On Sunday May 6th I ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. We got into town mid-day on the 5th, checked into our hotel, went to the expo, squeezed in a Pirates game and did the needed pre-race carb loading. Overall I was feeling pretty good.
The morning of the race we work up around 5:30 to eat breakfast (I love that the hotel started breakfast early for the runners, how nice!!), do the necessary bathrooming and walk to the start.
There were SO MANY RUNNERS. I guess they ended up having 25,000 runners between the half and the full (which started at the same time). The excitement in the atmosphere was contagious, it was great.
About 20 minutes after the gun went off we crossed the finish and were off. I was feeling good for about the first four miles but it was pretty clear to me that temperature was slowly climbing.
It was 60ish when we started, and the sun was out in full force. By the 4 mile mark the temperature had to be in the mid to high 60s. I was sweating buckets, and when I had to take a walk break on the first bridge because I was starting to feel dizzy it became clear to me that this race was not about PRing, but instead was about staying hydrated, finishing and most of all having fun.
And that’s just what I did.
I focused on drinking a full cup of water and a full cup of Gatorade at each fluid station, and having half a gu every 45 minutes or so. I walked when I felt like I should (mostly on the uphills) and ran when I felt I should (on the tons of downhills and flats). And I took in the awesome city of Pittsbugh. The bridges, the water, the gorgeous scenery. Each neighborhood we went through had a block party going on. It was so motivating and made me just want to party with the crowd. This course had great crowd support! For the last mile or so the crowd was literally 4 or 5 people deep. It was really awesome.
Bart Yasso was announcing the finishers as they crossed the finish and as I got closer to the finish I decided I really didn’t care about my time and was going to add a few seconds in order to take the opportunity to meet him. As I ran by him I gave him a high-five and he said “Congrats Rebecca!” (my name was on my bib). It was such a cool moment and I crossed the finish with a big grin on my face.
OT was 3:15:34. Again not my best by any stretch, but I really don’t care. I had so much fun and I pushed my body to its limit. It was 80 degrees by the time we finished.
After getting our medals and post-race food my dad and I made the walk back to the hotel to shower and head home. On the way out of town we stopped by the famous Primanti’s for sandwiches.
If you’ve never been to Primantis and you are anywhere near Pittsburgh you definitely need to go! All sandwiches come with cole slaw, french fries and tomatoes on them. I got the vegetarian one that has three cheeses, I think my dad got one that had cheese and roast beef.
They were so good, and the perfect post race food! I even picked up an extra two sandwiches to take home with me.