Wednesday, May 4, 2011

[35] Cherry Blossom 5K

Race: Credit Union Cherry Blossom 5K
Date: Sunday, April 3, 2011 (Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!!)
Location: National Mall, past Honest Abe, over the Arlington Bridge and back. (Hotel: Residence Inn Arlington: Capital View)
Weather: 60s & Sunny

Distance: 5K
Bib #: 23,932
Division: Female 30-34 (41/266)
Fashion:  Adapt JP+ T-shirt, Red Nike Soccer Shorts & Nike+ Vomero 5s

  • Chip: 31'11" (10'03" Pace)*New Personal Record!
  • Nike+:  31'37" (337.19 Cal; 10'08" Average Pace) 
  • Clock: 31'18"
[Race Packet Pickup]
Packet pickup and the expo were located at the National Buidling Museum. It was efficiently arranged with racers going inside and immediately to the second floor for packet pickup. Runners circulated through the second floor, and emerged on the first floor at the Expo. I found the process rather smooth, and I got a free mini-tour of the building's interior for free. Try as I may to avoid shopping, I wound up with a bag full of goodies, including a "Inspired to Run" Dry T-shirt & shorts by Mizuno, Baltimore 5K Under Armour Shirt (Thanks, Mom), Balenga running socks, a white New Balance running skirt, and a Saucony reversible pull over.

[Race Day]
The weather was brisk, but the sunshine and the cherry blossoms awaited. Taking the metro to the National Mall, I was sleepy but excited. It was colder than I expected, but I was certain that it would warm up by the time it came to run. I enjoyed the official start of the 10 Mile race from the start line, and watched as wave after wave of runners flew by. Initially, I wanted to sign up for the 10 Miler, but I chickened out when I saw the two hour twenty minute time limit. I was rather uncertain if I could meet the pacing requirement, so I opted for the 5K instead. At least, I now know that it is possible for me to complete ten miles within the time limit (albeit it a close shave).

The 5K race was fun and without any particular rhyme or reason for the starting order, I moseyed up toward the front (hence the eight second time difference between the gun time and my chip time). Everyone was out for fun, but it was clear that the 5K didn't receive as much support at the 10 miler run. Timing was by batch times, and thankfully RunPix made it rather interesting to review stats at the end. I will say that I am disappointed that there wasn't a single official photographer anywhere on the course. It made me feel as if I wasted my money and energy traveling down to DC. I've run several other 5Ks, and they had race photography. It sort of cheapened the moment.

Personally, I ran my best 5K (up to that date), including a new personal best for the mile (per Nike+). The sunshine and the cherry blossoms were just the motivation I needed to pound it out. I got a little tired as I crossed the Arlington Bridge for the first time, but thankfully the fuel station awaited on the other side. I did have a little trouble with one of my shoes, and had I not stopped to take it off and fix it, I may have had an even better time. I anticipated finishing at around 35 minutes which would have given my mother plenty of time to prepare her camera and wait for me. However, I shocked us both when I started hauling in at the 30 minute mark, and crossing at just past thirty-one.

Thirty-WONderful is more like it. It felt great, and I was glad I could share DC with my Mom.

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