I’m back! With a (Half Marathon/Relay/5k) Recap!
So, yes …yes I know it’s been ENTIRELY too long since my last post. I was still running since last October, but got completely engulfed in work, wedding planning, moving to keep any kind of motivation of my blog. But now, with a renewed sense of “running being” I feel like I’m ready to come back! In the coming weeks I’ll explain all the craziness that has happened (HELLO, MARRIED NOW!?) but for now I REALLY want to bring you a recap of an awesome weekend of running!
May 4th was the annual UPMC Pittsburgh 5k. Brian and I did this race last year as my first EVER road race. This was the race that inspired me to come back this year and run the half marathon! We woke up early at 6am and headed down to PNC Park around 7.
I’ll be honest with you, I don’t remember much of the actual 5k. I was too busy trying to run as slow as possible (We finished in 37 and some change, so mission accomplished) but it was just so much FUN to be running with Brian again. I think we might make this a yearly thing. It was also a great shakeout race for me!
We left shortly after we were done racing, and it was actually amusing because we walked down one of the closed of bridges that carried the famed “Runner of Steel” banner. I wanted a picture with it, and we weren’t entirely sure if we could walk in the road. We decided to anyways since the barriers were still up, and a cop actually drove down the road. As he passed us, Brian screamed “YES!!!!!” and the cop cycled back asking if everything was alright. We had to shamefully say that we were just happy he hadn’t yelled at us for taking the road. He laughed and congratulated us, then went on his way. Oh his big mouth…..
The rest of the day I plumped myself up with CARBS CARBS CARBS!!! I ate so much sushi and rice I was also vomiting. I counted on MyFitnessPal and I had around 70% carbs to like everything else, so I must have done something right. With all those carbs coursing through me, I was so ready for bed at 9.
4:45 AM on Sunday the 5th came WAY too early. I didn’t sleep well, taking multiple bathroom breaks and a strange twinge in my back. Needless to say, I was still excited and hurried myself up. I ate maybe a quarter of a plain bagel (not my smartest idea) and a starbucks espresso + cream (my signature pre-long run drank). I was out the door by 5:30 to meet my mom to drive me to the start.
Since my parents live maybe 5 minutes from downtown it was a piece of cake to be dropped off. I was there by 6:15. I walked to gear check and headed to my corral (D since I was running a relay leg). Oh yeah, that was another thing. A friend of mine’s relay team ironically lost their first leg runner and asked me to pick it up since I was doing the half anyways. Um, of course! All it required me to do was wear another bib, a shoe tag and get another medal and shirt and swag bag. Sign me up! And …hold on, speaking of swag bags ….you must see this;
RIDICULOUS. For some reason I was signed up for the half TWICE, so they gave me two bags, one for the relay, two bags for the 5k and my charities bag. YEESH!
Anyhoo ….back in the corral. I was FREEZING. I planned on wearing my arm warmers which saved me, but boy was I cold! We didn’t move until around 7:15 when our corral finally lined up at the start.
Finally we were off. I started off way too quickly, running a 9:18 mile. I kept yelling at myself internally to SLOW DOWN, but I couldn’t! I was too excited, and it ended up biting me in the butt later on. I listened to Marathon by Rush for the first few miles on repeat, it helped me get into a groove, albeit a much faster one than I wanted. I REALLY had to pee, and around mile 3.5 I darted for some open potties. I was in and out and kept on trucking. About the time we were headed over our first bridge was when I started shedding the arm warmers. They came down to look like guantlets at first, and then I eventually got one off. Since my pants had pockets I just stowed them there.
The relay exchange came at mile 5.5. I was so confused and disoriented when I headed into it that I had ZERO idea where my team member was. Thankfully she saw me, handed me my medal and was off. I had to flag a volunteer to help me take off the relay bib on my back and my shoe tag. He was kind of confused as to why until I said I was continuing on. It was a little hiccup, and I ran with the relay bib for a bit since I wasn’t sure if I was gonna pitch it or not. I ended up stuffing it in my pocket. Miles 5.5 to the West End bridge were a huge blur. I don’t remember this section at all except “DAMNIT WHERE IS THE F****** BRIDGE?!” By now my legs were like, WTF Robyn …why you run so fast? Ugh. The lemon lime gatorade was also not helping my spirits.
When we finally got there I said to myself, just run this whole bridge then you can walk ….just this bridge. Well, the bridge turned into running through all of the section of crafton til we got back on East Carson. I was feeling rough, and finally got my other arm warmer off. By now I had eaten half my bag of chews and was feeling OK.
By now we were at about mile 7. I walked at every mile marker from here on out, give or take that and a potty break. I went to the bathroom THREE times during this race. What the heck! Anyways, I will skip ahead to the South Side and the Birmingham bridge where i finally could see the end in sight. For those of you who don’t know, this half marathon ends on a HUGE grade for the 11-12 mile. I have to admit, I walked it. My legs could not handle it. I hadn’t trained well for this race at all and I accepted it. But when I hit that 12th mile marker, I ran. I’m NOT going to walk the last mile!
Running down BLVD of the Allies was thrilling. You kept hearing EVERYONE scream and holler, some heckling saying to run faster, and everything just was going so fast! It was everything I envisioned finishing this race would be. I even got a PR! 2:32:59 🙂 Haha. Had I not gone to the restroom I probably would have been about 2:24, but oh well!
After I was done I grabbed some food and headed to the finishers circle to hook up with the relay team. Found them in the grass napping, and I of course could not pass up the chance to join. All in all, it was an awesome weekend of running …and my legs are certainly feeling it. I’m on the mend, and ready for my next challenge! That challenge is the AKRON MARATHON this September! I have been signed up for two months and my training plan has me starting May 27th. So, here we go onto the next challenge!
All in all, I loved Pittsburgh. I’ll be back next year, hoping to do the full marathon in 2014 🙂 LOVE THIS CITY!