My Half Marathon Journey: Race Recap

It’s time for the final post in my 2017 half marathon journey – the race recap! (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

half marathon journey

 

 

It’s hard to believe that almost a week has gone by since the 2017 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon (in which I ran my second Half Marathon). Life has been super busy ever since the weekend of the race and has finally slowed down enough for me to breathe and think about the run. It’s race recap time!

Race Recap – The Prep

The Flat Lay: It’s tradition before a race to put together your race outfit, the flat lay. I put Flat Becky together before we headed to dinner, but this is when my nerves set it. I knew I’d be a mix of cold then hot and I started to freak out. I decided to go with my Fila pants (with some mesh around the calves) and the work running t-shirt, nothing under or over it. But maybe something under it. Or not. (I’d decide later that night to go with my 2013 Turkey Trot long sleeve under it, a decision I now regret). The Bigs asked that I wear my hat, which I was perfectly fine with as the day looked like it might be a bit rainy and overcast (in hindsight, ha).

flat lay

Carb-Loading Dinner: Work put on a beautiful dinner at the St. Clair Country Club, but I was challenged by the carb-loading part of race day prep (thanks to my body’s dislike of gluten since Whole30). I gave in and had some tortellini and even though I sort of regretted it that night, I did not regret the energy the next morning. Greg and I got all fancy but forgot to grab a photo with our phones.

Sleep: Plain and simple, it came super easy. Big props to my mom who stayed the night so we could sneak in (although Isla and Arianna woke on our arrival) and out. With about 6 hours of sleep, I figured this would bode well.

 

Race Recap – Before the Start

Mile 0 – Getting to the Half: Greg and I woke at 4:00 AM and left the house by 4:45. We were parked and waiting by 5:30 – decided (correctly) to get a spot in a garage on the North Shore. It was only $5 and connected right to the “T”, which took us right where we needed to be, Gateway Plaza.

I had to find the porta-potties twice because nerves. We wrapped in garbage bags but I wasn’t sure if I was too cold or too warm. Greg and I parted ways at about 6:45 – me to Corral D and he to Corral C. I was worried I’d not given him enough time, but it turned out we had plenty.

After the National Anthem played, we waited and waited. I’d taken my inhaler but needed to take it again because almost an hour passed between when I thought I’d need to take it to start. I gave up my garbage bag early, around 7:15, and wished I’d still had it. The gun time was delayed because there were cars on the course. It ended up not being time for us back of the packers to go until 7:45.

I crossed the starting line at 7:49 AM.

Mile by Mile Breakdown: The Good Half

I used my FitBit to conserve my phone battery – because I killed my phone in 2013 – and it logged 13.44 miles. Something was definitely off, but I’m using that for my mile breakdown. This is the unofficial time! 

Mile 1: The fast one. Pace: 11’46”

This seems to be the one that always gets my heart pumping and my legs moving. It’s always fast, even with others who are trying to navigate their way through the swarm of people trying to run their first mile, too. We were still pretty packed in, like sardines, but I made the best of it and worked my zig-zag. I felt good, just right in the heat department, but shedding the gloves as we went down Liberty.

To my left, a guy caught a garbage bag and went spinning top over bottom for about 15 feet, saving his landing and moving on. I was impressed!

To my right, there were four guys, Marathoners, running in Star Wars costumes. I’d see them until we broke at mile 11. Behind me was the 12’35” pace group, the group I wanted to stay ahead of. About 0.5 miles in, they lost me – gone to the point I couldn’t see them anymore and to the point I was scared this wasn’t going to go well. It was too early to feel that, but I felt that.

Interestingly, my FitBit showed 1 mile just as I got to the 1 mile marker, and my time was an exact match on the clock (against gun time).

Mile 2: The Familiar One. Pace: 11’53”

This began my familiar trail, the roads I run at lunch. I knew this section of the course so well, I could have closed my eyes and did it. This felt so good and I didn’t see things going downhill in any way. Who cares that I couldn’t see the pacers any more, what I knew was no others had passed me from behind and were nowhere to be seen behind me, either.

I snuck a peak down toward my office, thanking God for the changes in me since taking this job, for the way they support this running thing. Next thing I knew, mile 2 was DONE.

Mile 3: The 16th Street Bridge. Pace: 13’23” 

This one felt like it took forever, like it was stretched out farther than I remember during my training. I felt good as I took the hill to the bridge and kept my eyes on those around me who seemed to be pacing about the same as me. I prayed for them to keep up their pace and endurance because I was motivated by them.

Mile 4: East Ohio Street. Pace: 13’25”

This was a mile I could have done better on. It was mostly flat, save for the journey up to East Ohio, and full of people cheering. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember seeing the 4-mile marker, but I know it was there.

Mile 5: Downhill and Excited. Pace: 12’56”

I knew my pace had slowed a little, but I wasn’t discouraged. We were looping around the North Side with some downhills and water stations. I was encouraged going uphill to the Urban Impact cheer team, fiving the crowd. This mile felt good and I knew I’d round a corner any second and see Greg (who had finished his 5.3 mile leg about 30 minutes after I took off).

