Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Race Recap—Guest Post

Y’all have heard me talk on the blog before about my running mentor and inspiration Tracey.  You don’t remember?  Look here.  Since I couldn’t run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon today with Tracey, like last year, I was feeling a little sad. 

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The Pittsburgh Half Marathon is a great race and one I wish I could run every year.  Since I’m 1200 miles away, I thought we could all live the race vicariously through the AWESOME Tracey.  Tracey is a mother of 3 children, a devoted wife, a “retired” teacher, one of my best friends, and any runner’s inspiration, for sure.  Here’s her race recap from today’s half marathon. 

Susan asked me to recap the Pittsburgh Half Marathon for her blog tonight.  I am excited and honored to do this for her.  I hope I can write half as well as she does!


The day started off very early (4 am) and I was at the start line by 6 am for a 7 am start.  It was a decent morning- 63 degrees and overcast.  At about 6:30, it began to rain.  Not too hard, but enough to get me wet before the start.  The rain continued through most of the race, but it actually felt good once I got going.  It was humid out and I was warm from mile 1 on.

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You can’t really see what her shirt says but she and her friend were both running a race in two different cities.  This shirt represents them running it together in spirit!  Totally cool! 

The Pittsburgh half is a great race.  It brings you through many different parts of Pittsburgh and over four bridges.  Of course, it is also pretty hilly and I was feeling that today.  My first 9 miles or so went by pretty quickly.  I barely glanced at my Garmin, figuring I would just run a pace that was comfortable.  Apparently, I was running a pace that was just too fast to keep up for 13.1 miles.  At mile 10, I felt like my legs weighed 100 pounds each.  I never stopped, but I so wanted to! 

The finish line was changed this year, so at mile 12 I had to cross the Roberto Clemente Bridge.  It is quite a climb when your legs are done.  When I came down the other side, there was a huge sign saying "1/2 a mile left!".  I was excited about that sign until I turned the corner and could see the finish line a 1/2 mile away.  It seemed like it wasn't getting any closer as I ran towards it.  That was the longest 1/2 mile of the whole race.  But, I finally made it and was so relieved to cross that finish line.  Unfortunately, once I stopped running, my body didn't know what to do.  I was swaying as I got my medal and tried to walk to the water table.  I had to grab onto the temporary fence so I wouldn't fall.  A woman helped me over to the water table where I had to sit on the ground because I was so lightheaded that felt like I was going to pass out.  Two men from the armed forces picked me up and escorted me to the medical tent where I had to lay down and have my blood pressure taken.  After about 20 minutes or so, I was okay to go.  I am really not sure what happened.  I know I drank enough fluids and I ate a GU at mile 7, so I am not sure why my body felt like that.  All I can attribute it to was possibly being overheated and pushing too hard.  That was a first for me.  I also walked away with a huge blister- I know Susan knows all about that!

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                       Tracey’s                                                                Susan’s

Here are my splits:

Mile 1        9:03
Mile 2        8:32
Mile 3        8:45
Mile 4        8:37
Mile 5        8:35
Mile 6        8:34
Mile 7        8:39
Mile 8        8:56
Mile 9        8:55
Mile 10        9:14
Mile 11        9:18
Mile 12        9:23
Mile 13        9:13
Mile 13.22     8:23

Official race time: 1:57:33     
Official race pace: 8:59

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Overall, it was a really great run.  The crowd was amazing and the whole event was very well organized this year.  After I heal from this one, I am contemplating running a full marathon in the fall.  It has been four years since I have run a full.  Susan is really motivating me to run another one.  I also waited around today for two of my friends who ran the full and watched so many runners finishing.  What an accomplishment!

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One last story from today:  I was running behind a woman who took a stick with vaseline on it from a volunteer and proceeded to eat it!  She thought it was GU.  I tried to stop her, but she didn't hear me in time.  It was enough to make me feel sick.  So gross!!


Susan, thanks again for letting me write on your blog.  I wish you were with me today.  You really are my good luck charm and I really miss running with you.  Thanks for continuing to motivate me and so many others.  You are such a great person and a great friend and I am so glad you are a part of my life.

Awwwe.  Thank you Tracey.  It makes me sad that I wasn’t there to cheer her on to a sub 2 hour marathon.  What a great accomplishment on a hilly course in crappy weather.  Congrats on an awesome race Tracey.  For the rest of us, just be glad we didn’t eat an Vaseline today! 

P.S.  I’m thinking Tracey’s next marathon should be this only 2012! 

You may have already been made aware (with my constant Facebook updates or Tweets), but I have been nominated for the Top 25 Health and Fitness Mom Blogs on Circle of Moms.  If you’d like to show your support and vote for me you can do so by clicking the Circle of Moms link on my sidebar (or just click here).  You just have to find my blog and click the thumbs up.  You can vote once every 24 hours until June 1st.  I really appreciate your vote! 

Oh and don’t forget to click here too!  (I’m so needy)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome job, Tracey! Both of you gals are inspiring to me and so many others.
xoxo

Amanda @ Diary of a Mad Fat Woman said...

great post! I didn't really have any friends running this year, and I love to read recaps - so thanks for sharing!

Paul Taylor said...

Wow, this is wild! I was looking at your blog from Top 25 Health & Fitness blog...saw the Run Mommy Run shirt...excited to see our shirts in the wild...then I see a post with Tracey...WOW! Tracey is one of my wife's best friends from college and the person that was running a half marathon on the same day in Colorado! And, that shirt...Kim designed it and we made it in our Family Fan Club shop. Wild. We'd love to connect with your community and get the word out about Family Fan Club if you're interested.

Paul Taylor said...

Wow, this is wild! I was looking at your blog from Top 25 Health & Fitness blog...saw the Run Mommy Run shirt...excited to see our shirts in the wild...then I see a post with Tracey...WOW! Tracey is one of my wife's best friends from college and the person that was running a half marathon on the same day in Colorado! And, that shirt...Kim designed it and we made it in our Family Fan Club shop. Wild. We'd love to connect with your community and get the word out about Family Fan Club if you're interested.

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