Philly2Philly's Jen Sherlock talks about her Blue Cross Broad Street Run experience
So now that I am fully recovered from the Broad Street Run, I can fully explain in detail what it was like this past Sunday.
First, let me just say it was hot as hell. (Excuse my language.) But this was my sixth year running, and I’ve only gotten better as far as my personal record every year, so what could possibly ruin my training this year? Well you guessed it- the heat! It was the hottest year that I’ve ever run it with temperatures reaching in the 80’s during the run. I knew it was going to be brutal around mile three when I looked at my friend Morgan. I never struggle at mile three, but the heat was exhausting with the sun beating down. But I wasn’t about to give up trying to beat my best personal record yet! My goal was 1:20.
Last year, I ran the race in 1:24, and I knew I could do it! The race organizers warned the runners of the heat and opened every fire hydrant along Broad Street as a pseudo-sprinkler. And you better believe I hit every one! I literally zig zagged across Broad Street in order to hit every little drop of water sprayed on me that I could get. I didn’t want to overheat. I was remembering a time in high school when I ran track and I over heated so badly that I felt nauseous and got the chills, and felt so cold during a hot day. I didn’t want that to happen, so I also drank water and Gatorade along the way as well. At times, I was psyching myself out, but I knew I had to do it. I wasn’t about to ever give up, even though the thought had crossed my mind.
On top of the race to the finish line, my iPod kept going out one speaker at a time. The fire hydrant sprinkler system was getting the best of it. And although I love to run to music, I didn’t care. At around mile seven I was still on par for a 1:20 finish, but around mile eight, I saw one man being carried away on a stretcher and that scared me to push myself to the max even though I was still going hard. But I have to say it was getting tougher and tougher, so at this point I just wanted the finish line and I knew I wasn’t making my personal best.
Once I reached closer to the Navy Yard where they took our photos, I knew I didn’t have too much to go. The end was in sight like a person in the desert hunting for water! I just kept thinking, “Where is the finish, it seems farther down than last year?!” But there it was, and at this point, I was probably going slower than usual. Most runners push themselves faster at the end, but I just wanted it over! Even though I finished at 1:25 and 5 minutes off what I had wanted, I was still extremely happy with my time despite the blazing conditions.
At the end, I was in such a zone, I immediately just wanted the shade and somewhere to sit and zone out and gain my momentum back. Once I did, I went on the search to find my sister, brother, brother-in-law and friends. We were all very proud and happy we defeated Broad Street once again!