Sunday, April 03, 2011

race report: Cherry Blossom 10M

a race in two parts. or, the race in which the last 10% completely ruined the first 90% which is statistically unreasonable. or, why did I sign up for a half-marathon before completing this distance first?? at the end of the race, I was done with racing, and severely regretting the two I have on tap (Alexandria Half 5/29, Marine Corps Marathon 10/30). but I am getting ahead of myself.

the start was really cold. I am a big wuss about the cold. and the early. the Handyman is too -- he was wearing 4 pairs of pants :) and napped on the metro on the way there. I decided to keep my running jacket on and hand it off to him at some point along the course (good decision!). I had been planning to run with my mp3 player but the instructions seemed pretty strict about not bringing them, so I didn't...and was super pissed to see that nearly everyone in my corral had headphones on. grr!!! either enforce the rules or don't make the rule!

we thought this would be a fairly spectator-friendly race, since it loops around and back to the same 1-block area about 3 times. unfortunately the Handyman didn't get out there in time, and was totally blocked off from the runners. sadface! I don't know where he ended up, but I didn't see him until mile 5, which I knew would be my last chance to see him before the finish. I gratefully handed off my jacket, and headed on my way.

those first 5 miles were pretty great. I played the "follow that butt" game (plenty of butts to choose from! lots of people going at an excellent pace for me, just over 10m/m), watched my footing, breathed easy. was through the 5k in 32min, felt a little slow but hey we have a ways to go. I hit mile 5 at 52-ish min, and had as my dream goal to finish the 10 miles in 100 min, so told myself I needed to push it...and I hit mile 6 at 60:00. awesome. I planned to "drop the hammer" once I started the Hains Point loop.

I hate Hains Point. I do, I really do. I didn't like running it for the Jingle 10k, I didn't like cheering at it for MCM, and I really, really hated it this morning. I was super confused for most of it, and just could not remember whether or not we'd gotten to the turnaround point. for all 3 miles. not good.

at some point my right heel started hurting. this is a totally new pain to me, and I have no idea why it happened -- probably my gait was off, maybe because of some bursts of speed I put on to push through people-gaps? I think it started up quite a bit before Hains Point, but it got to be a serious problem in there, and I started limping. I tried to play follow-that-butt, play music in my head, tell myself I had less than a 5k to go, walked through 2 of the water stops, etc., and that all worked to some extent. but by the time I hit mile 9, I was near tears.

if anyone saw me past mile 9, it was not pretty. grimacing & cussing. and I felt really bad about it, I wanted to respond to the cheering, to push up that last hill, to kick it up to a sprint once I saw that finish line (why is it around a corner?? that's just mean!) and finish strong, but my heel just wouldn't let me. it said, "we have two speeds: this one, and stop. GTFO." the Handyman saw me finish and said I looked like I wasn't having much fun. I collapsed into his arms just past the finish line photographers (I think all of the photographers on the course missed me, which I hate because I do love an action shot, but I was always in the middle of the road and saw them too late to dodge to the side & get a pic snapped. I did manage to smile for finish-line posed photo, maybe it will come out ok but I will always see the tears in my eyes I think), and I wept, and told him I didn't want to walk anymore.

I'm actually still weepy. my heels hurts and I can't put weight on it. my left knee hurts too, so I've been scooting around our house on my butt. yeah.

so...I'm glad I ran it, I'm glad I tried this distance, the volunteers were super awesome especially out on Hains Point!, but I wouldn't do this race again. at this particular moment, I don't want to do any races ever again, but that will probably fade. I will admit to not being trained for this race distance, and that needs to not ever happen again (train right or take a DNS). oh and to add insult to injury, I stupidly went and looked up the "unofficial" results to see that gosh am I slow (bottom 30% overall). I did pass 708 people in the second half though (and got passed back by 393, which I would bet happened almost entirely in mile 9). bah, why do I even bother.

excuse me while I go mope. and ice my heel. *sigh*


  1. I'm sorry you had a bad experience at the end of the race. Don't give up on racing, though! Ice your feet and let them heal. Train well for your upcoming races and remember to enjoy it!!

  2. I'm with Beth, don't give up on racing, it sometimes takes a little while for your body to work out all the kinks in racing the different distances, but once it does, you'll have a lot of fun!

    I think it took me quite awhile to get over my humps! :)

    Hope the heel feels better soon, you still did great, it's amazing how the end is all we remember in races!

    I'm sorry I missed getting your picture too! I started to realize I didn't have a lot of memory left and began saving shots to make sure I got some of my teammates! :(

  3. awww!!! but I agree. don't give up. let your feet heal and time will fade the bad memory. and you finished! be proud.