Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cherry Blossom 10-Miler goals

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Miler holds a special place in DC running/racing for me.  It represents the first time, the first race, where I started to believe . . . to really REALLY believe, that I could go long distances.

After my first Marine Corps 8K, it wasn't long after that I ran a 10K, and then another. 6.2 miles? Why not 10? 10 miles seemed . . . long. But I did it, just kind of trotting it with my then-girlfriend, and booya, I was a CUCB 10-miler finisher.

Hmm.  10 miles.  Why not a half marathon?  Hell, if I was going to run a half, why not just jump up to a full marathon?

It made sense at the time, ok???
And off I went.  Miles of races, people, and sights I'd never think I'd encounter.

So now, here I am, about to run my (possibly, perhaps likely) last CUCB 10-miler EVER.  Don't ask.  It refers to a thing I've taken to calling #SecretProjectProjectSecret and that will be (kind of) public sooner than later.

Anyway, it looks like I'm not much longer for this area, and CUCB was the springboard to my longer distance races.  We've now come (kind of) full circle -- just a few days away from the 2016 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler.  I started running longer distances in this area because of this race, and I'm back one last time to say goodbye.

My 2013 course PR of 85 minutes and change is quite safe.  I'm heavier (due to food), slower (due to ultra training), but way stronger (thank you Atlas Fitness DC). 

So what should my goals for this race be?

I thought about having my (A) Goal be:

Run Naked!

No, not the "omg barf" type running naked.  Like, run it without tech.
This might be grosser than me running naked.  Ok, fine, it's not.

But really, nobody needs to see that.  And even the THOUGHT of running naked is scary to a tech-addicted runner like me.

Look at that Garmin tanline.  That is NOT for the faint of heart (neither is my wrist hair). #Barf

So, no, I'm not much of a "no-tech" guy.  I just love mah data.

What, then, should my goals be?

I think I've narrowed it down to this.  Lately, I seem to be able to train around a 9:15-9:30 pace/mile lately, doing a bunch of 7 mile training runs.  I can go faster if need be (if it's a shorter distance), and as I train over 10 miles, I go slower.

I think I'd like to shoot for an A Goal of a sub-90 minute 10 miler, since I don't anticipate actually doing that, and A Goals tend to be "reach for the stars" goals.

It seems a valid B Goal would be finishing in sub-95 minutes, which would mean I'd basically be doing a 10-mile training run.

Finally, my C Goal has GOT to be . . . don't get hurt.  You have 31.5 miles to run in six days.

Yeah . . . I'm also running The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K on Saturday 9 April.  It was the site of a last-second decision to run last year, after a stretch of knee pain had abated.  I finished, but ran it quite slow (although it was the source of many Twitter cameos).  I'm not hurting this year.  I'm just fatter and slower.  I want another crack at this course when I'm not worried about my knee exploding.

So there we are.  Run like hell this Sunday, but if you can't do that, run smart.  And run with gratitude.  Because the CUCB showed me that I COULD take on longer distances than "just" 6.2 miles.  It allowed me to do more than dream.  It allowed me to dare.

Thank you CUCB.  See you Sunday.


  1. Replies
    1. (there was a double post here, which in retrospect is hilarious in light of your Twin-ness!)