10 Lessons in 10 Miles

By Katie, 9:11 pm

I DID IT!!! I completed the 10-Mile Broad Street Run! I’m officially a 10-mile race veteran! ;-)

Not a bad way to start National Runners’ Month, right?

Thank you all so much for your well wishes and your advice concerning my pre-race jitters! I felt very inspired reading through the comments; you all definitely gave me the little extra boost of motivation I needed!

The weekend as a whole was both wonderful and sweaty. Dave and I headed to Philly on Saturday afternoon to attend the Race Expo and pick up my bib. I left with some great stuff, including a free sample of Dunkin Donuts new bagel twists. Carbo-loading! ;-)

I picked up my race t-shirt, plus another running shirt that I opted to purchase because I think the race t-shirt is not the prettiest. :-? I also bought a SPIbelt to wear around my waist for longer runs. It will hold my cell phone, my keys, and some mid-run fuel…we’ll see if it’s comfortable or not. I also picked up a free sample of some energy chew things.

Before checking into our hotel, Dave and I stopped at Anthony’s Italian Coffee House along the 9th Street Italian Market for a late lunch. I had lots of veggies and cheese nestled between some grilled focaccia.

Then we walked around the city a bit, at which point I was kicking myself for wearing jeans, since it definitely reached 90º. Way to go, Katie. :roll: But I enjoyed seeing the race flags all along Broad Street; I definitely felt like the City of Brotherly Love was showing some love to all of us runners. ;-)

And then we saw this!!!

I’d never been inside a Lululemon store before, so I just had to check it out. But alas, I did not buy anything, due to the fact that I am not made of money. :-?

Dinner was enjoyed at a cute little organic market. More veggies, this time in a roasted red pepper wrap with honey mustard.

Plus some fresh fruit.

Before going to bed I also ate a Coconut Cream Pie LARABAR and more fruit.

As I was settling in for the evening, I did a quick e-mail check, only to see a rather disturbing message from the race committee. You know how I was worried about the heat? Well, I got significantly more worried after reading the email. Here are some of the highlights:

Due to the predicted forecast and the fact that most of you have not been training in these types of conditions, we are urging all of you to take the proper precautions relating to this situation. We cannot make decisions for you when you are the only one who knows how you feel. We are urging you to hydrate prior to race day and on race morning.

Runners are advised that on the race course fire hydrants will be used as sprinklers to keep the runners cooled down. Runners are urged to use the sprinklers along the course and to drink the water provided at the water stations. We cannot control your personal actions on the race course. You must be responsible for how you feel during the event. Medical teams are on high alert and our volunteers have been instructed to rise to the challenge.

Runners should plan to run at a slower pace and to slow down or stop if they become disoriented on the race course. Fellow runners are urged to contact the nearest medical personnel, police, or race staff along the course in the event of a down runner.

I know they were just covering their butts concerned for our safety, but it definitely freaked me out! 8-O

This morning, I popped out of bed at 6:00 a.m., ready to rock and roll.

I had what has become my standard pre-race fuel: a banana and a cup or so of bite-sized Shredded Wheat.

I met up with my friend Beth and her dad, who were also running the race. After a whole lot of hanging around, we were off!

Here’s what I learned from the race, mile by mile.

10 Lessons in 10 Miles

Mile 1: Waiting is the hardest part. We arrived at the starting area a good 45-minutes before the race, which was a good thing! But all that time standing around is a recipe for NERVES. I felt ten times calmer the minute I started running, and with the exception of the crazy crowds, I breezed through the first mile.

Mile 2: In really crowded races like this one, it’s much easier to pass people if you stay to the sides, rather than in the middle. And I always put all of my mental energy into the people I am passing, and don’t give a second’s pause to those who are passing me. :-)

Mile 3: First water station. Turns out I am really really bad at drinking water from a little cup while running. A lot of it ended up running down my face, which wasn’t a bad thing considering the temps! 8-) But I really need to work on my water station skills.

Mile 4: Don’t get annoyed at the people you just can’t get around when you’re trying to pass. The last thing they’re thinking about is how to make sure they’re not “in the way” of runners behind them. And the very next moment, you will probably be in someone else’s way. You just gotta go with it.

Mile 5: Run for the right reasons! Around the halfway point I heard a girl beside me say something extremely sad and disturbing to her friend. She said, and I quote, “I’m totally doing this so that when I get on the scale this afternoon I’m five pounds lighter.” 8-O Ummmmm, no.

First of all, if your sole motivation for running is to lose weight, please don’t. (I’ve been there, done that, and it ain’t fun.) You deserve to find an exercise activity you truly enjoy, not one that you view as torture.

Second, if you really do lose five pounds from running the race (highly unlikely), you haven’t lost fat; you’ve lost water. Water you desperately need. For your own safety and health, you better drink back every ounce of it.

Hearing that comment made me so sad. :-( It reminded me of where I used to be and how far I’ve come in terms of unhealthy food/weight/exercise obsessions. I pray that that girl finds some relief from her struggles.

