Spring racing continued for me this weekend. The Broad Street Run has been the only race that I will consistently do year after year without fail (with the luck of the lottery of course). I’m not a fan of doing the same races year in and year out. This race, to me, is the perfect distance. Great running conditions, typically and the support of the community is second to none. This year I set up a team so other friends could get in on the lottery with us. Thankfully, another successful year and we were accepted. My friends Jessica and Cindy joined us along with another friend and elite runner Kelly. A friend from Instagram was supposed to meet up with us but unfortunately got strep throat and couldn’t run.
Bill and I headed down to Philly Saturday morning. The Rittenhouse Square festival was going on and we love walking the streets and checking everything out. Eating. Shopping. We love our runcation (run vacations). We found a great vegan restaurant called Hip City Veg that we had lunch at. It was fantastic! I had an Udon bowl and Bill had a wrap. The food was insane. So good, in fact, that we went back for dessert with everyone after dinner at another restaurant. Their banana whip was so good and loved by all! Definitely recommend you try this place the next time you’re in Philly.
Saturday’s weather was very springy with a nip in the air. We loved walking around and taking in the sights and the beauty of spring after such a long winter.
We headed off to the expo after taking in the sights and meeting up with our friends for dinner. We already had our bibs mailed to us so the expo was relaxing and we just meandered along checking it out.
After that we met up at Serafina’s for dinner. I had the best vegetarian spaghetti squash ever. It was the perfect dinner before a race.
Then it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for the race and go to bed.
I never sleep well at a hotel. Hearing every noise and bump. The race started at 8:30 so we planned on meeting in the lobby at 6:30. A little too early but everyone wanted to make sure we had enough time to use the porta potties. Septa was great. We got on an express train and got to the race in record time. The weather was supposed to be warm at the start (unfortunately) so I didn’t wear a pullover just my running tank and shorts. When we got there it was overcast, windy and cold. We sat shivering together for two hours. Thankfully the porta potty situation was plentiful this year and with 45k runners, that’s a challenge. We snapped a few pics and then off to the corrals we went.
It was very difficult trying to get into our corrals. There were so many people that everyone was just stopped in the middle of the road. After much snaking through the lines, Jess and I made it to our respective corrals. Then the race started and we took off. Everyone had their own plans for the race and no one ran together. I wasn’t sure how I would do coming off a half marathon and the flu the week prior. I just wanted to run it and beat my time from last year of 1.26.43 (2013) and 1.39.24 (2012). And I was hoping to beat my pace from last week’s half which was 8.12 per mile. I also wanted to keep my heart rate in check and below 180. Sadly the heart rate thing didn’t work out for me again. Lesson learned… I need to get that under control. I placed in my division at 142nd and 5411th overall. Sounds like nothing but with 45k runners… I’ll take that!
My pace was very consistent through mile 6 which is when the sun came out along with the heat. I admit, I don’t like running in the sun and heat. It just depletes me and I’m not a fan. I’m accustomed to running at 5 am in the dark typically in cooler temps. This was dragging me down a bit but I kept going. Pollen was also and remains quite high. I just didn’t feel like this was going to be a rockstar race for me but pushing ahead and staying focused. From mile 7-9 I was slowing down a bit into the low 8 range. By mile 9-10 I started to push harder because I knew the end was near. My heart rate sadly was climbing quite high.
I finished beating my time last year by 5 minutes. Insane! I also took my overall pace from last weekend of 8.12 down to an overall 8.09 a week later. I was elated. I was also very lightheaded with a heart rate again in excess of 189. I felt very unstable going through the food line and knew the heat had gotten to me. I was talking several people behind me who all felt the same way with the heat. It was just so sudden that it went from cold and overcast to hot and sunny that it just seemed to hurt many people. I passed two women down on the road with medics from miles 8-9.5, which you hate to see.
Once I got my medal and food, I sat down and waited to find my friends and husband, which posed an enormous hurdle. Cell service is fleeting with so many runners. Finally after about 45 minutes I spotted Bill. We took some pics and headed out along with several thousand runners to the train station. Funny enough, when we needed the sun (post race) to keep us warm… the clouds came back along with the wind and we froze again. What a strange weather day!
Bill, who runs only to stay in shape and prefers cycling to running the past few years also struggled around mile 6 when the sun came out. This seemed to be a pattern with my other friends. Glad I wasn’t alone. So proud of everyone who finished!
Trailing Bill on our long walk back to the Septa station freezing….
This was Bill’s first road race as a vegetarian and my second as a full fledge vegan. It was also my anniversary of becoming a vegetarian. Just proves that you can achieve great things with a plant-based diet.
We got back to the hotel. Showered and ran over to The Reading Terminal to grab a cup of tea to warm up (still freezing out) and then hit up our favorite Mexican restaurant El Vez for our traditional post race meal – well a bit modified this year. Vegetarian and vegan along with a celebratory margarita!
We walked round to a few shops and then hit up Whole Foods for the ride home. I’m so happy my back to back races are over. My body needs some time to recover and get back into a normal training routine. My awesome running coach Lottie has great plans for me I’ve been told.
I’m enjoying my rest day today. Walked with my dogs and then headed over to a friend’s house to walk with her. Now to get cracking on my Cinco de Mayo themed dinner for tonight.
Until the next race…
— Knead to Cook