If you had told my high school self that I’d run a 10-mile race and actually enjoy running a decade later, I would have:
a). Laughed at you
b). Given a snarky response about being allergic to running
c). Looked up for flying pigs
d). All of the above.
I was that kid that despised running the mile for the presidential fitness test. However, shortly after graduating college, I found myself tying up my laces and hitting the open road more and more. Running quickly became one of my favorite exercises, energizers, and stress-relievers. I became hooked and looked for a new challenge and distance to tackle.
That’s how I found myself along with 35,000 people completing the Broad Street Run on Sunday, May 7. It’s the largest 10 miler in the country and unlike anything else I have ever experienced. Runners line up in North Philly, traverse down Broad Street, passing iconic Philly institutions – Temple, City Hall, Avenue of the Arts, the stadiums, and finally finish in the Navy Yard.
It is a day when the City of Brotherly Love truly shines. Musical acts ranging from gospel choirs to drum ensembles, one-man bands to marching bands play along the way. Hundreds of volunteers hand out hydration for participants. Thousands of residents cheer on runners, complete with inspirational or funny signs and even, donuts, Swedish Fish, or Starbursts for runners hitting a wall at mile eight. The entire route is lined with total strangers that are so proud of your achievement and excited for you!
While this wasn’t my first time running Broad Street, it was by far my fastest. That wouldn’t have been possible without these fantastic tools – runcoach Moves Broadstreet, Charity Miles, Spotify, Runner’s World Yoga for Runners, and Couch to 5K.
- runcoach Moves Broadstreet: I haven’t exactly stuck to proper training plans when I’ve trained for the Broad Street in the past. This app not only told me what days and how long I should be doing easy runs, conditioning, tempo runs, and long runs, but it shaved almost 3 minutes off my mile time!
- Charity Miles: Sometimes it’s hard to get off the couch and out the door. But knowing your moves will help charities around the world makes it a lot easier. Giving is simple – fire up the up, pick a charity, start moving, and Charity Miles does the rest–they donate $.25 for every mile you run.
- Spotify: There are two types of runners – those who run naked and those absolutely need to run with music. I am the latter that needs a killer playlist to keep me company on long runs! My tunes include a mix of songs with tempos at my pace and favorite songs.
- Runner’s World Yoga for Runners: Running can leave you feeling amazing, euphoric, and occasionally sore. This 25-minute routine is a perfect remedy for tight muscles and aches and pains that come with rigorous training.
- Couch to 5K: While I didn’t use this program this year, a Couch to 5K podcast turned me into the runner I am today. These programs build up your endurance over the course of eight to 10 weeks, by gradually adding more running to your walking routine.
After all, achieving big goals doesn’t happen overnight, it’s accomplished one step at a time. What are you favorite running apps?