We’ll that’s something I never thought would happen. I have numerous congenital heart defects and grew up with physical limitations. No mile run or contact sports eventually turned into no gym class or after-school sports. To be blunt: that sucked. All of my friends were athletic and that trait seemed wholly unobtainable for me. Then in my early 20s my cardiologist began lifting many of my restrictions (still no contact sports though). So I tried running because it was something withheld from me for so long. I sucked. My god, I sucked. But when I finished my first mile without stopping, I cried. It didn’t matter to me that my pace was horrific or that I was gasping for air at the end. I did something that was unobtainable to me for so long.
So this year when a few of my friends from law school suggested doing the Broad Street Run as a part of our 3L bucket list, I eagerly said yes. I never ran a race before and looked forward to training for something during my last semester. I thought of this race as a capstone to law school. I had mentally and physically survived 3 years of law school and I would mentally and physically survive 10 miles of Broad Street. The race actually turned out to be very symbolic for me. I started the race with close law school friends and my best friend. Along the course I saw the admissions dean for my law school and an attorney I worked with at my first legal job before law school. It was like going back in time to see just how far I’ve come.
Now onto the race itself. My best friend, Vanessa, and I carb-loaded at Tre Scalini [1915 E. Passyunk Ave.] the night before the race. I had delicious porcini mushroom and white truffle oil pasta and Vanessa had fettucine in a Bolognese sauce. Tre Scalini hand-makes all their pasta and you can really taste the freshness. We may have also eaten three bread baskets. No shame.
The morning of the race was rough. It was rough waking up. It was rough being packed into the Broad Street line like sardines. It was mentally rough thinking the whole subway right about how I’m going to run this whole distance back. It was rough standing outside in the windy morning for an hour before the race started. It’s nothing short of a miracle that Vanessa and I look as happy as we do in this picture. I suppose we had nervous energy to thank for that.
The race itself physically and mentally had its ups and downs. Side note: whoever said this course was downhill was a liar. The course was not solidly downhill until after Temple. Anyways… the first mile went by in an instant. I think I had the massive crowd to thank for that. Mile 2 seemed twice as long. By mile 3 I had a sharp pain in my shoulder. This made me furious because I wasn’t out of breath and my other muscles felt fine. I took the gatorade rest stop to try to figure it out but couldn’t. I think I need to invest in some higher quality sports bras. A few blocks later I found my pace again and made it to mile 4 and 5 comfortably.
After reaching city hall, I started feeling some muscle fatigue and found myself walking every few blocks. I was disappointed but knew I didn’t want to over-exert myself on my first race. I wasn’t racing for a particular time, just for completion. That’s what I did. Around mile 8 I felt some chaffing under my arm pit (furthering my decision to buy higher quality sports bras) and it started raining at mile 9. Not exactly the end of the race that I wanted but I survived and ended the race with a smile on my face.This was the first medal I ever received for doing something athletic. I think you can tell from my smile just how happy I was. I didn’t want to take it off at the end of the day! I now have the medal hanging above my desk to keep me motivated during bar studies.
Somehow, I managed to meet back up with all of my friends after the race. We were all beaming (and shivering). Each of us ran the race we wanted which is all I could ask for. We all agreed that the one thing that kept us all going was our playlists. Special shout out to Lil Jon for getting me across the finish line. I have to brag about Vanessa because she killed it, running the race in about 90 minutes and beating her time goal by over 15 minutes! Next year, I want to train even more and blow this years time out of the water.
Following the race, Vanessa and I had two goals. Get the eff inside to warm up and eat some food. We initially wanted to go to Green Eggs but the line was insane so we headed to El Vez down the street. Unfortunately, their menu isn’t too veg friendly so I altered one of their tacos to my liking. I had such a chill following the race that margaritas were unfortunately out of the picture. All I could think about during lunch was a hot, hot shower and my bed.
Once I got home I did just that. Today when I woke up, I had the urge to go for a run. I resisted and did some yoga instead because I feared hurting my still sore knee. However, this running itch is something new and I kind of like it. Now all I can think of is my next race. I know Broad Street is the classic Philadelphia run, but does any one have another race to suggest?