The “It’s about Time” Pittsburgh Half Marathon Recap

Good gravy!  I’ve had this in various draft forms since the day after the Pittsburgh Marathon, I just couldn’t get it together.

I was planning a BIG, exciting race recap after Pittsburgh, but I choked.  On the writing, not the racing.  I had way too much to say about the expo and the race, so I’d given up after one attempt at capturing all the “stuff” I wanted to share.

Now that almost three months (and another half marathon!) have gone by, it seems anticlimactic to try to write about it.  Instead, I am going to share three lists of thirteen about the two half marathons I completed this year.  Here’s the first.

Thirteen Things I Loved about the Pittsburgh Half Marathon:

  1. The Expo – Even when I am really nervous, I don’t typically shake, so I was surprised that I was literally quaking when Jessica and I walked in to get our race packets and check out the vendors.  It was that exciting to me.  The highlights were:
    Name wall

    A)n Seeing my name on the wall

    Getting my picture taken with my #RunEMC hashtag.

    and B) Getting my picture taken with my #RunEMC hashtag.

  2. Wearing my Every Mother Counts racing singlet – I was so proud to be wearing the EMC singlet I’d earned by raising over $500.  It felt pretty badass to be out, as a team of one, representing something I believe in.
  3. My makeshift sleeves – I knew it would be cold in the morning, but I would race in my tank, regardless.  So I determined I needed some sleeves.  Ideally, I would have been these dealies from Oiselle, to match my EMC shirt: SleevesBut they were $30, and I decided this with insufficient time to have them shipped to me.  Instead, I went to Dick’s, where a very accommodating staff member helped me find a pair of black, youth compression socks.  On clearance!  For three American dollars, I had sleeves.  I cut the toes out for my fingers and the heals for my thumbs.  Perfect.
  4. The crowds and the signs – I loved the energy of the race, especially the inspiring and funny signs.  My favorite:  “Puke and Rally.”  Perhaps because puking sounded like something that was a possibility for me at that moment.
  5. Making my goal time – sort of – I’d hoped to finish between 2:15 and 2:20, and my official time was 2:20:01.  Ordinarily, I would have been all kinds of pissed off about that additional second.  However, at 1:58 into the race, I looked at how fast (slow!) I was going and how far I had yet to run (~2 miles), and determined it was impossible for me to finish in 2:20.  I got really upset – for about 10 seconds – but then thought, “Well, what am I going to do about it?  Stop?”  And just kept running.  I managed a finish time I thought was impossible because….
  6. My mile splits – Are hilarious.  I was trucking along in the 10:30 pace range, slowing down very slightly with each mile, through about mile 8, when I got tired.  And freaked out because I’m not supposed to get tired until mile 10.  But I kept it under 11:00 minutes per mile through mile 12, which includes “the hill.”  Which I walked on.  Even though I said I wouldn’t.  So my mile 12 split was 11:52.  But after I got over the hill, I decided I was getting this done.  My thirteenth mile was my fastest mile by far (yeah, yeah, I know it’s downhill) at 9:42, and I ran the last tenth of a mile at a 9:11 pace.  It felt good to finish strong.
  7. Making a “friend” at the finish – As I was grabbing a cheesey Panera something-something and a water, a woman came up  and said, “Nice race.”  My first thought was How does SHE know?  But she explained:  I’d passed her just before the finish and she was impressed with how fast I was going (this is all relative, you know!).  And she decided to follow me.  She told me that I helped “pull her in” to the finish!  I love making race friends!
  8. Race photos – Got a few great snapshots with my friends, plus several of my official race photos turned out well.  My mom was kind enough to spring for my official finish line pic.

    Finish Line Photo

    Finally done!

  9. The race shirt – I LOVED the color of this year’s race shirt.  I was particularly tickled that orange lettering accented the teal of the shirt and therefore went with my EMC orange tank.  I painted my nails orange with teal ring fingers to go with the theme.
  10. My dedication list – Keeping track of my friends and family by each mile truly inspired me and kept me going.  When I was running the miles dedicated to my friends in the race, I imagined either them pulling me along or me pulling them along (e.g., for my buddies who started the corral after mine).  It made me feel like I was racing with them.
  11.  This – What are the odds that Jessica & I would actually end up right beside each other in our respective corrals?!

    Jessica & I

    Look who I found in the corrals before the race!

  12. The medal – Enough said.
  13. The lines on the road – A weird item, yes?  Nina gave me several race tips for the day, and one was to run down the lines on the road so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the pitch along the sides.  Being a really compliant person, I ran down the lines of the road (with a little zig-zagging, of course).  As much as I tried to take in the atmosphere of the race, what I remembered most at the end of the day, was staring down those yellow lines.  Those yellow lines inspired the shadow box (my first!) I created from my race paraphernalia.  Much effort was made to arrange the items in a way that still allowed the yellow lines in the middle to be seen:

    Shadow Box

    See the lines on the road? They’re to scale. 🙂

Coming up next: A similar recap for the Deckers Creek Half Marathon.