Mile 6: Never underestimate the power of positive self-talk. These were some of the thoughts running through my head around Mile 6: “You got this, Katie!” “Just keep truckin’!” “Keep it up!” Nothing wrong with being your own cheerleading squad. ;-)

Mile 7: Spectators are AWESOME. To every spectator who cheers and claps and motivates, THANK YOU! I may have been too tired at this point to smile and wave at the lovely people cheering and holding up signs, but their encouragement made a load of difference.

Mile 8: The HEAT was just as bad – if not worse – than I was expecting. I was quite possibly hotter than I’ve ever been. Scary hot at some points. So I backed off when I felt like I needed to, silently vowing never to run in such crazy high temperatures again. Not a promise I’m likely to keep, but it helped me get through it. ;-) The point is, when running in heat, BE CAREFUL.

Mile 9: When massive amounts of sweat drips down your face and into your eyes, it stings. 8-O

Mile 10: I can do things I once thought were impossible. :-D

This was definitely the most difficult run of my life. I was pretty spent by the end, but I forced myself to sprint as much as I could at the finish. For the first 30 seconds afterward I felt like I was going to throw up (ugh!), but then my stomach settled and I was smiling from ear to ear. Here were my results:

  • Total Time for 10 miles: 1:24:37
  • Average Pace per Mile: 8:28
  • Overall Place: 4,224 (out of 26,169 finishers)
  • Sex Place: 1,176 (out of 14,340 female finishers)
  • Division Place: 357 (out of an unknown number of female finishers age 25-29)

After the race I guzzled a bottle of water, stretched, and eventually ate (I can’t eat right afterward; this food was consumed about 45 minutes post-finish). I had a small yogurt, half of this soft pretzel, and an orange.

Then I headed to Beth’s apartment for a much needed shower!!! Once I had sufficiently wiped off the caked-on sweat (ewwww!!!!) we hit up this great market called Di Bruno Brothers for lunch. It was a winner! :-)

I had yet another sandwich…what can I say? As soon as I saw this description I was hooked!

Brie AND caramelized onions AND mango chutney? Sign me up! :-)

I also had a container of cantaloupe and some Honest Tea.

Here is the lovely Beth I keep speaking of. She’s the one who originally convinced me to run the Broad Street Run. (I believe she specifically said, “It will be great material for your blog!” :lol: ) So THANK YOU, BETH - for encouraging me to run, for giving me a place to shower, for making me laugh ALL THE TIME, and for being an all-around fabulous gal. ;-)

The market had an amazing assortment of cookies, which I just couldn’t pass up. I got a little sampler to take home with me.

Then we packed up and headed back to Baltimore, where I’m currently sitting in my non-air-conditioned house with sweat dripping down my leg. Gross, I know. :-?

Whew! That was quite a re-cap…thanks for sticking with me! I’m off to find something cold to consume (a smoothie maybe?) and then hitting the hay! Not even the heat can keep me awake tonight!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! :-)

What is one lesson you’ve learned either from running in a race or from engaging in exercise in general?


Have you ever been to Philadelphia? If so, do you have a favorite place to eat there?

32 Responses to “10 Lessons in 10 Miles”

  1. Congratulations on the race! I love what you said about running because you ENJOY it! Im starting to enjoy running a little more every week, so I hope to someday be to the point where I LOVE it. We shall see.

    Never been to Philly! looks amazing though!

  2. That is a great recap! I really enjoyed reading your lessons learned! I just signed up for my first 1/2 so I really took them to heart! Great job!

  3. Lauren says:

    Congrats!!!! You did amazing!! :)

  4. Erica says:

    Congratulations on a great race!

    I think the most important lesson I’ve learned from exercise in general is to do it for the right reasons & enjoy it! Ditto to what you said in this post. ;)

  5. Jess says:

    Holy smokes girl! That time is awesome : ) Great job!

    Love your lessons learned & that first sandwich looks AMAZING! YUM!

  6. Congrats on the race, girly!

    I think my yoga practice has taught me so much about myself, my strength, my weaknesses, my crazy thought patterns. So much.

  7. Candice says:

    Awesome job!!!! That’s a great time and a great finish!

  8. Nicole, RD says:

    CONGRATS! That is a wonderful time! I think the hardest part is always getting past the runners who go out too fast and you start to whiz past. Well, that used to happen to me anyways :) Sometimes there’s so many it slows you down, and I hate that! The drinking from a cup while running…it’s all about the cup fold ;) Congrats, Katie! That’s an excellent time! I loved reading all about it :) I was thinking about you!

  9. Jessica says:

    Congrats on the race! Super accomplishment! All your food looks great, especially the sandwich.

  10. Congratulations!! That sounds like an amazing race, and I really loved all of your “lessons!” When my mom ran a marathon with Team in Training, she had a different person to run for for each mile. I know your lessons were post race, but when I run my first double digit race I am going to try to have different things to focus on. And your food looks amazing. Why haven´t I been there?!?! I cannot find those powdered sugar dusted chocolate cookies anywhere…

    • Katie says:

      Wow – running for a different person each mile – what wonderful motivation! That’s very inspiring! :)

  11. Robyn says:

    Hi, just found your blog! I totally have race envy since the run was already full when I tried to register but I loved your lessons learn. I agree with all of them, and laughed about the water because I totally haven’t mastered drinking and running. Nice job!!

