48 hours after finishing the Pittsburgh Half Marathon for the second time and I’m still exhausted. But damn was it fun.
I’ve got to admit that I ran this race having trained less than I have for any other race I’ve ever completed but I also had more fun than I’ve ever had before. I had no goals. I wasn’t even totally sure I’d make the finish line, especially with the call for rain. But I did and despite the horrific ankle pain I had for the afternoon and evening, I would do it all over again.
The morning began smoothly as my running partner Beth and I got ready. We were out the door before five am, grabbed coffee at GetGo, and parked her car downtown by 5:30. The weather felt perfect. It was cloudy and cool but not cold. Beth was hot, but I still needed to wear a pink fleece that I tossed off before mile one.
It started raining about 10 minutes before the start and I’ll be honest: it sucked. Standing in the rain waiting to start running is not encouraging. That’s when the mindset part of running begins. You have to tell yourself that you can do it. Or in my case, I kept telling myself that it was fine to quit if I got sick of the rain. Whatever it takes to get across the starting line.
It rained the entire time we were in the Strip District. It just kept raining harder and harder. My socks got soaked, which I’m paying for in blisters. My hair was drenched in minutes and my ponytail kept smacking me in the face and splashing even more water on it.
But as we crossed the 16th Street Bridge the rain stopped and it didn’t start again until hours after we finished the race. It actually got humid and at one point I even wished for a bit of rain to break the humidity. But in the end, it was really nice to be dry by the time I crossed the finish line.
Despite the rain, there were more spectators out than I remember seeing in other years. It was AWESOME. All of those smiling faces and cheers really helped during those moments when I wasn’t so much running or walking, but hobbling along, (or prancercising, because you just gotta have fun). So THANK YOU to every single spectator who came out. Here are a few of my favorite signs:
Next year, I’ll train better. Next year, hopefully I won’t be in so much physical pain (because I’ll have trained better). Next year, maybe it will be sunny. But next year, I hope I look as happy at the finish line as I did this year.
Did you run the Pittsburgh Marathon or Half Marathon this year? How did it go?