Such an awesome weekend! Philadelphia’s Blue Cross Broad Street Run was yesterday, and is probably my most favorite road race. It’s a 10-Mile race right through center city Philadelphia. Now that we’re living in the city, it was so much fun to race by my neighborhood. The race maxed out at 30,000 runners this year!!
My goal for the race was to beat my time from last year (1 hr 14 min). Joe and I kicked off race preparations on Friday evening by cooking up an ideal carbo-loading meal (aka – one of the best parts about endurance sports!) Our favorite pasta is Al Dente’s Whole Wheat Blend Plus Flax fettuccini – Joe picked some up from Reading Terminal Market on Friday because we can’t seem to find it anywhere else (but you can order it online).
Topped off with our family’s secret red sauce – although I cannot disclose the recipe :) I make a healthier version including organic chicken sausage. I usually make a gigantic batch and freeze small containers of it to use for a few months!
We also made a delicious side salad of organic greens, radishes, cucumbers, mushrooms, and balsamic vinaigrette.
Saturday we woke up early and made our way down to the Broad Street Run expo held at Lincoln Financial Field to pick up our numbers. We also had the opportunity to do a little networking and spread the word about NaturaStride. Met lots of great folks and organizations, including Alex’s Lemonade Stand, the Ragnar Relay Series, and Back on my Feet. Hoping to get involved, and team up with them for future events!
Saturday evening we had a little more pasta and greens, and headed to bed early to get a good night’s rest.
Sunday morning we woke up super excited. The weather was perfect for a race. For my pre-race meal, I had “Ye Ol’ Standby” (you’ve seen this before): Whole wheat toast, Peanut Butter & Co. Crunch Time natural PB, sliced banana, and cinnamon.
I also had a bowl of organic yogurt with mixed fruit...
...and packed a Picky Bar to take an hour before the race!
Joe's natural energy bar of choice was a Whole Berry Blast ProBar!
We took the subway up to the start and got there an hour early, which, to me is perfect timing. We were able to warm up, stretch, and use the porta potty with plenty of time left to head to our corral. But not too much time.
The race started at 8:30. It was about 65 degrees at the start which was actually slightly warmer than anticipated.
The first two miles were annoyingly crowded. I was so concerned that I was off-pace because of all the people, so my main focus what to pass people to get where I needed to be. The first 4 miles honestly flew by because I was so worried about my time. Before I knew it, I was at mile 4, and the clock said 29 minutes. Nice. I figured out that I was doing low-7’s which was slightly faster than anticipated. But I felt excellent and decided to keep going with it.
When I race, I like to play games with myself. Maybe out of boredom? Maybe so I don’t focus on the blister forming on my big toe? But it’s just what I do. My game yesterday was “Try to pass the next woman in front of you” – and I just focused on that. Other “games” include “Try to pass anyone in ridiculous costumes.” :)
My favorite part of the Broad Street Run is running past City Hall – it’s so much fun and there are spectators everywhere!
Then came mile 6. I see the clock: 42 minutes? I realize I am running 7 minute miles. Uh oh. I suddenly felt extremely nervous. I’m always afraid that if I’m feeling too good and push it too hard, what if I cramp up at mile 8 and lose it completely? But I decided to keep going at pace till mile 8. I felt like, if I could get to 8 feeling this way, I could definitely make the last 2 miles. So I just kept going.
Miles 7 – 9 of the Broad Street Run are totally boring. Plus, the building size reduces and you’re suddenly running in wide open sunshine. Yuck.
And then all of a sudden came mile 9 and I realize I could likely break 1:10. So I picked up the pace for the home stretch!
Official time: 1 hour, 8 minutes; 6:48 average pace. I was definitely happy that I beat my goal, but it also confirmed the fact that I truly love running this distance (10-miler to half-marathon) versus running a whole marathon. I find myself having a blast while running them, and I don’t get super nervous like I did when running marathons. Definitely found my niche.
This was my first race in my New Balance Minimus. I’ve had them for a month and I loved racing in them. My final verdict on the shoes is that they’re excellent for racing – I partially attribute my increase in speed to them. But I DEFINITELY had to break them in. I haven’t had to “break in” shoes for a long time, however I got painful blisters on my achilles and big toes during this past month. But now, 4 weeks later, I truly love them. Also, as far as minimalist sneakers go, you definitely need to ease in to how they change your form. I’ve had to concentrate on stretching out my calf muscles (especially lower calf muscles) a ton. My calf muscles are pretty sore today, but no injuries, thank goodness! I also have some larger than normal blisters on my big toes, but no big deal.
Joe did amazing too! He PR’d as well, and finished at 1 hour 16 minutes. Nice work, hun!
One of the best parts about Broad Street this year was that all we had to do was hop on the subway for 5 minutes and we were home! We slowly showered, and gingerly walked down to Chipotle to get burritos!! Earned it!
Yesterday afternoon was spent on the couch in and out of sleep, while catching up on my Housewives :)
For dinner, Joe and I enjoyed burgers + beers at Marathon. It was a perfect Sunday!
Congrats to all the Broad Street Runners out there! Enjoy 20% off your entire order at www.naturastride.com now through May 8th by entering promo code BROADST2011 at checkout!