pentagon City from work, then going to Bikram.  I started my run and immediately noticed I wasn’t hydrated enough and was getting cotton mouth (on a cool day, WTF?).  Then as the run progressed, my stomach started bugging me, and I kept having the feeling that I was going to throw up.  So I slowed down, and at times had to walk to avoid throwing up.  When I decided to pick it up again, with a mile an a half to go, the front of my ankle started hurting with each step.  I don’t need more weird pains!!!

I ended up walking the whole way back, though my ankle was still hurting with the walk, just not as much.  I felt like a failure — cotton mouth, bad stomach, about to vomit, and pain in the front of the ankle?

So I had to skip Bikram as well, because my stomach was still not doing well, and I was definitely not hydrated enough (despite drinking water all day).  This morning, my foot was throbbing when I woke up (I really do think I have plantar fasciitis, since pain when you first wake up is one of the symptoms).  So I skipped bootcamp as well.  Ugh.

I should have just stuck with the run on Wednesday and quit for the week.  On Wednesday, I finished my run confident I could PR this weekend.  Yesterday, I finished my run wondering if I could even run the 10 miles this weekend.

So what’s this weekend?  I’ll be running this race, for the second time:

Yep, a DC tradition.  I ran it last year and liked it, but like everyone else, hate the last 2 miles on the 14th street bridge.  Karl hated this race because it was too crowded — this year he finally got placed on the first corral, but he won’t be able to run it…

Tonight, I’m off to the expo — if it’s the same as last year, there’s noting to write home about, it’s one of the worst expos I’ve seen, barely any vendors and no freebies.

Sunday, I’ll be at that start line, with the hopes of finishing in 1:45.  Kathy even said she’ll pace me.  But considering my runs during the last week, this might not be possible.  My 10 Miler PR was at this race last year when I finished in 1:54:34 (11:27 pace).  Knowing I have finished my half marathon with a better pace than that, and in pretty much every 13 miles or less run lately I hit the 10 miler mark before then, I should at least leave with a PR.  Maybe aim for 1:50?  We’ll see…


Filed under 10 Miler, Army Ten Miler, Race, Run Commute

Last Long Run Before CHICAGO!

On Saturday morning I met up with a few of the people from the group who woke up early enough to meet us at the Roosevelt Island for our run around the National Mall.

The 10 miles were not easy, it felt harder than the 20 miles last weekend.  I guess I’m sleep deprived and still in that “am I getting sick?” stage that it’s all finally getting to me.

As hard as it was to be out of bed super early, views like these make it worth it…  (If only I could run with my fancy camera and really get a good non-blurry shot of the sunrise over DC…)

We had a new member of the group who tagged along with us for the first 30 minutes, but for the most part, it was me, Jen, Kristy, Ben and Amy.  It was the worst day to have my camera with me though — there was some sort of rally going on in DC, and though the crowds were not out yet, the whole place was fenced off, there was a stage setup in the middle of the Lincoln Memorial, and only once we got to the Washington Monument, was it finally nice enough and not fenced off that I could stop for a picture.

Luckily, the rally was also not going on around the Capitol, so I got a few shots of it too!

It was the day for blurry pictures though…  This would have been a great shot of Jen and Kristy!

I was able to get a nice one of Amy & Ben (who are training for the Marine Corps Marathon, after they had to defer it last year due to injuries…)

But then got another blurry picture with Jen and Kristy (I see a trend — maybe they cause the pictures to be blurry?  Hmmmmm…)

But I did get a good one of myself — it’s been ages since I wore a sleeved shirt to run in!  I even won some awesome sleeve scrunchies from Lesley at Racing it Off,  but haven’t had a chance to try them out yet — the weather was in the 50’s, which after our 100+ degree weather summer, it meant we were freezing for the first mile!

Unfortunately, the cooler weather did not help me this time.  I was struggling, and if it wasn’t for the company, I would have definitely given up.  The views were nice (I am really loving running by the Mall sans tourists), but it was just one of those bad days.  I kept trying to distract myself with pictures though…

And even got a good one of me by the Washington Monument.

We looked like freaking tourists out in our run.  The New Yorker in me died a little inside…  (I guess only New Yorkers would get that?  So you don’t think I’m confusing cities here, New Yorkers hate tourists in general, and even worse, hate looking like tourists.  I’ve been out of NYC too long!!)

We were finally on our way out of DC and back to Arlington…  I had to take pictures of the statues on the Memorial Bridge, since my brother walked around here with us at our last 12 miler, and him and his wife turned around after the bridge and totally missed them!  How can you not notice these statues??

We finished the run in about 1:53, which is still faster than my best 10 miler race-time, but I was disappointed — I felt like crap during the whole run, I was sweating quite a bit, even though the weather was in the mid-50’s, the coldest I have run in since earlier this year.

Then it got worse — I got home and couldn’t even make it to the shower (GROSS, I KNOW!!!) and collapsed in bed.  I was out for hours, then finally got up, showered and went out to eat with Karl, only to come back to bed later.  I was feeling sick all day. I even missed my friend’s birthday party, which sucked.

Yesterday I couldn’t sleep in, as I had to run over the Brazilian consulate to vote (it’s mandatory) and I couldn’t go back to sleep after I got home (believe me, I spent 3 hours trying…).  Though in the afternoon I made it out to the running group’s BBQ, I got home and again took a long nap.  I’m at work today but barely functioning…  I really better catch up on sleep before Chicago.  The problem?  Tons to get done at home, specially since Kristy is staying over to take care of the kitty, and our apartment is a mess now (sadly, I’m the messy one, not Karl…).

I need to get 2 runs in this week before the marathon, but the weather is not cooperating — rain every day until Wednesday.  Tonight, I’m off to Bikram!


Filed under 10 Miler, Chicago Marathon Training, Marathon Training, Pictures

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 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


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