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  • nicolees3

Broad Street Runnin'

When I started running, again, back in 2015, it was after a 10 year hiatus and after 10 years of cycling for exercise. I could barely run a mile and dreaded anything beyond that. One day, my mom and I had considered signing up for the Broad Street Run. 'Crazy' we thought we were to enter a lottery for a 10 mile run. 'It's all downhill though' was the other thought we had as we actually pushed the enter button. In three months, we needed to somehow learn how to run a continuous 10 miles.

This may seem like a seemingly easy task. Three months, 90 days, to pace ourselves to run 10 miles. However, when you don't have a clue of what you are doing, what you just got yourself into and what you just decided to commit yourself to, mentally.

So I bought some shoes.

Or what I thought were excellent shoes to run in. Enter Crossfit shoes:

Reebok Crossfit Sneakers

I had an exceptionally low level of knowledge of what Crossfit shoes were, what running shoes were and what to expect when you have never done any running in 10 years.

So I trained. And it hurt.

I attempted to run on the treadmill at the gym. And because I had only been cycling, my running muscles were weak and everything started to hurt. I began doing research, my mom would ask people she knew about running and what to expect. I started using KT tape to help support both tendons and muscles. My time/mile was slow, but that didn't matter.

I finally progressed to better shoes after asking around. My first pair of Brooks.

The miles became easier, and longer. Eventually, I that day came and I completed my first Broad Street Run finishing 1:56:56.

2016 brought rain down broad street, but because it offered cool running weather, I beat 2015's time.

In 2017, I suffered a hip injury and needed to defer my run to 2018. As mentioned in my prior post, 2018 was a suffer fest and I ran my 2nd worst time in my Broad Street Run experience:

My heart rate was consistently above 200, my breathing was uncomfortable and I felt bloated the entire run. This was that turning point. The point I knew I needed to fix something so that I could feel comfortable running, without a high heart rate and without taking significant deep breaths.

Enter personal training. A period of uncomfort, acknowledgement of the suck, embracing the suck and trusting whatever process this was. Most workouts put together, I lovingly called 'bs' because of how ridiculous they were and how much they truly sucked going through them. But I also LOVED them. They reminded me of a time when I was a Division 1 Athlete and able to push myself to new levels and also feel sore in the best way possible. I worked as hard as I could over the past 11 months and was relaxed, but anxious as I waited at the start line for the 2019 Broad Street Run.

If you have never done the Broad Street Run, just be prepared to run with 40,000 of your running friends and thousands lining the streets to cheer you on. You take the subway from the Sports Complexes up to the start by La Salle University. The start is always super crowded, and the subway train becomes a hug fest with your 'new' friends.

Map of the start corrals and run route.

It was lightly raining the entire route, just like 2016.I dodged through people, left and right, stopped occasionally for sips of water and my Xrcel immediate and extended-release carbohydrate drink. I also learned to use gobstopper's during my run, which adds more saliva to my mouth and helps me not reach for fluids and prevents overhydration.

I crossed the finish line and wrapped myself in a wind breaker jacket I had tied around my waist the entire run. I didn't know my time and didn't care. I felt great running and felt strong. I grabbed my finishers medal and headed to walk back to my car. Finally, dried and relaxed, I checked my time.

A new PR! Although I have much more work to do running, I was very excited that after last week's 22.2 mile running adventure, my legs were able to run 10 more miles and in a record time.

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