Ready For Cherry Blossom Run In Washington, D.C.

It's Cherry Blossom Run Time

Cherry Blossom run ready! (

It’s racing time! The Cherry Blossom Ten-Mile Run is finally here. And guess what? I’m actually ready to run. As in feeling good, feeling healthy, and feeling fit. Yee-haw!

Back In Black

It’s a welcome feeling after a tough 2015. In the span of six months I got a stress fracture and plantar fasciitis. Oof. There were ups–when I ran my second fastest 5K ever. 25:06, baby! And there were downs—sitting out the Runner’s World Half Marathon and showing up to the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon with a taped foot.

When the familiar twinge of plantar fasciitis flared up yet again in January, I took drastic measures—17 days of rest and a battery of treatments that finally worked. And then I got two herniated discs in my spine. Sheesh!

Now I’m 7 weeks into a 12-week training program for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. I’m happy to report my neck is feeling OK—not 100%, but totally manageable. Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised by how good I feel. Knock on wood. Really, if you’re reading this, please knock on wood for me.

Ready For Cherry Blossom Run in Washington, D.C.

Running Central Park in NYC (

I had my best run of 2016 last weekend, an 11.25-miler through Central Park. The sun was shining. Birds were singing. Lovers were holding hands. Trees were blossoming. Flowers were blooming. And I was falling in love with running New York City all over again. It was a Brady Bunch “Sunshine Day.”

Somehow, the run just kept getting easier as it went on. I ran a huge negative split and finished my last mile at my personal best half-marathon race pace. And I still felt good. I really can’t ask for any more than that.

So I’m definitely ready to toe the line on Sunday.

Ready For Cherry Blossom Run in Washington, D.C.

Monumental! (

Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run

So what are my goals, hopes, and dreams for the Cherry Blossom run?

Goal #1: Show up to the starting line healthy.

Just one more day to make this dream a reality.

Goal #2: Run as hard as my body allows. 

What will that mean? I’m not really sure. This is going to be the first race where I give my all since the Trot Off Your Turkey 5K in November (where I ran the 25:06). It will be a great litmus test to see how my training and recovery are going.

Goal #3: Run a 10-Mile Personal Best

I know, I know! I told you to lash me with a virtual wet noodle if I mentioned PRs at all this training cycle. I. Just. Can’t. Help. Myself.

Plus, I’ve only run one other 10-Miler before: the Cherry Blossom run in 2012. It was my most-frustrating running experience ever.

Ready For Cherry Blossom Run in Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms! (

The course was so crowded the entire 10 miles that I was physically unable to run as fast as I wanted to. It even won “Most Crowded” in a 2013 round-up of my most memorable races. I ended up running a 9:44 pace, but could have done so much better. I’d run a 9:33 pace at the Disney Princess Half Marathon just 5 weeks before.

To make matters worse, nearly all the cherry blossoms had already blown off the trees. The race director joked it should have been called the “Tulip Blossom 10 Mile.” I was sorely disappointed. Wah wah.

But four years has been enough time to heal that wound and I’m ready to give the race a second chance. The promise of cherry blossoms lured me again.

So I was delighted to find them still on the trees during my personal 5.3-mile cherry blossom run around the National Mall and Downton D.C. on Thursday. I hope they’ll last until the race on Sunday.

Friday I logged 3.2 miles as part of the #TeamSparkle Virtual 5K, hit the race expo, and walked around Washington, D.C. a bit too much. My legs are tired. I need some serious rest between now and the starting gun.

Ready For Cherry Blossom Run in Washington, D.C.

Team Sparkle Virtual 5K (

Come then I’m just going to run by feel. That works best for me. I’m just going to ease into it, then push hard, and see what happens.

Have a great run if you’ll be joining me in D.C.!

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


04 2016

10 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    You really have terrible luck with injuries, b I like how you don’t use that as an excuse to give up running!

    Good luck at your race! Cherry Blossom is on my bucket list for one day. Have fun!
    Judith recently posted..NYC Half Marathon Weekend and a Bit More About my DiagnosisMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Thanks! If I gave up every time I got sick or injured, I’d never do anything! That doesn’t sound like any fun at all :)

  2. Merri #

    Great post Karla! I may allegedly be reading this post on my computer at work so I did knock on my cheap imitation cherry wood desk just for you. I hope it counts! That said, I think I’ll go for a walk outside now, the summer (springtime) sun’s callin’ my name. Have a great one! Aloha

    • Karla Bruning

      Thank you so much! Your knocking worked!

  3. felecia #


    I like how you tell us about your injuries. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one going through this while everyone else appears to run stress free. So thanks for being so honest and telling us how you take care of the injuries. Much success at Disney. I do a lot of Disney races, hopefully one day I will see you and get to say hello. :-)

    • Karla Bruning

      Thank you so much, Felecia. I’m sorry to hear you’re battling injuries too. It’s crazy common–studies show that about half of all runners get injured in any given year. Wish we didn’t! Hope you’re able to soldier on and find me at a Disney race!

  4. Pam #

    Have a great race tomorrow and enjoy DC and hopefully some beautiful cherry blossoms. Sorry you have been dealing with injuries, I feel your pain. Finally the tightness in my right is subsiding after dealing with an IT band injury on myy left side. I’m ready for a break from traiining after the London Marathon.
    Pam recently posted..5 Running goals and how they evolvedMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Thank you! London Marathon will be so exciting! Enjoy the taper…

  5. 9

    I hope the blossoms are still there for you on Sunday Karla. I’ve enjoyed all my runs in DC – such a beautiful and runner-friendly place. Sounds like you’re in good form having overcome those injuries, so run by feel, but run hard. You can do it!
    Ewen recently posted..Stopped from running by a calf injuryMy Profile


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