On May 5th, I ran my 6th half marathon! If someone told me 5 years ago, I would have ran 6 half marathons in 4 years, I would have told them they were crazy. This was my 4th experience with the Pittsburgh Marathon. In 2010, we did the relay and I did the half marathon in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Next year I will get a gift for 5 years from the Pittsburgh Marathon!
My husband had been golfing for 6 days and got home very late Friday night. On Saturday, we went to our oldest's baseball game and met my mother-in-law there so she could keep the kids overnight. We went to the Expo and got our packets. My husband did the Relay with some friends of ours so he was running 5.8 miles. We tried some samples of Honey Stinger waffles and bought some honey and vanilla flavored. These are my new favorite pre-workout food! Yummy!
We checked into our hotel that we stayed at downtown last year as well. We went to Sonoma Grill for dinner. I wish I could have had some wine! Their wine list is very extensive. I got some pasta, and it was amazing! Great food there!
We got ready for bed at 7:30PM and rented Guilt Trip with Seth Rogan and Barbara Streissand. It was pretty funny! I was asleep by 9:30PM!
We got up about 5:15AM and got ready to head downstairs to walk just a few blocks to the starting line. My husband was in Corral D so we had to split up there because I was in Corral C. This was the first race I had ever done where I didn't know anyone around me! I felt a little lonely as people chatted and hugged. But once the gun went off and Ryan Clark from the Steelers announced for us to go, I was ready! I had planned to stay around 9:15-9:20 pace. I really wanted to be 2:05 since last year I was 2:06.
I was doing great. The first mile I knew I went out too fast when it was 8:17 pace. I slowed down a little to stay around 9:20 or so.
My splits were:
Mile 1: 8:17
Mile 2: 9:28
Mile 3: 9:21
Mile 4: 9:10
Mile 5: 9:04
Mile 6: 9:17
Mile 7: 9:24
Mile 8: 9:25
Mile 9: 9:31
And this is where I started to fall apart! Coming down Carson street there was an incline which was not fun. It seemed to go on forever. I got my Gatorade and ate 2 Shot Blocks, hoping that this would give me the extra fuel for the next few miles!
Mile 10: 9:51
Through the South Side, I felt like I could not run any faster. I was getting so tired and was hitting the wall.
Mile 11: 9:44
I started to move a bit faster but I knew what was coming for me......
Mile 12: 10:37
I lost so much time here! Once I went over the Birmingham Bridge, I knew that the dreaded hill at Duquense was coming. First was a little hill then around the corner and the big on looked at me right in the eyes. I had to walk a little on this hill. My heart was pounding so fast I thought it was going to come out of my chest. I never had this feeling before. I think the anxiety of the hill, and the fact that I was getting excited because I thought I could be 2:02 or 2:03 just all hit me at once. I got up the hill and tried to make up some speed in the 13th mile.
Mile 13: 9:41
As I came into town and could hear the crowd cheering, two things happened. #1-I saw a man on the ground to my left with paramedics around him. I was distraught with worry. #2-To my left came the winner of the full marathon. It was sensory overload for me.
I crossed the finish with a crowd cheering so loud for the winner of the full with a 2:05 finish. A PR for me!
Later that afternoon, I saw on the news that 23 year old Kyle Johnson died. He was the young man I saw on my left. I wondered if I had ran next to him at any point. What happened? The news said it must have been a heart condition. It was such a sad moment.
I enjoyed my 6th Pittsburgh marathon. I was a bit disappointed that I didn't stay at my goal pace and let that darn Duquense hill get me again. But I will do it again next year........I have to get my 5 year gift right??