Beth Wallace, a dietition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, chronicled the journey of her and her motley group of roomates as they battled to beat each other in the Broad Street Run. In this final installment, she talks about an unexpected turn during the race. Check out all of our Broad Street Run coverage at www.philly.com/broadstreetrun.
Let me set the stage for you ...
At 8:20, Soup and I said goodbye and good luck to Joe and J.P., and made our way into the orange corral. Soup looked at me, and said, "I like that quote that says, 'leave your doubts at the starting line.'" I smiled and agreed, but today, I had no doubts in my mind.
I worked, I was ready, and I was going to come home to Manayunk with pride. The guys would have to tell their friends they had been beaten by a girl. This girl.
Soup and I started out strong. When you run often, you know almost immediately what kind of day you are going to have on the road. Today was a good day. I could feel my body working in perfect unison; my legs were strong, and my body had already fallen into running rhythm.
I grabbed water at mile two, spilled it all over my face (like always), and continued. Just before mile three, Soup asked how I felt. "I feel good today," I said.
And that's where my good day ended.
I had barely gotten the word "today" out of my mouth when I tripped over the mile three time sensor, and heard a snap. My ankle immediately gave out as I whimpered and lost my footing. Soup asked if I was OK, and I said yes. I was lying and he knew it. I asked him to go ahead while I slowed down. I would catch up.
But I never did. A few minutes later, Joe caught up from behind, and I told him what happened. "B, you're hurt, please stop running," he asked me.
"I'm fine, go ahead. I will catch up," I told him. Lies, lies, lies again.
I slowed down, way down. All the way down to a walk up Spring Garden Street when I made my way off the course to where my friend Lucy picked me up in a cab. On our way back to her apartment she told me, "See? I've been telling you for years that cabs are much faster."
In 10 years of distance running, Broad Street 2012 is my first "DNF"- did not finish. I can't tell what hurts more, my ankle or my ego, but I am actually proud of myself for stopping. There is a difference between running through pain, and running through injury. As stubborn as I am, I knew it was the right decision. There will be many more Broad Streets to look forward to.
Who did finish? Joe, Soup, and J.P. - in that order. Joe caught up to Soup, and then lost him again right at the finish. Joe, however, had made up enough time during the first seven miles to come home with the victory by two minutes.
So I congratulate all three of my roommates, and everyone who ran on Sunday. Your hard work paid off whether you beat your friends, your goal time, or your fear of not being able to finish. You did it, and you should display that medal with pride.
And for me, it's time to get off of the pavement and into the pool, because with the end of Broad Street begins triathlon season.
Hey, maybe I can get the guys to do the Philly Tri ...
Beth Wallace contributes regularly to Philly.com's Healthy Kids blog. Read her previous installments about racing down Broad Street: