Cherry Blossom Weekend

Last weekend was a marathon weekend.  Well actually, that could be said of this whole week!  I told J on Friday that there were 4 major events to conquer that weekend and that much prayer and coffee would be necessary.

Those events were the following:

1. throw Hannah’s bridal shower in our home

2. cheer UK to victory (Saturday night)

3. Run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler (very early Sunday morning)

4. photograph a newborn session (Sunday afternoon)

(5.) Prep house and receive sister and the 4 kids for a visit (Sunday night)

(6.) Cheer UK to national victory (GO BIG BLUE!!!) (Monday  night)

Thanks to a fabulous husband, a faithful God and a dear friend (Rach I couldn’t have thrown that shower without you), the weekend was a wonderfully exhausting, raging success.

H’s shower is deserving of at least one blog post of it’s own, so look for that lovely tea-themed shower and photographs on the blog sometime this week!

In the meantime, let’s talk about the run.

Yes, the 10 mile run.



sorry, I just wanted to be sure you understood that I ran 10 miles.  At once.  Without stopping.

how, you ask, did I get myself into that mess?  …let’s rewind a few months to a conversation Hannah and I were having (sidenote, Hannah is a real runner who runs for fun and sport and has run in many races).

Hannah: Suze, wanna do the Cherry Blossom Run with me?

Me: Ummm…sure!  I love me a good 5k!

Hannah: Actually it’s 10 miles!  We will run together and it will be so much fun.

Me:  Oh, no thanks.  I don’t run long distances.

Hannah:  You can totally do it!  10 miles isn’t that far!  PLUS, it’s the only way you’ll get to truly enjoy the famous cherry blossoms…the roads will be cleared for us to run below that beautiful pink canopy and you can drink it all in!  Any other time, there are so many tourists that you can’t see past the sea of cameras.  Don’t you want to see the cherry blossoms?

Me: errr…ummm…dang…yeah, I do.  Are you sure I can run 10 miles?

Hannah: Yes!  Of course!  Anyways, you have to enter a lottery to get in the race…a million people enter and only like 20,000 get drawn!  See, our chances aren’t even that high…but we should try!

Me: hmm, yeah, the chances aren’t that high.  Ok, I’ll enter with you!  (hehehe…because obviously we won’t actually get chosen)…

but then we did.

And thus followed a comically intense few months of more running than I’ve ever done in my life.  3 normal runs a week, plus a long(ish) run on the weekend, building up to race day.  Over those months I fell in love with chocolate milk as a post-run drink (sometimes I ran just so I could drink it), listened to an insane amount of TED talks and learned all kinds of amazing and interesting things, did long runs with Hannah (in which we stopped to pet horses and take photographs of our awesome selves running–at the time it seemed like a good idea), and gained a wee bit of confidence in my running skills.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m don’t run to win, I run to finish.

And that’s how I ended up wide awake at 3:30 am on Sunday morning, in a cold-sweat thinking about my race.  Which thankfully is over.  Here’s a little re-cap of Sunday morning in iphone photos.

At dawn we walked up out of the metro with thousands of other people all dressed in spandex, wearing numbers toward the Washington Monument (it all felt slightly apocalyptic).

pin thisHannah wanted to be sure that Rach and James knew how to properly cheer for us so they did a little practice thisThe running crew: James (Hannah’s fiance, who signed up because he loves her.  He ran the 6 mile route), Hannah (the instigator), Me (innocent bystander/friend that got roped in), Sarah (Hannah’s roommate who is an actual runner that runs fast and has run a marathon).pin thisIn case you weren’t sure, 20,000 people is a lot.  It looks like this at the start of a thisI’ve been known to stop mid-run to photograph something with my iphone…I had to stop for a quick calf stretch 6 miles in and looked up to see this lovely sight!
pin this

At this point I’m sure you’re probably wondering where the beautiful photographs of the breathtaking cherry blossoms are…

well, there aren’t any.

Because this year the cherry blossoms bloomed early.

Then a rainstorm washed them all away a whole week before the Cherry Blossom Festival weekend.

But thankfully there were people cheering for us all along the race course with entertaining signs.  Some drew us cherry blossoms.  Others cheered for us by name (because our names were on our race-tags…I loved that), some set up speakers and played music for us, and still others held up signs that said things like “Great job!  You training for this race lasted longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage!” , “Push yourself!  Your legs will forgive you later.” and “Worst Parade Ever.”

Thanks to the comic relief of the signs and Hannah’s very impressive ability to talk and run, I finished the race!  (without stopping to walk or getting picked up by the slow bus)!

Then we went back to Hannah’s house and ate copious amounts of crepes.

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  • Hannah - So proud of us!!!!! Let’s do it again next year … I promise the cherry blossoms will actually be there this time!!!!! : )

  • Run, run, as fast as you can | The Art in Life - […] to convince Suze to run the race with me went something like this, which I have pulled off her post about the whole […]