Monday, April 22, 2013

Thoughts on the Pittsburgh Marathon

Here I sit 2 weeks out from the Pittsburgh Marathon (I'm doing the half) and staring in the face of the harsh realization that my longest long runs has been 5 miles.  I plan to attempt 7 miles on Wednesday, but I've been careful not to increase my mileage too much.  I think 7 miles is the longest run I'm going to get in before the race.

Let's take a look back shall we?  I did the Pittsburgh Marathon (half) in 2010.  It was only my second half in my life and, as far as I was concerned at the time, I rocked it.  I knocked 8 minutes off my first half marathon time and I felt pretty damn good about it.

It rained for pretty much 12.1 miles of the 13.1 miles, I chaffed and I bled (my toes), but I finished with determination.  2:09:20.

I skipped 2011 because we were living in Texas, but I flew in to run in 2012.  I was at a really good place in my fitness regimen and bound and determined to set a PR (held by my prior Pittsburgh Marathon showing in 2010).  My niece ran her first half that year and it was pretty special having her there with me.  At 17 years old, I never would have had the courage to tackle 13.1 miles.

My niece Abbey and me 
My friend Tracey decided to run WITH me, which was awesome.  Tracey is much faster, so helping pace me to a PR wasn't hard for her.  It got hot that day, which made things difficult for me, but I was determined to push through and get a PR.  With little time to spare, I finished my last mile at a 8:23 pace and finished the race with a big PR of 2:07:22.

Tracey and me 
So I have really great memories of my two Pittsburgh Half Marathon races.  This year, I'm kind of terrified.  I've run almost a dozen half marathons and I haven't been this nervous since my very first half back in November of 2009.  At that time, I didn't know if I could finish.  I mean I seriously didn't know if I could run 13.1 miles.  I had only trained up to 10 miles and running 13.1 seemed impossible, but I was determined and I did it.  (Finished in 2:17:22 in case you wondered).

I have no idea what this year's half marathon holds for me.  I don't know if I can finish.  I don't know if I will have to walk.  I don't feel confident in my training or my abilities right now.  One thing I am sure of is my determination.  Determination has seen me through so many things in the past, and I'm hoping it will help me through the Pittsburgh Half.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't recommend just going out and doing a race you haven't trained for and expect to be able to finish without some obstacles.  In fact, I really don't recommend it AT ALL, but I've decided to run this marathon whether it's smart or not.  I'm running my OWN RACE, all alone, and that way at the end I'll know, whatever the outcome, I made an experience all my own.  I won't wonder what if, or think coulda, shoulda, woulda.

So that's the decision.  Me, myself and I running/hobbling/walking the Pittsburgh Marathon.  One thing is for sure, I'll be bringing along my determination.


Sarah Slotter said...

I would definitely walk and walk early if I were you. Have a fun race!

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