Monday, April 6, 2009

Cherry Blossom 10 miler

Since the 10 miler did not start until 7:45, I got to "sleep in" until 5 yesterday morning.  I just felt more prepared this time than I was for the marathon, for a few reasons.  1) I had already run a marathon - 10 miles would just fly by.  2) I had the experience of going to a race, so I knew how to pack, what to eat/drink before, etc.  
I took the metro in, and again, it was filled only with runners - such a cool thing.  The capitol looked beautiful as the sun was rising (c. 6:45).  I checked my bag very quickly, and was able to even hit the john twice before (I had gotten there a lot earlier than I needed to).  I stood in my corral (Orange) for about 40 minutes (they put us in there too early - and at that point, I did really feel like a horse at the starting gate).  I stood next to a nice woman named Meg from NJ - a frequent half-marathoner.  She was very pleasant, and a nice person to talk to while we waited around.  I hope she had a good experience - we ended up not running together for long.  
The gun went off, but it would be a few minutes before I would even cross the starting line.  We finally got off, and man alive, was it crowded!  I was wrong, it wasn't 12,000 people running, it was just under 15,000.  My first mile was around 8:47, too slow for my liking.  Things started to thin out a little bit.  The cherry blossoms were gorgeous - it was like running through a forest of blossoms - so beautiful.  The weather was great too: no winds, and about 48 outside.  After about 5 miles, I realized I would be fine (I had been worried about my ability to run 10 miles 15 days after the marathon), so I kept trucking.  At mile 7, I got shoved by an incompetent male runner who did not apologize.  I was so mad, but rather than doing nothing, I figured I would use my anger to my advantage.  I picked up the pace, and then threw the hammer down for the last mile.  Lots of people out and about watching, so I pretended they were all rooting for me, personally (slightly self-centered, I know).  

And the results are in: 
1066/8288 women
139/948 for my age division (F 20-24)
10 mile time: 1:23:16
8:20 per mile pace
I was very happy with how I did.  The scary thing is, that is the pace I'm going to need to do to qualify for Boston 2010, at the Marine Corps Marathon in October.  So, I just need to keep that pace for 16 more miles...but I still have 6+ months to do it.
On a side note, I was able to share my marathon experiences today.  I gave a talk at the CUA Fitness Center entitled "26.2 miles?!  How to sanely and successfully train for a marathon."  It went really well, and the students had lots of good questions.  I was glad to share my thoughts and advice with others, because while it might not get you to the Olympics, I think it's good stuff.  On a related note, I now have a handout that serves as an effective guide - if anyone wants it - please let me know.
Thanks to SpeT on runner's world for the beautiful pictures that I have featured here!

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