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Road races that have been run in or around Philly.

How I ran my fastest Broad Street time in 18 years

What went right

This was the first time I had access to a gym to do stretching and mobility leading up to the race.  I used two things primarily, this video 15 Minute Runners Flexibility Routine (FOLLOW ALONG), and this piece of equipment Technogym Flexibility I liked going to the gym to work on mobility because I normally skip that stuff. Doing it at the gym removes all distractions.

Mentally, I felt like I was in the right headspace.  I had a lot of good workouts and had taken 2nd place in a small 5K, this was a huge confidence booster.  I also just heard on a recent podcast about acknowledging the pain, don’t try to distract yourself from it, actually feeling it, and thinking about it.  Listen to where is it coming from and acknowledging its existence.  Why would you do that?  Because most try to ignore the pain, they listen to music to distract from it. It will only keep screaming for attention like an impatient child! I have 3 of them so I know how that sounds. 🙂

What we run from only stays with us longer. Find what you are afraid of most and go live there.

– Chuck Palahniuk

I listened to the pain and tried to live in it.  I felt by doing this I was more respectful of what my body was trying to tell me.  I did listen to it and it was not ignored, but I realized that is where true work begins in the race. 

“Lately, my main strategy has been to stay in it and like fully embrace how much it hurts and how painful that experience is because, in doing that I think it just reminds me that I’m doing something by choice and that, and to get to that physical state where it hurts that bad means, you know I’ve worked really hard to get to that point and to celebrate kinda being in the pain cave.”

– Courtney Dauwalter

I am reading the book the Courage to Be Happy when I came across an interesting concept. It was this idea that “history is written by the victors.”  That same logic goes for the version of yourself today, and whatever story you have told yourself.  Whatever version you are today was the result of wars that were fought inside your mind and events of your past.  That story you tell yourself is what drives your decisions.  The past doesn’t have to matter, the question is, “What should I do from now on?”  So the story I was telling myself is that I should be getting slower and I will be getting weaker.  That didn’t back up all the work I put in this year.  Maybe when I am 60 or 70 that might be the case, but I know a lot of people who are faster and older than me.  A part of me has learned that when you drop your fear of failure and your tension of succeeding you can truly run without limits.  I really didn’t care what happened and I was just grateful to be there with my family. I know there are only a handful of these races left see the tail end. I had 2 fig newtons and some coffee right before the start and got in my corral. During the race, I think I only grabbed 1 cup of water off a spectator.  

What went wrong

I had a complete camera fail.  I tried this new rubber wrist mount and it created footage that was too shaky.  I had to delete a lot of the good clips I recorded, but I did learn how to use this new program to save footage that is too shaky. View the clip in full screen to see the difference.

This will be very helpful for future races where I record my runs for my video journal. There’s a saying that is, “Nothing is learned when everything goes right”. I had no physical issues in the race, everything just felt good and the weather was perfect!

What would I have done differently

Not much, I liked adding the week of downtime for mobility, stretching, and hydration. It makes you feel like you are still doing something.  

Final Thoughts

The mental side of these races always becomes a big factor when it gets painful.  I focused on it instead of trying to distract myself from it, I acknowledged it and didn’t try to ignore it.  Basically, I just listened to my body.

The mind and body are viewed as one, as a whole that cannot be divided into parts. Tension in the mind can make one’s arms and legs shake, or cause one’s cheeks to turn red, and fear can make one’s face turn white. And so on.

– The Courage to be Disliked

I got to run one more time with everybody in my family and for that I am grateful.  I stopped caring about time, I stopped caring about pace, and the magic is once I did that I ran my fastest race…  WTF?

The race through my eyes, running the streets of my youth:

HAT 50K – Race Recap

HAT 50K was back and this is my quick race recap of how things played out.

What went right?

  • Using ice once it got hot. I only had one bottle since I didn’t think the weather would be an issue. I filled ice in the front of my vest using a plastic sandwich bag and it help prevent me from overheating.
  • I don’t think I need to carry as much food as I did and relied on the aid stations. In races I think I carry too much food when I really don’t need it.

What went wrong?

  • Keeping my tailwind powder in the back of my backpack is a mistake. I never felt like taking it out. You should keep it somewhere to help quickly refill your bottles.
  • I should keep a 2nd bottle in my backpack in the event heat becomes an issue. I started to run out of water between aid stations.

What I would do differently?

  • Keep using the food at aid stations if you know it will be decent. The food in this race is always great.
  • Put my powder refills in a more accessible location, not my backpack.
  • Keep a backup bottle that is unfilled. I might even want to carry 3 of them if its crazy hot, or one of them starts to leak. The heat can end your race so its critical to have enough water.

Final Thoughts?

HAT 50K is one of the best races to start your year off. It’s challenging enough to remind you that you need to put in the training if you want to have a successful year.

Side note: I am debating on getting a “Memento Mori” tattoo on my calf. I was reminded during the race when I saw one that read “Celeriter aut mori”. That translates to “Run fast or die” with a skull above it. What is inspiring the idea of the tattoo was a recent podcast from Tim Ferriss that talked about the tail end. The idea we only have so many of these experiences left. I like to be reminded that I can’t waste time on trivial issues and problems and need to do what is most important in life NOW. Please enjoy the video I made which shows the race through my eyes. I make these videos because there will come a time I can no longer do this, and I like to look back on these fun experiences that not everyone might be lucky enough to have.

Oil Creek 100 – 2021 Course Preview

Oil Creek was the very first 100-mile race I ran in back in 2018. I came back this year for hopefully better weather than last time. Unfortunately, I ended up getting THE WORST weather you could ask for. Ran the majority of the race with Mike Fatigante who helped keep the pace and share the miles. Special thanks to Heather Pavlich and her amazing foot care! This is the race through the view of my little action camera, the Insta360 Go 2.