Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cherry Blossom Run

I did it.

I really did.

There are honestly few things that I have worked for as long and as hard as I did in training to run this race.  A year ago, I could not only not run 10 miles, but I couldn't even fathom the possibility. I want to thank my family and my friends for being so incredibly supportive with my endeavor.  I could not have done this without your help.  I mean that.  I also want to thank those who donated to help me enter into this race.

The race itself had its ups and downs.  I cruised pretty easily through the first four miles.  I had expected to walk for a minute every two miles, but I felt good so I kept going.  I eventually walked for the first time around 4.5 miles, but walking hurt my knees worse than running, so I just kept going.  Just after the fifth mile, coming around a slight corner, I saw a sign in the distance that said "You're Amazing."  This reminded me of a particularly brutal day of running about six months ago, when a similar sign taped to a tree inspired me to keep going when I wanted to quit.  As I got closer, I saw that it actually said "Al Caniglia: You're Amazing" and my girlfriend Sara was holding it.  It was a real pick-me-up when I needed it.

The last five miles were more brutal.  The course ran down Haines Point, along the river, with the wind whipping at my face and legs.  My right knee began to hurt and I couldn't help thinking that we were still running AWAY from the finish line.  After we made the turn at Haines Point, I still struggled to keep going, but since my knee hurt worse walking than running, I kept going.  After passing the 9 mile mark, I soon got a tap on my shoulder from a friend running the race.  She recognized me by my very sweaty back.  We ran together for a minute before she took off for the finish.  Approaching the finish, I saw my sign again, but had so little left in my tank I couldn't even surge for the finish.

But I did it.  I really did.

I am a goal oriented person, so I am already trying to figure out what next.  I am thinking perhaps a half-marathon somewhere in Europe in the late Summer or early Fall.

No, Sara - you're amazing.
Shelley and I after the race

The Fighting 151st was well represented in the race.


  1. Congratulations!

    And if you're looking for what's next-- Rock N Roll has a marathon/half series in Europe-- looks like they've got dates in Dublin and Portugal in the fall. They put on a good race, usually.