Mile 6: Cranky begins. Pace: 12’48”

As this one started, I saw Greg. He had beat his goal for his relay leg and looked excited. I handed off my gloves then asked him if he’d gotten a text about my time. He hadn’t. But wait, he had, so he came running after me. He told me my average pace at 4.4 was 13’11”. I pouted. This wasn’t going to be a PR at that pace. What was going wrong? I felt so good and now so confused. I was passing PNC Park then Heinz Field, I should have been so happy. This part of the course was ROUGH – lots of pot holes. Eep. Something kicked in, though, and I tried to make up for the time.

Mile by Mile Breakdown: The Bad Miles

Mile 7: The West End Bridge. Pace: 13’47”

As I headed toward the West End Bridge, the cold got to me. I didn’t feel trained, I felt like an imposter. I slowed to a walk as I crested the hill to the bridge, trying to get it back together. I started to jog and a $20 bill flew under my feet. Not even money was gonna stop me. With the walk, this was one of my slower miles, but I felt a fire in me that I didn’t want to let out.

Mile 8: The inhaler part one. Pace: 13’52”

In the West End, the spectators rocked, as usual. One of them was a college friend. She probably doesn’t know it, but I high fived her as I went by. I swore I was actually moving in the West End, but as I got to the end where we head up and out, my lungs were screaming. I stepped to the side and grabbed some energy gels and two puffs of my inhaler. I realized I was no longer cold, but not hot.

Mile 9: The strip club. Pace: 13’01”

As the course took us through Carson Street, the sun started to shine and I started to feel woozy. Really woozy. Like I was going to need a medic. I realized I was starting to overheat, quickly. How the heck, when all the spectators were bundled up in hats and gloves? After I ran past a line of soldiers, high fiving us, I knew I needed to do something to get cooled off. A cup of water to the chest and back didn’t help, so I tried to take off my long-sleeve. It was stuck, so I had to go to the side of the road and peel it off then put my other shirt back on. It wasn’t pretty, but it was necessary. At this point (TMI ALERT) I also realized being a woman brings its own fun challenges to the race – I NEEDED a bathroom but I was not going to stop to make any adjustments. Eep. 

Mile 10: The smack. Pace: 13’39”

Greg had traveled across town to see me at the 2nd relay exchange. When I saw him, I stopped. My first intention was to give him my long-sleeve, but then I told him I was done and ready to quit. I was physically uncomfortable and way too hot. That’s when the asthma attack started. It’s also when he told me how proud of me he was and that I needed to take my inhaler and get moving (SMACK!). So move, I did.

Mile 11: The flat-ish one. Pace: 13’07”

The course boasts this as the flatest mile. Sure, it wasn’t bad, but I was disappointed that there was no gu and barely any water at this point. I saw my kids’ faces in my mind and kept pushing, crying, but pushing. I watched the time on my FitBit slip quickly from an average of 12’45” per mile to 13’01” and stay there for most of this mile.

Mile 12: The worst. Pace: 14’59”

There’s no nice way about this one. I was done with hills. My broken toe was throbbing. My pants felt so heavy and I was afraid I was going to pass out. My shirt was drenched in sweat, but I couldn’t get cooled down. I decided to power walk this entire mile, across the Birmingham Bridge and up Fifth Avenue. I don’t know how I ran this mile in 2013, but I did. As soon as I got to Jumonville, I knew I wasn’t going to be swpt, so I told my body to get it’s act together. According to my FitBit, I was still going to PR if I just kept moving.

Mile by Mile Breakdown: The Finish

Mile 13: Like the wind. Pace: 12’11”

Get it together, I did. I flew down Fifth Avenue, refusing any more water. I felt good all over again, because I’d lived through the uphill battle. I barely had time to realize we were running past PPG Paints Arena or to realize how close I was to the finish.

Mile 13.1 (then some?): The tears. Pace: 11′17″

I zipped through the final steps. My FitBit told me I was done, and when I saw the time and the fact that I had the official 13-mile marker just ahead in my sight, I knew a PR was not going to happen. I cried my way to the finish line, pushing hard (especially when I saw Greg) and not stopping until I crossed into the end. It wasn’t enough, to PR, but it was enough to finish. I didn’t quit, and I could have.

I cried as I was handed my medal. I cried as I got my finisher’s photo taken. I cried because I did this again, 4 years, +2 more kids, -30 pounds +75 pounds – 25 pounds, + a major surgery,+ a job change, + a move, + so many other things later. I felt mad about not PR’ing, but so proud.

Once I found Greg, I saw the pride in his face. He had talked to the kids and they were proud, but I needed to hear it.

Once I did, all my anger at myself went away and I enjoyed time with my hubby and co-workers.

Will I do it again? Abso-buc’n-lutely. I cannot wait for 2018.

Timing

Unofficial: 13.44 miles, 2:55:54 minutes, 13’05” pace

Official: 13.1 miles, 2:55:43 minutes, 13’25” pace

 


My Half Marathon Journey: Part 9

Follow along with me as I share my half marathon journey – I’ll be running my second half in Pittsburgh this May – with weekly updates. (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

half marathon journey

 

Well, here it goes! Tapering is upon us. I’ve slowed down in impact and duration and am trying not to scream every morning that it’s X days until the Half. But I can’t help it, this is quite exciting for me! This time next week, I’ll be at dinner with my co-workers (and Greg), relaxing before a quick sleep and the race. I’m pretty much ready, but need to go for prayers tomorrow and have my dad and mom pray with us on Saturday. Otherwise, I’m feeling awesome – keep reading to hear how this week went!

