Here it is, the race recap you all have been dying for…I’m sure of it.
So the Pittsburgh Marathon was this past Sunday, Cinco De Mayo.
I did not have any goals going into this race. I would have liked to be sub-4:00, and ran with a friend who wanted to go sub 4.
My training was shotty at best, a 16 miler, a 20 miler and that’s it for long runs.
Pittsburgh is mentally rough. You start out flat if not downhill and then hit a major hill at 12 miles, which you will see below.
My four hour pace tattoo.
The start from my blurry Iphone.
We started off right on pace; 9:15’s for the majority of the first half. I felt ok, but had to use the bathroom unfortunately. We just kept chugging along but I could tell that I was feeling tired early. Like around mile 9. My legs were aching and feeling fatigued.
We split from the half marathon people and started up the hill into Oakland for miles 11-12.
See that major elevation. That’s what kills you.
Saw my parents and Brad at mile 12 after the hill and gave them the first death glare.
I was really feeling crapping after the hill into Oakland. I found a bathroom around mile 15, and hit my wall early.
I saw my sister at the third relay exchange around 15-16 and gave her the second death glare.
I felt dizzy and weak. I kept moving…albeit slow and ate a Stinger Waffle. My friend was feeling it too in his hamstrings.
I finally started to feel a bit better around mile 18, but was still pulling out like 10 minute miles…not what I wanted, clearly.
I kept chugging, kept moving, slowly, but eventually made it to 22, where I saw my family again. No death glares this time. I stopped, and literally said “it hurts so bad”. I bent over and my legs were shaking…but they all said “YOU CAN DO IT! STAY STRONG!” And so I took off.
Mile 22-25 is all downhill, as you can see from the elevation. It hurts so good. You know you’re almost done and it’s the downhill of heaven. Beer, cheers, and knowing that you’re almost done.
I kept chanting the word STRONG with each step through mile 24 and 25. People probably thought I was crazy, but not as crazy as the guy singing Wagon Wheel the whole time.
I stuck it out through mile 24-25 and finally saw my family probably at 25.75 miles. I rounded the corner and saw the 26 mile marker.
At that point, everything changed. People were cheering and the pain disappeared. All I could see was the finish, and all I could think was that I was going to finish my 5th marathon. Not only have I been crazy enough to run 26 miles once, but I’ve done it 5 times.
I crossed the finish at 4:20:12.
Obviously not sub 4, but I finished another 26 miles. Was I disappointed in my time? Sure. My PR is 3:57 and I would love to crush that some day.
But putting it into perspective my training was not my best, my goals were not the best, and I am totally to blame for that and I am ok with it.
I am ok with a 4:20 marathon. I finished another 26 mile run!
What really made it great was a sign I saw around mile 24 that almost made me cry…
“The percentage of people who ran a marathon in 2012 was…0.5%”
0.5% of the entire population has run a marathon. I have ran 5.
Whether or not I PR or crawl across the finish line, I have accomplished something very few people will ever be able to, and for that I am grateful.
Here’s some pictures from afterwards…
My biggest fan. She wants me to qualify for Boston, but either way she is 100% proud of me for finishing another marathon.
Our marathon crew. Mike and lex ran the relays and ROCKED it!
Yes, I just did that. She in my bestie.
~ ~ ~
Will I run a marathon again? Hell yes.
Will I train better? Hell yes.
Will I go sub 4 again? Hell yes.
Sling shotting off of my crappy training, I have decided to keep myself in shape and run some races this summer…5k’s, 10k’s, half’s…whatever comes along.
1 day post marathon and I was out walking trails with Goose.
2 days post marathon I was at the gym on the elliptical, getting things loose.
It is so hard to get back into running shape after falling out, that I will not let that happen.
I want to train hard this summer and make some things happen.
I can’t say for certain that I’ll be doing a marathon in the fall, but then again…anything can happen.
And please readers, understand that I was initially disgruntled by my time, but now am totally proud of myself. I am not beating myself up, I am celebrating and enjoying the inability to walk without saying “ouch” with every step.