Awesome Cherry Blossom

A plethora of Nor’easters hit the east coast this year, bringing lots of snow, wind, and rain along with it. We weren’t sure what kind of scenery Mother Nature would give us at the 2018 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run last weekend, but lo and behold she actually delivered. Despite the chilly temps (at race time it was 35 degrees), the cherry blossoms were blooming!

This was our first time running this race and our first 10-miler since the Broad Street 10 Mile Run in Philly last year. We didn’t have a time goal, but set out to do sets of 9 minutes running x 3 minutes walking for the first 5 miles and then try tossing in a longer set or two of 20 minutes running x 3 minutes walking. We’ve slowly been starting to progress to running straight and grow out of our run/walk segments and we figured this would be a good time to practice doing it in a race setting.

NatCon

Well…we threw our plan out the window within the first 5 minutes of starting. While the course itself was lovely, it was quite crowded – which is to be expected with over 16K runners I guess. Our strategy changed literally on the run and we ended up doing 2 sets of 10 minutes running x 3 minutes walking and then did 20 minutes x 3 minutes the rest of the way.

I really liked the course a lot! We started behind the Washington Monument and went toward the Potomac behind the Kennedy Center, then turned around to go behind the Lincoln Memorial and back toward the tidal basin. I remember passing the MLK and Jefferson Memorials, and then we went all the way to Hains Point at the tip of East Potomac Park which was lined with cherry blossoms. It was a beautiful place to run!

The finish line was back where we started by the Washington Monument and was full of people and tourists by the time we got there. Outside of the course being crowded, lots of people kept trying to cross the road during the race which made for a lot of sudden stops, zig-zags, and some unpleasant yelling, which was unfortunate.

We both finished with the exact same time, a solid 1:43:16. That’s 3 minutes slower than our previous 10-miler (which I felt like death after), but I’m still considering it a win because of how well we adjusted to the conditions on the fly and finished strong. All-in-all, we only walked about 15 minutes or so, which is great progress for us!

I loved being back in DC and can’t wait to find another race down there to try. We also got to check out the local brewery 3 Stars (they had an awesome stout called Nerf Guns!). I really enjoyed the course a lot and the cherry on top was really how beautiful the blossoms were. The medal is also really pretty and probably the most blingy of our entire collection. They must have known we’d be running because it looks like they put silhouettes of Connor and I on the medal!

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