Two races! :)

Since I’ve got several things I want to write about, I’ve decided to report on my last two races in one post. 🙂 Easier that way.

April 7 was the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in DC.

I entered the lottery just to see and was actually selected, so yay! I took the train down on Saturday morning and went to the expo. Met up with Rick and Becca (who I was staying with) there. It was a tiny expo – but then again I’m spoiled to Disney. Ha! I did get a pair of Newtons and am slowly breaking them in. Spent the afternoon hanging out with Becca and Jack (her beagle), then we had some chicken and pasta for dinner, which was great. Went to bed with things set out for the morning.

The morning was interesting. I was up and dressed in plenty of time. I knew it was going to be a couple of hours, so I had a Larabar sample I’d grabbed at the expo, planning on my Generation U Can for the prescribed 30 minutes prior to the race. We got ready and headed out and to the Metro stop where we would catch the Metro into DC (she lives in Alexandria). As we were getting out of the car, I realized my water bottle – whose hand strap contained my inhaler – was at her house. Luckily she lives close enough we got back there and back to the Metro before the train left. All good. Met up with Rick and headed over to bag check. It was chillier than I’d anticipated, and I hadn’t brought a throw away, so I decided I would be running with my Lulu hoodie and tie it around my waist when I warmed up. Turns out that wasn’t a problem at all – other than the sleeve hung over my number so I didn’t get a lot of pictures. Oh well. I checked my bag and we hung around for a little before heading to the corrals. We were all in the green, so no one had to fall back, which was nice. Our plan was to run together unless one of us needed to go ahead or to fall back. As we started walking, I realized I only had one bottle with me. I had checked my GenUCan in the bag. *headdesk* Luckily I had thrown a couple of gels in my iFitness belt, so I sucked one down in the corral and had one for the race.

The course itself was nice – lots of back and forth though. But that made it nice for spectators to see us multiple times without moving. I enjoyed running across Memorial Bridge a lot. Less so the “pointless other than mileage” little out and back under the Kennedy Center overhang. Hains Point was windy and pretty quiet. The weather didn’t warm up as much as they’d thought, so the trees STILL weren’t really in bloom, but that was ok. My stated goal was 1:57:12 because that would allow me (based on last year’s chart) to move up a corral at Disney. Rick and I figured out early on that our GPS watches were slightly off as several times he’d tell me we needed to slow down when mine said we were just about right. Crazy. On Hains Point, I got separated from Rick by a group walking three or four abreast (big no no guys…no more than two abreast please!), and apparently at the water station I passed him as on my way out of Hains Point I passed Erica again (she was cheering) and she said “You lost someone!” I kept going though, not knowing if he was ahead of me or behind me. As I got close to the end, I got to FINALLY see my friend Bill, who was there with his family. He snapped some pics of me, which are cute. As seems to be a trend with races, there was a little uphill at the end (note to race directors and course designers: THAT IS CRUEL!!!!), but I pushed it as much as I could. Crossed the finish and went to my phone to see what that said as I had signed up for runner tracking (FREE – please to note Competitor Group, in a race that costs LESS than your races, unlimited runner tracking was provided for FREE!) and also to see if Rick had finished. He hadn’t so I waited in the finish area for him. We chatted a bit once he did, then I went to find Becca. After showers and stuff at her place, we hit the Dubliner for food (OMG YUM!!!!!) and then I went over to Union Station to wait for my train back.

Oh yeah, my time? 1:58:13. So slightly over my goal, but I felt great and strong, so I’ll take it. Also Disney has a new chart, and my pace was enough to allow me to put down a quicker marathon time and hopefully jump up a corral. Yay!!

Then the next Sunday was the More/Fitness Women’s Half Marathon.

This one was a “registration accident” in that I had no intention of doing it and then suddenly I was signed up. Haha! Anyway, two laps of Central Park going counterclockwise – meaning UP Cat Hill twice and up what I think is the harder side of the Harlem Hills twice.

Oy!

Add to that the fact that I was scheduled at the store until 1am and the potential for disaster was there. But my friend Tara let me use her apartment, which was AWESOME! Saturday I got to meet up with Amanda, who is really cool. 🙂 We’d hoped to meet up Sunday, but that didn’t end up happening.

After getting some sleep (which would have been impossible had I had to come back to Brooklyn), I got up and dressed and headed out to the park. And realized halfway there that my GenUCan was still sitting in Tara’s fridge. Really? Two weeks and races in a row???? So it was a quick stop at Starbucks to get some food in me. And I had a pack of Clif Shot Blocks, so things all worked out.

The race is a women’s only thing, and it was really cool to be in that environment – like the Mini, but more. And it happened to fall on the weekend of my college reunion, so I really felt like I was carrying all my Converse sisters in my heart. I started out and tackled Cat Hill no problem – shot that cat Merida-style. Harlem Hill was tougher, but I toughed it out. Saw Elyse on the west side of the park, and she was great encouraging me.

This race does get some elites in it on occasion, and this year Deena Kastor was running it. It’s cool enough to run a race knowing that you’re running in the elite’s footsteps (a la the NYC Half, the NYC Marathon, Chicago, etc.). But it’s doubly cool that since a half in Central PArk means two loops, if you’re the right pace, you’ll actually get to SEE the elites running! And I did!! For about 5 yards, I was running right next to Deena Kastor!!! Incidentally, she went on to not only win the race but set a new course record!

The second lap was harder, but I toughed it out up Cat Hill – another Merida-style shooting of the cat. Haha! Harlem Hills…well, they won that round. But I recovered on the downhill bit, and Elyse – who was still there – said I was looking amazingly strong. For some reason I had my Half PR wrong in my head, so when I finished, I wasn’t sure if I had a PR or not. Until I looked up my half PR and discovered that not only did I have a PR, it was a PR by almost three minutes!!

New Half Marathon PR? 2:37:09!!!

I ended up loving both of these races and plan to sign up for the More and enter the lottery for the Cherry Blossom next year!

(And my parents have been informed that their main job this weekend is to make sure that I leave the house with my GenUCan and I leave the car with my GenUCan since they’re my bag check. Haha!!)

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