Training Plan Status

Saturday 4/22: Caught the stomach bug and couldn’t shake it. Sad that I didn’t get my 11-miler in, but my abs sure got a workout last week. Ugh.

Sunday 4/23: Rest and worked a vendor fair for my Thirty-One business.

Monday 4/24: I felt like lightning. Today was a quick three miles at lunch, my normal path along the course that I’ll run next Sunday. This three had me in tears. Is this real life? Distance: 3.04 miles Pace: 12’35” per mile

Tuesday 4/25: Back at it for YFit – and I almost forgot to snag a picture of the board! Don’t be fooled. This one looks easy, but it wasn’t. “Bonus”? I felt my first ever bar blister pop as I walked from the pull-up bar back to my weights. I might have shed a tear.

I was able to do a few burpees without the help of the wall or bench, but 85% of them were heavy modified. 🙁 Bummer. The Thrusters took a lot out of me, then I did 115 on deadlifts – probably my heaviest weight yet! The ab work at the end was painful but in a good way – weighted pilates crunches (idk the real name, but that’s what it felt like), l-sits (I held a bow position on the ground because my hand hurt BAD at that point), and ball holds. Ouch!

Wednesday 4/26: I thought last week was THE run. This was a hot one, but I was not distracted by the sun or my mind. This was awesome. There is really nothing more to say but pray I can get my pace closer to this for race day! Distance: 3 miles Pace: 12’22” per mile

Thursday 4/27: I got to YFit early and stared at the gym. This will be my last time at my Y Box until mid-May due to tapering next week then work events the following week. I’m going to miss it!

Really loved this WOD, and logged 5-minute 800’s. Whoa. I was spent after this but suffered through the 100 weighted sit-ups at the end.

Friday 4/28: I took a walk to clear my mind (I needed it) then did Nerf Wars at church. Lots of steps for the day and not enough time to blog!

Saturday 4/29: My last BIG run before the Half has to suck. There’s no other way around that. And suck this one did. The splits for the first two miles had me soaring, but after that, I couldn’t stay in the 12-minute mile range and went to 13 for two then logged a sad 14 fifth mile. Mile six had me WALKING because I smelled fresh cut grass and onions and I was thirsty and had the barf feeling, so I walked 0.25. This helped, then I poured my heart into the last 0.75 miles that remained and finished that one in just over 13. Unfortunately, my pace isn’t what I want it to be to ring that PR Bell next Sunday, but I think the time in song and prayer helped. And it’s DEFINITELY better than my last long run before 2013’s half – 14’52” per mile (that one was DISGUSTING). ‘lil bonus? I wore my race day shirt!!! Work gave them out yesterday and I had to see how it felt (good, but it’s going to be HOT if the weather is warm).  Distance: 6 miles Pace: 13’26” per mile

Current Progress

February Miles (follow me on Nike+): 35.91
February Average Pace: 13:32

March Miles: 60.05 
March Average Pace: 13’21”

April Miles: 60.02
April Average Pace: 13’15”
Current Projected Finish Time: 2:35 (right there with my 2013 pace of 13:13 / 2:53)

What’s coming up next? I will do 3 on Monday, 3 on Wednesday. Hoping we can bike or swim as a family on Tuesday and Thursday. Hoping I can do a shakeout on Friday, maybe to the Convention Center to get my race packet. I’m squealing, can you tell?

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If you’re running in the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon events, let me know. Be sure to follow along on my social media – I’ll be using #fitmomintheremaking #pghmarathon and #runpgh with my shares!

Read the rest of this series:

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 1 (March 3)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 2 (March 10)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 3 (March 17)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 4 and 5 (March 31)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 6 (April 7)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 7 (April 14)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 8 (April 21)

Read other Pittsburgh Running Blogs through Steff’s linkup: Run Steff Run


My Half Marathon Journey: Part 8

Follow along with me as I share my half marathon journey – I’ll be running my second half in Pittsburgh this May – with weekly updates. (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

half marathon journey

 

You guys. This week has been a true test. I got the sickness and simply couldn’t deal. Like sat on my bed and cried until I fell asleep couldn’t deal. Eep. Regardless, this Half is happening with or without me!

Training Plan Status

Saturday 4/15: Considering that I was the lone person in my house who had not gotten sick at this point, it took all I had to go for this 10-miler. I didn’t eat breakfast before (fail) and I didn’t hydrate during (because I was sold that if I stopped for my water I would stop for the rest of the run). I just listened to my heart and did what I could! Even though I do not love my pace, I love my stamina. Distance: 10 miles Pace: 13’41”

Sunday 4/16: Rest

Monday 4/17: Sick!

Tuesday 4/18: Sick!

Wednesday 4/19: The run. THE run. This might be the run that defines me as I grow in my running journey. I was super consistent, felt full of breath and life. Distance: 4 miles Pace: 12’37”

Thursday 4/20: I felt winded from my only full day in the office, but it was my BIRTHDAY WOD at YFit. This is the first WOD that I wanted to throw up in. Like had to wave my hand in front of my nose so I didn’t barf bad. Between feeling sick this week and my abs having been through the ringer and the temperature of the annex, I think I was just done. But done did it, all that in 37:28 then followed up with 34 weighted sit ups // 34 burpees (I did one to the ground then knew it was a bad idea so I went to a bench to modify) // 34 Russian twists. Ouch!

