Monday, April 2, 2007

10 miles of success

The Cherry Blossom race was a total success. I more than surpassed my expectations for mile time, finishing in 1:36:44. That averages to a 9:41 pace overall. I'm very happy with how it all went.

I ran with two friends, one of whom had trained hard to go for a personal best. The day prior to the race, she was talking about running as an exercise in pain tolerance, as it is inevitable that fatigue sets in. I thought about thatquite a bit as I was motoring along; the few times I considered stopping (and once when I had even gone so far as to pick a landmark at which I would allow myself to walk for a short distance), I thought about what she'd said, and it helped to keep me going.

I also had a few other thoughts that pushed me along... One was saying to myself, essentially, "It's not that you can do it - you are doing it." Other cheesy gems included, "This is what it feels like to hit your goal" and "[Insert time] until you've finished."

This is an interesting point in my racing life, as I have not run many races at all. That means that every race is a PR. I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

I learned that my iPod Nike+ thing needs to be calibrated for longer distances, as it thinks I only ran 9.67 miles. And that my average pace was 10:03. The optimist in me is glad it was wrong, as I would have been disappointed by coming so close and not making goal. Given that it was so off, it's safe to say I also ran my best 5k (I'm guessing 28 minutes) and 10k (again, an estimate of 58 minutes or so). These are general estimates, as I made a point to not check it very often, and just enjoy the scenery. I'll just have to run some actual measured courses to get some times logged.

Having said that, I see I've gone on for five paragraphs without mentioning the scenery. It was a perfect day for a run - around 60 degrees and overcast. The cherry blossoms were blooming like mad, and other flora was on the verge of popping out. Lots of new spring green was everywhere. Add the backdrop of heavy stone architecture that makes up much of DC and it makes for a largely pretty course.

A nice aspect of this race is that it is an out and back course, so you get to see the front runners as they are heading back towards the start/finish. Some of them looked like they were hardly winded, while others were clearly struggling. Still, off they went, sprinting along. The fastest racer averaged a 4:37 pace. Wow.

Post race we went had brunch at our friends K&S' house; the post race meal is always so tasty. I had a weird craving for bacon (which I have not eaten in I don't know how long), and helped myself to a few delicious slices. Holy crap it was good. Salty and perfect.

Having run hard and then eaten, I was ready for a nap at any given moment. Instead, and just as pleasurably, we hung out for a while and played with K&S' kid and had a mellow morning. I was so happy to be there, and it only makes it better that we'll be back next weekend.

I took today off from work, giving me time to reset, unpack, say hello to the kitties, maybe watch some trash tv. Tonight is the first night of Passover, so we're heading to P's brother/sister in laws for seder. One of my fave holidays.

I'm off to take an early taste of the horseradish that P made yesterday. It's going to be good!


Mr. Satan A. Chilles said...


What a great finish time, considering you wanted to finish under 1:40. Some days everything just falls into place, and it certainly sounds like that happened. And the best part is when you're within sight of the finish line and clock, and you can see you've made it faster than you'd planned, and nothing;s going to stop you (like fatigue, bad weather, muscle cramps, etc.). Nice.

Congratulations again, on pushing yourself AND remembering to enjoy yourself, too. An extra matzo for you!

hlh said...

Congratulations, J! You are an inspiration -- what with the back history and all. Makes me with my "bad" knees feel like such a wimp. :)

Glad to hear vacay was also great. My RSS reader has been on the fritz, so I just thought you hadn't been posting. Silly me. All fixed and just got caught up.

Have fun in DC again this weekend and say hello to K&S&E!