Sunday was the Broad Street Run – a 10 mile race straight through the heart of Philadelphia and one of the most popular races in the world: over 30,000 people raced and so many have signed up in the past that they went to a lottery registration process this year. I signed up (and won a spot) since running was one of the things I was allowed to do after shoulder surgery.
Even though the purpose of signing up was to keep me focused with some sort of training, I have to admit that I was pretty lazy, even by my standards. Between programming and running BarBelles, a busy work schedule, and not having a plan of action, I was “working out” 2-3 days a week. Some days were just finding max double unders, or a short circuit of ring pull ups/push ups/and box jumps. I did try to squat (safety bar or front) once a week and ran a few miles three or four times in the month leading up to Broad Street. The most I ran at a time was 3-4 miles. About a month out, I did get concerned that the lack of CrossFit workouts had left me very deconditioned and it was pretty much true. Sporadically I would work a metcon in, but none lasted more than 12-15 minutes. By all means, I was not expecting to set the world on fire at Broad Street!
The morning of the race, I didn’t eat anything. I am usually fine without food in the morning, plus this was not a very long race, so I made myself a double shot espresso and added some water for an Americano. (yes, I did add brown sugar to it)
The ride into Philly was much easier than expected, so we arrived early: 7am for an 8:30 start. Walking around, we found some fellow CrossFitters and tried to keep warm as the temps were around 45 and windy. The sun was covered by clouds, so it was chilly. Plenty of people, including us, had throwaway shirts had throwaway shirts or garbage bags as ways to keep themselves warm.
With over 30,000 people running, the street was filled with people for blocks. Those towards the back probably took 20 minutes just to walk up to the starting line once the gun went off! I projected myself to finish somewhere around 70 minutes, so I was in the second or third corral.
Mile 1 – I ended up running about a 6:57 mile. Usually the first mile is my slowest since there are so many people bunched up, so I thought this was unusually fast. The crowd thinned out, but not by much. At any point during the race I was within 2-10 feet of someone else.
Miles 2-4 – Felt ok. Ended up running 7:15, 7:12, and 7:04 miles. The most I ran prior to the race was 3-4 miles and those were typically a jog/sprint/rest type deal. Past mile 4 I didn’t know what to expect.
Miles 5-7 – I’ve never done this before, but I stopped for a bathroom break. Yes, there were porta-potties on the sidewalk and yes I waited about 5 people deep. It took about 2-3 minutes for the ordeal and I really shouldn’t have done that for a 10 mile race, but you gotta go when you gotta go. My watch didn’t pick up the next few laps, so I have 23:47 for Miles 5, 6, and 7. For Mile 7, I didn’t feel great. Not awful, but if I was running alone I would have walked for a bit around mile 7. But having everyone else around and the crowd there, I just slowed my pace and jogged.
Mile 8-9 – My mood picked up and I felt pretty good here. Pace felt ok, and knew that I was coming into the home stretch. Pace was 7:27 and 7:24, respectively.
Mile 10 – felt good. In the past, I sprinted the last 100 yards or so, but this year I knew I wasn’t going to anywhere close to any PRs, so I just finished at the same consistent pace. The last mile was clocked in at 7:16.
Overall, I came in at 1:14:22, or 7:26 pace. Certainly a respectable time, but not my best. Here are my results compared to past years of running Broad Street:
I wasn’t disappointed in my time, but I also wasn’t elated with it. I attribute the slower performance (compared to past years) to one thing: less training. Specifically, less CrossFit training. (because as we know, you don’t need to run long distances for road races) Between a busy work schedule, coaching classes, and limited shoulder strength/mobility, my training has definitely taken a dip. Over the past month though, the race has kept me more on track (pun intended?) than I would have been without having signed up for it.
At the end of the day, it was a beautiful day, the sun came out at the end of the race, there were a lot of CF KoPers representing, and even though I didn’t do well by my own standards, plenty of people would love to run a 74 minute 10 miler. In fact, more than a few buddies ran mid 60’s and one ran just over 61 minutes! Blazing fast and I’m glad they set ridiculous PRs.
My next goal is to figure out a new direction and head towards it with perseverance. Ditty and I just booked a trip in August to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, so I could go the endurance route. However, I think for the next couple of months I will focus on strength gains since I’ve lost so much from the surgery. I will keep you updated on the progress and if I figure out any other specific goals or methods to my madness. In the meantime, good luck with your own training!