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April 8, 2013

This IS a recap for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Finally.

3rd time's a charm right?

In 2011, my connecting flight to DC left 20 minutes early, leaving me stranded overnight in Chicago and missing the race.

In 2012, I went for a 22 mile run 2 nights before the race and woke up with a back spasm that kept me in bed for 3 days...and missing the race.

This year, I was determined to run the race. I was already in DC. I wasn't planning on running any crazy distances the week of the race. What could stop me?

Well, life has a funny way of stopping you in your tracks sometimes. Thursday morning, I found myself flying home for a funeral and the Cherry Blossom became the last thing on my mind.

I lost my godfather last week and it's been really hard. At his service, the priest likened life and death to running a race. His homily was beautiful and I knew that on Sunday, I'd be running for my godfather, my Tio Papi. His wife, my godmother, told me I had to try to win the race for him.

I flew back to DC Friday night and spent Saturday keeping busy, trying to take my mind off of things and spending entirely too much time on my feet. Andrea was sending texts to keep hourly tabs on me.

This was it. I was actually in DC for the Cherry Blossom. Now, all I had to do was run get to the start. Yes, my A Goal for this race as to Start.

My B Goal was to Finish. My C Goal was to come in somewhere under 1:30...with what I thought to be an ambitious goal of 1:27.

Saturday morning, The Pilot and I woke up bright and early to make our way to the Start.

This is my "OH MY GOD I'M ACTUALLY HERE" face.

Welcome Runners. A Welcome site, indeed.
It was so cold and I was seriously questioning my decision to wear a t-shirt. I made my way into the corral and lined up with the 9:00 pacing group. I started chatting with some girls in the corral and before I knew it, we were crossing the line.

The race was insanely crowded. With narrow streets, I was flat-tired more than my fair share of times and with the number of hairpin turns that left everyone coming to a complete stop, it was pretty frustrating. I had my Garmin on and was checking it intermittently. I was running faster than I wanted to, but my legs felt fine and I didn't think there was too much of a risk of me fading so just kept pushing.

Around Mile 7, we made our way down the long, boring stretch that is Hains Point and I really just started picking things up. I was thinking about my godfather and just running. I felt strong. I knew that my Garmin was .10 off but I was wondering if Mile 9 measured long because I didn't see the Finish Line until I was practically across it. I sprinted in and looked down at my watch.

1:24:42. I was floored. I didn't think I was capable of running a time like that. When I think back to my training, my time just makes sense. I've had a great non-marathon training cycle and I was definitely capable of running much faster than a sub-1:30...which is exactly what I did. At that pace, I definitely felt like I could go further and I know that I'm on track for a great race in Cleveland next month.

As far as my thoughts go on this race...I have to be honest...I didn't love it. The Cherry Blossoms weren't in bloom which was disappointing but there was no music at the start...or at the Finish. Usually, in a race this big (15,000 runners), you hear the starting line before you see it and that wasn't the case here. It was crowded and I think they could've spaced the corrals out a bit more. But I had a great time on the course and I definitely ran it for a special reason. It was, in a way, my final way of saying goodbye...getting those miles in on a beautiful spring day.

So there you have it...I finally ran the Cherry Blossom. 

12 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear of your loss, but so floored at your ability to tie it all together. I think we often forget that running is more than stress relief, or a way of "escaping," but that it really allows us to bring things full circle.

    So glad you FINALLY got to run - and really made it count for your godfather! <3

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  2. Sorry to hear you lost your godfather last week -- but so glad that you had an amazing run in his memory. It is always exciting when you can surpass your goals! Who knows, maybe you could do even better if the race wasn't so crowded.

    Only a few more weeks until Cleveland! Keep up the great work.

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  3. Hooray! So glad you finally got to run this chica!!! And I know your godfather was watching over you and cheering you on in spirit. So sorry for your loss. :(

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  4. Congratulations!!! I'm so proud of you! You ran a flipping fantastic race! I'm really sorry for your loss though. I'm sending you a virtual hug via this comment box. Hopefully that awesome run gives you a little bit of a smile when you're hurting! I know you're going to do awesome for Cleveland!

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  5. Congrats on the race! I've always wanted to see the Cherry Blossoms. I missed them by a week on my last trip there.

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  6. Congrats on the rice and I'm sorry for your loss. I'll be thinking of you these next few weeks.

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  7. Ahh! I am so glad you made it AND dominated! And I am so sorry for your loss, Christy. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  8. Congratulations!!! That is a fantastic time!!!

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  9. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I am so happy that you finally got to race and that you did incredible!!! I'm sure your godfather is so proud of you!

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  10. So sorry for your loss!! But I'm glad you finally got the race in this year! :)

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  11. We literally finished seconds apart from each other, I was just shy of 1:25! Small world, great meeting you tonight!

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  12. I'm so sorry about your godfather :( It's so hard to lose someone you love, but that also fuels something inside of us to do more with our lives. CONGRATS on finishing way ahead of your goal time!!! You are amazing and are constantly an inspiration to me :)

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