Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pittsburgh Marathon: Race Day Thoughts

Today was the Pittsburgh Marathon.  I don't normally post on Sundays, but I'd like to share some thoughts while it's still fresh.  
  1. This training season (since November), I have had two broken bones.  The nose didn't really affect my training all that much, but the tailbone hasn't been pleasant. The rowing machine is still not my friend.  I have dealt with numerous illnesses on my own part and the kids.  I had 4-6 weeks of shin splint issues that I got under control just before my whole left leg from the knee down became inflamed with tendinitis.  I was fortunate enough on Friday to be one of the 300 people able to transfer down to the half marathon from the full.  Like the shirts say, "Half crazy is still crazy."  Between the injuries and illnesses this year and the fact that I had to stop for a potty break at mile 8, I'm pretty happy that I still managed to pull out a personal record for the half marathon (note this is only my second "official" half marathon), coming in at 2:14:07.  It's only a PR by 8 seconds, which in a 2+ hour run is not much, but it's still a PR.  I'll take it.
  2. To the very big guy wearing the "I don't do marathons, but I do a marathoner." T-shirt while cheering on the crowd at the start line: I'm not sure whether to laugh or tell you to get off your butt and try it.  You might actually enjoy running a marathon almost as much as you enjoy the marathoner in your life.
  3. My iPod has a sense of humor and it knows Pittsburgh so well.  The first song that popped on was "Umbrella."  It made me laugh.  Yeah.  It was a wet run again this year.  And just like last year. . . the sun came out AFTER the race.  Ask me to name what I don't like about Pittsburgh and I will have only one thing on my list: the weather.  Our weather is total garbage here.
  4. I love running through the Northside during the marathon.  Not only is it my home turf, it's got the best crowds.  It's fun to run through that kind of energy, and it's even more fun when you know so many people in the crowd!  
  5. My good friend Miriam (we ran our first ever 5k together two years ago) rocked it, coming in at 2:24:andsomechange for her first half marathon.  Her husband was right behind her.  Don't feel too bad, Jason.  I'm faster than Tim too. :)  
  6. To all the volunteers passing out water, Gatorade, Gu, all the awesome food at the finish, medals, heat blankets, to the course marshals, security and police, and everyone else who made the race possible (but especially the people with the Eat-n-Park smiley cookies at the finish line): Thank you and rock on.
  7. Last year, I contracted Hand Foot and Mouth Disease from my kids.  I probably ran the last few miles with a fever and by the end of the race, the food looked revolting to me.  I spent that afternoon and evening with a high fever and no appetite.  I was relieved when I crossed the line this year and everything they were passing out looked AWESOME. 
  8. As if last year weren't organized enough, they managed to streamline the race logistics even more this year.  It was amazingly well organized, easy to figure out, get to, etc.  Fantastic job, people!
  9. To all the marathoners, half marathoners, relay racers, walkers and 5K runners (the 5K was yesterday): Way to go!  We're awesome, aren't we? Keep running, friends.  
  10. To everyone who supported the Pittsburgh Promise on my behalf: Thanks for helping send kids who might not have a chance otherwise to college!  
  11. It took my 4 minutes to wait in line for a portapotty and pee.  FOUR MINUTES.  All the while, there were men just dashing off to the bushes.  So unfair. 
  12. I really do love running.  I enjoy distance running, but after this season, I'm looking forward to my short run season.  By short, I mean 5-10K.  So, in closing. . . see you at the Riverview 5K! And if you can't make that one, I'm also running the Run for Roch this year.  Warning: they are probably the two hilliest, most brutal 5Ks in the city.  And they are awesome for that.

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