races, Team Reeve

Race Review: Cherry Blossom 10-miler

April 20, 2010

Ryon in the Cherry Blossom 10 miler (2nd race since recovering from broken neck)

First of all, I realize that I may be pushing the boundaries of copyright law by posting a proof of a photo that someone is trying to sell amongst thousands of others for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. However, because my budget can’t afford the astronomical amount of money the photo service is requesting to download ONE DIGITAL FILE ($39.95), I have decided to personally take the calculated risk of displaying my Team Reeve jersey once again in race form, and worry later about a letter asking me to remove the photo from my blog (if such a letter were ever to arrive).

My apologies for the delayed nature of this race report – the race was in fact 9 days ago and took place on April 11th. However, there could not have been a more beautiful morning for a race! It was sunny without a cloud in the light blue sky, but the temperature was perfect – probably in the low to mid 50s. And, the course itself was inspired – the picturesque course started and finished at the Washington Monument and its path wound around many of the famous DC monuments and sights, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Memorial Bridge, and Kennedy Center. The course was fast and for the most part entirely flat – probably the most difficult thing about the race was the sheer number of people racing around you at all times. Even toward the end of the race I was never ‘alone’, as is apt to happen on longer or more remote/trail courses.

I felt really great throughout the race, but definitely needed to push in the last couple miles to keep my pace below 6:45. I ended up running a 1:05:44, which equates to a 6:35/mile pace. Not too shabby for the 2nd race of my new running career! Two side notes, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty ran a 1:05:53, and my friend Nate ran an amazing sub-hour 10 miler!

This was my first time running this course and I will definitely do it again!

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  • Lynda

    Congratulations!!! I have been a runner for 32 years, and 2 months short of my 60th birthday, was bucked off my horse and broke my c2 vertabra = 15 weeks in a halo, followed by 8 weeks in a neck collar that I’m now almost weaned off. Got back on my horse last week exactly 6 months to the date AND day of the week of my accident (12-26-09 to 6-26-10). however, it will be another 4 weeks before my doctor officially clears me to return to running. (am tip toeing in place at present :)!

    Could you tell me a bit about your return to running? your schedule? Also any twinges you felt in your neck muscles? Its the muscling in my neck that still feels a bit odd, not the bone itself, if that makes any sense. In my 30s and early 40s I ran competiively, and fortunately, I’m one of those folks who didn’t run to race and simply love it.

    Good luck with all your efforts and thanks for having this blog!!!!

    Best Regards,

    • Ryon

      Thank you so much for your comment Lynda. My goodness – a C2 fracture is even more serious in some regards than the C4! I was fortunately able to avoid the halo, as all my hardware was installed on the inside from the very start when they replaced my C4, but wasn’t that cervical collar for MONTHS awesome? :) (my stint with the cervical collar was 4 months though, if it makes you feel any better)

      I’m really happy to hear that like me, you’ve somehow avoided paralysis. We’re in the very small minority of those who do not suffer from SCI after a cervical vertebral fracture and must have done something really grand (or have yet to do something really grand) to tip the karma scale so strongly in our favor.

      Your questions about my return to running are well-timed, as I’ve been meaning to recount (for those interested) the steps I’ve taken to return to the sport after the accident. I’ll write this weekend, as it’s been quite a long time since the last entry, and because I’ve some great updates to include. To quickly answer your question about neck muscles though: because my vertebrae were fused (C3-5), I often don’t get much use of the muscles above the fusion, for obvious range of motion (ROM) reasons. Those muscles – at the base of my skull – seem more easily fatigued than the others below them (mainly the traps). To work on these, I’ve gone to massage therapists who deal with accident victims and injury rehab – if you go, make sure to quiz the LMT about their experience with sports injury rehab to do a little vetting.

      Also, make sure that you get some neck extension/depression exercises from your PT (I’m assuming you went to a PT after getting out of your collar?). If you need help finding the types of exercises I mean (without giving you medical advice), I’ll try to include them in my next post.

      Thanks again for writing!

      Ryon (a/k/a The Runner with the Broken Neck)