Wow, what a beautiful spring morning for a 10-mile race in DC! This was the view that greeted me after getting off the Metro:
And this was the view that greeted all runners approaching the start line:
I ran this race last year & loved it, so, unlike the morning of Rock ‘n’ Roll USA 1/2 Marathon, I was really excited. This race has to be one of my favorites! There is nothing quite like running through DC, around monuments, the Tidal Basin, and the cherry blossoms to kick off the spring! I don’t think you can get any more quintessentially DC than this race.
My main goal for this race was to run a strong one. I only ran 5 miles last week because of a swollen foot arch, and a really tender/painful foot/ankle. I spent the week icing & resting, but had no idea what impact it would have on this race. After RnR USA, another goal was to fight through the whole thing, even if/when I wanted to stop. I am working on trying to build up my mental grit again. I definitely had it last year, but in my mind, I proved everything I set out to prove, so I sort of feel like I’ve lost some of the drive.
With all of that being said, I had a great race! There were definitely tough moments, but I pushed through and kept going. I am really happy with how I ran. It was about a minute shy of my PR (which was last year’s Cherry Blossom), but I am fine with it. I didn’t go out intending to PR, and all my 10-mile races have been within the same 1.5 minute time range, so I’m happy to be on par with last year. I was way more diligent with getting my miles in last year, whereas I look back at this training cycle and it feels so helter skelter to me!
I tried to run using Runners’ World’s Timeless Challenge, which implements zone (yellow, orange, red) running; I’m not sure that it worked for me this time, but I want to explore this further. It was a last minute decision for me to run this way, so maybe it would have worked out better if I’d had more mental preparation/practice. I went out too fast in this race because with your adrenaline pumping, it’s easy to feel like you’re running at a more leisurely pace (yellow zone) in the first few miles than you actually are. For me, I rely heavily on my GPS watch in the first few miles as a way to slow myself down. Without that, I basically sprinted the first 4 miles (um, 7:12 pace at mile 4?!), and then couldn’t really push myself into the red zone at the end. Also, Hain’s Point really zapped me of my energy this time around – ugh, such a hard, boring part of the course. Oh well – you live & learn!
Mile 1 – 8:20 min/mile
Mile 2 – 8:17 min/mile
Mile 3 – 8:21 min/mile
Mile 4 – 7:12 min/mile (can that be right?!)
Mile 5 – 8:51 min/mile
Mile 6 – 8:32 min/mile
Mile 7 – 9:14 min/mile (leisurely water stop!)
Mile 8 – 8:56 min/mile
Mile 9 – 8:54 min/mile
Mile 10 – 8:41 min/mile
Final – 1:27:51
I love looking at the RunPix data for runs! Here are mine:
A fun perk at the end of this race was my friend (and bridesmaid!) Katelyn spotting me in the finisher area. Neither of us knew the other was going to be there, so it was unexpected and really great to see her. What are the chances?! Also – pink race shirts, woo!