The Broad Street Run and Running Friends

              Matching team singlets!

Last weekend, I joined 40,000 people to run the infamous Broad Street Run 10 Miler in Philadelphia. I love seeing the whole city and the energy the race brings, but I think I am going to have to cross it off the list for next year.

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This is what 40,000 people looks like, for your reference. I just cannot handle that kind of crowd, I decided. Several fights broke out as people tried to make it to the start corrals. People went through a man’s yard and he came out and threatened them. We made it to the start corral, literally with minutes to spare. I was actually a little scared for my safety. Now, I can say I have had the experience twice, cross it off the list, and move on.

Overall, the race was a pretty good race for me. Last year, I ran the race at an average pace of 9:22. This year I ran a 7:40 pace. I wanted to be able to run it at a 7:25 pace, but I am trying to focus on the positive, the improvement from last year. It was close to 80 degrees when I finished. I had been doing great keeping the 7:25 pace for the first 6.5 miles, but then I had to stop for water, and that has never happened to me. Then after getting the water, I never really got back down to 7:25 again. It was hard because we never really got to train in heat. The heat came out of nowhere that day.

TAOLife-Comarison-is-the-thief-of-joyAlso, I tell myself this all the time, but yet I never really listen. I train with one woman who is just a bit faster than me. We are great during training, even most (not all) speed workouts, but then she always smokes me at the races. She was able to pull off the 7:25 pace, but I wasn’t. It is a catch 22. Training and racing with her brings out the best in me, but it can also leave me a little disappointed when I compare myself to her. I need to remember to run my own race. I am working on it…

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On the plus side, training buddies make for the greatest friends. Even though the marathon was over six months ago, our core training group still gets together. Our Cinco de Mayo celebration was pretty great last week. It’s funny how similar our lives can seem, even though we all are such different people. There are few people I would rather spend time with than these guys.

How do you keep from comparing yourself to others?

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Broad Street Run!

0504140436I promise I am not trying to destroy myself. I am just really bad as using a calendar. When I registered for the Broad Street 10 miler, I did not put together that it was the weekend after my half marathon in D.C. Oops… I actually was planning on just going out easy and enjoying the experience. This is the largest 10 miler in the country. A little over 40,000 runners showed up. Everyone says it is “the race to do” in Philadelphia. Well, if you have to do it..who am I to disagree?

0504141127The problem is… the energy of the race overtook me. I started out going easy and steady, which actually set me up for a great race. I started to feel the energy of the crowd, and next thing you know…I was dropping down to 9:10/miles and below. I ended up averaging about a 9:20 mile, which is the same as my half marathon last week.

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Honestly, I am so glad that I got the chance to experience this iconic race. I had a great time with friends and really surprised myself. Now that I have been taking my iron supplements, I have been feeling pretty good. I promise that I will take some much needed rest time now. I already have a massage scheduled and a yoga class on my calendar.

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While I loved the great atmosphere of the race – tons of people cheering on the streets, running around City Hall, and the bands performing…I did not love the HUGE crowds. 40,000 people is a lot. The race went well, but afterwards there were 40,000 people wandering around. It was chaos. They definitely need to work on their exit strategy.

All in all, the 10 mile distance is my favorite so far. It holds a special place in my heart as my first transition into distance running. I definitely will enter the lottery for Broad Street next year!

What is your favorite race distance?

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