I usually wait to write up race recaps but I am just flowing with excitement today so I will take some time and do it now :)
Today I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon
Going into this race I had mixed emotions. First, I was concerned about the hills, there were quite a few here. I went out on Friday night when I got here for an 8 mile trasining run and totally bonked on it running it in an hour and 12 minutes because the area was so hilly and it was hot out. That bad run stuck in my head the rest of this weekend.
Then Saturday getting to the expo was a bit of a night mare haha we got lost and ended up walking about 5 miles. So my dreams of having fresh race day legs were shot.
But none the less I woke up rearing to go this morning on race day!!!
I went into this race with the intention of using it as a long training run, my run schedule called for a 20 mile run with 8:04 pace. So my plan was to warm up for a mile and then knock off as many 8 minute miles as possible. Looking at the elevation chart I knew it was going to be difficult, but I was determined to make the best of it.
I started out in corral B, I felt good from the beginning, I was surprised. It was almost as if all the issues I had on Friday had dwindled and I was just running strong. I had that race day excitement going for me and it was working :)
The first few miles were great I ran sub 8s and I felt strong. The hills were not bad in the beginning so I knew to take it fast then and save time for later. That strategy paid off well as I had a strong first half of the race. Mile 14 I had a big hill and it was slow but steady. Then I came back strong with more 8 minute miles.
The last 5 miles were down hill and some of it was steep, that was tough but I made it fun by screaming and cheering and high fiving as many people as I could. This is what I have come to love about racing, just savoring the moment and having fun. I have run 5 marathons in the past 7 months and I learn more about myself each time I run one.
Today I learned that I have truly come to love the marathon distance. I feel it is long enough to be a challenge and yet not so long that I am exhausted by the end. At mile 24 through 26 I feel so strong and am able to push through while others around me are slowing down. It just makes me feel even stronger when I am able to focus and conserve enough energy until the end of the race. I always end with a smile. The main goal I go for now is just to have fun and remember that I am lucky to be able to complete these races.
I ended up finishing the race in 3 hours and 43 minutes and 30 seconds. This was better than I expected! I went into the day telling myself just to worry about finishing and maybe sticking to the 4 hour mark.
The medal is nice. :) We all know how much I love me some race bling!
This was an interesting race. I had fun today but I will admit, I do not think I will be coming back to this race any time soon... The course was tough and overall I did not enjoy the city as much as I have other races. The city was just not very friendly this weekend and I did not feel the buzz and excitement I usually do when I go to a new city for a race. Also, the course directors said they would have a strict finish time of 6 hours but they had people out still running at 8 hours, that is nice, but they were not nice when we asked if it would be ok to take more than 6 hours. This caused a lot of people to switch to the half when they realized how hot it would be and I feel like they did not get a chance to run the race they wanted to today.
After the race I decided to give myself my first ever ice bath. It was not fun at all and I admit I will never, ever attempt that again
I only did it because I forgot my Arctic Ease at home :( CLearly, I will never ever make that mistake again! My poor legs.
I am tired but happy, I really feel I will be strong in Vermont on Memorail Day weekend and I hope a PR is in me!