Yesterday, this whole weekend for that matter, we were treated to some incredible weather and a beautiful Spring-time "show" of blooming flowers and bright new foliage. Lauren is in Florida so I planned to spend Saturday night at my mom's house so I could run Broad Street on Sunday morning. As the week wore on and my legs continued to feel tired from last week I told Lauren that I may just skip Broad Street to recover. She promptly replied "just race it, you signed up so you may as well go".
I should preface this by saying the Broad Street is one of my favorite races. Flat, straight course with great weather and great competition. The ONLY turns on the course are at City Hall and there's lots of crowd support. I hadn't raced it in a few years (2008 was my last year, I ran a PR of 55:58) so I was excited to be going back.
Fast forward to a beautiful, slightly overcast morning with temps in the upper 40's / low 50's. I headed over to my friend Tom's house, his dad was nice enough to drop us off at the start and pick us up at the finish which saved us a lot of time and aggravation. We hit the start area at 7:30 with literally the shirts on our backs and I headed over to grab my bib, we then found a church who had their recreation room open with restrooms and warmth. A little warm up jog and we headed up to the starting line. I had NO IDEA what my legs had in them after Boston three weeks ago, St. Lukes Half last week and a 45 mile ride the day before so I wasn't expecting much. My plan was to go out at roughly 5:45 and see what happened, if I was lucky I'd break 57 minutes.
|The start (I'm in the bright yellow singlet just behind the woman w/ the white hat)|
The race started out fast as usual, the first mile is slightly downhill. I tried to reign the pace in and found a good steady pack to run with. There was a cross wind so I really focused on just sticking with the group out of the wind. First three miles were 5:36, 5:43, 5:42. At this point my legs didn't feel too bad and my HR was reasonable and I was getting restless. I starting to think "this is 'only' a 10 mile race, how bad could you crash and burn...go for it" The field was spreading out, so I started to steadily pick up the pace, slowly catching runners and passing them. The temps were still in the low 50's and as we entered the city the wind was somewhat blocked.
The next two miles were 5:35 and 5:31. I could feel that my HR was about at the limit but surprisingly the legs were hanging in there. Half way at 28:10, figured I *should* be good for sub 57 as long as I could hold on.
The hardest part of the race is the stretch from mile 6 to mile 8. You've already passed the excitement of City Hall and you can't quite see the Naval Yard / finish area. I just focused ahead and tried to keep picking people off. My next three miles were 5:35, 5:32 and 5:28, but my HR was now at a pretty high level. Somewhere around the 8 mile mark a random spectator was counting overall positions and pointed to me at the 60th runner. That gave me the motivation I needed as the legs were now running out of steam.
I hit mile 9 at 5:32 and was able to do some math realizing that at this point I was looking at sub 56 IF I could hold on up the steady grade to the I-95 underpass. I probably didn't look to pretty but I picked a few more people off and just gave it all I had for the last 0.5 miles.
Last mile was another 5:28 and my finish time was 55:46! That puts my half splits at 28:10 and 27:36, 34 second negative split and a 12 second personal record! As of now it looks like I was 3rd in the M35-39 age group, a first at Broad Street for me. I can't quite put my hand on why I had such a great race, possibly that I'm peaking too late? Whatever it is, I'm not complaining!
|A snapshot of my polar data, note mi 6-9 was in the 170's and mile 10 was just about my max HR average!|
My friend Tom ran a great race as well, hitting the finish line at just under 69 minutes. We met up and headed home. It was such a nice day I didn't care about any "chores" at home, I grabbed the kiddos and they rode the go-kart, rode their bikes and hit the park. And of course the best way to top off a great Spring weekend is to go get some ICE CREAM!!
|Joshua LOVES his gokart!|