Friday 4/21: I’m still under the weather today, yuck.

Current Progress

February Miles (follow me on Nike+): 35.91
February Average Pace: 13:32

March Miles: 60.05 
March Average Pace: 13’21”

April Miles: 45.02
April Average Pace: 13’22”
Current Projected Finish Time: 2:55 (+2 minutes from 2013 pace of 13:13 / 2:53)

What’s coming up next? I’m supposed to do 11 miles tomorrow, but that will depend on how I feel.

+

If you’re running in the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon events, let me know. Be sure to follow along on my social media – I’ll be using #fitmomintheremaking #pghmarathon and #runpgh with my shares!

Read the rest of this series:

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 1 (March 3)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 2 (March 10)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 3 (March 17)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 4 and 5 (March 31)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 6 (April 7)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 7 (April 14)

Read other Pittsburgh Running Blogs through Steff’s linkup: Run Steff Run


My Half Marathon Journey: Part 7

Follow along with me as I share my half marathon journey – I’ll be running my second half in Pittsburgh this May – with weekly updates. (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

half marathon journey

 

When you have a goal in mind…big things happen.  And when you have God on your side? Those things are even bigger. This week wasn’t my fastest week ever, but it was a week full of heart.

Training Plan Status

Saturday 4/8: Oh, what a glorious day for a run! It was Evan’s soccer opening day but cold and wet in the morning so I held out until the afternoon. Thankfully my family met me on the trail twice with water because that sun came OUT. In fact, I have a not so lovely tan line from where my sunscreen wasn’t applied and the sun hit my back. Oops. And the shin? No pain. None. Nada. Zilch. Feeling so good. (Well…minus breaking in the new shoes and getting a heal blister – time for larger socks! – and realizing my broken toe from 2013 still hasn’t healed properly. Oops.)  Distance: 9 miles Pace: 13’15” (that’s -23 seconds per mile from last week!)

Sunday 4/9: Rode to Wisconsin and it was my birthday.

Monday 4/10: The hills were alive in Wisconsin. I used Map My Run and found a 4-mile path from the resort but it was more hill than I wanted to do. It was also almost 65 degrees at 8 in the morning and I was feeling it. This one included some getting lost and more walking than I’d done in a while. But that pace is a thing!  Distance: 4 miles Pace: 13’14”

Tuesday 4/11: You sometimes have to live. Today I lived and celebrated my birthday because Sunday wasn’t a great one. My exercise was walking around a zoo and feeding my belly with Wisconsin goodies.

Wednesday 4/12: This time I conquered the path from Map My Run and did the whole four miles as prescribed. Up hills. Down hills. Up again. In the cold. I mean 30 degrees and the only thing I had on me for running was a pair of capris and some tank tops cold. Thank goodness I was willing to wear a hoodie because cold. But it moved me. And I spent some time talking to God about this whole running thing. I mean, who gets up on vacation and gladly runs four miles in the cold? A committed me.  Distance: 4 miles Pace: 13’04”

Thursday 4/13: Back home for YFit. Just when you think that the workout wasn’t that bad, the cash out is to run a mile and do 100 weighted sit-ups. Kiera gave the option for us to stay inside and do something on a machine if we didn’t want to run – and because I didn’t have my new shoes with me and am pretty convinced the shin splint is from my worn out shoes I had on me at YFit, I stayed inside and did my cash out on the bike (1 mile) then because I felt like I’d wimped out of running did 400 on the treadmill in 2:45 (so under an 11-minute mile pace). It still hurts to cough or laugh after those sit ups.

Friday 4/7: Rested but played some soccer with Evan.

Current Progress

February Miles (follow me on Nike+): 35.91
February Average Pace: 13:32

March Miles: 60.05 
March Average Pace: 13’21”

April Miles: 31.01
April Average Pace: 13’21” (-10 seconds from last week)
Current Projected Finish Time: 2:55 (+2 minutes from 2013 pace of 13:13 / 2:53)

What’s coming up next? 10 miles tomorrow!

+

If you’re running in the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon events, let me know. Be sure to follow along on my social media – I’ll be using #fitmomintheremaking #pghmarathon and #runpgh with my shares!

Read the rest of this series:

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 1 (March 3)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 2 (March 10)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 3 (March 17)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 4 and 5 (March 31)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 6 (April 7)

Read other Pittsburgh Running Blogs through Steff’s linkup: Run Steff Run


My Half Marathon Journey: Part 6

Follow along with me as I share my half marathon journey – I’ll be running my second half in Pittsburgh this May – with weekly updates. (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

half marathon journey

 

Whoa, buddy. This has been a week. It’s probably the most emotional week yet in terms of beating myself up for timing. Perspective, I need to keep in mind the bigger picture.

Training Plan Status

 

Saturday 4/1: I will probably never do a “hey it’s raining and not my day to train” run again, at least not until after race day. Pulling off an 8-miler after a cold, rainy run the day before just didn’t feel great. Set the headphones on medium, the prayers on high, and might have cried a bit during this one. In the end, I was pretty consistent with my (crappy for me at this point in training) pace. Two of the miles took over 14 minutes – GAH. The final, right in my sweet spot for race day, was 12’57”. Sometimes we need these runs, eh? Distance: 8 miles Pace: 13’38”

Sunday 4/2: Rested it up.

