Finish time: 1:28:03 (PERSONAL RECORD)
Placing: 4733 out of 16666
2919 out of 6793 (male)
666* out of 1360 (male division)
*yikes for that number
This race continued my streak of PRs in 2018. So far, I’ve recorded a personal best time for the 10k, half marathon and now the ten miler. I’m going to see if I can PR all five this year, just two more left to go!
I almost didn’t run this race. I was pretty sick during the week on Wednesday and Thursday. Kind of out of no where, a really bad sinus flu. So I didn’t run at all during the week, and almost blew off the race. On Saturday, I was still unsure, but the journey to pick up my packet was unnecessarily difficult (and my own fault) and I had potentially put a friend out, so I figured the least that I could do would be to run it.
This race was absolutely gorgeous. Race day lined up perfectly with peak bloom for the Cherry Blossoms, which is not a guarantee every year. It was a beautiful morning too–sunny skies, not a cloud to be found.
The shennanigans started during the middle of the week, where I was knocked out of commission by a sinus flu. I took the day off on Wednesday and slept the whole day, and also for a good part of the day on Thursday. I figured I’d be in no shape to run 10 miles. By Saturday, though, I was feeling better and thought I could do it.
The packet pick up should have been easy for me. It was at the Building Museum, which is literally like two blocks from where I live. I put it off on Friday, and then I figured I’d get it on Saturday afternoon. But I didn’t plan properly. We had family in town, so I was spending time with them in the morning/early afternoon, and then I went to a performance at the Kennedy Center starting at 2pm. The packet pickup was ending at 4:45, which meant that after the performance ended, I had to ask a friend to race from Foggy Bottom to the Building Museum for me to register. I made it, but traffic was terrible and I felt bad for the undue stress. So, I figured, if I made a friend go through all this trouble, the least I could do is run.
The race for Sunday was a bit chilly. Not bad for running, but a bit tricky to plan for the before/after portions. Jess and family were thinking of meeting me down there afterwards, so I was thinking that I’d uber down and use the bag check to change clothes, but I decided that it’d just be easier for me to come back. So I layered up and ran the 1.1 miles to the starting line. It was a nice way to warm up. I snapped a few pictures and got lined up.
9:17 min/mile; 9:09; 8:46; 8:58 (GPS watch times)
This entire race is very familiar to me. I run it all the time, so I felt like I was running in my back yard. The first four miles go from the Washington Monument to Georgetown and back down through West Potomac Park. The race is incredibly crowded. Especially in the beginning, it’s hard to get in a rhythm. I’ve learned to just enjoy that and not get all frustrated by it. It’s part of the experience. The first two miles went by a blur of bobbing and weaving. I grabbed some water at a station at mile 3. When I looked to see I had finished miles 3 and 4 in under 9 minutes, I told myself that I’d push for a sub-9 pace for the race, and thus should push for a PR.
When you get to West Potomac at around mile three, you get your first good glimpse of the beautiful blossoms.
8:18; 8:27; 8:21; 8:20
This is the portion of the race where I decided to turn it up a bit and bank time for my PR. This portion of the run starts with a turnaround in West Potomac Park and then a trip around the Tidal Basin before heading down through East Potomac Park to Haines Point.
Miles five and six felt fine. I started feeling a little sick/dehydrated/tired at around mile 6.5. Though the temperature was in the mid 30s, the sun was pretty strong, and I was sweating a lot. I wore a few layers too, and I was starting to heat up. I didn’t want to stop and take off my top layer because I didn’t want to toss it and didn’t want to bother tying it around my waste and running with it. I figured that I’d just push to the finish. I stopped for water and Gatorade, and that was a good decision because I felt like I needed it. I was taking cold medicine all week, which is known for dehydrating you, and then I hadn’t run in several days. So I didn’t want to push any of my luck out there.
Miles 9 and 10 were the home stretch. It’s a two mile run from Haines Point to the finish line at the Washington Monument. This was my favorite part of the run because you’re literally running underneath so many of the blossoms. Can’t ask for a more picturesque view than this.
The race ends on a bit of an uphill, but it’s not terrible. I checked my watch at mile 9 to make sure I’d break my PR, and when I was assured of that, I just coasted to the end.
Crossed the finish and snapped some post race pictures:
The only part I didn’t like about this race was the immediate finish line was lacking a bit in variety of food/drinks. I got a bottle of water and then some pineapple cottage cheese. To each their own, but having cottage cheese at the end of ten miles sounds like the worst idea in the world to me. They had other snacks, bananas and granola bars, but you had to walk a bit of distance to the bag check area to get it.
I was deciding what to do, and thought that it might be a good idea to take off the sweaty base layer I had underneath. I walked over to the bag check hoping that there would be a changing tent, but there wasn’t. So then I decided to just sit down for a bit and enjoy the view of the mall.
When I was done resting, I thought about calling an Uber, and it wasn’t too bad, like 7 bucks to get home. But I unwisely thought to walk a little away from the finish line with the hopes that it would take quicker to call an uber. Big mistake because by the time I walked a few blocks away, the uber prices had surged to 20 bucks or so. Since I was only a mile or so away, I decided to walk home. It wasn’t a big deal, but it definitely felt colder walking than it did running. And I was starving. I stopped a bakery on the way home for an egg sandwich, and that bakery took like 25 minutes to make it. So all in all, if I would have taken that uber initially (or better yet, if I didn’t make the decision to walk to the bag check area), I would’ve been home a good hour earlier. No biggie, just a lesson for next year.
Beautiful day, great race, good day for another personal record!