Monday, April 7, 2008

Cherry Blossom 10 miler

My rite of passage into Spring usually begins with the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run, one of the most popular road races in the area. It's a nice race because the course is pretty fast and flat, and it's a chance to enjoy the cherry blossoms without having to make an excuse and deal with hordes of clueless tourists. Of course you have to deal with hordes of clueless runners instead, a fact that was driven home yesterday. I unintentionally started the race in the purple corrall, which apparently is reserved for those expecting to finish the race somewhere around 2 hours and 45 minutes. Yes, mistakes were made. So I spent the first four or five miles of the race trying to pass people in the soggy dirt path next to the road on Haine's Point. It was rough going but at least it kept things interesting.

The weather was typical for Cherry Blossom. That is, rainy and cold. We did get a nice break, though, as the rain let up a little while before the race start, and I was mostly done by the time it started again. The skies opened up with a vengeance soon thereafter. I was a soggy mess my the time I got back to my car. Again, typical Cherry Blossom: run ten miles followed by contracting pneumonia.

As usual, my training for this race was woefully inadequate. I really hate running outside when it's cold, so I often slack over the winter. The whole point in signing up for it, for me, is to inspire me to get off my ass and start running as winter fades. I really pushed the limit this year, though. I had literally run 15 miles in three months before yesterday (see my running log, bottom right). Considering that, it wasn't bad. At 1:25:20 I was only 30 seconds off my best time, and I didn't even push myself too hard because I didn't want to start my running season with an injury. It all worked out - I got through it, felt good, and didn't pull anything. Somehow the typically crappy weather for this race is a good inspiration for jump-starting my running season: it reminds me that even when I'd much rather stay in bed then get up at 5:30 AM to go running in 46 degree rainy weather, I still enjoy it and love the sense of accomplishment when I cross the finish line. The hardest part is just making yourself get out of bed and go there. Somehow it takes something like this to remind me of that.

No comments: