I could not be happier with my Cherry Blossom 2012 race. Ok I lied, I could be happier if I was 100% healthy, ran with the elites, and WON….but then I’d have to wake up from that dream. I had entered the lottery for this race before my injury popped up. When two great friends decided to fly in I knew I would be there. No skipping this one. So a good coach and friend Dennis gave me the cold hard truth “You are not in PR shape. You will NOT PR. Do not be stupid. Run comfortably hard and keep that calf healthy because you have bigger goals in mind.” It was the kick in the tail I need to run smart. Honestly I was terrified I would get to mile 4 and my calf would be in agony like it did in the Shamrock Half a few weeks ago. I’ve since taken that time 100% off (no cross training allowed for now ) but that never happened. I ran the entire race at marathon pace (6:31) and only felt painful tugging maybe twice. I was THRILLED. I know it is just a small stepping stone. I know if I had pushed the pace the pain would have popped back up but this is progress and was surprised that marathon pace felt very comfortable even after so many weeks off. It was the reassurance and building block I needed to feel confident in my healing process.
Race morning started early. At 4:45 a.m. I looked at our hotel clock and flipped out because it read 5:45. I started yelling at the Mr. who confirmed that every clock in our hotel room was WRONG. That woke me up. 🙂 I met a friend in the lobby, we walked to the Washington Monument, were told a funny story by Renee High, warmed up, checked bags, met Bill Rodgers (by “met” meant gawking at the back of his neck while we freaked out that we would miss start of race), and climbed over the corral fences. Seriously, I LOVE race mornings. You get to the race two hours early and STILL almost miss the start….every dang time.
The gun went off almost anti-climatically and then the first mile was spent weaving. It was the most crowded race start I’ve ever been in and my first mile clocked the slowest. Volunteers were awesome as usual and before I knew it I was coming up the homestretch and Steve-o (My Mr.) was cheering. He never gets to make my out of town races so that gave me a big smile.
Pic of myself, Kevin, and Chanthana Pre-Race (Had to show bib numbers) These two are part of a group of friends I am very lucky to have. We met awhile back and the large group of us have been traveling to marathons together since. They both PRed huge. Kevin ran it in 56 minutes and Chanthana in 78.
Here I am, I think near the finish line. My last mile ended up being my fastest and oopsies looks like I forgot to brush my hair. 😮
Thanks for all the support before, during, and after the race everyone! It was a trip I wasn’t sure I should make and I’m glad I did. A great weekend with great friends.