Broad Street Recap

I have been holding off to recap my Broad Street Run experience in case any great photos were taken by the race photographers, but sadly there were not. Oh well. I usually am lucky to get awesome race photos, but you can’t win em all.

Anywho, the day of the race dawned with perfect racing temperatures in the high 50s, and an overcast sky. I had my good luck Ben and Jerry’s the night before, and the world’s largest plate of Challah French Toast (thanks, Fourth Street!) for lunch the day before  – so I was fueled up and ready to run.

I stepped up to the starting line in the first corral, right behind the elites, in a field of almost only men. If I said I was calm at the start of the race, that would be a lie. I was nervous, and the jitters that creep into the fibers of my being when I am attempting to PR were at full force. Before the gun went off, I reminded myself that I was strong. I told myself to control my breath, to never consider stopping for water (it was only 10 miles, and not hot out), and to power through the pain and doubt like the warrior I had trained to be.

For the first few miles I could see the lead car, which was kinda awesome. I knew it wouldn’t last, and was totally okay with that. Frankly, I would have been running a dumb race if I tried to chase the lead car. My first mile was my fastest, thanks to adrenaline and the field of speedy men around me all charging forward. As the first few miles clicked by, I set small goals for myself: 5K, City Hall, 10K, 5K-to go.

My splits were fairly even. The 5K was a 19:32 and my 5 mile was 32:30. In terms of progress, its interesting to note that my 5K PR for a race is a 19:17 from last year. The 5K split for the Broad Street Run bodes very well for a 5K PR at some point this year!

After mile 7, I started to feel myself fatigue. My legs started to feel heavy, and my head went to the bad places: DOUBT. Luckily, I found myself in a field of a few awesome women, and we worked to pull each other forward. We were all aiming for a 65 minute race, and reassured each other that we looked strong. (I’m pretty sure I looked terrible at this point.)

At the mile-to-go mark, I realized that I wouldn’t make it to the finish in 65 minutes. What is hard about the Broad Street Run is the finish. The finish line is hard to see until you are close to it, and there’s a slight uphill after a downhill at the end, and so mentally it is hard to know when to kick.

I crossed the finish line in 65:24, a new PR by 3 minutes from the 2011 race. I ran a 6:32 minute mile – good enough for 65th place out of 19,050 women runners, and 549th place out of 34,059 total runners. I know I ran faster than the average Jane, but I was honestly disappointed with my finish. I know I ran a smart race, and that I had absolutely nothing more of my body to give, but I still wanted to do better. I still want to be better. I want to fight to achieve nothing short of excellence from myself.

I’m a believer that I can learn something valuable from every race experience, and so I am going to take away positive and negative things from Broad Street and apply the new knowledge I have to my future goals. Races are like life experiences, they help us grow and become wiser and more worldly and perhaps smarter for the next challenge.

I haven’t set any goals yet for the 2013 Broad Street Run, though I have a few crazy ideas swirling around in my head. I’m going to see where my mental and physical abilities land me in a few months and decide from there. However, you can be sure that beating 65 minutes is definitely going to be one of my 2013 Broad Street Run goals.

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~ by Elizabeth on May 15, 2012.

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