It all started after I had our 3rd baby and I needed to lose my baby weight and I got my husband and his brothers on board to do the relay. We needed a 5th member and I asked one of my closest friends, Anne, if she would be our 5th. Since then, we have spent a majority of our Saturday mornings running together. After the chaos of the relay, we all decided to the half marathon from now on.
My husband and I decided to stay overnight this year and went down Saturday afternoon to Pittsburgh.
When we checked it, it was a pleasant surprise to find that we were upgraded to a king suite for no charge!
We went to the Expo and each bought a shirt......mostly because we didn't get our race shirts. They were all out of Small and Medium Women and Large Men. They gave out the wrong shirts to the volunteers the prior day. We should be getting them in the mail in 4-6 weeks! We were disappointed that we didn't get our shirts.
After the expo, we decided to eat at The Original Fish Market for dinner. They had an all-you-can eat pasta bar. We were up to our room by 7PM to rent a movie ($17.99 for a movie?!) which was actually very good-Safe House with Ryan Reynolds and Denzel. I was asleep by 9:30PM.
Our alarm went off at 5:30am. We walked down to the starting line at 6:45am. It was so nice to sleep in. The past years we had to leave our house around 4am to head to town before they starting shutting the streets down.
I was getting texts left and right from family and friends. Anne was running in Corral B which I was assigned to as well. But Anne was hoping to break 2 hours and I knew I wasn't ready to do 9 minute miles for 13 miles, so I told my other friend Chrissy that I would run with her. Chrissy's PR was 2:11 and she was hoping to finish about 2:05. My goal for this race was also 2:05, although my PR was 2:07, anything less than that would be fine with me.
I wasn't able to meet up with Anne. I found Chrissy and wished Tim good luck.
Chrissy and I were all ready to go after hearing the great Ryan Clark cheer us on and tell us to start!
Chrissy and I-ready for 13.1
We headed through town and through the Strip District, which smelled sooooo good! I just wanted to eat at all my favorite places down there. We were doing really well. We felt great and were staying around a 9:16 mile the whole time. We got water at mile 4, and I was really feeling like we could do a 2:05 or even less!
At mile 6, Chrissy said she needed a breather and told me to go ahead. I felt so bad, but I kept going and was ready to head to the West End Village.
When I crossed the 6 mile mark, I was at 57 minutes! I was feeling good about my pace.
I headed through the West End Village. The crowd support there is AMAZING!
I still was feeling great at this point.
Heading down Carson Street, it got very hot! It had to be about 8:45 am at this point. It was probably about 75 degrees by now and the sun was beating down. There was no shade here. I ate 2 Chomps and stopped to drink some Gatorade and walked through that water stop.
As we got into the root of the South Side, it was super hot and I wasn't feeling great. My hip and right knee were in some pain. I stopped to stretch my quad, which did help.
We split off from the full marathoners and headed over the Birmingham Bridge. I was feeling very bad at this point and kept telling myself, just 2 more miles!!
Then I saw the hill......there was a long hill with a slow grade that never seemed to end. I had to walk a little up this hill, as did most of the people around me. There was absolutely no shade here. It was probably 80 degrees by now-no clouds in sight!!
The downhill was nice. I was now hitting around a 9 min mile to make up for what I lost. I was praying I could come in under 2:07 at this point.
I was trying to run as fast as I could. People were SPRINTING past me. I was about an 8:50-9:16 pace at this point but felt as if I was slowly jogging. The crowd support here was great.
As I crossed the finish line, so did the winner of the full marathon! I could hear Ryan Clark announcing the winner. My official time was 2:06:59. I squeaked in one second under 2:07!!
Tim and I
I saw my husband ahead. He waited for me so we could get our finisher photo together. He finished 1:52. He was a little disappointed. He wanted to finish 1:45 but I can't even imagine getting either of those times!!
Aunt Nancy and Uncle Tom
We got to see Tim's wonderful aunt and uncle who were passing out chips. It was so great to see family volunteering! There would not be a race without the volunteers! The food at the finish line was organized much better this year. There was plenty of water, bananas, Eat and Park Smiley cookies, fruit, chips, bagels, etc. They told me Anne finished a few minutes ahead of me. I was hoping she broke 2 hours.
Much to her sadness, Anne finished at 2:03! She said we should have run together since it was only a 3 minute difference!
Anne and I
Tim's oldest brother, Ben, improved his time from 2:30 to 2:12. He has lost almost 50 lbs since January with Weight Watchers. Tim's youngest brother came in about 3 hours. Tim's cousin, Sam, did his first half-marathon and finished about 2:45. (his parents were the ones passing out the chips)
Despite the heat, we had a great weekend and really enjoyed ourselves and were happy with our times.