May Challenge: B is for Broad Street

Sunday, May 4, 2014

 "If you run a personal best, whether it’s by 1 second, 
10 seconds, 2 minutes, you better celebrate, 
because they don’t come very often.” 
Meb Keflezighi, 2014 Boston Marathon Winner

Today marked my fourth Broad Street Run. You'd think as a veteran Broad Streeter today would have been an easy journey -- a 10-mile cruise down the heart of Philadelphia I've done since 2011, a route I know by heart, a challenging course in MY hometown.

This year's Broad Street experience was far from easy and quite an emotional one for me. But I can tell you one thing, today was without a doubt the best running experience of my life.

Back in April, myself and thousands of other runners across the country entered the 2014 Broad Street Run lottery - crossing our fingers we would be one of the lucky 40,000 to be selected for this year's race.

I waited and waited until the selection email was sent. "Dear Amanda Piccirilli: Thank you for your interest in the 2014 Broad Street Run. Unfortunately, your entry in the lottery was not selected. Your credit card has not been charged."

Best Cheerleader! 

When I entered the lottery for Broad Street this year, I went in saying to myself "Well I have two options:
1. If I do get in that's awesome! Broad Street is actually the weekend of my 10-mile training run for the Wildwood Half Marathon on May 18. Sweet, my signature race and perfect training run, WINNING!! OR
2. If I don't get in, maybe it is a sign that other people should have the chance to experience why I love this race so much each and every year."

So, I didn't get in. Despite being upset and pissing & moaning on Facebook about it, I pressed on with my training for the Wildwood Half -- plugging away long runs at Valley Forge National Park, Peace Valley, throughout Lansdale, anywhere there was pavement I was out! I'm determined to do well this race reason as I have dropped over 30+ pounds and have been pushing my body to new physical challenges because it feels great.

On April 3, Danielle Esposito (who I played high school soccer with) sent me a message on Facebook saying she needed to sell her bib and remembered my bitching on Facebook about not getting in and offered her bib to me! Whattt?!?! Oh my gosh, yes yes yes! 

So there I was, a month away from Broad Street and mentally prepared to kick its ass. My training runs have been solid -- my times are times I have NEVER in my life had. I physically felt good after a rough few weeks with knee pain. I was ready to make this run my biotch. I was ready to prove to myself that I could and I WOULD finally go to Broad Street prepared, dedicated and eager to do well. Not just show up and run like I did the three years prior.

All this week I was a stomach was in knots, the pressure I was putting on myself was making me physically ill. "Amanda, just go out and run like any other run. That is all it is." But it's not. This race was to prove to myself that I am a healthier, happier and better runner than I ever have been before in my life.

And today I did just that. I proved that my training has paid off and my dedication is working. All of the weekend's of not drinking and early morning workouts are showing they were worth it. Today, I crushed Broad Street. (Everyone has there own crush, this was definitely mine!) I soaked in the atmosphere -- let my legs do the running and my heart was smiling as thousands of spectators cheered us on.

I finished the 2014 Broad Street Run and set a new PR for myself with a time of 1:32:46, 20 minutes  FASTER than my previous PR, which was last year's run with a time of 1:52:12. I crossed this year's finish line crying because I did it - I did this for myself. I've NEVER been more proud of myself.

Thank you to my family, my boyfriend and friends for having my back each and every day. This year must have been meant to be...4th BSR and 4th of May. As they say "May the 4th be with you!"

Interested in being a guest blogger for this year's May A-Z Series or know someone you think would be a great addition to this year's posts? Click here to email me asking for more details. Be brave! Take "write a blog" off your bucket list. Share your artwork, write a poem, showcase your photography -- Take Your Pic loves it all!! 
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