Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Broad Street - A Re-Run

My mama, myself, and my BFF Colleen
This is the second year I participated in the Blue Cross Broad Street Run. For those unfamiliar with the race, it is a ten mile run that takes you all the way down Broad Street in Philadelphia (which is probably my favorite question, where do you run? Down Market Street, but they call it the Broad Street run. Here's your sign). It starts at Central High School Athletic Fields and ends at the Navy Yard.

I was nervous this year as I hadn't done nearly as much training as I had last year. Plus I worried that last year it was only fun because it was my first time doing it (that's what she said. yes I went there). Between a cold that knocked me on my butt for 10 days, a tragedy with one of my best girl friends, and a bit of laziness mixed in there, I knew I was under-prepared. Everyone kept telling me that I would be fine because I'd done it before, along with distances longer then 10 miles (half marathon aka 13.1 miles aka I don't go all the way). This race was a test of getting past the little voice in my head telling me to stop.

Well this race even in my second year of doing it is still my favorite and the most fun I have along any route that I've done so far. The energy of the crowd is intoxicating. As I know I wrote in my previous blog entry, there are people all along the route high-fiving and cheering you on. They don't even know ME yet they are clapping and encouraging me to keep going. Plus there are people in this race of all walks of life and fitness levels; it's so motivating.

So I started making mental notes on my mileage to do a wrap up of my race. Mostly it was to distract myself from the pain/little voice in my head telling me to stop. But it worked.
I ran with my best friend Colleen for only 2 miles this year as opposed to the 7 I was able to keep up with her last year. I definitely want to improve that for next year! Anyway, to my wrap up:
Miles 1-3- Fun. Do you know what 30,000 runners look like? RIDICULOUS. No matter how many times I looked up ahead of me there were people EVERYWHERE. It's pretty overwhelming.
Mile 4 - My shoulders start locking up, I'm obviously tense. I keep circling arms to keep them loose and trying to relax my upper body.
Mile 5 - We're going around the circle for City Hall. Yikes it turns into a cattle shoot, everyone squeezing by. I get a surge of energy between the new crowd gathered and the realization that I'm halfway done! My right knee starts throbbing, but I'm ignoring the pain.
Mile 6 - High-Five former Pennsylvania Mayor Ed Rendell in his blue track suit on route. He was there last year and Colleen saw/High-Fived him. I did make sure to wipe my sweaty palm on my pants before the high-five, and he said "only 4 more to go!".
Mille 7 - I'm focusing hard on my playlist, I've only 3 more to go. Feel a blister on my right foot starting to form. Voice in head getting stronger that I need to stop. I'm ignoring her and concentrating hard on song lyrics and the crowd's energy.
Mile 8 - Blur, but we're now near the sports complexes (go Phillies/Flyers/Eagles/76ers). I know I'm close to the finish. Pushing down voice in head even though she's getting louder.
Mile 9 - I start bargining with myself. I see the overpass and know that from there I will be able to see the Navy Yard gates and from the gates it's only a 1/4 mile to the finish. My quads are on fire and my calf muscles are getting tighter with every step. I keep motivating the voice in my head "come on girl you can do this you are so close!" as Kenny Loggins "Danger Zone" is blasting in my headphones (where are the awesome fighter pilot jets when you need them?!). I make it to the underpass, around a bend and see the Navy Yard gates. I run down hill and let out a cry of relief once crossing the gates, knowing I've only gotten a short while to go. With Linkin Park's "Bleed It Out" now blasting through my ears, I sprint to the last quarter mile (stupid, I know) but all I wanted to do is finish. I cross the finish line only 3 minutes longer then my time from last year.

And you know what I'll take it. It was under two hours which was my goal, but I don't run for time. I'm not fast as running is by far not my favorite. But it keeps me healthy and I do races to stay motivated.

My knee (which, subsequently if you know me, is my bad one) was so swollen when I finished but I'm happy to say I'm not losing any toenails this year. With only one blister on my right foot, I'm not complaining. Today I'm my knee is better thanks to some serious icing last night, but my achiles are killing me, probably from that last sprint. And this wouldn't be a complete post without something nerdy to say. The scan bib results were the coolest thing! They had a QR code right on the race bib that when you finished you scanned it and saw your official results. Loved that addition!

Along the route where some awesome shirts and signs.
My favorite shirts were:
- Smiling Is My Favorite
- Am I not dead yet?

Then there was a man running with a BatMan cape on. According to Colleen, at one point BatMan stops at a median, chugs a beer handed to him and continues the run. As he's running away the man who gave him the beer proudly yells "that's my brother!" I'm sorry I missed that, and that I didn't think to chug a beer during the race.

My favorite signs:
-Worse Parade EVER (I'm sorry, but every time I see this I laugh)
- near the end: "You're almost there" and right next to it "that's what she said"
- You've got stamina, call me
- Do your feet hurt from all the ASS-phault your kicking?
- Free beer at the end of the race, RUN FASTER

And to the people with the sign that read "stop now and have a beer", you better have beer to back that up. I asked them and they said they didn't have any. Do you really want 30,000 runners mad at you? Think about it.

Overall, I had such a blast again at Broad Street Run. Thanks to all the volunteers and organizers for making it such an amazing race again this year. I know it was a first for a good friend of mine, so I want to say CONGRATS to JD on finishing the race! I'm so happy and proud of you. Congrats to my mom and Colleen who also had stellar races! And mostly congrats to all the runners who get out there and finish the race! It doesn't matter how fast you are, it only matters that you have the guts to finish!

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