Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Springtime in D.C.
Race Report from the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Let's start off by stating the obvious. This wasn't a goal race for me. No sirree. Not after a brutal 13.1 a week prior where I got lost at mile six and still ran a respectable 1:24, not three weeks before my spring marathon, and especially not after I tripped and fell hard on broken pavement at mile 15 of a 22 mile long run two days prior. I really just wanted to go out and experience the course, having heard about it from friends and teammates over the years.

Here then are my mile splits and some of my quickie thoughts as I ran this race.

Mile 1 - 6:25
- Wow, what a gorgeous day to race. Too bad my legs feel so achy and tired.
- I'm right behind the elites in the 1B corral start. Why does it still take a quarter mile for some open leg room?
- There's so much conversation about Boston, you'd think we were running in Red Sox nation.

Mile 2 - 6:25
- My first mile split is pathetic. I must be more wiped out than I thought.
- I'm starting on the bridge across the Potomac River. The elites are already on the way back. Wow!
- I'm surrounded by so many people that are supposedly "taking it easy". Are we sure we're NOT running a marathon today.

Mile 3 - 6:26
- Someone taps me on shoulder and says Hi! It's my crazy fast friend who I met last month volunteering at the expo for the National Marathon. (He went on to run a 1:17 half marathon a day later!)
- Having a catch up conversation with another runner is not easy in the middle of a race. He is tapering for Boston while I'm learning to catch my breath while talking and running at the same time.
- I said my goodbye and wish him well on his race before watching him disappear right before my eyes.

Mile 4 - 6:51
- Running along the Potomac river, i see nothing but one cruise ship on the shimmering waters. Everything is so peaceful. Tranquility is the order of the morning.
- A woman falls on the opposite side of the divide and I start hyperventilating and taking smaller steps. I don't want to fall like that again.
- of my shoelaces is untied. I stop and lose 30 seconds to tie them back up.

Mile 5 - 6:40
- My legs are starting to tire but we still got 6 more miles to go. Will I make it?
- Maybe running races on back to back weekends is not so advisable.
- I'm looking for cherry blossoms but they are few and far between.

Mile 6 - 6:42
- The sun is up and I'm holding my own... finally
- I see crowds of people both starting and coming back on the Potomac River Bridge
- We're almost a 5K to go. Almost.

Mile 7 - 6:35
- There is so much green here. My pace for whatever reason seems more comfortable now.
- I'm still scanning for cherry blossoms and wishing I could just stop and take pictures.
- Can I even manage a 6:30 average pace for this race? Gosh. Must pick it up.

Mile 8 - 6:25
- With 5k to go, I start feeling good, like really really good. It was as if the first seven miles were just warmup for a 5k race.
- I start picking off a few people that I've been trailing behind for the whole time.
- It's sunnier now and I'm sweating. But nothing like the guy who's running this in a suit?!

Mile 9 - 6:24
- Despite the fatigue, I'm still throwing down the hammer and passing a few.
- Some people from the sideline are chanting my name. I blow kisses their way as I pass by. I have no idea who those people were.
- I'm heading back downtown now. Sadly, the cherry blossoms have mostly came and gone. Only the lush green leaves and trees remain.

Mile 10 - 6:15
- Over a small bridge and then a one mile interval to the finish
- I see a joggler running on the opposite side. The Washingotn monument is getting larger.
- The sideline coach is telling us we're 800m to the line. I start to sprint hard.
- At 400m to go, another pack of spectators shouts my name unexpectedly. I give a thumbs up as I continue my sprint. Soon, the finish line cames and I can stop.

"It was a great day for a ten mile DC run!" A Flyer friend told me after the fact. I couldn't agree more!

Final Statistics
Official time - 1:05:12 (6:31 Avg Pace)
Men's Place - 316/6901 (4.6%)
Age Group Place - 75/1408 (5.3%)


aron said...

sounds like a great day :) i love it when the legs suddenly find their groove!

J said...

I totally wish I could have been there! I have yet to see the Cherry Blossoms in DC! Glad you were able to find a groove towards the end of the race!

kevin f forde said...

Good run,great report.
Take this from someone who often ran races in their marathon build up,each race serves a a piece of the puzzle that is the marathon which is the final goal for you.
Sorry tohear about your fall in training,hope you're ok.

Morgan said...

Ok so I totally loved the way you wrote this up! I swear sometimes miles can be defined by mere random thoughts along the way! Great job out there Lam and I hope you are ok after the fall you took! No bueno!

Anonymous said...

how can you remember all that over the course of a race?! i'm lucky if i remember i raced afterward haha

great job. glad you were able to feel really strong in the end. i think that no matter what the overall outcome of a race is, if i can finish strong than it was a good day

Jocelyn said...

Great job buddy! Sorry i couldn't make it out monday! Miss ya

Running and living said...

Nice job!

Jamie said...

Nice job out there! Glad the legs suddenly found their groove over the last 5K!

bill carter said...


You had to know going into this race that your legs were going to be toast. And you still ran a very respectable time. That is how far you have advanced as a runner. I honestly can't wait to see you take down the marathon with a sub 2:56 in the fall. That is my early predictin in case you couldn't tell.

Take care and thanks for being so kind on my blog. Injuries just suck!!

Julie said...

Hi Lam,
Congrats on a fantastic race!! Boy, do you move fast!! I can't even imagine finishing a ten mile with your wicked time!! I am so happy for did great..even with tired legs! See, you found the faith and the mojo showed up!! Nice work Lam!

lindsay said...

sounds like a great not-race race! :) i have always imagined the cherry blossom race to be beautiful and awesome in my mind, maybe one of these days i will actually run it! nice strong finish lam.

Marathon Maritza said...

Great job out there! I love when the last mile is the fastest!

misszippy said...

Ok--just found your blog and I'm making my third comment! Anyhow, you are ridiculously fast! I was happy with a 73 at CB, my PR. But it was a beautiful day, I agree. Come on over and check out my race report:

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