The Broad Street Run. The past few months we spent so much time doing training runs and preparing for the race; now I have the post race blues. Whomp.
So what about my husband, Jay, the reluctant runner? How is he feeling after all of this?
I’ll get to that.
A little history: the Blue Cross Broad Street Run has been in existence for 36 years. It boasts that it’s the largest 10 mile race in the USA and I sure can believe it! The results page shows that 41,511 runners participated and the numbers on the bibs went into the 43,000s. That’s a lot of people. And it’s a lot of Philly love through and through.
We were in the pink corral, which is the very last corral, for those expecting to finish in 1:45 or longer. Which is exactly what category we fell into (the “or longer” category). During training runs we kept Jay’s pace, which put us at an exact 13 minute mile pace. Joining us for this run were two friends who I’ve known since flowered baby doll dresses were in fashion and running was uncool: Keri and Chrissy!
Since Broad Street is a point to point race, we parked near the finish line at the stadiums and took the Broad Street rail line, which is free for runners on race day, to the start staging area.
We got there in plenty of time and were able to use the porta-potties and take the above pictures without feeling rushed. When you’re in the Pink corral, it’s a lot of “hurry up and wait”.
Ahhh, the Pink corral. Let me set the stage. You’re so far back from the start that you can’t actually hear the start of the race. No Star Spangled Banner for us and no clue of what’s actually going on up at the start of the race. So yes, a whole lot of cluelessness. We stood (im)patiently, waving to the helicopters circling overhead and entertaining ourselves.
In 2013 I started in the Pink corral and we got to the start at 49 minutes after the start. This year we started at 59 minutes after. More runners? More people in Pink? Not sure. But after one last stop at the porta-potties, we were off to the sounds of Weezer (anyone who knows me knows just how much this thrilled me).
Jay’s plan, so subsequently OUR plan, was to run the first mile and then switch to 2:1 intervals. And run he did. That dude clocked a 10:30 the first mile. I asked him about twenty times if he knew how fast we were going (because it was definitely faster than his normal mile pace) and he either wasn’t able to hear me over his music or he was ignoring me.
I’m going to go with the first thought.
We hit the mile mark quickly and then switched into the 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking.
The first five miles were flawless. We kept a solid averaged 12:20 pace after that first speedy mile and everything was going swimmingly. Runningly? That. We were cruising and everyone seemed as happy as running people could be.
There were bands. There were cheer squads. There were children outside of the children’s hospital again, waving and smiling and cheering from their wheelchairs. City Hall was becoming a more real sight and less a speck in the distance and it’s incredible.
The Broad Street Run can be separated into two parts. Running toward City Hall (which is AWESOME) and then the after City Hall part. Which, I think, is still awesome. But that’s when you really start feeling the race. Mile 6 our pace slowed up a bit and our aches started to make themselves known.
Personally I’m dealing with another bout of plantar fasciitis, which in no uncertain terms, BLOWS. It flared up during my last training run and here I am, dealing with it again. I was feeling it. Jay hips weren’t lying when they said they were feeling awful. Chrissy’s knee was acting up. And Keri’s shins were making a bit of noise.
Thankfully the crowd support was just as awesome the second half as in the first half and we relied on that to help get us through those tougher miles.
The water stations increased in the second half, which was good because it was pretty toasty out there. We haven’t had many hot days to train in so this was a little different than the weather we’ve been used to but the additional water and the occasional fire hydrant open helped cool us off. The cups on the street were a little slick, which comes along with a race as large as this one and not being able to clear them all.
The entire race Chrissy, Keri, and myself spent surrounding Jay – his own personal sparkling cheerleaders. Since Jay was plugged in to his music, we chatted along the way, pointing out cool sights and fun stuff. I hadn’t seen Chrissy in years before this weekend so it was really great to catch up! Yet another bonus of running 10 miles together.
You’ll notice that there are less pictures of Jay here. That’s because he was not thrilled with life. I took a selfie with him at one point. I’m not going to post it though because he just looks miserable. In fact maybe I’ll delete it from my phone and he’ll forget all about that feeling. Maybe?
The first part of the race has City Hall to focus on, while the second part has a slightly less visible sight, until you’re right there. The Navy Yard sign.
It signifies that there’s only about a quarter mile left so we were pretty jazzed to see it! Or I was pretty jazzed. I think Jay was saving his excitement for the finish line.
As we drew closer and closer to the finish, I kept looking to Jay to see if he was ready for the sprint to the finish line. Once we were close enough, he took off like a shot and I knew that he was looking forward to wrapping up!
His goal was to finish under 2:15. His reach goal was 2:00. Had we kept the same pace we did the first half, we would have hit 2:00. We finished in 2:11 which is exactly 13 minute miles – training run pace held true. We high fived each other at the end and cheered our accomplishment. Some louder than others, natch.
We walked down the chute wondering exactly where we were headed. There wasn’t much guidance at that point. We continued to walk, in search of water, food, medals, something. Finally there were tables with water bottles. Then tents with bags of food and pretzels.
The volunteers were handing out the bags of food and the medals were nearly an afterthought. It was a bit odd. I understand not wanting to crowd the finishing chute with medals but I was surprised that they didn’t have more of a comprehensive flow in that regard. Eventually we got everything sorted out!
On the long walk back to the car I made a teeny tiny comment about signing up again next year and sheesh, you would have thought I told Jay we were running another ten miles the next day with how quickly he said NO. So I guess he doesn’t want to do it again. (I think he forgot that we already registered for Beat the Blerch 10k in September.) (I’m not reminding him just yet.)
Our car held a glorious cooler filled with delightful beverages so once we finally got there we planted ourselves in the parking lot and relaxed, waiting for the crowds to disperse.
So, it’s over. But if I get in via the lottery, I’ll be back, Broad Street! You can count on it.
Have you ever done the Broad Street Run? Or a ten mile race? How about coerced your significant other into doing something they wouldn’t normally do?