2012 Blue Cross Broad Street Run

So yesterday was finally it! The Blue Cross Broad Street Run was here!!! All of my training was about to come to a head.

Goals…
Going in, my base goal was the same as for any race I run: finish and have fun. My “I can live with it” goal was to finish in 2:15. My “reach goal” was to break 2 hours – that was big as it would put me with an average pace of sub-12 minute miles, something I hadn’t yet done in a race longer than 4 miles.

The set-up…
In a “crazy runner” effort to save money, I made the decision to pay the $20 fee for day-of pick-up and take MegaBus down early Sunday morning. Well, the one early morning option was scheduled to leave NYC at 1:15am and get to Philly at 3:15am. Not exactly ideal, but by doing that and skipping an overnight stay, I essentially gave myself at least one race registration fee. So I did it. The bus was a little late leaving, so it was a little closer to 4am when we got to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. I went in and got changed into my running gear – pink SkirtSports running skirt and my Team Breakthrough tech shirt, socks and shoes – then wandered to find a table to sit and read for a little. My plan was to start walking towards the subway’s Broad Street Line so that I’d get there at 5 or a little after. (I’d been given a card to show for free admission to the line since I wouldn’t have my bib yet.) Packet pick-up was to start at 6, and I wanted to be there early given how chaotic some other things had seemed through the whole preparation process. Well, I managed to hit one of the express trains, so I was there WAY early. One other woman was with me, so we hung out until pick-up opened. I ate my Luna bar and drank my Starbucks double shot while we waited. Got my bib and got it all situated, then got my bag ready to check. Took it to a school bus where I was given 2 wristbands – one for me and one for the bag. The bag was then put on a school bus in a seat based on its number. Then I headed to the Pink corral, which was way in the back. I think I’d read somewhere that there was going to be a certain time to enter the corrals, but people seemed to be going in anyway. I didn’t see anyone really checking bibs going in, but then again, being in the last corral it’s not like we were in a corral too fast for us. (Well, unless you shouldn’t have been in the race with a 15 minute mile pace requirement anyway.) I chatted with a few different people – funny how a runDisney mylar blanket makes a good conversation starter! – and nibbled on a ginger chew. My friend Johnny from FRNY called me and I went over and chatted with him and his partner for a few minutes before they headed to their corral. It was almost time!!

The race…
The race was scheduled to start at 8:30, and I can only assume it did. There were no speakers in the back corrals, so I have no clue what all happened before the race. The green corral – which was kind of in the middle – had been staged on a side street, and once they moved out and up we in the back three (gray, yellow and pink) finally started moving forward. And a little after 9 we finally got started. This was by far the largest race I’ve been in – around 40,000 people were registered – but I never really felt crowded in. Sure there were some places that got narrower than others, but even there I never felt pressure to go faster or slow down. Crowd support was great, even for us in the back. People were out on their porches or sidewalks cheering us – even church congregations were on their church steps! It’s a net downhill course, but there are still some ups, some of which are pretty long and gradual. Still, I kept plugging on with my 4/1 run/walk interval. On the longest uphill, I did walk a little more just to try and conserve some energy. The fluid stops weren’t as bad as I feared on spotting the first few tables at the first one. As long as you went towards the back tables you were fine. Those who stopped at the front tables were having to stop and wait for water to be poured. As I got to the Mile 9 marker, I looked at my garmin to see where I was with time, and after some quick mental calculations I realized that I could make my A goal, even if it was just barely. I’d have to push, and I didn’t have a lot left as I’d pushed hard through the rest of the race as well. I’d done what I could to stay cool (it wasn’t hot hot, but it wasn’t cool either once we got going) – dumping water on my arms, head and back – but there was still a toll taken there as well. So Mile 9…time to buckle down. And the biggest fights my brain and heart had with my legs. Every time I’d drop to a walk, my brain was screaming “Come on! Move!!” The people cheering us in definitely helped…but it was hard. When I saw the 1/2 mile mark, I checked the garmin again and knew I’d have to run it in if I wanted to break 2 hours. And run it in pretty hard. I just kept moving forward, pushing hard so I’d know that I’d done everything I possibly could. I got across the finish and beeped through the unused segments to end the workout. As I was walking towards the medals, I got up the courage to look at the history and find my time, knowing that there would be some difference as the beeping through took a little longer than usual.

1:59:43 on the garmin!!!!!

I knew at that point – especially having been on the front row of the Pink corral and having started the garmin a split second after crossing the mat – that I’d done it. I’d broken 2 hours!! I was totally spent, but thrilled.

After…
I got my t-shirt and my food bag, then got my bag from the bus and headed to the line for the shuttle bus to the subway. That was kinda crazy, made moreso with Philadelphia having a team in playoffs with a game yesterday afternoon. Still, I managed to get back to the 30th St Station and get changed into clean, dry clothes. Then I went across the street to Slainte for cheese fries and a black velvet. I should have probably gone with the burger or something with a little more protein as later on while I was wandering around being tired and just feeling off after deciding I’d try to walk to Independence Hall…which was further than I’d thought from the map. I got tired and the little distance back to the station just kept growing. I finally got back and got some diet coke…and a donut to get some sugar (the protein thing hadn’t occurred to me yet). Then headed out for the line for the bus back.

Overall…
I had a great time! I would like to do the race again…but we’ll see what they end up doing with registration next year. I do think I’d probably splurge on a hotel room the next time. It was rough being on so little sleep…moreso afterwards than before or during. But I had a great time!!

Oh, oh OH!!!!! I forgot the most important part!! Official time 1:59:21 for an 11:56 pace! First time at a race longer than 4 miles that I’ve gone under 12 minute miles average!!

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3 thoughts on “2012 Blue Cross Broad Street Run

  1. You are amazing! And what a great feeling to just make it under your push goal! I’m so happy for you…

  2. Beth, my daughter and I met you at the beginning of the pink corral (we both had done Disney too) but after leaving the corral for a potty break, we jumped in to the gray one (in the middle of a ton of people). We should of come back to you at the beginning of the pink, maybe it wouldn’t have been so crowded. Congrats on your awesome time. I broke the 2 hour mark also (a major mental thing I ‘needed’ to do). Hope you had a safe trip back to NY.

    • Hey!! 🙂 Great to hear from you!! Congratulations on the sub-2 yourself!! I totally understand the mental hurdle!

      I got back safely – the afternoon was a little iffy as I decided to try and walk to Independence Hall from the 30th St Station and my utter pushing it on the course got the better of me. Thanks to a well-placed 7-Eleven I got fluids and was ok. Just really tired. But the ride back was fine.

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