Monday, May 6, 2013

I'm a Runner XXV: Pittsburgh Half Marathon Edition

Susan Tirch
38, Pennsylvania 

I began running with really no idea what I'd be able to do.  My heart wanted to run a 2:05 but my legs had other things in mind.  

At first I started off fast and dreamed of what it would be like if I could hold that pace through the entire 13.1 miles.  Ha!  

For so long I took running for granted and even when I had better races I still didn't really appreciate them for being GREAT!  I'd give anything to have last year's race back and a 2:08 finish.  

I'm used to running with friends and even a lot of races lately I've done side by side with one of my friends.  While I appreciate running with my friends SO MUCH, I think I made the right decision (in this case) to run alone.  I know I did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.  This race was ALL ME!   

My character as a runner is probably definitely stronger than my actual ability as a runner.  I always have my head in the game and my heart for that matter.  I do pride myself in having a lot of determination and perseverance.  

When I travel for a race, I usually don't sleep well.  I slept like a rock before the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  I suddenly woke up at 3:55 am five minutes before my alarm went off.  My body even built in a snooze. Ha!  

My Pet Peeve while racing is most definitely spitting.  I can't stand the sight of spit on the ground.  I know it's part of the sport, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.  I find it disgusting.  

When I'm training hard for a race, I go into things with a lot more confidence.  I felt like a fish out of water at the start line this year.  I just didn't know what to expect out of this old body of mine.  

A 10:00 pace used to feel really comfortable for me, these days 11:00 sounds better.  During last year's half I managed to squeak out a 9:45 pace.  The fastest I ever ran in a race was 8 minutes flat over 2 miles.  I almost died.  

If I got down during the race yesterday I thought about a couple of things.  First, the Boston runners.  My shirt said Run for Boston. It didn't say, mope your way through a race for Boston.  I also thought about just being ok with who you are at the time.  I did the best I could and that's all I can ask out of myself.  Was it what I wanted for myself?  No, but it was definitely all I had in me.  

My dream half marathon time is 1:59:59.  I want so badly to break that 2:00 mark.  One day perhaps.  One day!  

Being a mom of three kids heavily involved in activities is a crazy life.  I love it, but it makes fitting in runs difficult at times.  I've learned to not sweat it.  I will not die if I miss a run and I've accepted the fact that I'm not going to run on a treadmill at 4:30 am or 10:30 pm.  It's ok with me!  


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