April was about two things -- 10 mile races and job searching. Preparing for the former was a pleasant salve for the unpleasantness that comes with the latter. The worst thing about job searching is the best stuff has a tendency to come to you, through networking or a recruiter seeking you out. This was true for me as well.
The first race of the month was the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, an annual DC tradition that I was so eager to be a part of that I spent two days attempting to register. (Thanks marathonguide). Only after I had shelled out my money did I put two and two together and realize that April 1 was a week after National Half. In my head I was giving myself a week between races -- given that other runners have told me they did the same thing, clearly it makes perfect sense. Just nod your heads and smile at my inability to read a calendar properly. Race day dawned (too early, but thanks to our early start on daylight saving time not as early as it could have) and I schlepped on the Metro to Metro Center, road a school bus to West Potomac Park, and frankly six plus months later I still remember how flippin' cranky I was. Thoughts such as running 10 miles a week after a half marathon was the dumbest idea I'd ever had, it was too early... you get the picture. I dutifully waited to start with my group and found myself in the front of the corral because it was the only place with room. By the time we started I was at least calm, the weather was decent (no rain like the week before) and I just started running. When we ran across the Memorial Bridge I saw a sign for another runner exhorting her to run in 100 minutes or bust. I have on the fly math calculation issues in the best of circumstances, plus my ability to do "splits" math while running is bad so I thought that's too fast for me. As we rounded the circle at the end of the bridge I realized the split math was painfully easy and 100 minutes wasn't as far out of range as it had been in 2006. I busted 100 minutes, but only went over by 2 minutes. Not bad for cranky pants way I had started the morning.
The other 10 miler was the GW Parkway Classic. A few weeks had passed, I was tuning up for Cleveland Half Marathon, but I still thought I'd see if I could repeat Cherry Blossom. I also grappled with the idea that not every day can be a PR day; a humbling thought for a newbie where every race so far had been a better showing than the last. I finished about a minute slower than earlier in the month and enjoyed a hearty post-race breakfast at The Royal Restaurant with my running buddies. My other enduring memory of the day was the sheepish look on another runner's face when she was the only one dropped off at the 5K start (both races are point to point). Someone assured her that she was probably the sane one.
5 days ago