The Results: Broad Street

May 9, 2010

 

For the past few months I have been preparing for my first actual race of some sizeable distance: The Broad Street Run, a 10 mile jaunt down Broad Street, around city hall and ending in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. This race has been a little daunting. I’ve thought about doing the Broad Street Run, multiple times and each time talked myself out of it. However, this year was different a good friend of mine at work, Scott, a man whom I have coached multiple seasons with had cancer strike his extended family. Scott informed me that he was going to run Broad Street. Scott has been such a positive force at my school and coaching that I committed to running in support of Scott and his family. He and I have gone back forth over the last few months discussing our training runs, sending messages back and forth urging each other on to run. In fact there were days that I hated the idea of going to put in a training run, and there was Scott either heading to the gym to run or coming out of the gym from running. It was there that I would ask him, “How far did you go, today?” He would respond with a great distance and I would say internally, “crap, I have to go put that in or a little more.” This continued for a weeks, until we got close to the actual race. 

In preparation, I decided I would run the Gener8tion run in Fairmount Park, a very nice 8k and then follow it up the following week with a 7 1/4 mile run back home on a local high school track. Those two distances were the longest I used to prepare for the Broad Street Run. I was intimidated, the idea of running with 30,000 people, most of which have probably done this race before, or have run this kind of distance on a regular basis. 

Fortunately for me, my friend Adam, a regular of distances this long had returned to our wonderful hometown and acted as my unofficial mentor through the last few days of preparation. He and I hung out on Saturday and drove down to the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, where we found our racing bibs and wandered around the running expo. From there we went over and watched Roy Halladay pitch a complete game shut-out of the rival New York Mets. The day was a complete success. The concern now was what was going to happen the next day.

The morning came early and I was off to pick up Adam and drive down to Citizen’s Bank Park where the race would eventually end (relative proximity.) For me, I think the wave of excitement truly hit me as we piled onto the subway and raced off to the beginning of the race.  Arriving at the beginning, I started to feel the flight of butterflies in my stomach, thinking again, that maybe I have bitten off more than I could chew, but at this point it was too late to turn back. The starting gun was going off and I could see and hear each corral heading off on their arduous journey towards the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Our turn came and we started off. No matter what happened, I was sticking with Adam, figuring that our times sounded close in our discussions of running so I should stay close and we set a great pace, approximately a 9 min mile pace. The issues for me started a mile 2. I felt a sudden twinge of pain in my right calf and I new this was way to early for me to cramp up, but there was little I could do.  The mission became either fight through it and hope that it worked out or simply try to fight through it.  I kept racing on and luckily my calf loosened up.  I pushed on and raced a 46:42 half. I am pretty pleased with that.

 However, my issues were not finished. Mile 7 and 8 were painful and I hated each and every step. I think my issues with drinking water and Gatorade while running finally caught up with me. I haven’t mastered this whole drinking while running. I’m just not good at it, I choke, don’t get enough water into my mouth, spill half of it all over me… who knows, I’m a delinquent when it comes to this. Mile 7 and 8, I lost it… just became increasing drained. I got to the point where I had to walk the water lines because I think I knew I was drained. Then I saw it… mile 8. From here I mentally kicked things into gear… I just kept thinking about it like I do when I practice on the local track: 8 laps… 8 laps…by the time I looked up it was mile 9 and then there was no way in hell I was stopping, walking, I started to pick it up and really run. By the time I had entered the Navy Yard, I was in mid-sprint, just trying to will myself to the end. I crossed at 1:40:04.  I don’t consider this an awful time, for my first major 10 mile run and in the weather that was beating down.  I considered it a challenge and motivation to run the Philadelphia half marathon in September. In fact, there is a half marathon at the end of the month. So we will see. 

For the most part this was a great success (Yes, do your best Borat impression here!) I was very happy with what took place and even happier that I had the opportunity to share the experience with Adam, who eventually did lose me in the race and finished at 1:38:17 a full 1:37 a head of me. And most importantly that I had the opportunity to run in support of a good friend and his family who ultimately, ran in memorium of their loved one. To Scott and his family, you did everyone proud with your efforts and I look forward to running with you again!

Random positive that came up, prior to the race: I was randomly complimented that I could look like Chase Utley or at least his brother…. I will definitely take that compliment!

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