Monday 4/3: Today I ran off some frustration around coordinating all the things for kids’ activities. First mile was definitely in anger, logging a 12’55”. After that, I slowed it down and listened to my shin. Ouch.  Distance: 3 miles Pace: 13’15”

Tuesday 4/4: YFit. It was a birthday WOD for Chris, and I’m so glad for it. With 400’s and 49 reps, this one burned in all the right ways. Sadly, I couldn’t do the weighted step-ups on the box and had to revert to the metal dowel-rod type bar for the last set of hang cleans because my shin was just done. Done.

Wednesday 4/5: This run about did me in with the trail. My gut told me not to go past the sewage plant toward Ford City, so instead I ran along some businesses, tried to navigate the FLOODED park sidewalks and stopped for at least two minutes at the Market-and-Water intersection. I was not happy and I should have been. That sun! That sweat! (That sunscreen in my eyeballs…) Lessons learned, yo. Distance: 3 miles Pace: 13’27”

Thursday 4/6: Rested vs. cross-training. Tara prayed for my shin at Women’s Ministries and it felt amazing – I wasn’t about to risk it. Good choice! This is about way more than the run.

Friday 4/7: Resting again today unless I decide to put things together to co-sign.

Current Progress

February Miles (follow me on Nike+): 35.91
February Average Pace: 13:32

March Miles: 60.05 
March Average Pace: 13’21”

April Miles: 14 
April Average Pace: 13’31” (+10 seconds last week)
Current Projected Finish Time: 2:57 (+4 minutes from 2013 pace of 13:13 / 2:53)

What’s coming up next? 9 miles tomorrow!

HELP ME! Thinking about buying this compression sock for my shin – thoughts?

+

If you’re running in the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon events, let me know. Be sure to follow along on my social media – I’ll be using #fitmomintheremaking #pghmarathon and #runpgh with my shares!

Read the rest of this series:

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 1 (March 3)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 2 (March 10)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 3 (March 17)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 4 and 5 (March 31)

Read other Pittsburgh Running Blogs through Steff’s linkup: Run Steff Run


My Half Marathon Journey: Parts 4 and 5

Follow along with me as I share my half marathon journey – I’ll be running my second half in Pittsburgh this May – with weekly updates. (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

half marathon journey

You guys. I had all the things to write last Friday, but my husband had different plans for us that evening. (If you haven’t read about my surprise, you should. He’s such a romantic and I’m so blessed to have him.) The days that have followed have been full of happy, too, but I’ve also had some catching up to do. Thus my results from the last two weeks will be in today’s wrap-up.

Psst…can you believe there are only five more updates until race day?

Training Plan Status

Saturday 3/18: 6 mile run day. I took to the trail again and found a rhythm. This run was pretty steady paced, finding my sweet spots in the 13:17 and 13:34 paces. Most of it was negative splits, too. Distance: 6 miles Pace: 13’25”

Sunday 3/19: Just like God intended, rest day.

Monday 3/20: 3 miles at lunch, 13’10”. Nothing is standing out about this run, but look at that pace change from Saturday!

Tuesday 3/21: I stayed at work a little longer than I planned because I got in a flow. Luckily, the sun was shining and my legs were happy for a run (though my arms were missing YFit). I set my clock to 30 minutes and figured I’d do what I could. There were babies at home waiting for snuggles! Distance: 2.34 miles Pace: 12’54” (I was whoa’ed!)

Wednesday 3/22: Another lunch run, another 3 miles. This one had me jumping up and down at the end. Pace: 12’45”.

Thursday 3/23: DOUBLE DAY. My boss proclaimed it was a great day for work run club. I was able to sort of keep up with them for the first 0.6 mile then I hung back to work on my breathing and ended up catching another co-worker to loop back to the office together. Distance: 2.37 miles Pace: 12’06” That evening I was so glad to be back at YFit…and then Kiera wrote on the board. MORE RUNNING! Actually, I was happy with this, ended up logging about another 1.25 miles and felt GOOD doing it, even if I couldn’t keep up with anyone.

Friday 3/24:  This was stretch day, but Greg had his surprise. We went for a 3 mile bike ride on the trail.

Saturday 3/25: Ran with Greg (he did 5k) then kept at my training plan to finish out 7 miles. It felt AWESOME. Distance: 7 miles Pace: 13’18”

Sunday 3/26: Rest and buffet life.

Monday 3/27: I felt the buffet life impacts. This run was my 31st street bridge loop. Ever since, my shin has been hurting pretty bad (but I am so grateful that Anna reminded me about KT Tape last night – now to find mine!). Distance: 4 miles Pace: 13’24”

Tuesday 3/28: YFit. 1050 single jump ropes. Did I mention my shin was hurting Monday?

Wednesday 3/29: The weather got a little cooler, but I was ready to push my limits. Distance: 4 miles Pace: 13’09”

Thursday 3/30: YFit. It looks easy. I thought it was…then I sweated like crazy. And I was so glad when it was done. But I made some personal gains!

