Sunday, April 3, 2011

2011 National Cherry Blossom Race

What a weekend!  We're back from DC and I'm sitting here feeling a little sore and tired and hungry, but totally happy. 

Another National Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run medal was achieved!  Unofficial time was 1:34:40.  Not my best but not too shabby for being ill trained. 

Full recap ahead…..

I actually gave myself off completely from exercise on Saturday morning.  I knew I didn't want to run at all but I actually contemplated taking a spin class.  When it came down to it, I realized I would rather sleep in, take my time packing, and making a leisurely bowl of delicious oats instead.  Plus, I knew we would be walking around the city all day, so I would count that as cardio for the day. 

Pear Oats with Blackberries, Pear Cashew Granola, Almond Butter

Later in the morning, Toly and I hit the road.  Whenever we go to DC, we always drive down to Rockville, MD and take the metro into the city.  It's about a 30 min metro ride and we avoid driving/parking in the city.

By the time we got to DC and checked into our hotel, we were both starving.  It was going on 2pm and we hadn't eaten since breakfast.  Lunch was priority and after walking the streets for almost an hour, we finally found something that looked good.

I can't remember the name of the place (I think it was called Chef Geoff's maybe) but it was a good pick!

Per the server's recommendation, I ordered the Black Bean Burger and Yucca Fries.

It was incredible!!!  I actually chose the yucca fries over the sweet potato (which is unlike me) but I figured I NEVER see yucca fries on any menu around here and wanted to try them.  They were good but reminded me too much of a russet potato.  I think I definitely like sweet better. 

 After lunch (and a random hail storm), we made our way to the expo which was held in the National Building Museum.

It was crazy, just like every year.

Love the shirts this year!

By the time we got done with the expo fun and walked back to the hotel, we were both pretty exhausted and decided to take a nap before dinner.

I think I could have slept right through dinner if Toly wouldn't have woken me.  But we had reservations and it was time to carbo-load!

It was a nice night in the city to take the mile walk to dinner.

We ate at Bertucci's  which was a well known Italian restaurant in Dupont Circle.  I originally thought I was going to want pizza, but after a late and filling lunch, I wasn't really that hungry for dinner.  Good thing a pitcher of Sangria sparks up an appetite.

I went with the Arugula Salad with Grilled Salmon and was quite happy with my choice.  For not thinking I was very hungry, I still cleaned my plate.

 And also saved room for dessert.  Chocolate Cherry Torte.
Hazelnut Nutella Spread, Melted Cherries, baked in a doughy crust topped with ice cream

Between Toly and I, we demolished this thing! 

We made it back to the hotel and I immediately showered and hopped in bed for an early wake up call. 

For some reason, I didn't sleep very well.  Maybe it was nerves but I kept thinking I was going to oversleep my alarm and woke up every hour. 

I eventually "got up" at 6am and started getting ready for the race. 

Pre-race fuel….

Ezikel English Muffin with Almond Butter and Banana and Crystal Light infused water (I CAN'T drink plain water before I run for some reason, it always makes me sick)

We packed up, checked out of the hotel, and made our way to the National Monument Grounds to line up. 

Quick photo opt in front of the White House! 

The race was flooded with runners.  Over 23,000!

I found my wave group and got in line a few minutes before the start.

And then a few moments later, we were off!  It was CRAZY CROWDED!!!!  For the first 3 miles, I felt like I was going so slow, but it was probably a good thing considering I hadn't done much speed training this year.

I felt good for the first 5 miles and then suddenly noticed myself loosing energy.  I popped a few sports jelly beans and took off.  They seemed to do the trick.

I tried so hard to hold it, but I had to stop to pee around mile 7.  The race did a nice job at placing several porta johns along the course.  I passed so many but then I realized I couldn't hold it any longer.

I was feeling good for the last few miles, that is until mile 9.  I started speeding it up when I realized I was coming up on a big hill.  I didn't want to slow down so I kept pushing and pushing and eventually made it to even ground where I sprinted to the finish line.  That mile definitely seemed the longest!

I crossed the line at 1:34 and immediately looked for Toly who was waiting for me.

I wish I had splits of my miles but I randomly stopped my Garmin at some point during the race.  Boo!

After I chugged some water, ate a banana and grabbed my medal, Toly and I started walking to meet my fellow co-workers for brunch.

Our company is a Credit Union and has a big sponsorship in this race.  There was a group of us running this year and I was made team captain so I put together an after race brunch for everyone so that we could all meet up and celebrate!

We met at Gordon Biersch for a well deserved post race meal!

We were all starving and in desperate need of food! LoL.  I ordered the Southwest Egg Burrito which sounded perfect.

Unfortunately, they didn't remember to remove the cheese or bacon so I had to wait a very long time for a new one.  By the time my food actually came out, I about inhaled it! 

With food in our bellies, we were all feeling a little more satisfied for a team picture! 

Check out our cool jackets!  I ordered these specially for the race and everyone loved them! 

We got home a little while ago and I didn't waste a second with taking a shower.  Now I'm trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  Pancakes sound good! 

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!