This weekend marks the fourth time my feet will hit the pavement to cover long miles through the city of Pittsburgh and I can't wait! This is by far one of my favorite places to run a marathon or half marathon because I get to visit family and during the race, the miles are marked by awesome bands, streets are FULL of cheering folks, urging you along to the finish. It is really an amazing experience.
The first year I ran in Pittsburgh, I did the full marathon with my husband. Not exactly WITH my husband, because his pace is much faster than mine, but we ran the same race none the less. I won't lie- I was not prepared to do this distance due to a nagging knee injury that kept my longest run at only 12 miles. But, on race day, I suffered through all 26.2 miles and when I eventually crossed the finish line, cried like a baby.
The following year, we decided to run the half distance and this time I fared much better; still difficult, but a stronger finish for sure.
Last year at the expo, there was a guy raising money for charity and was running non-stop for 24 hours on a treadmill-then was planning on hopping off to run to the start line and run the marathon. Crazy, I know…but he did it. That got the hubs and I thinking- we had trained well over the summer & winter and felt great coming into this year's run. We both said “Next year we tackle the full again!” and were completely pumped with fist bump and all.
We both finished with a PR and were so happy to have accomplished a really solid run and showed were indeed Runners of Steel. When comparing our medals, we both confessed that we had the same exact thought while passing the flags marking mile 11, which is the point in the race where half runners turn left and head back toward the finish line and marathoners turn right to climb the hills in Oakland before heading back into the city for the finish. That thought?
“There is no freaking way I would want to run this distance AGAIN! I'm so glad I am almost DONE!”
I thought it was just me to whisper this under my breath, but when hubs shared the same sentiment, we had a good laugh.
We are back again this year and this time we are bringing friends and can't wait for them to experience a great race in a city that embraces and supports every sporting event that it can possibly cheer for.
This is the first time I haven't put out my call for folks to Claim a Mile…but if you would like to virtually run with me, I'll be more than happy to take you along! Just leave your name and what mile you want to tag along.
As always, it's just a moral support thing…when I pass a mile marker I look at my piece of paper and say “Ok Sue, let's rock this mile!” It is a huge help as I pass through the miles!
And this year I want those miles to tick by quickly! I've worked hard all winter and set a goal for this race. Fingers crossed that I make it!