So I am going to break down my personal run. This run attracts over 40,000 runners and is the biggest thus far. 10 miles all the way down Broad Street! However the same way I trained which is my pace, my race is how I finished!
Weekend of the Race
I wouldn’t recommend it but we ended up needing to attend a family emergency thus having to take an emergency flight out of town. I wouldn’t have it any other way for the ones we needed to travel for but catching a flight that got us back in Philadelphia around 1am on the day of the race is not how you rest up to run. I believe the night before the race you should really rest up to be up for early prepping. You should also make sure you set your gear and any essentials out the night before. This will eliminate the morning forgetfulness that creeps up as you rush around!!
Nonetheless I got up at 530 made myself some scrambled eggs and got ready! Shout out to my husband who got up with me and in his own way stayed with me during the race. More on him later!
Broad street was totally blocked off so we rode the Broad Street line to get to the race. It was my first time! I was super excited just for that to be honest. I am grateful for having a car and the only time I’ve rode the bus was as a teenager in Lancaster. To me their bus lines are amazingly easy compared to Septa!! But we got there in just enough time to hop on! The train was full to capacity and yet in still folks were squeezing on! The energy was amazing. Some folks were eating. Others quiet trying to get their minds right. Others just holding on so they wouldn’t fall! Either way after 25 minutes we were at Broad and Olney.
Black Girls Run
Let me say again this is not a Black only group. It was made to make black women aware of the health issues that prevail us more than any other group. However they were essential to race day. I had the worst panic attack at work on Friday when I finally need to think about logistics. I sent them a message and immediately they swarmed me with so much love and support. When I speak to others about running issues to a non runner it’s different than when I tell a runner who is going through the same anxiety how I’m feeling. They got it and they helped me through that panic attack. Soon as I got off the train my BGR Girls were right there to hug and let me know it was okay. We also had an amazing stretch before we went to our respective corridors for race time!
Race Time Jitters
So as we finally pushed through the crowd I ran into my health manager from my previous job. She has been weighing me every week throughout this process. With the thousands of folks out there I had no anticipation of running or bumping into anyone I knew. It was refreshing to see her. As we made our way to our corridors which was color coordinated according to the time we were expected to finish, doubt crept in. Was I was able to finish? Was this race too much too soon?! Remember in 2017 I did my first 5K and this was a 10 mile run which is light years in comparison. However with my Husband by my side, when it was time I cranked up my music and was ready to go!
Music is how I trained. I knew by an end of a song where I was and this day was no different!! Each song added a certain level of “lets get this!” I felt inspired. There were many bands that played out in the street too! However their were background noise for me to keep on going!
Running this race you’re able to see the city in one lump sum. So I had to go by my personal check points!! Let me say Temple is super big! That almost made me irritated. I wanted to be able to get through it but it took a little longer than I anticipated. My husband rode up on me twice. It was sweet hearing my name but it also pushed me. My husband doesn’t run so at the two times I saw him it made me think I was running slow. I told him this after the race. So after that he said when he thought I was going to be at a certain spot, I wasn’t cause I had beat him to spots and beyond! He had been riding the train to get to where he thought I would be. He was using the same tracker Racejoy that I was using so he knew where I was!
Throughout the whole race I had to keep talking to myself. I never got comfortable. It wasn’t a matter of if I get through x amount of miles I’m good. I will say that the race provided a tracker and it tells you how far you have come. I didn’t hear when I got to mile 6 so I was relieved when I saw the 7 mile tracker! Like girl, you really did it. I never looked back outside of when my husband called my name. I didn’t want to see the crowds of folks coming toward me. It helped me to focus on going forward only. Different miles I had to say who are you running this mile for?! What would they say if they saw you right now?! Let’s move!
With any race you want to finish and finish well. I definitely did that! My goal was 2.5 hours I got done at 1.59 and I wanted to do the Tootsie Roll! Everything that I had fought for in those moments on the ground had finally come to an end. I have to shout out to the angel who saw me struggling at the last minutes and grabbed my hand. It was just like one of those race movies where someone comes and helps you to the end! That man said to me, “Sis, we got this let’s finish this!” He grabbed my hand and we sprinted them last minutes to the finish. Thank you angel for that! I looked to find him but couldn’t locate him but he was amazing in assisting me at the end when my mind was all over the place and my body was so worn!! Seeing the end when you’re tired didn’t make me feel like yay you’re almost done. My whole body hurt too much but I knew all of the miles I had ran, finishing was a definite.
What I learned
One of the first things that came to mind was Girl, you did that! I will be 37 on Thursday and I conquered this race before it. I can do anything like run a long ass road in Philadelphia! I ran 10 miles today and that in itself is worthy of a dance!
Two is that it will soon be a year since my hysterectomy and I’ve hit so many personal and health goals since then! I think I’ve had more ups than downs and it feels good!
Three what can’t I do?! I had folks like ok you’re racing and?! My response is lace up and let’s see what you can do?! This is not an easy task! It’s not easy at all! Not everyone can just run it! So it’s an accomplishment to say the least!
Four, where is the next race?! Weirdly enough I am currently Googling another one. My goal is to do a half marathon and then off to a full marathon!! Being in great shape is a continual journey and races for me keep me accountable!
Let me shout out my amazing family who have had to deal with me refusing to abbreviate from my schedule of training. Yes even in the Winter months when I would hear you can miss a day and I didn’t listen to it! Also for putting up with my eating which won’t change because for me it’s a lifestyle change and not a diet! For reminding me to focus on me and no one else!!
For me 3 little people who call me Mom! You guys have no idea of how I thought of each of you. I will be using this against your “I can’t” moments! There’s nothing you can do and you will achieve anything you desire!
To my amazing friends! From the start of this morning, I was flooded with messages of good will today! To everybody Facebook and other social media messages too thanks! During my last few miles since they were tracking me too, although I didn’t open my phone during the actual race, hearing the notifications knowing it was y’all made me feel like a badass!
To my husband, Marques: your pop ups today were amazing! For you tracking me thank you! For getting me anything I thought I needed thank you! For fulfilling my post race requests you are the real MVP! Also for making sure my bath was drawn and even helping me out of my sweaty clothes thank you. It’s these moments that are real relationship goals that can’t be documented or photographed. Being my number one supporter and fan today, thank you!
To my trainer! You are the real MVP! Pushing me past myself and telling me to shut that crying up thank you! You saw that I could do it you didn’t accept my excuses! And for reminding me that the body does what the mind wills! You pushed me through my mental setbacks!!
To my BGR family thank you for the weekend runs to get ready as well as the continual all year runs that keep us race ready all the time!
To my doctors at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine for making sure that I was healthy before and during this race. Every test done to ensure I was race ready thank you!
To every volunteer at the Broad Street Run, super thanks. Y’all were out there on the scene making sure every racer felt supported all weekend long!
To my readers, thank you for allowing me a few moments into your lives! I hope regardless of how you may struggle with any health issues or weight issues that you see someone who pushed through it and proved to herself first that she was important enough to be her own priority!
All pictures were taken by my husband Marques! I refused to be on my social media during this race! He had the sideline view and sometimes a runner’s view since he was on the scene with me!!