Today, I celebrated my 29th birthday with some of my favorite things: running and cupcakes 🙂
I know…the beginning is a very good place to start, but I had to get your attention somehow, right? Cherry Blossom Cupcake from Baked and Wired: vanilla cake with chopped maraschino cherries inside, topped with buttercream frosting tinted with cherry juice. Oh my. It was probably XXX calories, but I counted it as my birthday cake (no calories, right?!) and I had just run ten miles that morning…so… 😉
Oh, so that race!
This year was my first Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler – I volunteered last year, which was SUCH a blast, so I knew running it would be super fun, too. We drove up Saturday and stayed at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn, which I picked due to its close proximity to the metro station AND the amazing rarity of FREE PARKING in the DC area! Whoo! The entrance to the metro was just across the street/two minutes from the hotel.
The metro was set to start running at 5 AM – I woke up a little after 5:20 AM since it was gonna be a quick ride…it was nice and empty so I had a seat all the way to the Smithsonian station.
I was wearing ALL PINK (in the pic above, I had on my throwaway fleece jacket).I got a few weird looks, but some fellow runners struck up a convo with me – I am sure they were amused!
Headed out of the station at the Smithsonian, it was pretty chilly – glad I had that fleece! I walked around a bit, taking a few pictures. The atmosphere was very exciting – there was an announcer telling runners where things were in the runners’ village, playing music, etc…
Before long, I met up with my friend Katie – she kindly picked up my bib for me, so we then checked our bags and headed to the staging area. The sun was starting to come up, so it was getting a bit more comfortable!
I was in RED WAVE corral, so we said our goodbyes about 15 minutes before the race was set to start and before long, elites were off, then wheelchairs, then it was our turn!
The weather was perfect – I was thinking it could be a PR day – but decided to just see what my legs felt like doing…after all, it was a special day already. These were my four goals:
D – Finish the race (I am ALWAYS thankful for a finish)
C – 1:29 (since I was turning 29, I thought that’d be kind of cool)
B – 1:26:37 (previous PR)
A – 1:26:36 or better
The race started out great. I warmed up after about a mile – a little too fast, but it was crowded so I didn’t think much of it, running past cheer squads and flowering trees! I felt pretty good…until Mile Three…
1 – 7:49, 2 – 8:05, 3 – 8:08
At Mile Three, my right foot fell asleep. I tried stomping it a few times, but it wouldn’t let up! I couldn’t feel my toes, and couldn’t figure out if that was because my feet were cold or not…
Mile 4 – 8:46, Mile 5 – 9:30
My foot was tingly still and I realized that I had to go to the bathroom…voila! Portapotties – three of them! I had to wait about a minute to get in but then moved in and out as fast as possible.
Mile 6 – 8:45, Mile 7 – 9:16, Mile 8 – 8:55, Mile 9 – 8:37
I was doing a funky interval kind of run…slowing, speeding up…seeing if my foot would respond. No dice! It didn’t hurt…it was just asleep! Bizarre!
The cheering was so helpful at this point!! So many great signs…and with my crazy costume (more pics when official ones are posted) I got lots of attention on the course from both runners and spectators! I even had a really fast, hardcore looking dude run next to me and say: “in the sea of black spandex, you really stand out! Way to go!” That made me smile!
Once we were in the home stretch, there were cool signs: “1200 to go,” “800 to go” – since I have been incorporating some speedwork, I felt reassured of what I had left – and though most of the race was quite flat, the last bit was a definitely incline…but I kicked it (even garnered a spectator hollering, “NICE KICK!”) and ran it in.
Mile 10 – 7:56
So glad to see that sub-8 there at the end, and running under the finish line clock, it read: 1:29:53 (CLOCK TIME) then glanced down at my Garmin – a nice 1:26:39 – two seconds SLOWER than my PR but circumstances given, I was still grinning…woot! Kinda three goals in one, I thought!
The finishing area was very organized, I got a few finisher pictures, picked up water, my medal, then checked my phone for messages and tweets (THANK YOU EVERYONE THAT MESSAGED ME!) It was such a great feeling!! And even better, I got to meetup with quite a few people, including my friend Austin that I knew from middle school, (!!) Katy (WHO ROCKED A MAJOR PR!!) and Jen – a longtime twitter/blogging friend who was in town from LA for the race!
That was awesome!! Soon after, we bid farewells and I headed to the Metro to head back, shower and get to my meetup!
I was so excited to return to B+W and experience it with some of my good friends! It was my first time to meet Becca IRL and it was awesome to see Anna again – we both live in Charlottesville, but haven’t been able to meetup! Hopefully we will soon. My work mentor, Anthony, also was so gracious to show up and I was happy to see him for the first time in over a year…but he is so moviestar, he didn’t want his image falling into the hands of paparazzi 😉
We headed back to Charlottesville soon after a little strolling (staying in Rosslyn is SOO convenient! Would highly recommend – you can walk over on the Key Bridge!) and now, we’re back home just relaxing – will have a low key dinner of sushi from Fresh Market…this weekend was a great mix of busy and chill (post coming soon about our day in Baltimore on Saturday) and I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday!
Did you race this weekend? Or eat cupcakes? 😉