This past Sunday I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay.
Last year I did the 1/2 marathon at the urging of my friend and coworker Angie. Running a 1/2 marathon was not and is not something I ever felt a particular need to accomplish, but since 2009 when the Pittsburgh Marathon started back up after a break of some years, I was starting to get medal envy, so I figured why not.
“Why not” for me is because a long distance run like 13.1 is NOT for me. Once my training runs got past about 6 miles, I dreaded doing them. My feet got all hurty (later to be attributed to bad shoes and also a bunion), it was really time consuming, I had to get sitters to come so I could do the runs, etc. etc. I finished the 1/2 marathon with a decent time (something ilke 2:28) and vowed never to do a half again. Despite Stacey continually badgering me to sign up for another one.
But at least I figured this all out!
So I like the event, but I didn’t want to run the bigger races. I decided to see if some of my hockey ladies would be interested in running the relay. Turns out they were! We had more than one team but sort of less than two teams, and two prospective team members had to endure relay-ending shoulder surgery and a torn meniscus, so we had to do a bit of scrounging around to find the last few people to run. But we did it! Two teams, two relays.
Initially we had thought we’d do a lot of training runs together, but the problem with running with people who play hockey is that they’re always busy playing hockey, so we didn’t do as many as we would have liked. However, we had a Facebook page and we posted a lot on the page, so that was fun. Plus we saw each other at hockey (or at least, everyone who was not too pregnant to play hockey saw each other) so we could talk about running there as well. We also did a few other races together, or together-ish since we run different speeds, before the big event. I did most of my training with Angie last year and this group mentality with respect to running is so useful and motivational.
I signed myself up for the fourth leg, which is from approximately miles 15-21 (6.1 total). This is a good distance for me – it’s challenging but it doesn’t make me want to weep tears of blood. It’s also a good route because it’s flat, after the 1/2 marathoners have peeled off so less congested, and through some awesome neighborhoods where people who lived there, like, brought out water that they had provided themselves and handed it out.
Here’s my view waiting to start.
The run was somewhat tough, since it was later in the morning and was hot, and I haven’t been running quite that distance recently. I had to walk more than I would normally be comfortable with, and my time was slow. But, I’m 20 weeks pregnant, so getting 6.1 in is a bit of an accomplishment regardless, I think! My time was 1:13:something. I was a little dehydrated afterward but not too badly.
Overall I’m happy I did it, I had a great experience, our teams were fun, and I would definitely do it again. And I would definitely do leg 4 again. And it shouldn’t be too difficult to beat my time from this year since I will not be pregnant next year! That will be fun. I’ll be all, “suck it, last year’s time!!!”
Ben ran the half marathon. He should post separately about this.