I haven’t had a chance to blog much lately because things have just been too busy. Between the travel, racing, training and work I have just found it difficult to sit down. We are also in the midst of finishing the basement, which just adds another element. One thing I can assure you is that we will have one amazing basement gym when we get done. Two treadmills, two bike trainers, weights, some type of elliptical, multiple flat screens and a sound system that will knock your running shoes off. I will be sure to share some pictures along the way. One last blogging note, as I sit here typing this I’m realizing one of the many reasons I enjoy blogging so much. Blogging allows me to slow down a bit and really remember some incredible moments that Tamara and I have had. Thank you for letting me share a few stories and thank you for joining us for our journey!
Now for the Cherry Blossom Recap – This was my first Cherry Blossom 10 miler (Tamara is a veteran) and all is I can say is this was a fantastic race. Sure it helped that Tamara and I had a great running day (we both had 7 minute PR’s) but the event itself was just so organized and Tamara couldn’t stop talking about how “Green” everything was. Rewind a few hours – I got up at 4:10am on race day. This is earlier than I needed to but I like to keep my schedule similar to my weekdays. I had my breakfast (oatmeal) and then tried to get princess out of bed – took a while but she finally woke up :). We got all geared up (with a few extra layers because it was cold) and headed out around 6:00am. Our hotel was only about 5 blocks from the start/finish which gave up plenty of time to get to bag check and our corral. We got there early took some pictures and tried to say warm! We headed to the start line around 7:10 and got to our corral. I was a little worried we were there so early but the time went by quick. I took a moment to put my arm around Tamara as the National Anthem played and looked over to the monument. I really do try to make a memory at our race starts and this was one of those special moments.
We decided before the start that we wouldn’t worry about running together and just run at the pace we felt most comfortable. The horn sounded and we were off. One thing I love (and hate) about running is that you really never know exactly how you will feel once you take off. I felt good right away. I always like to get mile one out of the way. I felt good with my pace and was able to take in some of the sights. I struggled mentally at the RnR ½ a few weeks ago so I was really focused on one mile at a time and often compared the distances to my daily treadmill run (I remember at mile 4 thinking – you only have a treadmill run to go). At around mile 5 we went around a turn and I was hoping to see Tamara on the way back. To my surprise I saw her. I remember thinking she was closer than I though she would be. I didn’t want a repeat of RnR so I knew I would have to push to keep her at bay J. I continued to feel good and by the 8 mile mark I knew I had this. Those last two miles were still tough but I knowing that you would have to completely collapse to miss a PR was a good feeling. It did seem like the last ½ mile took forever (and there was a decent incline at the end) but when I crossed the line and saw my Garmin said 1:13 I was thrilled. I remember thinking “I just PR’d by 7 minutes”. I immediately turned around a looked for Tamara and just a few minutes later I see her. I remember thinking “Tamara just PR’d by 7 minutes”. We were both smiling and for the first time in a while we both had an incredible runs and could enjoy amazing PR’s. We went down to the food and grabbed a few muffins (soooo good) and sat on the wall around the moment going over moments during the race.
I really needed a good race and this was such a good confidence booster for me. For the first time in a long time I felt fast and can’t wait until my next race. Great job Cherry Blossom – You put on an amazing event and I can’t wait to see you next year!
BTW – I love the RunPix race results provided by the folks at Cherry Blossom
Click here for Jeff’s Results
Click here for Tamara’s Results
Tamara and I are excited about our trip to DC this weekend and looking forward to the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. We only live about an hour away but we are staying in the city for the night. It will make our logistics race morning much easier. Stay tuned for updates and I won’t lie – I’m looking for a little revenge after my beating in the Rock n Roll USA 1/2 Marathon.
I normally don’t like to wait too long to post race recaps but it has just been a busy week and I let Tamara post first and then fell behind! Tamara did a great job with her review so I will try not to duplicate any of that. I will say that the Rock ‘n Roll folks did an amazing job with this event. We are Rock ‘n Roll vets and we pretty much know what to expect but I can’t say enough about how good our experience was – Great job Competitor Group!
I went into this race hoping to PR (isn’t that what we always want to do!). All the conditions were in my favor to do that but this day was Tamara’s day for the PR and I was just thrilled to finish when I did! Tamara and I normally run together for the first 6-7 miles in a half and then just slowly drift apart. We discussed that we might run this one a little different and when we started I was almost immediately in front of Tamara (see pic below from local news if you can find us 🙂 ).
I looked back a couple times and didn’t see her and at that point decided to just run. I also decided that I was going to try to run this race a little different and really focus on each mile and that worked well for the first few miles but then I started whole “You have how many miles left?” conversation in my head – not good! I really began to struggle both mentally and physically at around mile 8. I knew I had a few good miles in the bank but then started to lose it. At mile 10 I looked down at my Garmin and saw that I was at a 1:17, I knew to PR I needed to be at a 1:15. I was disappointed but was also happy that I was still on a decent pace given how bad I was feeling. I also wasn’t expecting so many hills. I need to pay attention to the elevation charts a little more (I have a tendency to just show up and run the course without looking at it!). I know how much Tamara hates hills and I remember thinking to myself – I hope Tamara is doing ok on these hills.
Fast Forward to mile 12 – I’m struggling and just want this thing over. I go around a turn and look to my left and who do I see – Tamara! She doesn’t say anything but just gives me the ole “c’mon” motion with her arm. I won’t lie, I was surprised to see her but so proud and happy at the same time. I tried for a while to keep up with her but she just had more. I had a vision in my mind of catching her and crossing the finish line, hand in hand, arms in the air but just couldn’t do it and this obviously wasn’t important to her because she was just leaving me in the dust. This wasn’t one of my best races but I was so happy for Tamara that it didn’t even matter to me that I didn’t reach my goal. I’ve seen first hand how hard Tamara has worked and this was her day!
I’ve pasted a few pictures below. I love the one at the finish line – Tamara is at the bottom of the pic and I’m in the middle with my head down (pretty much says it all)! I love the memories we made at this race. Our conversation at the starting line, my arm around Tamara while the National Anthem was playing, running the streets of DC, watching Tamara pass me and finish strong, our conversation after the race recapping how we felt at certain points, standing together watching Michael Wardian win the marathon (amazing btw) and just relaxing at the end with all of our fellow race friends. I’m thankful I have such a strong running partner and look forward to making many more running memories!
Have a great day and happy running.