 

Friday 3/31: Today was a stretch day, but the trail was calling me. Off I went, running in the rain to meet 60 miles for March. Accomplished! Distance: 1.7 miles Pace: 12’56”

Current Progress

February Miles (follow me on Nike+): 35.91
February Average Pace: 13:32

March Miles: 60.05 (+ 34 since my update two weeks ago!)
March Average Pace: 13’21” (-16 seconds from two weeks ago!)
Current Projected Finish Time: 2:55 (+2 minutes from 2013 pace of 13:13 / 2:53)

What I’m listening to: TKO (Justin Timberlake, do I even need to explain?!)

What’s coming up next? 8 miles tomorrow!

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If you’re running in the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon events, let me know. Be sure to follow along on my social media – I’ll be using #fitmomintheremaking #pghmarathon and #runpgh with my shares!

Read the rest of this series:

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 1 (March 3)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 2 (March 10)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 3 (March 17)

Read other Pittsburgh Running Blogs through Steff’s linkup: Run Steff Run


My Half Marathon Journey: Part 3

Follow along with me as I share my half marathon journey – I’ll be running my second half in Pittsburgh this May – with weekly updates. (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

half marathon journey

Anyone else still feeling the effect of Daylight Saving Time? Truth be told, I cruised into work on Monday because yinz’all were sleeping in, but by Thursday I was right there with you. In the last two days, I hit snooze at least 27 times and I am so ready for bed as I’m typing up this post tonight. But, a deal is a deal, and I’m committed to this training and sharing of the plan!

Training Plan Status

Saturday: YFit 17.3 workout had my hands hurting. I still can’t do pull-ups, so I went to the rings when I realized I’d be doing something over 100 of them. There was a point where I almost fell backward doing the squat snatches, but it triggered something in me to make this more than a cross-training addition. I think it’s time to admit, even though I have a long way to go, that I really like CrossFit.

Sunday: Fought with my running app (Nike+) and compared it to my FitBit, S-Health, and MapMyRun to determine I ended up doing 5.34 miles on the trail at an 13:17 pace (1 hour 11 minutes, 11 minutes of that were walking). I WAS ECSTATIC. I was also COLD.

 

Monday: Full out run at work, 4 miles at 13:22. Still proud.

Tuesday: YFit + ab work that still has me hurting when I laugh.

Wednesday: 4 miles on the dreadmill at the Y. My first 1.5 miles were in the low 12-minute pace but then my head got the best of me and I slowed it down. By 2 miles I decided to kick up the incline and really slow down the pace (to about 14:30) for a mile before leveling off and doing a 12:45 mile. I didn’t quit like I thought I would. Ended up with a 13:20 pace and decided to write a post about running gear that night.

Thursday: I felt spent (DST kicking my butt) and accidentally stayed at work longer than I meant to. That got me in traffic, but I didn’t complain. I enjoyed the blue sky and then came home and pushed play on a Beachbody Country Heat workout. Even though I missed YFit, my routine was weighted…see?

(I held them both for the last 3 minutes, but held Ava about 30% of the workout. Ouch!)

Friday: Today was stretch day. Om!

Current Progress

February Miles (follow me on Nike+): 35.91
February Average Pace: 13:32

March Miles (so far): 26.46
March Average Pace (so far): 13:37 (-17 seconds from last week)
Current Projected Finish Time: 2:58 (+5 minutes from 2013 pace of 13:13 / 2:53)

What I’m listening to: Sit Still, Look Pretty gets me moving pretty quickly these days.

What’s coming up next? 6 mile run on Sunday, then 3’s this week.

Anybody else dreaming about Marathon weekend? Three dreams and counting over here.

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If you’re running in the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon events, let me know. Be sure to follow along on my social media – I’ll be using #fitmomintheremaking #pghmarathon and #runpgh with my shares!

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Read the rest of this series:

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 1 (March 3)

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 2 (March 10)

Read other Pittsburgh Running Blogs through Steff’s linkup: Run Steff Run


My Half Marathon Journey: Part 2

Follow along with me as I share my half marathon journey – I’ll be running my second half in Pittsburgh this May – with weekly updates. (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

half marathon journey

 

On the training front, this week was sort of quiet. I didn’t make any huge leaps and bounds on my time, I didn’t feel disappointed. I did, however, have a nightmare that we were late to the starting line and I was left just in front of the sweep car. Eek.

Training Plan Status

Saturday was an extra day of YFit for me, including 17.2 which even though it was only 12 minutes I was beat after…then we worked out. Eek! Sunday I skipped my run for a day at the Aviary with the family, but I jumped right back in on Monday. Today was a rest day (my body was glad for it after an intense YFit last night).

Current Progress

February Miles (follow me on Nike+): 35.91
February Average Pace: 13:32

March Miles (so far): 13.09 
March Average Pace (so far): 13:54 (+ 11 seconds from last week)
Current Projected Finish Time: 3:00 (+7 minutes from 2013 pace of 13:13 / 2:53) Note – I totally had 3:59 last week and that was NOT right by a whole hour! Oops! 

What I’m listening to: Only Wanna Sing has me quite pumped up during my runs. I might even jump a little.

Mentally, I am so excited. Running is basically all I can think about. It’s kind of crazy, this running thing. On Wednesday, I didn’t want to stop (but needed to because life called).

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Pro Tip: If you are shredding your muscles training for an endurance event like a half marathon, order yourself this foam roller to help with muscle soreness. You’ll be so glad you did.

QUESTION! When is the right time to start breaking in my shoes for Race Day? I’ve been staring at them, so ready to put them on, but so scared to wear them out too soon. If you know, lemme know!

