Broad Street Run: My First Race in 2 Years

A few weeks ago, I signed up for my first race in over two years: the Broad Street run, a Philadelphia staple, or so I hear. I had two hesitations before submitting my name into the lottery — and while you’ll have to take my word on it, believe me when I say that I thought long and hard.

1. It’s been so long since I’ve trained for a race. Would I like it again?

2. 10 miles! I haven’t “run long” in forever. Sure, this isn’t, like, a marathoner’s “run long” but for me, 10 miles is a lot. Not even when Noah trained for the New York City Marathon did I run that far. Sure, I like to accompany him during training, and yes, it makes me run for an extended period of time. But the longest I ran during his training period was 8 miles or so. That was back in August. And even though I have four half marathons under my belt, 10 miles at this juncture feels like forever. FOR-EV-ER.

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So anyway, I figured the more I sat around thinking about it and repeating lines from The Sandlot, the more likely I would be to psych myself out. I pulled the trigger not longer after this contemplation, and a few week’s later, I was admitted into the race. Let’s just take a moment to point out that Noah did not get picked. The likelihood of getting chosen for the Broad Street run is over 85%, yet he was picked for last year’s NYC marathon, which is what, like a .05% chance?

Anyway, just as I started to get excited about training, the weather went south. For the last couple of weeks, it has been absolutely freezing here in Philly — the mornings have hardly risen above 15 degrees.

Instead of running, my mornings have looked like this.

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Seabass has a thing for Jillian Michaels. She seriously can’t get enough of these videos, which makes it very hard to get anything done.

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Fortunately, it was a little bit warmer on Saturday morning. Finally. A whopping 18 degrees, in fact.

As I lay in bed Saturday morning debating whether or not to run, I continually looked at my phone, refreshing my weather app, thinking that if the temperature would increase just 1 degree — one measly degree! — I’d get up. Of course, that didn’t happen. And of course, I went out anyway. At the very least, it was sunny and bright, and even that was a big step up from what it has been.

To stay toasty, I layered up. Thick leggings with ski socks (my secret winter running weapon). Under Armour, hoodie, and a thick North Face puffy vest. Gloves and 180’s were part of the equation too, as was Elton John.

Although the air wasn’t warm, underneath all my layers, I certainly was. And I was happy I forced myself out the door. Just look at the views.

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To reward myself for five frigid miles after a night on the town, I spent the rest of the afternoon reading, hanging out in bed, watching movies, painting ceramics (indeed, you read that right), drinking wine, and slow cooking turkey tacos. By the time dinner rolled around, the sky was illuminated…

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…and I enjoyed a feast.

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I was in bed before 11 on Saturday night, and it felt freaking magical. This week is supposed to be warmer — in the 30’s tomorrow morning, following today’s ice storm. Countdown starts now to the Broad Street run on May 3rd. I can only hope that Mother Nature gives me two beautiful months of training.

Sun, Snow and Slush. But like, so much slush.

What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been. From the mountains of Colorado, beneath beautiful, fiery skies…

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…to sunny and warm Arizona, where I enjoyed 80-degree weather as my people back home sat shivering in the cold…

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…I haven’t had more than a moment’s rest. But boy has it been fun.

Let’s start at the very beginning though.

Last Wednesday, I boarded a plane to Colorado — my second time visiting the beautiful state, but my first in winter. My first day in Colorado I unfortunately had to spend working, but on the bright side was able to escape the great indoors for at least a quick, perfect run.

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It wasn’t a long run at all, primarily because I didn’t realize that the community we were staying in was right off a highway, and highways aren’t safe for running. Or so I hear. Two miles or so — 20 minutes max. But it was lovely nonetheless. And I was on vacation, so what the hey. In these instances, you take what you can get.

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Skiing is something I never did growing up. My family has a chocolate store, and chocolate season (think Valentine’s Day and Christmas) coincide perfectly with winter weather. My first time on a mountain was at the age of 23. Just four years later, I’ve gotten just three weekends of practice under my belt. Not enough to be a pro, exactly.

Put it this way; my confidence is slight when I’m wearing too-tight boots, leaning slightly forward, trying to keep my balance, staring straight down a vertical drop (relative to me, though let’s be honest, I stuck to green trails). If you’re a newbie like myself, I highly recommend taking a lesson. My the second day, I’d even say that I wasn’t half bad. But probably, I wasn’t that good either.

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More important than expertise, to me, is that being on skis makes Noah happy. Yes, I could sit back in the lodge, enjoy hot chocolate and booze, or treat myself to a lovely massage. But, much like running, skiing is another activity that my husband and I can do together. Even if we break apart during the day so he can ski black diamonds and I can tumble down a trail of my own.

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After four days on the slopes, we parted ways — he, home to Philadelphia and me, to Arizona for a B2B content conference. I won’t bore you with the details of creating collateral for a SaaS organization — but I will brag about how warm it was with a poolside picture…

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…and a snapshot from my 3-mile morning run.

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Obviously, by the time I got home this past Wednesday night, a solid week after leaving, I felt a little like this.

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(Seabass and I look alike when sleeping. Like mother, like cat.)

Somehow, I managed to squeeze in a workout each day since my return, though because of the sub-zero temps here in Philly, I had to be creative. On Thursday, I submitted to a spin class, of which my negative sentiments still have not changed. On Friday, I Jillian Michaeled (is that a verb?) in my living room. And finally, by the weekend, it had warmed up enough to run. The runs were in snow and slush, but a run is a run is a run.

Maintaining healthy habits isn’t easy when you’re on the go. Getting back into your routine upon returning home can be even more challenging. In the end, all you can do is your very best. Even if there are a few beers, milkshakes, and nerds on a rope in between.

How do you maintain healthy habits while traveling? And, when you get back, do you jump right into it, or give yourself some recovery time?