    • Katie says:

      Thank you so much! Just checked out your blog and I love it! Looking forward to following you. :)


    i love the white shirt btw! ive always been anal about racing shirts because i love wearing them after the races.. and want them to be at least a little bit stylish.

    o and ur not the only one who has only recently ventured into a lululemon. what an experience.. so many colors hehe.

    the lesson i learned from races is to go into it with the mindset of “im doing this for me and no one else” .. this helped ease my nerves and deal with the frustrations that can come with racing along with hundreds or thousands of others. and in general running has taught me to become mentally fit and to rely on my own mental strength to move past emotional.. or psycological barriers


  13. Congratulations Katie!!! Running your first double-digit race is a HUGE accomplishment…especially in that heat (I bet that email from the race directors was in response to the disaster at the Chicago marathon a couple years ago when temperatures were ridiculously high)!! Take some time to rest and bask in you achievement :)

    I actually loved reading your long recap and also really liked how you broke down the lessons you learned by mile…especially since that’s how you’ve got to run a race, 1 mile at a time. :)

    Drinking water from those little cups is something that I’ve always found difficult. I’ve seen people carry straws to make it easier (though carrying a straw isn’t exactly convenient!!). What I try to do is just fold the little dixie cup as much as I can to make the opening smaller and sort of “funnel” the water into my mouth. Most of it still ends up getting down my front though… ;)

    Finally (to end this long comment!) what you said about drinking back all that water is key! It is really sad when people run with that mentality.

    Congratulations again on a great run!!! You’re very inspiring :) Many people couldn’t do what you did…especially on such a hot day!!

    • Katie says:

      Thank you, Lauren! I really appreciate your support and encouragement! I hope that someday we are able to meet in person (and perhaps go for a run together?!?!) :)

      And I will definitely be trying the funnel method out. Sounds like it will work better than what I was doing…haha!

  14. Tina says:

    First off, congratulations on the run! You should definitely be enjoying your accomplishments right now.

    That is so sad about the chick who wanted to lose 5 lbs from the run. Very disturbing.

  15. Great job on your 10 mile run!

    I can definitely relate to your pain on running in the heat. It’s already in the 90s in Houston. I am dreading this summer’s heat, and trying to figure out how I am going to manage outdoor running.

  16. Congrats on doing the run! You must feel so good. :)

    I need that brie, onion and mango chutney sandwich in my life ASAP!

  17. WOW – congrats on the amazing race, girl!
    Great job :D
    Gotta love all the sandwiches you´ve had – I loooove brie, roasted red peppers and focaccia. Hahahaha.
    Loved the fresh fruit, too!
    Have a wonderful week, love!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  18. I loved this post! Running has taught me that struggles are mental – if you have a mental block against something, you won’t be able to do it, but if you swear you can, you will! Agreed on the self-pep talks too ;)

  19. Well done on the race! I admire you for running in such high temps…I really struggle in heat!
    I love your 10 Things You Learnt thing – I agree with them all! Especially in regards to hydration…SO important!


  21. Congratulations on the 10 miles! I need to remember lesson #4. That one works in a race or just anytime you encounter another runner on the street. The complete stranger blocking your way is not doing so for the sole purpose of irritating you. It often does unfortunately, so great reminder! :)

  22. Kerry says:

    Congratulations Katie! You did such an awesome job! A lesson I learned is that sometimes the training is more important than the actual race :) Often times this is hard for me to realize, but the journey of training is often full of opportunities and moments that I lose sight of them in the “heat of the moment” aka the race itself. Again, congrats.

    • Katie says:

      That is a really great lesson, and something I definitely need to remember. I’m going to make that my mantra when I run my half marathon. Thank you for sharing! :)

  23. Beth says:

    I’m very excited to be part of your blog!!! Congrats again on your race, and I’m so glad I got to spend some time with you and Dave post-race! Hopefully you aren’t as sunburnt as I am from Sunday, but totally worth it.

  24. Erica says:

    Congrats on your ten mile run, that is such an awesome feeling to cross the finish line after doing something like that. I love lululemon, but completely agree with it being a tad bit overpriced!

  25. Elina says:

    I’m so happy for you, Katie. Sorry, I’m just catching up on your blog now… but I’m sure it’s good to be reminded of your awesome accomplishment, even 4 days later. :)
    Most of the races I do, I vow to stop racing but the thought gets me through it and then I get back on the wagon. Funny. You did such an amazing job of staying positive and you kicked some major butty in the speed dpt. Congrats!!!!!!
    PS – my co-worker ran the same race. She was telling me about the fire hydrants being on. Crazy stuff.

  26. Jennifer says:

    I am so excited that your 10 mile race turned out so great. We’ve been battling high temps here in Florida for the past couple of months and it gets extremely hard to run in that kind of climate. My best runs are always in 50 degree weather. So now I’m typically running at around 7-7:30 p.m. But even that isn’t the greatest. But oh well, it’s a process. Great job on your time girl!

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