Tomorrow I’ll be racing the 2022 Broad Street Run. Below is a selfish reflection on the past few months. Not many will read, but writing it was therapeutic in a way.
My running the past few years has been mostly down. When I hurt my Achilles in February of 2019, there was a lot of self-pity and “Welp, I guess this is it now. I could’ve run faster, I swear!“
In September of 2021 I started running slow. It sounds stupid, but that conscious decision changed my trajectory. Instead of blasting 5 miles at 6:30 pace three times a week, I just ran ‘easy’. After a few months of that I was able to maintain 30+ miles a week.
The 28:07 at Rothman made me think there was still something left. I picked Broad Street as my goal race. With a few months to work with, I figured it was a good opportunity to build up smartly and see how close I could get to my former times.
Now, on the other side of the training, I have to say it went as well as I could have hoped. Multiple 50+ mile weeks and the best workout I’ve had in years make me think I might be able to PR tomorrow (55:45 in 2018).
It may not be smart, but I’m putting a lot of emphasis on tomorrow’s race. For the past few years, I told myself that I’d train hard and run fast if I could, but I was too injured! Now I’ve been able to train, and it’s scary that I have to walk the walk after talking the talk.
If I run 57 tomorrow, for example, it’ll be pretty hard for me to keep chasing. Running fast again just may not be in the cards, and that’s okay. The 55:45 wasn’t a crazy time or build up either. It was just decent four years ago. If I can’t muster that off what I’ve done, it’ll be deflating.
But if I go out and PR or break 55:00 or something (feels like a long shot), then it will be a validation of the last six months or so. I’ll feel like there are things worth training for and that PRs might be in the future.
I’m not sure putting that kind of weight on one race is appropriate, and I’ll be level-headed about the result either way tomorrow, but sitting here at 10pm the night before, that’s how it feels.
All that said, there is a part of me that’s just happy to be healthy and racing again regardless of the result. Races are fun. Good luck to everyone else running!