If you’re running in the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon events, let me know. Be sure to follow along on my social media – I’ll be using #fitmomintheremaking #pghmarathon and #runpgh with my shares!

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Read the rest of this series:

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 1 (March 3)

Read other Pittsburgh Running Blogs through Steff’s linkup: Run Steff Run

My Half Marathon Journey: Part 1

Have you ever been disappointed in yourself? Sickened by what you saw in the mirror? That was me just about six years ago. I was at my heaviest weight and scared for the person I’d become. That’s why I started running, and why I refuse to be stopped. Follow along with me as I share my half marathon journey – I’ll be running my second half in Pittsburgh this May – with weekly updates. (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

half marathon journey

If you’ve been following along with my Instagram, you probably know that I started training for the 2017 Pittsburgh Half Marathon in December. Even though I did some running in 2015 (including finishing last but placing first for my age group in a local 5k), I really wasn’t committed to it and it really wasn’t doing anything to help me lose the weight I’d gained after having the twins. It truly was a “started from the bottom now we here” moment, pulling my running shoes out and hitting the dreadmill.

Combined with YFit, I’ve been faithful at working out since December and it is paying off. I shared my successes with my Whole30 journey earlier this week, but I know it is also due to my dedication to running, resting, and lifting.

Why the Half?

I decided to sign up for the half again this year for several reasons:

  • I know I can do it. I know if I did anything less (a relay leg or two), I’d be sad like I was at the 2014 race.
  • I need to do it. If I don’t set a high goal for myself, it will be very easy to quit. Quitter I am not.
  • There’s totally a chance to PR. My first half was quite an accomplishment, and even though I’m currently about 20 pounds heavier than I was back then, I’m fitter and improving with every day of training.

Training Plan

The goal was to train for a 5k using the Couch to 5k program (9 weeks to a 5k) then transition right into the 10k plan. After that, I was going to follow the plan I followed in 2013 to train (with 8 weeks before the half). Cross-training would come from Tuesday/Thursday YFit classes.

How’s that going? I’ve accomplished the C25K and have one week two weeks left in the 10K plan. Other than some regression from getting sick the past two weeks, I am lifting more and more at YFit (but I have some big work to do there). As for the next steps, I really can’t follow the plan I followed in 2013.

Why? It’s 8 weeks to a half which is perfect for what remains between next Sunday and May 5, but that’s not the problem. The “problem” is that it starts with long runs of 2 and 3 miles in the first two weeks. Sorry, but I am beyond that. Oh. And there’s the fact that I miscalculated something in my plan and still have two weeks left in the 10k training (see the cross out above? Yeah…I realized it while writing this post).  Some combination of the two plans below are what I’ll be doing, with a few adjustments to the days because of my YFit, church, and work schedules as well as determining if I’ll start with the 6 mile week as my week 1 of 8 or drop back to a 5 and do I run 11 or 12 miles the week before (I did 11 in 2013 – comment with any tips!!!):

…definitely not ending with 10 miles from this one…

Current Progress

February Miles (follow me on Nike+): 35.91
February Average Pace: 13:32

March Miles (so far): 4.8
March Average Pace (so far): 13:43
Current Projected Finish Time: 3:59 (+6 minutes from 2013 pace of 13:13 / 2:53)

I’ve been training at work, really getting to know the Liberty Mile to Penn Avenue to 16th Street Bridge. These will be some of my toughest because of the crowds and other runners (like Greg who will be doing Relay Leg 1) – basically I’ll likely gas myself in these miles because I’ll be pushing hard to keep up with everyone. I want my body to know this part of the course and just take it loosely. It’s great to work right in the middle of this part of the course, and having days that have been gorgeous enough to run along the river have definitely been a perk, too.

Looking forward to logging some longer runs next week and sharing more with you. If you’re running in the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon events, let me know. Be sure to follow along on my social media – I’ll be using #fitmomintheremaking #pghmarathon and #runpgh with my shares!

Pro Tip: If you are running in the early morning or evening, I highly suggest a LED slap armband. They can be a solid or blinking light to alert others of your presence on the trail. Enjoy your weekend runs in the nicer daylight weather, but put one of these in your Amazon Prime cart for Monday’s run!

Broken Hearts, Broken Toes, and Broken Records

It has been four days since the Pittsburgh Marathon and I cannot get off my runner’s high. The entire weekend was dedicated to the Marathon, so it will likely be hard to come down from this.

I mean, c’mon. Take a moment to go here and look at what this city is like during the Marathon (source: pittsburghmarathon.com).

Legit. We #lovepgh. Deeps.

But to my race [weekend] recap.

Broken Hearts

Our weekend started on Friday when we headed to the Expo. Hands down, this was the best decision we made. Last year, it was crammed, picked over, and ended poorly (with me going on a shopping binge out in McKnight). This year, it was open and easy to get around. We even had time to put in our shake out run, a 1.7 mile run from the Casino to the Convention Center, then a walk back.

My heart broke a ‘lil, however, because the booths weren’t as great as I remembered last year / my company (who is a sponsor of some of the race weekend events) didn’t have a booth / I wrote on a virtual board about what I #runfor (as did Greg). It got a bit real.

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Those wouldn’t be the first tears I’d shed this weekend. Oh no.

