This year I'm fairly certain I'm not going to come within 7 minutes of my PR of 1:23:49. In fact, I'm fairly certain I'm not going to come within 10 minutes of that PR. I've been running all right lately, but I've only been running for two months after not running at all for three months and I've aged up a couple of numbers since the last time I ran the Cherry Blossom. Meanwhile, my pacing has suffered immensely. In other words, I'm half broken and old.
So I'm going into this race in a way I haven't since I ran my first 5K in 2007. I'm going to go out there and try my best, but I'm not going to obsess over my time. I'm going to enjoy the experience and be happy to be out there healthy. I have what I think is a pretty ambitious schedule for the spring and I'm going to approach each race with the same attitude. One half marathon, two 10 milers, a 7 miler, and a 10K are going to be run with only fun and frolic with mind. The Cherry Blossom is a good starting point because the first couple of miles are so jammed with people it's impossible to get off to a quick start. That usually ticks me off immeasurably, but this year I'm pretty sanguine about it. It'll just be part of my stress-free running spring.
How stressful can it be running through trees that look like this for the better part of 5 miles?
From 2009, taken a mile and a half or so from the finish line. Courtesy of my buddy Mark.
Look out this fall though because I'll likely be in full running manic mode by then.
And if all goes well this year next year I'll be all out psychotic about my running. I hope so, at least.