Sunday, May 2, 2010

Broad Street Disappointment

I could have destroyed this race. Ten miles downhill? And in almost a directly straight line, no less! I’ve managed a 7:14/mile pace in a half marathon, and knocking 3.1 miles off of that should have given me a huge advantage. Cruise the first five, push it the second five with plenty left for a final mile sprint.

Unfortunately, I spent the week before the Broad Street Run with a nightly fever and a throat that felt like someone had punched it and then rubbed sandpaper inside. It’s amazing how quickly bodies can lose their strength and energy. I barely even took time off from running, and suddenly even a flat, riverside 3 mile run felt like an uphill marathon. I was still hopeful that I’d regain my zest by race day, but alas, to no avail.

Come Sunday morning, my throat felt better, but my entire body still felt like lead. Moreover, the humidity in Philadelphia was oppressive, to put it mildly, and the temperature was set to reach a record-breaking 90 degrees. I am not a hot weather runner, by any stretch of the imagination—I’d rather have my fingers aching to the point of being unable to bend during a single-digits run in Central Park than feel like I’m going to pass out from dehydration at 8:30 in the morning. And while this race did have ample water stations (which I actually used, much to my chagrin—since prefer running races without stopping to for water) and used fire hydrants to spray runners along the course, it still wasn’t enough. I was soaked by the end, as much from having dumped half of every Dixie cup full of water down the front of myself as from sweat.

My one notable moment in the race came when I was actually trying to avoid a fire hydrant. I had just run under one and didn’t want water to start dripping into my eyes, so I was gradually trying to make my way toward the middle of the pack of runners on the street. (Note: this race was actually good preparation for the NYC Marathon, however, because 30,000 runners is considerably closer to the 45,000 I’ll be running with in November than any other race I’ve run.) I was shifting over gradually, checking to make sure I that wasn’t cutting anyone off, when suddenly my left leg was nearly kicked out from under me. Luckily my stride was strong enough to withstand it and I righted myself, but I looked around to see what had happened. This woman in a white-and-pink sports bra and a checkered baseball cap came running up on my left, clearly intent on getting under the spray of the hydrant while also trying to pass me. She kind of muttered what I assume was an apology, but she didn’t even look at me!

That got me mad. We had reached about mile 7, and all I could suddenly think was that I had 3 miles left to burn this b@#$!. No way was I letting her beat me when she almost just tripped me! And didn’t even say sorry! It was on.

In spite of my less-than-stellar performance, at least I managed to beat that lady…and 14,000 other women. So I cannot complain too bitterly; I just have to step up my game and PR my next race!

Race LengthFinishing TimeAverage PaceOverall Place Gender Place (All Women) Age Group Place (F21-24)
10 miles1:14:317:25/mile 1,232/26,169 228/14,340 44/1,921

1 comment:

Eric said...

ha yeah, the humidity was insane. glad you could make it down!