I can’t believe it’s over!
I look forward to the Broad Street Run each and every year. For me, the BSR is a spiritual holiday. I ran Broad Street for the first time in 2010. I was coming off an extremely long, devastating bought of chronic illness. I had never run more than 5 miles in my life. I had stress reactions in both of my tibias. I was wearing thick, sweaty neoprene compression sleeves just to hold my legs together. It was nearly 100 degrees and race organizers were frantically trying to cool off the tens of thousands of runners by unleashing all of Broad Street’s fire hydrants. I was a mess when I crossed the finish line in 1:46:39, but it was the proudest moment of my life. I was so thankful to be alive and healthy and looking forward to much faster times in the future.
Today, five years later, I ran Broad Street over 35 minutes faster than my inaugural effort, with a time of 1:11:23. I was only 38 seconds shy of my A time goal, which was 1:10:45. My B time goal was to set a new ten mile PR. I accomplished this by two minutes and twenty-six seconds. Not only did I set a new 10 mile PR today; I also set a 5K PR (21:06), a 5M PR (34:29), and a 10K PR (43:13) along the course.
GREAT NEWS: I went to bed at a reasonable hour last night!
This was huge for me. Getting over 5 hours of sleep the night before a race makes an enormous difference in how I feel at the starting line. I was so used to racing on two hours of sleep that I felt like a spring chicken today!
I warmed up for about 15-20 minutes (1.5-2 miles) before the start of today’s race. I just kind of jogged it out while waiting forever for my Garmin to find a satellite.
Mini Corral Rant: Chris and I signed up to race in the purple corral (for runners with a 1:06:00 – 1:15:00 anticipated finish time). I was more than a little put off when I saw people with yellow and pink bibs filling up the purple corral. I think it’s really great that runners of all speeds and abilities come out to run Broad Street, but it’s not okay for people to disregard their corral assignments. It trips the faster runners up to have to dodge slower runners at the starting line. This is not only an inconvenience; it is also a safety issue. Someone planning to run 9/10 minute miles starting in front of runners planning to run 6/7 minute miles is analogous to someone like me jumping in front of the elites. This year, I didn’t want to trample over people for the first twenty minutes of the race, so I moved up to the very back of the red corral. I’m really glad I did, because I got to enjoy a smooth start with runners of similar speed.
My race strategy was to hit my first 3 miles at a 6:50 pace, hold sub-7 minute miles through mile 5, and then gracefully fall apart until I reached the finish line. I accomplished this strategy to a T:
I was really surprised with how easy my first three miles felt. I wasn’t breathing hard and I had enough gas to surge past a few other runners. I cannot believe I averaged a 6:53 pace for the first 5 miles.
At mile 6 my right headphone died, which kind of sucked. It was a slow, agonizing death, too, so I had a bit of a headache by the time it finally cut out for good.
By mile 8, I was pretty much done. My quads were trashed. I made a mental note to do some real lower body strength training during next year’s Broad Street prep at mile 9, when I switched my Garmin’s display from “pace” to “distance” and started ticking off the last few tenths of a mile until I reached the Navy Yard. When I saw the finish line clock at 1:11:30, I was happy. But I was also kind of restless, because I know I have faster times in me. It’s really remarkable that only five years ago I was truly thankful just to crawl across the finish line with my legs still attached. Now, I’m much more competitive. Approximately 3 seconds after I finished, I started second guessing whether I gave it my all and scheming about what I can do differently to run faster next year.
Truth be told, I ran relatively low milage (25-30 mile training weeks) leading up to this Broad Street Run. I believe that if I can work up to 40 mile training weeks next year, I will find it much easier to break 70 minutes. But I am proud of myself for how far I have come. I’m excited to see how far I can go.
I’m really proud of Chris too. He trained consistently with me all through this year’s brutal winter. He also set a new 10 mile PR!
After I finished running, I marched straight over to the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee truck and started slamming free samples of their rocky road iced coffee. It was really good! The Dunkin’ guy also gave me a free re-usable travel mug I can fill with iced coffee for just 99 cents at any Dunkin’ Donuts now through June. This alone was worth racing 10 miles.
Chris and I met up with Hollie, who ran an amazingly fast race, and George, who ran his first Broad Street Run ever! It was so nice to be able to hang with friends in the Navy Yard after all the hard work was over.
Then we Uber-ed home and downed more coffee at Starbucks.
I’m currently enjoying really detailed fantasies about what kind of pizza and beer I’ll consume tonight.
I’m taking the next few days off from running to let myself recover. I can already tell I’m going to be really sore tomorrow. I’ll probably do a few slow elliptical workouts until I feel better. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll be ready to get back at 5K racing. I’m also on the hunt for some more local-ish ten milers. Turns out, I like racing ten miles much more than 3.1. I love the luxury of being able to settle into and think my way through a race. 5Ks are painful blips. Ten milers are sustained efforts. And I’ve always believed my running ability lies in endurance over speed.
Questions for the Internets:
What is your favorite race distance?
Have you ever run Broad Street?
What are your favorite pizza toppings?