The Broad Street Run

11 May

I took my first steps back into running on October 18, 2012. Just over 200 days ago I decided that I was going to give this running thing a try.

This past Sunday I hit a huge milestone, I ran ten miles in the Blue Cross Broad Street Run.

Mommyland

I can remember those first couple of runs and I remember huffing and puffing my way around the track. I don’t think I even did a mile on that first time out.

Day by day, little by little I built on the foundation I had in place. One mile became three rather quickly. Three miles became five then six then seven. I moved my runs from the indoor track out to the rolling hills of Chester County.

Those hill whipped my ass in to shape…FAST!

Every new distance milestone made me smile, I was proud of what I was doing and the fact that I never thought IĀ could do it made it even more rewarding. I was pushing my body past what I thought it’s limits were and I was making progress.

The Beaver Stadium Run gave me some idea of what I could do in a race setting. I was shocked at my 7:36/mile average. I figured I could never keep that pace up for ten miles so I set the goal of a 8:30 to 9 minute mile.

Race Day!

Before the race I was more nervous about the getting to and from. I didn’t want to get lost and I was scared I wouldn’t find Bill after. Once I made it to the starting area I was nervous about the actual run. I knew that even though, until that moment, I had only ever run 9.5 miles that I could do ten. I was more worried about my speed, could I do it fast enough?

You know what they say, we are our biggest critic. For me, running is the most fun when I’m meeting or exceeding my high standards for myself. Official times are the only times that count in my book and I care where I land amongst the other runners. Sure, I run my race but I like to know where I am comparatively. It’s a whole picture I’m after.

It was FREEZING on Sunday morning. I was shivering and couldn’t feel my legs…Not really how you want to feel before a race.

I knew that if I could just get started I would warm up in no time but the waiting was torture.

The Staring Line.

Let’s get this show on the road. I was concerned with traffic at the start. I tried to get as close to the front of the coral as I could but I was still pretty far back. Thankfully getting around people wasn’t an issue at the start (it would become an issue later).

In the blink of an eye I was at the first mile mark. Why are people already walking?

I’ve never used a water stop in a race before. Do you know how hard it is to drink water from a cup while running? I probably only got a tablespoon down and dumped the rest on my head.

Yep, I warmed up REALLY fast.

The City of Brotherly Love.

It was really cool to see people sitting on their front steps cheering the runners on. So many had signs and cowbells and they were yelling words of encouragement to the thousands of strangers who ran passed their houses.

People were outside of businesses and the hospitals cheering us on. I got high fives from the Temple football team! Students were out showing their support too.

The most amazing sight was when William Penn came into view sitting atop city hall. In front of me a seemingly unending sea of runners with city hall as the backdrop. Talk about spectacular.

People were stopping to take pictures but not me…It’s a RACE, gotta keep moving.

The Hard Part.

I was loving the spectators until we hit the area near the sports complex. That was were I was ready to really kick it into high gear and finish strong. That was where I was going to leave it all out there and push it. That was where I got stuck in traffic and was hardly jogging by the time I reached the finish line.

Ah, the finish line. In most races you sprintĀ through the finish line but that was an impossibility since there was a wall of people at a dead stop two feet passed the line.

Getting stuck in traffic and having to slow down in the end were the hardest part of the race for me. It went against all of my natural instincts.

The Results.

Even though I was frustrated with the last mile or so I am still VERY proud of my accomplishment. Only a little more than 200 days ago I started to run again and I was able to compete in the largest, fastest race of it’s kind. Just the fact that I finished makes me proud but the numbers make me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to.

Mommyland

The time, well within my original goal of an hour and a half. The average speed, well within my 8:30 goal. Not too shabby.

What I think really blew my mind was how I stood compared to the other runners. In my age group there were 3,265 runners and I came in 355th. There were 17,265 females and I came in 1,896th. Out of the 32,057 people who finished the race I was 6,608. That puts me in the top half of the pack. Hell, that puts me in the top 15-20% in each category. WOW!

Did you run Broad Street? How did you do, did you meet and exceed your goals?

Be proud of your accomplishment.

What’s Next?

The Philly Half Marathon and the Trenton Half Marathon. Who’s going to run with me?

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