Jenna’s BSR Diary: Race Day!

My Broad Street Run recap

Jenna Bergen

I decided to jump back into my morning workout routine today, and I’m so glad I did. It was nice and cool, and it felt great to cross four miles off my list before starting my work day. I cannot believe I’m in the last week of training before Broad Street! The time went by so quickly—I hope I’m prepared!

I wasn’t feeling well at all, so I decided to take a rest day and catch up on some sleep. Fingers crossed I’m healthy for Race Day!

I’m feeling much, much better today. I managed to roll out of bed early to log another four miles or so. I took it nice and easy. My legs felt pretty tight after I finished and it’s easy to tell that I haven’t been to yoga in a few weeks.  This week is shaping up to be quite a hectic one, so it looks like I won’t make it back to my mat sessions until after the race.

I woke up early for my very last run before Sunday. All in all, I felt pretty good, although I could tell I was a little dehydrated. I’m taking the next two days off to make sure that I feel really fresh for the race. I’m also going to drink as much water throughout the next two days as possible.

I popped over to City Sports on my lunch break today to pick up a new stick of BodyGlide and a few packets of GU. While you don’t really need to take in extra carbs during a 10-mile race, it is helpful in keeping your energy levels strong. Last year during Broad Street, I hit a wall around mile 8 and I think it would have been helpful for me to have one, especially since I gravitate toward the water tables rather than the Gatorade tables during the race
. If you’re drinking Gatorade, you shouldn’t need to take GU as well.

I picked up my racing bib! I’m number 8,134.
Lloyd* and I got to the Health Expo around 10:30 a.m. in the hopes of beating the tailgating crowds, as the Phils were playing at 1PM. Ha! I was shocked by the number of Phils fans who were having hot dogs, burgers and beer for breakfast. We still managed to find parking easily enough, and  it was fun to see so many of the other runners. You could feel the excitement. I picked up a new, wicking headband (pink!) and scored tons of Dunkin Donuts iced coffee coupons before we split. Lloyd and I spent the rest of the day getting some work out of the way and drinking lots and lots of seltzer to stay hydrated. I also put together my official 2011 Broad Street Run playlist. For dinner, we decided to carb-up a bit and made spaghetti. Unfortunately, we didn’t get around to eating dinner until close to 9PM, much later than I would have liked. Let’s hope we can fall asleep tonight!

Around 6:45AM, after a quick breakfast of coffee and Greek yogurt with almonds, we began our pilgrimage to Olney and Broad.  The Broad Street line was, of course, packed, but we made it to the start by 8AM. As usual, the bathroom lines seemed to snake endlessly across the grass. I hoped in line and chatted with some other runners, making it to the wall of Porta-Potties just a few minutes before 8:30AM. (God bless the mysterious benefactor who decided to pass that roll of toilet paper down the line. I, along with the runners next to me, couldn’t believe my good luck!) Mission Empty Bladder accomplished, I hurried down to the Orange corral to meet back up with Lloyd.

A few minutes later, with “Eye of the Tiger” blaring from the speakers, the race began! I felt strong and happily rocked out to my new playlist as the miles started to flip by, careful to keep a steady, close-to-a-10-minute-mile pace. (I made the mistake of starting much too fast last year and I didn’t want to hit mile 8 wishing the race was already over.) Lloyd and I kept a close pace for most of the run, although he went ahead here and there, and I happily let him. It was much, much cooler than last year’s race—temps hit close to 90 in 2010!—but I was surprised how hot I still felt when I wasn’t running through the shade. It made me wish that the race started a little earlier in the day. By the time we hit mile seven, I felt pretty good, although my right knee and ankle were starting to ache. I ripped open a GU packet a little after the 7-mile mark, but only had about half of it. It tasted pretty terrible (I do not recommend Cherry Lime!).  I picked up my pace for the next two miles, expecting to really open up my gate for the last mile. It didn’t happen—it was so crowded for the last half mile and anytime I started to go faster the pain in my right knee became more intense—but I finished feeling proud of myself.

The end result: 1:38:57. While I always would like to be a little faster, I was under a 10-minute mile and I beat last year’s time by about 5 minutes. Not bad! Lloyd finished at 1:36:10, and we celebrated our accomplishment with friends at a barbecue later that night. All in all, a great race.

Congrats to all of the 2011 Broad Street Runners! Share your time and your story in the comments below!

*Name has been changed to protect the innocent.