Saturday, I volunteered with the Social Center (which meant I got to help out with the @pghmarathon Twitter handle). My duties were answering runner’s questions about the events, cheering on the runners in the 5k and Kid’s Marathon, and ensuring sponsor shout-outs were published. For instance, I was behind this sweet tweet.

cutchtweet

So why was my heart broken? Well, I got to meet Cutch! My heart shouldn’t have been broken. But when my kids saw this photo of us, Evan got a ‘lil mad (“that’s not my daddy”). Ha!

Arianna was just mad I was with her boyfriend. Well then.

The entire day was incredible. It made me want to be able to do more of with social media and events, and of course made me love this city even more. Heart unbroken.

Sunday morning, it all came back. We were running late (which is usual when I am trying to get my man out the door). I really wanted to see my friend Steffani before she started her Half Marathon and also to cheer for Ryan (who was the first leg of our relay). We got downtown with what I swore was an okay amount of time…until we hit solid traffic at the North Shore exit. It was ok. We were going to the Ohio River Boulevard Exit. It was NOT okay. Duh. The West End Bridge closed early, which meant that we couldn’t get off that exit and directly to the Casino. 15 minutes of stress later, we pulled up to the Casino, ran through, and waited for the T. We were on the T for the National Anthem and Corral A starting. There’d be no seeing Steff or Ryan. There’d be no seeing Corral B, either.

The announcer asked the crowd who was a newbie and the tears fell. My heart broke because I really wanted to be in Corral C, waiting to run a Half. I really did. My broken heart. It didn’t get better as the rain started to fall, I got cold, and we watched C and D pass by without seeing Ryan or Steff.

Broken Toes

After watching thousands of runners pass by, Greg and I headed to Fort Duquesne Boulevard to watch some more. I really wanted to see Ryan because I’m a planner and I really wanted to know that sending Greg over to Station Square happened at just the right time. We never saw Ryan pass us, and when runners from Corral D started to pass by, we decided it was time to get to our Relay Exchanges.

We took the T from Gateway to Steel Plaza where I took Greg’s long layers and left him to head to Station Square. I had to catch the shuttle to Mellon Park. We kissed goodbye and my butterflies started hard core.

Forty-five minutes later, I was at Mellon Park and struggling with RaceJoy (like everyone else) but found out that Lindsay was about halfway through her leg. (You can read her post about the day here, she’s super fast at this daily posting thing and I love her joy and reecap.) After a quick chat with Greg, two potty stops, and lots of jumping around to stay warm, I headed to the official exchange area.

When the announcer yelled out our bib number, I started to cry (again). Watching Greg run down the stretch of Fifth Avenue that had for so long been my home was an amazing feeling. Plus, we were running for the Heart Association and I swear to you I could see Uncle Byron pushing him toward me. Honest. He was so fast!

I handed him his medal and added a solid minute to our time because I hugged him, cried, and would not shut up. He had to tell me to move it, and move it I did.

As you can tell, my feet were already tired when I took over the relay at mile 15 point something. I had 7,000 steps in for the day at that point, and would log over 30,000 in the day. My feet hurt but I had some crazy speed.

The first half mile rushed by. I was at a 10:00/mile pace which is HUGE for me. Huge. Pace for mile one was 10:36. Not my fastest mile ever (10:14), but fast enough. The sun had come out, and I knew I needed to save myself for some good hills.

Somewhere in miles 2 – 4 during my favorite part of the relay (Homewood, yinz made me so HAPPY to run through your town), my toe started to throb and it would not stop. I watched my pace go up 30 seconds, another 30 and then steady off. I hurt, but I didn’t want to stop. I knew the toe I broke last year had rebroken, but I was not about to get a medic. No way. I was gonna finish this thing.

Broken Records

Technically, I was running two legs of the relay. This was a 6.1 and 4.7, so 10.8 miles. My watch logged 11.1. Let me say that I didn’t like the way the fourth exchange happened. I was forced to the left through the exchange, but then yelled at by volunteers for not stopping. I know that I am not the only runner who ran more than one leg. It irritated me, but pumped me up.

I’m not crazy about my pace in miles 2 to 10 because it was all over the 11 minute mile board. Not consistent, but there were hills. And mile 24 and 25 (my 9 and 10 miles) can bite me. Legit. I wanted to stop so much. 10 was my second slowest mile of the day and yet the levelest. Go figure. It was so close to the end.

Mile 10 to 11 made for a broken record for me. Runner’s high set in. It was a combination of looking for Greg in the crowd (he wasn’t there), being cheered on by spectators in the finish shoot, and getting ticked off at the “1/2 mile to go” sign that was a lie. I broke a personal record and logged a 9:54 mile! No idea I had that in me, but I sure did.

And compared to my 10 Miler pace in November (11:42), I *unofficially* put in 11:20/mile for my longest run since last year’s Half. It was also 1:57 per minute per mile faster than my Half pace. Record achieved.

Greg and I met up and tried to find the Heart Association’s tent. Unfortunately, no one was there when we arrived, but we took a photo anyhow.

I tried to avoid the Finish Line Festival because there were just too many people there, but we did walk through to cross the river back to the Casino. More tears and more falling in love with this city and my addiction (running).

Finishing among marathoners was super inspiring. I will do this one day, I will. Crazy, yes?  More tears, broken bones, and more records to break.