Why hello! Its been a while. This whole law school thing totally got in the way of everything. Oh wait, I am the one who signed myself up for it, I guess I can’t complain about that.
Well, to say its been getting in the way of everything would be an overstatement. In fact, I have been running more than ever these past few months, training for my first ever 10 miler race and going for a long-sought after half marathon PR. I’ll get to the half marathon soon, but first up – in April I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler!
When I entered the lottery back in the fall, I had one goal: finish in 75 minutes – 7:30 min/mile pace. I new I could do it, so long as I had good base training and put in some solid speed work. Oh yeah, the other goal was to have fun. When I signed up I also signed up for the free (yes free!) virtual training plan put out by New Balance and =PR= Running Stores. I wasn’t sure how well I would end up following it, or if I would like it, but I figured it would be worth a shot.
Training plan verdict?! That plan was AWESOME and I would totally do it again! It had 1-2 rest days built in per week (I usually took about one rest day), and had 2 speed workouts or one speed and one hill repeat workout per week. With law school this meant a lot of early morning tempo and track workouts, and with winter this meant a lot of treadmill miles.
Plus it had long runs on the weekend with pace miles built in. I was nervous when I started, but figured – why not let it all hang out. As my training went along and I hit record weekly mileages (for me) of 48 miles and hit over 200 miles in March alone (say what?!) I started readjusting my goals and started wondering if I could kick that 75 minute goal in the face.
So, I went in with three goals.
“C” Goal: Finish and have fun (this should be the goal for EVERY race b/c the stars don’t always align)
“B” Goal: Sub-75 min
“A” Goal (aka “all the stars in the world align” goal): Sub-70 min
Holla what?! Sub 70 minutes? Yes, yes that is a 7 minute/mile pace. The only time I had ever done that was in a 5k – 7 miles short of a 10 miler. So I had lots of doubts, but also knew I would be happy with anything between a 70 and 75 – because seriously, 3 years ago I would’ve never dreamed that I would run 10 miles at a 7:30 pace.
Race morning came, and I was prepared as I could ever be. I met up with Kelley and her fiancee at the start. Kelley and I hit the bathrooms and then went on a warmup jog before hopping into our respective corrals. I made my way to the front of mine (the second corral) b/c I knew my “A” goal time would’ve put me in the first corral had I known where I was going to be back in November. At 7:30 the race started, and at 7:33 my corral was off!
My plan was to start out around a 7:10 pace for the first mile or two, settle into a 7:00 pace and then drop from there around the 7 mile mark if I felt good. Well, no matter how hard I tried 7:10 felt way too slow based on my pace miles going in (all 6:50-7:00 miles) and I couldn’t keep myself there.
Mile 1 – 6:58
Mile 2 – 6:55
Mile 3 – 6:57
I felt good at mile 3 and so I decided to just keep with the pace. I saw my friends Krissy & Tim around the mile 4 marker which was a fun surprise, and just kept on truckin’ along. I took water from every station but the first, never walking but running through and getting whatever small amount of water into my system that I could.
Mile 4 – 6:51
Mile 5 – 6:55
Mile 6 – 6:56
At Mile 6 I took my Salted Caramel Gu and saw Emily with the best law-related sign ever:
She was a happy sight for me to see! And then we were running down Haines Point (the most boring part of the race) and I just kept truckin’ – and saw Coach T at mile 8.5!
Mile 7 – 6:57
Mile 8 – 6:55
Mile 9 – 6:56
And then came the only hill in the whole damn race. Right at the end, and my body wasn’t ready for it…
Mile 10 – 7:07
And because I can’t run perfect tangents or because the GPS dropped at some point, I had an extra .08, but that is irrelevant b/c I crossed the finishline in 1:09:59. Yes, 1 second under 70 minutes.
I was all smiles and ecstatic. I ACTUALLY DID IT. I knew I had the ability to, but I didn’t know if it would actually happen. I mean, my stomach has notoriously knocked me on my ass over the years, so who knew what to expect.
Kelley and I were all smiles at the end of the race, as we both had great races. It was so much fun to do a race w/ a friend I had been running with, and who is one of my #runfamily members. I met Kelley when we both lived in Santa Cruz through SCE once or twice, but only really got to know her since moving to DC. She has seriously become such a great friend, an inspiration and a very important member of my #runfamily since moving out here. I was so lucky to train with her speedy self and to celebrate after.
After we recovered for a bit, we headed to the metro and then to a small diner in Arlington for a delicious brunch w/ her fiancee, who is the best spectathlete out there!
It was a PERFECT day, that’s for sure.