Last fall, my college roommate Bethany asked if I wanted to run the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler with her. If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, you might remember the last time I ran this race. I certainly remember that there were ZERO blossoms, rendering the name a wicked tease. When Bethany brought up the race, I initially balked. My running motivation has trickled off dangerously over the last couple years, and ten miles? That’s a lot of miles. But alas, I can’t pass up a chance to spend a weekend with a bestie that I haven’t seen in over a year.
We did run the race, in case you were interested. Faster than I anticipated, and with only a couple moments where I wanted to die, moments that were aided by the presence of those perky signs held by runners and former track coaches. I tend to fall in the “cherry blossoms are overrated” camp, as the crowds are terrible and it’s hard to appreciate the blossoms when you can barely move. But they sure were amazing on our run. We spent at least a solid third of the race running through fluffy trees on either side, meeting above like the White Way of Delight. Bethany waxed poetic and quoted Housman, and I even briefly reconsidered my ban on Tidal Basin photo-shoots during blossom season. Which, though I have done them for the past two years — see here and here — always involves such a lengthy parking search and frustration at the crowds that I have sworn them off.
But really, the run was just the excuse for our weekend together. We made brunch Saturday morning, dragged James shopping, sampled the region’s finest donuts, marveled at the amazing DC spring foliage, lazed around in the park Sunday afternoon, and laughed our way (again) through some of the first season of 30 Rock. The majority of my weekends this semester have looked alike: a long run Saturday morning, followed by a long afternoon of studying, and a quiet evening in. This weekend, in all its sunny spring glory was such a nice way to shake things up. My PhD exams are tomorrow and Friday, so it should have been stressful, but instead it helped me work diligently all spring, knowing that I would have a magical weekend off right before my final days of crunching.
I said it on Instagram and I’ll say it again: there’s just something special about college friends. You spend four years together in a place totally removed from reality, but yet so real. You become friends at a moment when your world is expanding and shifting so much, and that momentum carries you forward after college. I know that so many people lose touch with their college friends, as is inevitable since we all go different ways. But there’s just something there, something that will always be there, resurrected every time we come together.
Here’s to sunny weekends and donuts and running under the blossoms. Here’s to friendships that last.
PS: James did not run, but he cheered us on from the sidelines with the appropriate encouragement of “RUN FOR BRUNCH! RUN FOR GLORY!” And after running in all our glory, we did indeed brunch likewise. Plus, after some kitchen mix-up that had us waiting over an hour for our meal, we got our whole meal free. HERE’S TO FREE BRUNCH.