The Cherry Blossom 10-Miler was held on Sunday in the rain. I've run this venerable, world-famous race four times, which I thought was enough, but they changed the course so completely this year that I might have to do it again someday. It's like a whole new race.
I did a virtual 10-Miler on Sunday in its honor, starting off at MP 7 on the W&OD Trail behind my house at 8 am. I ran westbound and hit 10 miles at 1:28:54 (8:54). Seven of my ten miles were in the 8:50s so I was being consistent. This is where the genius of my plan came into play. I was now at MP 17 and there was nothing I could to do but turn around and run (or walk) back. No backing out now. Twenty miler! Fooled you, sucka!
I had never before run out west on the trail this far from my house. There are hills out west, unlike the flat eastern part where I usually run from MP 7 to MP 0. Oy. (Left: On Saturday's run of six miles along the Potomac with my 10K Group, I started thinking that it was time to do my first twenty for the year. Photo credit J.)
It wasn't pretty coming back, especially the seventeenth through nineteenth miles where my pace dropped to the mid-9s. Thinking about home spurred me on the last mile and I brought it home at 3:00:06 (9:00). Which would be my second best twenty-mile race (I have run three). It was the furthest I have run since last September, when I PR'd at the Charm City 20-Miler at 2:59:10 (8:58). The Chicago Fun Run last October doesn't count, as I didn't run for twenty miles there because the No More Running Police intervened (among other reasons).