This past weekend was the MOST FUN! Yep, I mean that IN ALL CAPS! I know it’s already Friday, but Lynanne and I had a blast running. She showed up bright an early on Saturday am about 5:45 and we were on our way! We got to Pittsburgh early, picked up our 5K bibs and headed back to the car to drop stuff off. It was a little chilly in the morning but we knew once we got going that we would be ok. It was a pretty sweet set up for a 5K! We waited around for a little bit, but then we were off. My goal was to PR since it had been since December that I had run a 5K. I knew that even though my training had been on and off, I stood a pretty good chance to beat my current PR (29:57). We started off strong and kept moving. I had never run in Pittsburgh before so it was a cool way to see the sights. We ran past her old college apartment and some bridges. We high fived at mile 1 and 2 and then before I knew it, we were at mile 3 and she yelled for me to go ahead. Then we sprinted to the finish line and we did it! We beat the time by more than 30 seconds! Official time 29:24! I was so happy! It really gave me the confidence I needed to know that the half marathon was going to be ok!
After we high fived and caught our breath we headed over to the expo! Being a runner at an expo is like Christmas to a kid! It’s so exciting! And the coolest thing is that I was able to work it and represent the Cleveland Marathon! I couldn’t stay the whole time, but I spent a good chunk of the day there with Ralph the race director and we had fun! It was so great talking to people about a race that I love! Lots of people had good things to say about it and the city!
We left the expo and stopped for a late lunch and then I got in a quick nap. Being on the road before 6 started to take its toll on me! Later that night we grabbed some dinner at the casino and then headed back to get a good night’s rest! Let me tell you, getting a good night of sleep with no kids or cats waking me up was amazing! I was a little worried about the weather because the forecast was calling for thunderstorms in the morning. Lucky for us, the weather held out and we got the green light to run!
Our hotel was right at the finish line so it was great to get right up and be able to walk a few minutes to the start line. I got chills at the national anthem and tears in my eyes when the wheelchair division took off! There is something about the quiet before a race that always gets me! Since we were back in corral D, it took us about 30 minutes to even get to the start line.
The first few miles kind of flew by! And we hit the first 3 bridges right in a row! It was lightly sprinkling before we started and then it started to really rain hard at the end of mile 1 but it cleared up by the end of mile 2. I took a picture of us on the first bridge and then decided that I need to do that on all the bridges! So, we have the same picture on 5 different bridges basically! (You're welcome for that open mouth Grover shot of yours truely)
The crowds in Pittsburgh were awesome!!! The crowd support always gets me going and this race was a home run for that! I didn’t even bother bringing my headphones! There were people and bands and signs for every mile and we ate it up! It’s just what you need to keep going when the going gets tough! We stopped for a few dance breaks and had a beer about mile 11 and damn did that taste good!
When some people peeled off to do the full marathon we turned left and headed back to the finish line and I thought I might have a twinge of regret that I wasn’t doing the full, but I was never happier with any decision! I was exhausted and ready to be done! When we got where we could see the finish line, we really took off and sprinted to the end. It was great! I was so proud of us! It’s been a rough training season and I can’t even sugarcoat that life really took a toll on me the last few months, but I did it!
It was awesome! We headed to the post-race party and waited in line for our 3rd medal that officially deemed us “Runners of Steel”. We took some post-race pictures because they had some mad awesome props and then headed back for a much needed shower and lunch!
We were back in the car and no time and it felt almost like Cinderella after the ball. This week I rested quite a bit and I’ll be taking is somewhat easy this week to rest for Cleveland! My saving grace is that Cleveland is a week away! I cannot wait!!!! I love this race, I love the other ambassadors and it’s going to be an awesome CLE experience in 7 days! And I’m going to do what it takes to PR the course! I’m coming for you Cleveland!