Sunday, April 1, 2012

2012 Cherry Blossom 10 miler

This was my first big race back after knee surgery last May. I've regularly documented my fitness improvements over the last few months on this blog and today was a major test in a big race environment.

Last week I ran a hilly, cross country 5K at the DC Multi Sport Expo with a 20:51 time which gave me confidence for today.

The race plan was to start out with the 7 min pace group and see how I felt midway. If I felt good, I'd try and drop them and if I felt bad, I'd try to stick with them till the end. Worst case scenario was that I'd be dropped but I knew that I could run 8 min miles while staying aerobic so the average would still be good.
Nervous goofy grin prior to the start.. waiting in the port-a-potty line for the nth time that morning

The strategy worked out really well. I stuck with the pace group for the first few miles and felt awesome, so decided to put in a small surge. Things went well for 3 or 4 miles but unfortunately around mile 7 my feet started feeling numb and I realized I might have laced my shoes too tight... doh!
Showing some skin for the camera

I didn't want to stop as I had double-knotted my laces and it would take a good 30-40 seconds for the adjustment. So I just gritted my teeth and ran through it. My mile 7-9 splits show a slight slowing down. Somehow I pulled a bit of energy from reserves for the last mile and finished with an average pace of 6:46 min/miles.Note my official results show an avg. pace of 6:51 and I noticed my garmin went to sleep somewhere for 0.05 miles, and I have no clue how, when or why.. but it doesn't matter, I am just really happy!

Having said that, it did hurt like hell but I realized the mind can easily play tricks on you and the body is quite capable of pushing the limits as long as the mind is willing. Today, I managed to will my mind to keep going when it wanted to stop.

Needless to say I am stoked!
Exhausted but satisfied at the finish

Still have things to work on, though, like my cadence... And oh, around mile 8.5 my HR chest strap ended up on my stomach and I couldn't be bothered to pull it up so the numbers are off... Although I wish I had a max HR of 253!
Note to self: Next year start up front in corral

2012 Cherry Blossom 10 mile splits on my Garmin

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