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Cherry Blossom 10-Miler: Race Recap

April 2, 2012


My chip time. Confirmed and official with sub 10-minute miles. And it felt easy. Easy. Like I was just out there for a light jog. I am beyond happy about this. My longest run (post-op) up to this point has been last weekend’s 8.2 miles. So I wasn’t even sure I could run the entire distance. But I did, I just walked thru two of the later water stops to actually take a drink–even with some tightness in my feet I had no trouble revving right up again. It wasn’t even my slowest Cherry Blossom time, my first CB race in 2005 was a minute slower. This psyches me up for Chicago like you wouldn’t believe. If I can run 10 miles sub 10mm pace as part of building a base and have it feel this good, I am golden to start training. For reals.

So the race planners made some marked improvements this year. Packet pickup being a HUGE one. I was in and out and had shopped the expo all within an hour and a half. Last year, I didn’t even get through the line inside that time. A+ guys! Was it is adding Friday to the pickup schedule? I hope that stays, because it was smooth, smooth, smooth and I had time to shop around and pick up a new fuel belt. [It’s from iFitness and I think I love it. It’s neoprene, sits low

on the hips, holds the iPhone nicely and has two 8oz water bottles. It seems like it’ll be good for mid distances. I’ll need more food and liquid for 15+ milers — I can’t even get more than one pack of Clif Shot Bloks or Sport Beans in there at a time. But it’s cool, it’s got tabs for a race bib so you don’t have to fuss with pins. It’s even less bulky than it looks in the photo.]

The finish still needs work. Once again, it is an absolute CHORE trying to find water. Why do I have to walk over .5 mile in slow-moving crowds to get a bottle of water? It’s just not acceptable. The start needs some work too. I was in the orange wave (and based on my time, this was a spot-on placement) but I did spend an extra .2 miles in the first 3 miles passing slower runners because the corrals had filled up so densely that I couldn’t get in and ended up starting with the wave behind me…which was running a full 1-2 minutes slower than my pace. I think the wave idea works, but I think the planners could put some extra thought in how to get everyone inside the corrals — maybe stage volunteers at (wider) corral entrances to help get the right people inside? Please work on that guys. If you can get these two things right this will be a perfect race in my eyes: cheap, easy to get to, great distance, long history, crowd-supported and community-based! A great addition this year were the yardage markers for last mile–I am not good at managing my final kick , I always go too early and tire out before the finish line (so sad!), or too late and finish with mojo still in the tank. While this wasn’t a major issue for me this year, since I was working on finishing rather than racing the thing, it was still nice to see that “1200 to go” sign and know that I could put a little push on it and not die out there. What a tiny thing that makes a big impact!

I mention crowd support, it’s not as intense as MCM, which I think is a good thing, but it’s definitely got a great fan base. The School of Rock kids out at Haines Point were well placed and totally rocking. I loved them, and their stationary audience near Mile 5. Same goes for the free beer and Oreos dude out on the tip of Haines Point. It’s a pain in the ass location for cheerleaders since it’s so remote. So the fact that he’s out there every year with a picnic table full of beer and cookies is just plain awesome. And the Haines Point exit at Mile 9 had Taiko drummers — again, well placed…the loud beats could be heard for half a mile, so it gave you something to focus on rather than focusing on how you were STILL RUNNING HAINES POINT.

Great race. Can’t wait for the next one!

►April 22: Pacer’s GW Parkway Classic 5K <with 5K first-timer Laura B!>

►60 minute P90X DVD <X-Stretch>

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2012 7:51 am

    Congrats on finishing! Did you see any one drink beer or eat oreos? I actually spotted a group pass the table and then sprint over, grab oreos and bounce. I got a good chuckle in for sure!

    • April 10, 2012 7:52 am

      While I’m at it – Have you been able to find pictures?? I have been hunting and can’t fine any besides the freaks who finished in 45 minutes…

      • April 10, 2012 8:36 am

        Oooh. Have not looked for pics yet. Guess I was so glad to finish I forgot! Though I did watch the finish line video. Could barely see myself. I think I am too short.

        • April 10, 2012 8:44 am

          I found them! They are on and you do your last name and bib number. They charge you ohhh $56 to get them so I just ended up taking screen shots because I don’t care that it says Proof on it!

    • April 10, 2012 8:34 am

      Haha! I saw people take pics w the Oreo guy, but no one actually eating/drinking.

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