On a Saturday afternoon in mid-March, I finished a terrible 3-mile run. It was one of many terrible recent runs.

I don’t have a sports agent. Speaking frankly, only one person would care if I quit running. I am married to him. So I called him. He answered from a chair lift in Beaver Creek. I got right to the point.

Me: Matt, I want you to be the first to know. I’m taking a break from running.

Matt: Does this mean you’re not running the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler?

Me: Correct. No more questions.

Matt: And you’re not running the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in June?

Me: Exactly right. This interview is over. It’s my turn to order at Muffins Cafe. Love you.

I hung up the phone and I didn’t run for a month. I still found myself in DC the weekend of the Cherry Blossom race since Matt was running and I love our yearly trip. I used to live in DC and coming back for a weekend is always a delight.

One of my closest friends, Tricia, lives in DC and is the chief of staff in a congressional office. Tricia had convinced her entire team to sign up for the race with her. Then she didn’t train for it. A natural born leader, she planned to run the race anyway. The day before the race, we had the following exchange:

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I had the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in Washington DC on my calendar for a long time. The lottery is held in December so for months it was on my radar in a loose “ah the future is so far away!” manner.

I lived in DC for nearly 6 years and never ran this race, so I was super excited to run through a city I used to call home.  I also love showing Matt around DC. We’ve been to DC together 5 or 6 or 7 times in the last few years and I visit for work often. I’m pretty sure he loves hearing  (EACH VISIT) about every hotel I’ve stayed in, and what every restaurant/bar was called in 2007 when I was 22 and went out. I am a well-rounded tour guide.

But that’s not the only thing that imbued this race with a whole lot of special. This was my first race longer than a 10K since a series of ankle sprains. I approached this race in the months preceding with a careful hope. When April 3 came around, I was uninjured albeit a bit undertrained. I don’t love winter running, so I wasn’t as diligent as I aspired to be in following a plan, plus I’ve been traveling pretty much not-stop since January. </excuses>

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