I have a love hate relationship with my hometown of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.

On the one hand, when I’m not in DC, I miss it. I miss the high level of education, the diversity, the general awareness of current events most people in the DC area have as compared to much of the rest of the country. And of course I miss home like any girl whose family loves her and has had a good life would when away for longer than, say, a week.

On the other hand, when I’m home in DC, there is so much I hate – the pretentiousness of those above-mentioned well educated people, the hugely judgmental attitude DC folks take toward people from other areas of the country, that include major over-generalization and a sense of superiority. I hate being surrounded by political talk all the time, I hate that the nearest beach is three hours away, I hate that people CAN’T FREAKING DRIVE and I hate that it takes an hour to get somewhere that in other states it would take 15-25 minutes.

Photo credit Songquan Deng
Photo credit Songquan Deng

But no matter where I am, away or home, homesick or not, there are things I will always love about DC. They are as follows:

  • the Smithsonian
  • the Redskins, for better or for worse
  • the amount of quality cheap theater you can see
  • we’re usually not at risk for major hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes

Which is why, though I was beginning to worry about how to narrow down all the races I wanted to do this April (I was tempted to head down to Raleigh for its inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll race!), I’m so excited I got picked from the lottery for the 2014 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler! April 6, 2014, look out!

Credit Jess Cheney Photography
Credit Jess Cheney Photography

After the Army Ten Miler, I knew I definitely wanted to run this race one day. I’d heard mixed reviews – the blossoms aren’t always in bloom in time for the race or have already fallen, the lottery is continually frustrating, it’s deceptively hilly, etc. But so many people go back to it year after year wanting to do it again and again, and people come from around the country to run my hometown.

I have a bucket list of races, and I’m checking a bunch of my hometown ones off coming this year. I’ve already checked off ATM, and now I’m signed up for DC Rock ‘n’ Roll USA, Cherry Blossom, and Nike Women’s Half. There are so many interesting races I want to check out in life, but while I’m on a limited budget, I’m glad I can knock out the ones close to where I live for now.

Photo credit George Brett

I would definitely do Army Ten Miler again, so I’m excited to see if I’d do any of my spring DC races again too. On the one hand, like this year with ATM, I don’t plan to do it this year since I just did it and there are so many amazing October races to choose from (I plan to be in training for my first full marathon and let’s just say my fingers are crossed the distance for its planned weekend this year won’t be matching up with the distance I have to run that weekend), but I want to go back some day.

In any case, I’m glad I can say I’ve gotten to do the Army Ten Miler before it, too, becomes so popular it has to move to a lottery (like Marine Corps is doing for the first time this year), and I’m glad I got into Cherry Blossom when I could instead of having to try again year after year.

I’ve got a lot of great winter running to look forward to (less than 5 weeks until Charleston, and just 2 months til Disney Glass Slipper!), but after getting into Cherry Blossom, BRING ON SPRING!

Photo credit Dmitri Lezine
Photo credit Dmitri Lezine