Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spirit of Pittsburgh Half Marathon

It was a great morning to run in the 'Burgh!

I started the day off by sleeping through my alarm. Not a big deal because I always try to give myself plenty of time race morning. The plan was to get up at 4:15, coffee, breakfast, coffee, bathroom, coffee, dress, and coffee out the door (note: I am not a morning person!) BUT, I arose from the warmth of my bed (after sleeping part of the night in my recliner???) at 4:47! Coffee was already made (thank you programmable coffee maker) so I ate a quick breakfast, coffee'd, dressed, coffee'd for the road, dropped the road coffee in the sink and had to leave sans coffee! So far, not the greatest morning!

I wanted to be at the parking garage before the crowds started to show. Even with my stop at the convience store (I really wanted that second cup!) I managed to get there at 6:05. Things are shaping up! I called my friend Robin to check on her status and it turned out we were in different garages! Gathered my stuff and headed to meet her!

After we met I made a trip to the porta-potties and then back to my Jeep--forgot lip balm and I really didn't want cracked lips! We stopped to talk to Christine, Bubba, and Jim (Jim wasn't running) for a bit and off to the Jeep we went!

After the Jeep, it was back to the porta-potties! The lines were HUGE! Robin decided to go to her pace group and I had to wait! One of the race workers came over to tell us that the race will start on time whether we are there or not! She encouraged us to go to the start and use on of the potties on the course! I asked if there was a full chip time from the beginning to the end or just at the end (chip vs. gun time.) She said it was a full chip time, so I said it didn't matter if I was a minute or two late for the start, my time would still be correct. She got a little nasty with me, I asked her if she wanted me to just pee my pants because they had so few porta-potties, and she walked away! A quick trip in, a dash to the start, and I managed to get in with the WRONG pace group for the start!

I wanted to run with the 2:20 pace group, Robin ran with the 2:10 group. I had 2:10 on my mind, so I hopped in line with the 2:10 group. After a half mile or so, I thought the pace was a little quick. Then I saw Robin and wondered if she was okay because she dropped back. All of a sudden I realized I was running in the wrong group! So I did the best thing that I could think of, I ran my own race!

At about 2 miles the 2:20 group caught me? I was really watching my splits and knew I was going faster than their 10:40. At one point, they slowed for a water stop, I hit a down hill and boosted my pace to 9:40something, and they caught me again! I started to think the pacer was just a bit overzealous! He kept running 10:20's and 10:30's! His group started to fade behind him by the 5 mile mark!

THEN IT HIT! Being rushed at the porta-potty at the beginning, I had to use one at the 6 mile mark! 3 minute wait! Oh my, could the be serious? Two porta-potties at three spots on the course with 3,000 runners? This was ridiculous! But what was I going to do?

I managed to regain myself after busting out of the bathroom and running too fast to try to make up for lost time! After I slowed back to my manageable pace, I realized I could still hit close to 2:20--including the break!

The course went up and down, I passed a number of folks, and next thing I know, I'm crossing the 13 mile mark! I picked up the pace and ran in for a 2:20:54 (Garmin time.) I'm very happy with the time because I managed to do that with the break. My PR is 2:20:11. So close, but when nature calls.....

It was a great day, nice running, and a great time to be a runner! But one of my favorite parts of the day was hanging with Robin and Robbie at Caribou Coffee after!

Stay safe, keep your soles to the ground, and keep moving forward!

1 comment:

  1. Brad,

    Congrats on your PR. I missed you with all of the excitement. It is awesomre to see Pittsburgh with another half marathon, I just wish that it was more organized.