Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Reflections After Broad Street

A few years ago before I started this journey I could barely walk a mile. After losing some initial weight I started walking more and then downloaded a couch to 5K app. Completely skipping the 5K though, I went directly to the Broad Street Run which is 10 miles. At that point, I was hooked and started signing up for more local races.

At the start line.
If you look at my Strava stats, my typical run is anywhere from a 15 to 17 minute pace. So imagine my surprise yesterday when I crossed the finish line of Broad Street to see 14:15 as my pace. I'm not sure what made me move faster yesterday than normal and I know that it's still slow compared to many other people. However it doesn't bother me when other people pass me because at least I'm going and that was the biggest challenge.

When I would walk into a gym or try to go to a class I was so out of shape that I felt completely out of place with all of those buff and fit people. It's a vicious cycle of self-sabotaging because I would never go to the classes because I didn't want to feel out of place. Finding an app on the phone that allowed me to have guidance while not actually being around people made it easier to get started because I would just walk on trails around my neighborhood.

Team DetermiNation
Even now I have joined some Facebook groups for local meetup running but I always feel out of place because they're all doing 8 minute miles or faster. However I have also found that they are really encouraging and I might not run with them but I still start with them and end with them which is nice to have a group.

When I decided to train for a marathon and prove to myself how far I've come I was worried about going at it alone because obviously 26.2 miles is a lot longer than anything I've ever done. The online communities have been amazing and while I was sometimes embarrassed to ask questions I realized that that commodity is what makes it so amazing because people are always willing to answer the questions or guide you to someone who knows the right answer. 

At the finish line.
I considered yesterday's Broad Street to be a training run for the marathon since it was the first in-person run I've done in 2 years and it would also remind me of how the the waves work, the water stations are positioned, and the crowds in general. The crowds yesterday were much smaller than previous years because the city told people not to go out in cheer for the racers. However even without the crowds of fans there were still plenty of people cheering you on. As I got near the finish line, you could see the faster runners who would already finish and were leaving cheering on the people still coming across the line.

I'm really excited for New York and while I'm scared I also know that even if I'm the last person to cross that finish line I am going to cross it. And even if it's already dark out and the roads were reopened there will be people at the finish line to cheer on every last runner.