I’ve volunteered at the Bridge Run for two years now at the water stop. This year I was the token employee that got to run the race.
Last week, I had a big training week, so I knew the race was going to be riding the pain train. Since you’re running up the Ben Franklin Bridge and it can be windy, it’s not a “fast” course. Since this is a race my work sponsors, I knew a lot of people running. It wasn’t a local 5k and had about 4000 runners.
It’s hard to run a race you aren’t tapered, but with the amount of racing I do, not every race can be. To be honest, while warming up, I felt like $hit. I was in such a bad spot mentally; I wasn’t sure I would even race. I’m sure my husband wanted to drop me during the warmup since all I did was whine. 😉
I ran up to the start and saw several of my friends and coworkers at the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Starting at the base of the bridge was surreal. The bridge was closed, and we stood right near the toll booths. I had flashbacks to New York City Marathon. Before we knew it, the race was off. I found myself running with friend Michele. We were going back and fourth climbing the bridge. Very early into the race, my legs felt exhausted. I looked down expecting to be at mile 1…only to find out I was .5 in and not even at the top. We crossed the first mile in 6:30.
We came down from the top and turned around on the Philadelphia side. The downhill felt nice, but it was windy. I crossed the 1.55 in 9:50. As we turned around and headed back, we saw runners going in the opposite direction. I saw a bunch of my friends and it was motivating. I hit mile 2 in 6:09.
The third mile finished climbing the Ben Franklin and went downhill. It was a beautiful view staring back into New Jersey. I was running in a pack of 4 women, and we hit 3 miles in 18:50.
As I came down and back in New Jersey, I felt different muscles. I no longer felt as if I was running uphill or downhill…just running flat. The pack was pulling me through, and I ran a 5:53 mile. There were no hills and no wind. If only all of the miles were like that.
The next mile focused on getting to the mile 5. I knew my coworkers and friends were at mile 5 doing the water stop. It kept me motivated and focused. Around mile 5, I saw them. My good friend, Julie, captured this video of me high fiving her. I hit mile 5 in 6:13 and focused on the final mile.
The last mile had a couple of small uphills. My quads were toast. Then the final mile had a headwind. I crossed the sixth mile in 6:26 and was happy. The last .2 headed onto Campbell’s field. Michele cranked out an impressive kick and finished directly in front of me, winning for female masters. My boss announced my name as I crossed in 38:58.
I am happy with my effort. I’ve always wanted to run the Bridge Run. Even though I wasn’t tapered or having the best morning, I’m glad I ran. I highly recommend anyone local should run!
Questions for you:
Have ever trained through a race?
How do you mentally prepare yourself for a race?