Almost every Saturday I meet a group to run 10 miles. Some days we clock in around just under an 8-minute pace; some days we take it a little bit easier, roll with the hills and maybe stick around an 8:15. I may not have been in to race this 10-miler, but I knew what an “easy” day should look like.
I also knew what my last Cherry Blossom 10-mile time was, raced right after our first marathon - that had to be beat.
There were no plans to meet the usual race-crew before we started – just afterward, at brunch – which made this feel less like a race, and more like a low-key Sunday morning run on the mall (aside from the whole “thousands! of other runners” thing). I arrived at the monument with plenty of time to spare, stand around, and get a “good” spot in my red wave (second wave to start). Runners piled in around me, and there was the reminder we didn’t need that this would be jam-packed.
Miles 1 – 5 were just that – hard to get a groove, but the wave seemed to be seeded well enough that we were all mostly on the same pace. I had no real plan of attack, other than to keep the feet moving just fast enough to show me “7:5x” when G beeped. The course consists of a few out n’ backs – out across Memorial Bridge, back around the traffic circle; out on Rock Creek Parkway, back underneath the Kennedy Center; out onto Independence, back on Independence.
While not ever described as “thrilling”, it is surely well-supported, entertaining and scenic! We didn’t catch the Cherry Blossoms in time for their fashionably early arrival this year – but Spring is here, in full green, and I love it.
Miles 6 – 9 take on the Haines Point loop, and that’s all you need to know. A long loop along the Potomac river, with minimal crowd support because it’s a trek to get out there. We did have the “School of Rock!” join us for a performance – kudos to whoever thought of that idea! I caught the band on a Led Zeppelin cover, so, there was that.
The last mile presents the first real change in topography for the day – a hill! At the end! Our favorite, no? The beauty is that for a 10-miler, most people still have room to kick it in high-gear for this. The crowd is booming for you to run faster, get UP that incline and run yourself right over that Finish Line.
1:21:xx Goal? Beat.
(Thanks to the most entertaining results I’ve seen yet*)
1:17:51 – avg. pace 7:47
AG: 188 / 2746
Gender: 598 / 9658
*Ahead of 74% of all male runners, which I know thanks to this.
Now, the other reason we all got together for this year’s CB 10-miler? The traditional brunch – and to celebrate Ivan & Epod’s love for this particular event.
Cheers! Next up: the Broadstreet 10-miler in Philly.