Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pear Blossom: Overcoming a mental block

Growing up as a kid, it was a tradition to head down to the start/finish of the Pear Blossom Run every April to cheer on my dad, and then head to the parade, which I was involved in several years, either as part of the swim team "float" OR leading the band through the streets of downtown Medford.

It was my first year back in Medford following college graduation {'06}, and my dad's first Pear Blossom after taking several years off.  I vividly remember spending the morning at the finish, cheering people in as they rounded the corner to the final stretch; from more seasoned runners to first time joggers, from teenagers to individuals in their 60s and 70s.  As I watched all of these people cross the finish line with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, I left feeling inspired. Inspired to not be on the sideline the following year, but rather one of the people crossing the finish line.  I told my dad that next year I would be running with him.

April 2007 rolls around, and as a novice runner, I had a few training runs under my belt, was too naive to know how undertrained I really was, and toed the line for my first race ever {10 miles} IN THE POURING RAIN...with my dad on the sideline cheering.  My dad used "shin splints" as his out, but truth be told, he is a fair weather runner and doesn't do rain....10 miles later, a desolate finish line due to the weather, blisters, and pruned up feet, I vowed to never {well at least not the following year} run the Pear Blossom again; which seems to be a reoccurring trend every year...

I've learned to never say never, because I was back at the start line in 2009, and have run it every year since.

The out-and-back course is boring, with the last 2 miles being excruciatingly painful...both physically and mentally!  a fun, fast, flat route, and a great community event that brings together runners of all levels! One of my favorite parts of the race, and of any out and back course, is when runners reach the turn around point and start crossing the other runners on the course; there is so much camaraderie, support and encouragement.

Over the last 3 years, despite my running significantly improving, my Pear Blossom times have drastically's ALL mental!  In an effort to change my mindset from never again to this is THE year, I am running the course several times prior to the race itself {something I never do}, determined to break through my mental block, that is the Pear Blossom.

Race PR: 1:29. 01 {8:54 avg}

Trial Run #1: 1:33.32 {9:12 avg} Went out pretty conservative, increasing pace over the last 5 miles

Trial Run #2: 1:27.32 {8:43 avg} *course PR

Saturday's run was a step in the right direction.  This is about believing in myself.  Being comfortable being uncomfortable. Doing what I know my body is capable of doing. Running a strong mental race. Turning the corner to the finish line with a huge smile on my face, knowing I gave it my all and left it all on the course!

I'm going to throw this out there...2014 Pear Blossom Goal...average pace in the 8:30s.


  1. You can do it, girlie! I know it. You are one of the strongest runners I know... and have pushed me through some hard mental blocks (night runs at Ragnar). You have what it takes! #getitgirl

  2. You absolutely can do it! Go get this!

  3. Yes!!! Running is such a mental sport!! You just have to believe!! A 8:30 pace sounds perfectly acceptable for what you have already done!! Go get it!!!

  4. @mikeussary I like that being comfortable with being uncomfortable.