Two days before Sunday's Nike Cherry Blossom 10-Mile run, Lisa Larsen Weidenbach was ready to pack up her suitcase and fly back home to Marblehead, Mass.

Larsen Weidenbach not only stayed for the race, she won the women's division against the most competitive field in the race's 13-year history. And in course-record time, too.

"I went on a 22-mile distance run two days ago," she said after the race. "It was hot here then -- 80 degrees. I told my husband, 'Let's just go home now. I don't want to race. I'm running in the Boston Marathon (April 15). This doesn't fit into my schedule.' "

She said she decided to stay the rest of the week because her husband, Bill, was here on business. She said she had spent some time here buying a new pair of racing shoes because she had forgotten to bring her broken-in pair.

Larsen Weidenbach's time of 53 minutes 30 seconds was 16 seconds better than the previous course record set in 1983 by Eleanor Simonsick of Baltimore and 47 seconds better than Larsen Weidenbach's runner-up performance last year. And had she run 12 seconds faster Sunday, Larsen Weidenbach could have earned her second U.S. record in two weeks.

She broke the U.S. record for 30 kilometers in Albany, N.Y., one week before. "I was tired and I didn't think I had anything left (for the Nike Cherry Blossom)," said Larsen Weidenbach, 23, after running her fourth competitive distance race in as many weeks.

"I talked with her at the Jacksonville River Run (March 9) and she mentioned that she was going to be running the 30K the week before Nike Cherry Blossom, and she wasn't sure if we was going to run in our race," race director Phil Stewart said. "She did indicate that there was a possibility that she was going to come.

"My interpretation of what she said after the race was that she indicated to (runner-up) Jacqueline Gareau before the start that she wasn't going to be as strong as she ended up being," Stewart added.

"I'm glad she did well, but I'm concerned that she's been racing a lot lately," said Dave McGilvray, a representative of Saucony, the Cambridge, Mass.-based company that sponsors Larsen Weidenbach. "I'm concerned that she doesn't overdo it and get injured."

Larsen Weidenbach was a national-class swimmer before she became a noted distance runner. She finished fourth in the U.S. women's Olympic marathon trials last year with a time of 2:31:31, beaten out for a spot on the Olympic team by Julie Isphording of Cincinnati, who placed seventh Sunday. Larsen Weidenbach Makes Winning Decision By Steve Nearman Special to The Washington Post

Two days before Sunday's Nike Cherry Blossom 10-Mile run, Lisa Larsen Weidenbach was ready to pack up her suitcase and fly back home to Marblehead, Mass.

Larsen Weidenbach not only stayed for the race, she won the women's division against the most competitive field in the race's 13-year history. And in course-record time, too.

"I went on a 22-mile distance run two days ago," she said after the race. "It was hot here then -- 80 degrees. I told my husband, 'Let's just go home now. I don't want to race. I'm running in the Boston Marathon (April 15). This doesn't fit into my schedule.' "

She said she decided to stay the rest of the week because her husband, Bill, was here on business. She said she had spent some time here buying a new pair of racing shoes because she had forgotten to bring her broken-in pair.

Larsen Weidenbach's time of 53 minutes 30 seconds was 16 seconds better than the previous course record set in 1983 by Eleanor Simonsick of Baltimore and 47 seconds better than Larsen Weidenbach's runner-up performance last year. And had she run 12 seconds faster Sunday, Larsen Weidenbach could have earned her second U.S. record in two weeks.

She broke the U.S. record for 30 kilometers in Albany, N.Y., one week before. "I was tired and I didn't think I had anything left (for the Nike Cherry Blossom)," said Larsen Weidenbach, 23, after running her fourth competitive distance race in as many weeks.

"I talked with her at the Jacksonville River Run (March 9) and she mentioned that she was going to be running the 30K the week before Nike Cherry Blossom, and she wasn't sure if we was going to run in our race," race director Phil Stewart said. "She did indicate that there was a possibility that she was going to come.

"My interpretation of what she said after the race was that she indicated to (runner-up) Jacqueline Gareau before the start that she wasn't going to be as strong as she ended up being," Stewart added.

"I'm glad she did well, but I'm concerned that she's been racing a lot lately," said Dave McGilvray, a representative of Saucony, the Cambridge, Mass.-based company that sponsors Larsen Weidenbach. "I'm concerned that she doesn't overdo it and get injured."

Larsen Weidenbach was a national-class swimmer before she became a noted distance runner. She finished fourth in the U.S. women's Olympic marathon trials last year with a time of 2:31:31, beaten out for a spot on the Olympic team by Julie Isphording of Cincinnati, who placed seventh Sunday.