Sorry I didn’t get this out sooner but Sunday was a bit busy for me after the run. I didn’t get home until after 10:30 PM and Monday ended up being an even lazier day than I had planned. But enough excuses. What follows is a nonfictional account of my run. Any names used here are totally true because none are used but my own…
Unfortunately no PR for me on Sunday. My time was actually 2 seconds slower than my fastest time in 2007 which was a bit disappointing. The night before the run I found out that I could live-tweet my pace during the run which was pretty cool so I signed up for the service then went to bed. The next morning I gather my things, hopped in the car and began to drive. It wasn’t until I got to I-95 that I realized that I had forgotten my phone. It hit me that I would have no running partner or music to encourage me during the run which was a bit disappointing…but…there was no turning back at this point.
I parked my car next to reluctantly next to Citizens Bank Park due to the Sixers selfishly re-claiming the Wells Fargo Center parking for themselves and headed for the subway. What awaited was a half-mile long line (I measured) of people trying to get on. I jammed my way onto a subway car and proceeded to the start. Once there I moved up a corral in confidence of my new found ability thanks to my training with my group.
Our time came and I approached the line then started at my comfortable pace. I took a look down the street and saw City Hall in the hazy distance began my run. There was the usual passing of slower people who don’t understand the corral system or overestimated their finishing times. I reached Temple University, gave a few high-fives to Hooter (their mascot) and the football team and got charged up.
At the runners expo the day before, I upgraded my water bottle to a larger one which made this the first Broad Street Run I got to be my own water station which was pretty cool. It felt a little funny at first to not be one of the people clamoring and crashing into each other in hopes of quenching a much needed thirst but after the second station I confidently moved to the center and ran on turning my nose up at the gloved volunteers with their cup-filled tables.
I was feeling good, running at a good pace but subconsciously something was strange. My pace was normal, my breathing was good, other runners shirts were entertaining enough and people were doing their usual dash behind buildings…and then it hit me, I had to go too. I tried to hold out; passing long line after long line for a porta-potty but then shortly before mile 5 I couldn’t take it any longer. Thinking back I tried to get it out before the run but there was nothing there to give so I went towards the starting line. I had to take a short stop since there was a line only 5 people deep.
Freshly relieved I continued down the street and suddenly City Hall came out of nowhere. I had reached the 5 mile mark without even knowing it. I was still feeling good and after a sharp right, a left and then another sharp right I was back running down Broad Street again then wouldn’t you know it, mile 6! Only 4 more to go I thought as I ran on. I looked for my usual high-five from former Gov. Rendell but I couldn’t find him in his usual spot.
I slowed a few times to cool down as my temperature started to rise but I ran on. The 1 time I stopped to walk in hopes of cooling down was short lived as a woman came running by shouting “Don’t stop! You’re my pace person! I need you to make my 1:45.” So of course I had to continue on down the street. I stuck with her until about mile 9 before she faded, still urging me not to stop. I looked at my watch and saw that my PR was escaping me but mile 9 has a tough start and a gradual incline.
Halfway up the hill I saw Anne-Marie under the Fleet Feet tent but I was on the other side of the street so I had to pass by and keep going. Over the hill with the Navel Yard gates approaching, I could hear the relieved shouts of “Look, the finish line!” from the rookies and the crushing “No, you have ¼ mile to go!” from the veterans followed by collective sighs. I glanced at my watch to check my time then poured on what little energy I had left. Whipping and weaving though the people in an attempt to come in just shy of my fastest time but the crowd proved too much. The spots to weave ran out and the finish line grew closer. In my efforts to cross the finish line I forgot to stop my watch so it ran 2 minutes over what it should’ve but they had my time.
Saddened, I got my medal and bag of goodies and made my 1 ¾ mile walk back to my car (I measured). A quick hello to Anne-Marie along the way then off I went. As I shut the door to my car I vowed that come the Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon in September, it’ll be a sub 2 HR run…maybe even a 1:44 run.