I had been looking forward to racing the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run for as long as I can remember. I’d heard nothing but great things about this race and my training had been going almost flawlessly. I had been nailing my tempo runs and speedwork. My long runs had been going perfectly. I even unexpectedly PR’d a half marathon that I ran as a training run. I was over the moon excited to see what I was made of come April 7th.
After being sick for 10 days, and not knowing how I would fare for 10 miles, my goals for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile had to be seriously reconsidered. My original A goal for this race was 1:43, my B goal was sub-1:45 and my C goal was just PR. Just PR’ing would have been a no brainer seeing as how I had an impromptu porta-potty stop during the Bronx 10 Mile last year and had been crushing that time during training runs. This was supposed to be my redemption race. You can imagine my disappointment when I knew I could no longer race it.
I wavered back and forth for days on whether or not to even run Cherry Blossom. My thoughts were all over the place. What would it mean for the Long Branch Half Marathon if I didn’t run? After all, I missed my long run the week before because I had a fever. If I skipped Cherry Blossom, would I be forcing myself to give up my dream of racing Long Branch too? What if I did run it? Was 10 miles too much after zero miles the week before? Would I put myself at risk of injury with just four short weeks left until Long Branch? I felt crazy all week and realized just how amazing my friends are for putting up with my crazy. Steph literally answered what felt like 1000 questions over text about being sick and returning to running. Would I lose my speed? Would I lose my fitness level? How many days off did she take when she was sick earlier this year? How many miles was her first long run back? Could I still race Long Branch? This is not an exaggeration in any way. Sorry Steph! You’re the BEST! Abby, Kim, Jen and Steph (sorry again), listened to this the entire way to DC on Saturday morning. Really, YOU ARE SUCH GOOD FRIENDS!
By the time we arrived in DC, and went to the expo to get our bibs, I still had no idea what I was going to do. The entire day I couldn’t make up my mind. What was the right decision? Was there a right decision? I drank wine like I wasn’t running…..
…..yet carboloaded on delicious pita pillows of heaven (I’m not sure if that’s what they were officially called on the menu, but they should have been) like I was running. Way to go, Beth!
After dinner, I took a quick shower, got into my pajamas, got into bed and still had no clue what I would do come race morning. I figured I would sleep on it. Again. I optimistically set my alarm for 5:15 am, allowing my stomach ample time pre-race/run to do what it needed to in an attempt to avoid a Bronx situation yet again, and I was off to dreamland. Or stay awake all night land; I slept absolutely terribly that night.
I woke up bright and early, and as you must have guessed by now, I was still undecided. Can you imagine? What can I say, I’m a Libra, we’re indecisive. Finally, At 6:15 am on race day, also known as when I finally decided I was going to run, I got out of bed and ate a banana with peanut butter.
My new goals became 1) just finish and 2) #dontpoopCherryBlossom. How did it go? Mission accomplished. I finished; and I #didntpoopCherryBlossom.
As you can imagine, the race was pretty uneventful. I wish I had a miraculous story about how I found this strength and speed after being sick for two weeks, but that DID NOT HAPPEN. I didn’t wear my Garmin and just went with how my body felt. I didn’t push the pace at alI.
Here are some quick highlights:
We were kind of late trying to get into our corrals, so Jen and Kim and I did the only logical thing; we crawled through the barricade, obviously.
Mile 6-8: SOUL CRUSHING WIND. I almost cried after just having faced the same situation just two weeks prior at the 13.1 NY Half Marathon.
This race taught me just how mentally strong I can be when my body started to fatigue at mile 7 and all I wanted to be was done. I fought and fought and never gave up. Although I did, for a second, consider hopping in the ambulance and asking for a ride to the finish line.
I was disappointed not to race but it was really nice not to feel any pressure during a race and to spend a great weekend in DC with some incredible friends.
After the race, we went to brunch with some of the Oiselle Team Athletes. It was so nice to meet so many great, and fast, people. We went to a place called Open City which I may have thought (or hoped) said open bar. I’ll never change. The drinks were awesome as was the company. Thanks for letting us crash your brunch, Birds.
First race of 2013 in shorts. That’s neither here nor there but thought I’d mention it.
I PR’d by 9 seconds! Not bad for having a fever for 5 days and not running for 13.
Have you ever had to give up a dream of racing a goal race?
Have you ever decided to just run a race for fun or do you always run races just for fun?
What’s your next race? I’m running the Long Branch Half Marathon this Sunday!