Broad Street Run 
Well, I did it and, it was one of the most difficult yet rewarding single events I have ever done.

First the bad:

I set a pre-race goal of 99 minutes which is a 9:54 pace. I finished in 1:41:16, a 10:07 pace. I started off too slow. I hit mile one around 10:30 and then mile two in just over 20. By mile four I was at 40 even and then made miles five and six in under 50 and 60 respectively thus, getting my pace to where I wanted. Then, the stomach cramps that had been slightly nagging me since mile one, took their toll and I slowed some. I was hoping for a nice burst from four to seven and hit mile seven around 68 and try to stretch a gain to a sub 10 minute pace. But, it didn't happen and once I hit seven around 71 I knew that the 99 wouldn't be seen. While I wanted to hit mile one slow, I think I was too slow. Ideally, I wanted to hit the first mile around 9:45 but it wasn't to be. Additionally, the weather (humid, sticky, about 80 at 9:00 am) did not help. I also botched the pre-run fuel. I ate a banana about 6:45 am (race started at 8:30 am, my corral started close to 9) and that was it. I had a small cup of coffee around 6:15 am too but I think I should have eaten something else (like half a PowerBar) around 7:45 am or so. I carried Shot Blocks with me but they did nothing. Lastly, I think pre-run jitters gave me six hours sleep. I awoke at 4:00 am and never fell back asleep.
Tired. Hot. Hungry. But...

The good:

I finished and I did not walk or stop! I had no pains anywhere either. Post-race, I'm a little sore here there but during the run, nothing flared up. I did not need any potty stops. Although I grabbed water at about five stations, the heat made me sweat it out. I voided at 8:30 am and did not pee again until 12:15 pm. I chugged about 16 oz of Gatorade at the end and then a 16 oz of water and it was an hour after that I finally had to go.

The Mrs. and I efficiently used mass transit to get to the start and then back to hotel when we were done. We had no problems getting to race or getting back to the hotel.

Even though this was very challenging, I will likely try a half-marathon in the fall.

What I learned:

Don't break the routine. Eat a little something close to run time just like I do when I do long runs during training. Sleep: not sure how to fix this. We stayed in a hotel and I don't always sleep as well in a hotel bed as I do my own. Don't be afraid to bolt out of the gate and hit that first mile a little fast. If the pace is too fast, I can still slow it down and get into a good stride.

Races like this use a corral system. You are assigned a corral based on your own estimated completion time. I played it conservative and filled in my time as 1:45 even though I expected to be below 1:40. Next time, I will subtract five minutes instead of adding five. If I start in a "faster" corral maybe we'll all get off the start quicker and instead of weaving and dodging, maybe I can hit mile one at the 9:45 pace I want. With so many people, weaving and dodging isn't avoidable but I need to manage the first mile better.

The weather, although not ideal by any means, could have been worse.

The Race:

Organized. Fun. Recommended. Philadelphia is a great city and, in all my years, never thought I'd actually run down Broad St. from Olney to the Navy Yard. I didn't count the water stops but they said there were nine. The city opened up fire hydrants at every mile or so past two and I ran through most of them. Kudos to volunteers and the first responders who stood by waiting to assist as well as the Philadelphia police.

Channel 6 news story on the run: [Link]

That being said, I'm glad it's over. I feel pretty good.

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