Happy Monday!

The last few days have been quite a blur. Friday afternoon I brought Duncan to the vet. He has had a benign growth on his cheek for a while but it kept getting infected because he would scratch at it. Anyway this time the vet said enough is enough so he opted to just remove it to prevent this from happening again. So before I even had a chance to process anything I was leaving him there for the day for surgery! 5 hours felt like forever. He was sedated for the procedure and when I picked him up he had the dreaded e-collar (#coneofshame)

sad face

sad face

He was not happy and I was a mess. I’m not one to handle these kind of situations well which is ironic considering I was able to care for my husband as he was dying of cancer back in 1999 when I was only 25 years old! I’m in awe of my young self now all these years later. I was stronger than I ever thought I’d be capable of. (Aside: the anniversary of his passing is coming up in 2 weeks and while it’s been 17 years and feels like a lifetime ago, it’s amazing how I still feel the emotions and reminders of that time when the anniversary approaches).

I pulled it together and we made it through the first night of recovery.

He wouldn't even look at me at first

He wouldn’t even look at me at first

eventually he made eye contact :)

eventually he made eye contact :)

Every hour Duncan would jump off the bed all disoriented which left me a bit worried to leave him for the weekend with my sister-in-law to and I almost pulled the plug on my Cherry Blossom 10 miler weekend but in the morning he seemed much better and by the time I dropped him off at my sister-in-law’s on Saturday he was wagging his tail and jumping on her giving her all the love. Then I realized my boy was playing me! He was bilking the situation. Little bugger!

So after the doodle drop off I was on my way to DC via Amtrak which was great because I had 3 hours to get some work done #freelancelife.

window seat!

window seat!

A freelancer's dream.

A freelancer’s dream.

I took the train down and met up with my friend Jane and her friend Amy for the weekend. Last time I saw Jane and Amy was the Big Chill 5k in December. They had already wrapped up with the expo and to my happy surprise, not only did they grab my bib for me but they waited in line to meet Meb Keflezghi and got my bib autugraphed! So awesome! I walked into the expo and met up with them and Meb walked past us so I shouted out “thanks for signing my bib!”. Now everything felt complete!

We spent the afternoon just walking around the monuments, the white house and along the tidal basin. Unfortunately the chery blossoms were pretty much gone but there were a few flowering trees holding out so we snapped a few pics.

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Found one!

Found one!

I’m SO grateful that I was in DC last year right at peak for the blossoms.

Jane capturing the Washinton Monument

Jane capturing the Washinton Monument

Jane, me and our friend Abe

Jane, me and our friend Abe

The White House

The White House

We went out for mexican for dinner (no pics because I was too busy eating #alltheguac ) because Jane says she runs well on mexican. Spoiler: Apparently she’s right because she PR’d by 3 minutes). Then it was back to Jane’s friend’s place where we were crashing for the weekend and we cued up the documentary on the BarkleyMarathons. I didn’t know anything about it and boy was this documentary fascinating. This page has lots of info and stats about the participants and the very few finishers. In a nutshell, it’s 130 miles with elevation to match climbing and descending Mt. Everest TWICE! And Monica at Run Eat Repeat just posted about it today too.

RACE DAY!

We stayed at Jane’s friends place a few stops away from the start on the Metro so getting to the race was really easy. It was super windy with 20 mph winds and gusts up to 35. The race organizers made a few executive decisions for our safety including taking down all signage and split clocks that had the potential of getting blown around and injuring someone. Because of the 30 degree temps and high winds it felt like it was in the 20s. We took a few pre-race shots, dropped our bags at bag check and huddled to stay warm until entering the corrals.

Do I look any taller?

Do I look any taller?

BRR!

BRR!

IMG_2265So when the race began it was hard to find our appropriate corrals. They also did away with the wave start which left the first few miles super congested but I am not complaining. I was really impressed with the amount of communication the race had with the participants leading up to the event. They really were concerned for our safety and wanted us to be prepared for the potential snafus. And they had lots of volunteers working hard to help us out.

The course:

I really wasn’t focusing on taking in my surroundings for the first 4 miles. I know we went over a bridge and then back again. That was one of the windiest spots on the course and all I could do was keep my hat from blowing away and try and get around some runners going slower than me. It wasn’t that I wanted to run fast but I get cranky when I feel trapped. It’s like driving behind someone going slower than the speed limit on the highway. I just like to have open space in front of me. I tacked on an extra 10th of a mile in the first half of the race from all the weaving around people.

At mile 4 things finally opened up and I noticed the cherry blossom tree I took pictures of the day before. I finally started to appreciate my surroundings and the course.

One of the only pics i took while running. Just pretend all these cherry blossoms are blooming mmmkay?

One of the only pics i took while running. Just pretend all these cherry blossoms are blooming mmmkay?

The course is fairly flat and I was having a good day—running strong. Miles 2,3, and 4 were all sub 10 splits! I didn’t feel like I was even working that hard so I decided to keep trying to stay around the 10 min per mile pace and after passing the halfway point i’d re-evaluate. I felt good at 5 so I just kept pushing it at that 10 min per mile pace for miles 6 and 7. But then by mile 8 I started to feel fatigue coming. Since I was way ahead of my goal plan (11 min per mile pace) I thought about just slowing it down but I felt a tap on my shoulder right then and it was Amy. She had started a few corrals after me but was running about 30 seconds per mile faster than me. We stayed together and I am so grateful because instead of slowing down I kept pushing to keep up with her. I finished at 1:40:48 (10:04 pace), well under my predicted 1:50 time. So now I have my first official 10 miler in the books which makes this an automatic PR :)

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Garmin stats and a Cabot Cheese Cow temporary tattoo

Garmin stats and a Cabot Cheese Cow temporary tattoo

My treasured autographed bib

My treasured autographed bib

Finishers!

Finishers!

Water stops felt scarce to me on this course in my opinion. I only saw 2. The first one was about 3 miles in and I skipped it because it was crowded and I was still so cold my hands were numb. I took Gatorade at the second stop which was probably around the 10k mark.

I’m glad I got to experience this race. And I have to say that 10 miles is a perfect distance for me. I’m going to try and run more 10 milers. Congrats to Jane for her PR! She’s got 2 more 10 milers coming up and hoping to shave another minute or so off her time. Go get it girl! And congrats to Amy on her strong race too.

After showering, warming up and having a lovely brunch Jane, Amy and I headed home. I picked up Mr. Duncan and then stopped by Mr. SOTSS’ for a quick hello since we hadn’t seen each other in a week. It was late so I only stayed for a little bit but it felt so good to be reunited. And Duncan got a little souvenir from the Grand Canyon…

Doodle really knows how to work this head gear. lol!

Doodle really knows how to work this head gear. lol!

Next week is the Philly Love Run half marathon and I’m going to try and push for the same pace but of course I’ll be happy with any pace. It’s just such a pleasure to run with no injury and no pressure.

How was your weekend?
Do you have a favorite pre-race meal?
Do you like guacamole?
Do you have a dog? If so has he/she ever had to wear the cone of shame?