Today I ran 10 miles in the Blue Cross Broad Street Run. The course goes right through Philadelphia, one end to the other, all along Broad Street.
It was pretty great. I had no expectations, and I had no goals, other than to run the whole thing.
You see, I didn’t really train. I had a training plan. I had good intentions, but life got in the way. So I ran approximately half of the times I was supposed to. And I didn’t do all the long runs. And I barely did anything in the last 2 weeks because I was busy celebrating my birthday copiously. So, I didn’t have goals.
But then I found out the weather forecast was calling for 90 degrees with a heck of a lot of humidity. I’ve been running in mostly 60 degree weather, 70 on a “hot” day. 90 degrees? Not the same beast and definitely not great running weather. Great sweating weather though – I excel at sweating. So I hydrated myself silly. This, in turn, led my small bladder to protest. But, I carried on.
Then on Friday we received an email from the race coordinators urging people to reevaluate if they were fit to run or not. Great. Then late Saturday we got another:
Due to the predicted forecast and the fact that most of you have not been training in these type of conditions we are urging all of you to take the proper precautions relating to this situation. We cannot make decisions for you when you are the only one who knows how you feel.
Medical teams are on high alert and our volunteers have been instructed to rise to the challenge. Runners should plan to run at a slower pace and to slow down or stop if they become disoriented on the race course. Fellow runners are urged to contact the nearest medical personnel, police or race staff along the course in the event of a down runner.
Thus, my new goal became to not die. Not pass out. Not throw up on the side of the road.
With those goals in mind, we rose at 5:30am and left for downtown Philly. Along the way I encountered an EIGHTY year old man running the race with his family to raise money for a disease affecting his three year old grandson. Eighty. That blows my mind. It’s one of the hottest days this race has ever fallen on and this man is still out running. Incredible.
Really he just proves that running is possible for everyone. There is no particular body type that you have to be to run. And, you can start at almost any level. I saw people of ALL shapes, sizes, and ages running today – some running faster than me. A body type to match each and every person in my extended family (minus the elderly). Anyone can run.
I started the race with my friend, Alex. It was fun to look at all the other runners, all 30,000 of them, charging through the streets. Not to mention all the spectators that came out. Broad Street is a big deal in Philly and tons of people come out just to watch and support the runners. Church congregations, college students, families, friends, and more lined the streets from start to finish, cheering us on. There were also a number of bands of all genres from blues to rock to a bagpiper – I loved him.
For me, the best part is all the volunteers. So many people give their time to come stand on the road on a disgustingly hot day to hand out water and Gatorade and cheer us on. They are incredibly supportive as we take a sip of water and toss our trash on the ground and keep going. But, without those people, the race would not be nearly the same. They really made the day for me. Each person who stood in the sweltering heat and handed me a cup of water, thanks. I appreciate it.
Around mile 6 I left Alex and continued on alone to the finish. Well, as alone as one can be when they’re listening to Glee and Britney Spears, dancing their way through Philadelphia to the finish line at the Navy Yard.
I finished. It was fun. I’d do it again. And again. And again. Want to join me?
I achieved a PDR (Personal Distance Record), and I look forward to my next race on May 29 – The ODDyssey Half Marathon.
– Sarah #2