This was the fourth year that I have run the Cherry Blossom 5k. It is a fun local race, raises money for a great cause (ALS) and I really like participating in it.
The first two years, I won 2nd in my age group. The third year, I did not win anything but I had run a 10k the day before and I didn’t run it last year. I seem to be on a PR roll for some unknown reason. But who knows? Anything can happen in a race on any given day.
The course is very winding. Someone said that there were 20 turns. But it is also pretty flat except for the last mile which is uphill.
As you can see, my times on this race course have been pretty speedy (until 2016). Could I beat my 2014 time??
And should I try? After all, I just ran a 5k PR last weekend and I have a half marathon in a few weeks.
Nevertheless, I was determined to give it my best shot and not to be disappointed if I sucked.
They always have a short sleeved race shirt. One of these years, it’ll be warm enough to wear one of them. Instead, I wore a long sleeved shirt, a vest, a skirt (yes, this was risky), compression socks and a cap. I brought 2 jackets, capris and gloves for before and after. It was near 40 degrees but the wind made it feel colder and it was raining! A miserable day!! Not one that I wanted run on. The crowd was smaller than previous years but still there was over 300 runners.
The race started at 10:15 and I got there around 9:15 and parked in a bank parking lot across the street. I had picked up my bib on Friday after work so I could relax in my warm car. The other Wineglass ladies running the race were parked nearby so I headed to their car. I wisely added my capris under my skirt, my jacket and my gloves. It was drizzling then raining and then drizzling. We all stayed in the car until the last minute.
Unfortunately at this Cherry Blossom race each year, there are never any cherry blossoms. (Maybe next year!) There is also usually a Cherry Blossom Festival, as well. I didn’t see one this year.
You were supposed to line up by pace. I moved up with the 8 min milers and shivered until the race finally started.
I usually have a pretty fast first 2 miles and then slow down but I was dragging even during the first mile. My legs were stiff. It was windy and I was cold!!
There are no clocks on the course so I had no idea what my pace was but I was pretty sure that it was slower than my PR pace of last weekend.
The course is nothing special. You just wind your way around the neighborhoods. I tried to run the tangents as much as possible. And make sure to avoid the puddles and not slip on the wet ground rounding the turns.
It rained lightly during the whole race. But I actually got warm and unzipped my jacket and took off my gloves.
There was a water stop at the halfway point. I ran through it since I was not thirsty and wanted to finish and get dry.
Eventually that dreaded third mile came and the uphill was a struggle as it is every year. This year, however, I did not walk. But I definitely felt like I was slowing down.
Finally we headed toward the finish line. I had no energy left but did my best to sprint across the line.
I crossed at 27:XX. My PR streak has been broken.
I was slower than my last 5K but it was my fastest time on this course. I was content.
I had some refreshments (bagel, banana and chocolate milk) while waiting for the results and my friends to finish.
They all headed to their warm car and I chatted with other running friends and waited for the results.
I was shocked to come in first. I have never won my age group in this race and the runner in third is way faster than me (However she is apparently coming back from an injury).
mile 1- 8:42
mile 2 – 8:57
mile 3 – 8:47
.14 – 7:51
So those splits don’t reflect how I felt while I was running. I didn’t feel like I was running my best. To me, that is good news. There may be a faster 5K time in me…
The wineglass ladies headed off to Dunkin Donuts. I thought about it but I had been planning to run 9 more miles after the race. I was cold and grumpy and did not want to run any more so I drove home.
Once I got home, the rain had stopped and it was in the 40s and less windy. With work and my upcoming vacation, I knew that I should try to run some more so out I went. The conditions were better than during my run but my heart was not in it. I walked a lot and quit after almost 8 miles.
14th trip to Naples, Florida. Lots of tennis, sun and beach time. Maybe some runs (and don’t be surprised if I squeeze in a 5k race)
I leave on May 3 and return on May 10 (9 days before my next half marathon). Can’t wait!!
Happy Running! How was your weekend? Any races or runs? Any races coming up? What are you looking forward to? Please share.