Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 1,197: Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler

View of the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument from the Arlington bridge during the 2010 Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler
WASHINGTON -- It had been a dozen years since I'd run in a 10-mile race. The last time was in 1998 in Medford, Ore., the 10-mile Pear Blossom Run.

In the Washington race, you start out by the Washington Monument and then make your way over the Arlington bridge before circling around in front of the national cemetery.

Then you make your way along the Potomac River, around the Tidal Basin and back along the Potomac before returning back to the monument.

I took it easy at first -- like many popular races, this one is crowded. I also wanted to try and get some pictures during the run. It turned out that I didn't want to stop because there were so many people out but I did get a few quick shots in mid-stride (above).

I basically didn't feel like I could accelerate until Mile 6, when I suddenly started to. It felt pretty good. After Mile 9, right before the end, is a long, gradual hill. I was trying to figure out how far it was to the end when I started to approach the crest of the hill.

I decided that I would just kick there, and it turned out that the end of the race was near. I was happy with this decision because I finished pretty strong. I think I was slower than my 1998 time by only a minute.

I was happy to have used my new shoes because I didn't have any problems with my heel during the race.

Time: 7:40 a.m.
Temp: 47 degrees
Gear: LST (Cherry Blossom '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

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