I was far less nervous taking on this run, since I had already done one 10 miler. I managed to sleep the entire night without waking up (never has happened, even before a 5K) and felt great in the AM. Heck, I was even excited about the light rain falling!
I had plenty of time to get dressed and, aside from worrying about the heat (temps were supposed to be about 90), I felt good. Until I put my shoes on. I have had problems with my new Adrenalines over the last couple of weeks and just standing in them, I was already getting uncomfortable. Always one to be prepared, my old Trance were in my bag, so I switched out my insoles and we were ready.
We picked up a couple of people and headed over to the stadium parking lot to meet the rest of our crew. Here I am, cheesy face and all.
And then someone reminded me I was running 10 miles; seriously, I paid money to do this? I decided to leave my water/fanny pack and run without it. Probably a good decision.
We headed over to the trains (which proved to be well planned for the crowds, unlike years past from what I have heard) and got to the start about 30 minutes prior to the start. We took some group shots before heading to the corrals to hang out with the people I knew (even though I would be running alone).
By this time, the rain had stopped, and the sun was starting to peak through the clouds. At 8:30 you could feel that it was going to be hot. Luckily, at the start, we got what I consider one of the best pieces of news all day; the city was opening fire hydrants approximately every mile of the run that you could run through it. I felt like a kid I was so excited!! I also knew that there would be lots of water stations on the course and my goal was to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
It took about a half an hour to get to our wave and then we were off.
See me?? I started off pretty well. Honestly, Helga is such a great tool to have while I run. Unlike my first mile during the Cherry Blossom, I started at a pace that was comfortable and consistent with my training (a bit faster though) and one I knew I could maintain.
I typically struggle through the first mile. Honestly, there is something about that mile that just gets to me! In this race, the first mile was amazing and I finished it in 10:45. Perhaps it was all the amazing people out cheering for
me us. Hats off to the people of Philly and how they came out to support all of us. Honestly, the Cherry Blossom was an amazing race to run, but the crowd support was nothing compared to what was at Broad Street.
The first water station was at mile 2 (12:15 mile) and it was fabulous. Water never tasted so good and I was parched!! They also had SEVERAL tables full of water. There was no waiting at all, which on the hot day was super important.
I hit my first hydrant shortly after the water station and giggled running through it. I saw people dancing around in them, laughing and having a great time.
I finished my third mile in 13:00 and walked about a tenth of a mile (around the water station) and started up again. I hit the fourth mile marker (and water station) in 13:00 again, walked through the station, started running (jogging, shuffling, whatever) and found another hydrant to run under.
Between mile 4 and 5, the sun came out completely. At that point, it became another race to me. If you do not know me, I am not a great in heat--running or just lounging. I tried to power through it, but it was certainly affecting me.
Miles 7-8.5 were hard. I am not going to lie. I struggled. People were dropping like flies. I felt awful for them too, but I kept going and powered through. My competitive nature just told me to pick people in front of me and pick them off and pass them. It helped immensely.
The last mile was amazing. Seriously, people were out, screaming, cheering
me everyone on and kept me going. As soon as I could see the finish line, I just went for it. My legs felt like jello, but honestly, I didn't feel like I might die (as I did after the CB). I finished in a disappointing 2:18 (yes, slower than my CB time) but, given the weather conditions, I will take it.
After the race, we went to the stadium parking lot for some tailgating. Plenty of good food, water and yes, a beer, were available. We sat around for about an hour, waiting for traffic to clear up, and headed back to the house.