Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
I understand why races let the fast runners start first and slow runners in the back. Otherwise, the finish-line would bottleneck as those faster runners catch up and pass the slower runners. However, the experience is not the same for everyone.
My first year running the Broad Street Run, I was honest and said that I'd probably just make the time cutoff for the race and therefore I was put in the last starting group. I was still standing at the start line when the first group was reaching the finish line. By the time I started, bands and crowds along the course had already started packing up. At the finish line? they were out of pretzels, the ice cream was melted, and I had to take my own medal out of the box.
Since the Broad Street Run allows you to put in your predicted finish and don't go by official times from pervious years, I have since been more relaxed with my estimated finish and start in a middle group instead of the last group. I purposely stand to the back of that group so I don't get trampled by those faster runners. When I reach the finish line, it's still crowded and I am able to truly enjoy the accomplishment.
I saw this article in Runners World and I'm not really sure how I feel. While I 100% agree that the finish line and official supports should stay available for every runner (we all paid after all) I'm not sure how I feel about having the back of the pack runners start at the beginning. I'm not typically an attention grabber and I feel like being put in a special start group is just asking for that unwanted attention.
I'm not sure what the solution really is for this. I know that marathons can't just keep streets closed indefinitely for the slower participants but there's got to be some kind of solution that will allow everyone to have that same experience.
Saturday, August 26, 2023
|My run and
Friday, August 11, 2023
So the worst has happened, my back decided to flare up and cause me a lot of pain. After two weeks with minimal improvement, I finally got into a Physical Therapist to get professional help.
I immediately told him that I am registered and plan to run the NYC marathon on November 5th but also understand realistically that if I have to back out, my health is more important and I don't want to end up disabled or in chronic pain.
He gave me stretches to do daily, along with a recommendation for a lumbar pillow. We scheduled weekly visits through September and he said when I come back each time, we'll assess and add some strength training as the pain level goes down.
The hope is that my back will recover and while I will be running slower, and with less training leading up to it, I will still be able to do the marathon as planned. He said two months of marathon training is still doable and I want to believe him. I have been working too hard for a minor setback to derail me.
Monday, May 1, 2023
And that's a wrap. My 7th time running the Broad Street Run. I never thought this would become an annual tradition for me. They claim that Broad Street Run is the largest 10 mile run in the country. I don't know if this is true but to put the size into perspective, the Boston Marathon was 30,000 participants in 2023 while the Broad Street Run has 37,000 participants.
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Following the start of the Team Ultra competitions where March's theme is JOY, I decided to re-connect with Team Determination. This group of athletes dedicate their miles to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
In 2020, I joined American Cancer Society's Team Determination to run the NYC Marathon. While fundraising, I went to a few group runs in Philadelphia with the local team.
While I don't need a bib from ACS for any of the upcoming races, I have decided to once again to fundraise for the American Cancer Society during the race season. My currently scheduled runs include:
- March 25 - Phillies 5K
- March 26 - Love Half Marathon (maybe)
- April 1 - Hot Chocolate 5K
- April 30 - Broad Street Run
- May 21 - Sesame Place Classic
- June 4 - Philly Runfest
- September 17 - Philadelphia Distance Run
- November 6 - NYC Marathon (Maybe)
- November 11 - Rocky Run
- November 18 - Rothman 8K
In exchange for fundraising, I will have a team to connect with at the events along with organized training runs between scheduled races.
Hopefully a cure will be found during our lifetime. #MakeYourMilesMeaningful #WhoDoYouRunFor #CancerSucks
|Please make a donation
Thursday, January 19, 2023
I've been thinking about it for a while, and last night I took the next step. Here in Philadelphia there is an amazing organization called Students Run Philly which partners adult mentors/coaches with student running groups. If you've participated in any run here in Philadelphia, you've probably seen the blue shirts on younger runners on the course.
While some of the runners look like track stars most look like normal teenagers trying something that they know is difficult. If you know my personal history with running, you know that I probably never even would have been convinced to try going to one of these community events. This is why I'm interested in becoming a mentor.
I still remember back to high school when I would milk a minor injury as long as doctors would extend the medical leave from gym class. Like the time I tripped over my dog's bone, fell down the stairs, cut my knee open (I still have the scar), and ended up in the ER thinking it needed stitches (it luckily didn't) but stayed out of gym for almost three weeks. Missed the mandatory mile and everything. Now, I have chronic pain but still go out and push harder than my doctor recommends. Seriously, after my first Broad Street Run she told me that my body wasn't designed for that type of abuse so I decided to sign up for a half marathon.
The point is, I know what it's like to be that awkward uncoordinated kid. I still am, just older and more stubborn. I am still probably one of the slowest runners out there. But I'm out there. I go at my own pace and I may be later to the finish line celebration but I'm still at the finish line celebration. I may have taken almost seven hours (six hours and fifty-nine minutes) to finish my first marathon, but I finished.
I have my good days and bad days. When my back flairs up I can barely get down the stairs to walk Benny but luckily those bad days are fewer and farther between now. They still happen, but I've learned from physical therapy how to reduce them.
The point of this long-winded narrative is to say I know what it's like to have adults think you can't do it and to think that about myself. I want to be the adult that I wish I had when I was younger. Not the gym teacher yelling at me for walking around the track. Not the doctors telling me to exercise more like it was the easiest thing in the world. I want to be the adult that says "let's walk for a bit. You've got this." and encourages a student to continue to the finish line, even if slow. You need to take a rest? Let's go grab a bottle of water and stretch it out a little. To celebrate the little victories. Because those little victories grow into larger victories.
It's also why many people are chasing the PR not the BQ. I know I'll never qualify for Boston. I run a twelve minute mile on a good day but average closer to fifteen minutes on longer distances. But this year I knocked two minutes off my Rothman 8K. And next year, many I can knock another two minutes off. Those Personal Records are the ones to celebrate. Don't compare yourself to anyone but your former self. That's what I hope to help with if my schedule allows me to join the Students as a mentor.