Monday, May 7, 2012

The Return: Broad Street Run Recap

Sunday morning my alarmed screamed me awake at 5 am. I rolled out of bed and did something I hadn't done in the early morning in exactly 3 months - get ready to race!

The Broad Street Run is a hugely popular 10 mile race in Philadelphia and is the largest race of that distance in the country (30,000-40,000 people large!). It's a straight shot down Broad Street. No turns or curves, just 10 miles of net downhill running through the middle of the city.

While 10 miles might not be the kind of distance I'm truly intrigued in tackling, everyone and their mom was running this thing I definitely didn't want to be left out! After having to bail on FOUR races this spring because of my injury, I made it a goal to at least be able to run this one. In addition, Mike has been on and off injured for almost a year. The last race he race was the Baltimore 10 Miler last June, so this was a big day for him as well.
We were out the door by 6 am. The entry fee covered free subway transportation to the start, so 20 minutes later we were at the starting line.

Too early for pictures!
For future Broad Street Runs we probably won't leave as early. The race didn't start until 8:30 and we were there by 6:30! This meant a lot of sitting around and trying not to tackle the man selling soft preztels at 7 in the morning.

When I signed up for this race back in the winter I had the intention to run it around 1:20. After dealing with the whole injury debacle, however, I knew that was out of the question, so I comfortably situated myself a corral behind found my friend Sally, who was in recovery from her own injury.

I had two crappy runs in the week leading up to this race. They were so crappy that I almost decided to bail on the race altogether since I was worried I would hurt myself again. Two complete days of rest, however, and I felt great the starting line.

This is what 30,000+ runners look like

After about 10-15 minutes out corral finally moved up to the start. Sally and I plodded along pretty nicely. Neither of us wore a watch so I had no idea how fast we were going and we didn't really care. We were both thrilled enough to be running in the first place.

Around mile 5 Sally decided she needed to walk so as not to agitate her hip more. I was feeling good so I kept going and I began to pick up the pace a little more aggressively. My shin wasn't bothering me in the least and I felt really good overall.

I kept pushing harder and harder and the miles were clicking by. I began to think about maybe trying to match or at least get close to my 10 mile time from last year, which was 1:30. At the start line I wouldn't have even thought it possible, but I was feeling so good towards the end, like I was really racing again. The finish was kind of crowded, but I managed to sprint through. I had no idea what my time was, since my corral left so late, but I felt good, and that's all I really cared about.

I went to find Mike, who was beaming after his first race in nearly 11 months.

While waiting for some friends to finish we spotted a crate full of ice. One bag was already open so we picked some bits out to put some relief on our sore spots. My shins didn't ache at all, but my calf was getting sore.

His and her's post-race ice bags
A few hours later our results began to pop up. Mike finished in 1:25 and I actually somehow pulled off a 1:32, only two minutes shy of last year's time. It may not have been my original goal when I registered, but for the first time in 3 months I really felt like my running fitness was returning.

I'm officially excited for summer and fall races and officially ready to move the hell on from this injury!


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