This weekend was the Pittsburgh Marathon and Steel City Challenge, finishing the 5k Saturday and either the relay, half or full on Sunday. I have done races in a few different states now and even different parts of Pennsylvania and NOT ONE of them can compare to the Pittsburgh Marathon. I know you all are probably thinking well what about Disney? I typically put Disney races in their own category, but with that being said I think Pittsburgh is a very close second. I mean c’mon even this article has us ranked at #8 and this isn’t the only list we’ve made.
The views in the city are AMAZING! The spectators along the course are the best, best sign award goes to the man holding the “Worst Wet T-Shirt Contest” sign while it was pouring down rain. How can you be mad about running through the “City of Bridges”? Unless hills aren’t your thing then you really picked the wrong race because Pittsburgh is full of hills. The positive side to training on the hills is that I was ready for them! I was conquering them like a boss, even pacing for my friend who is typically wayyyyy far ahead of me. The one thing I wasn’t ready for and it hit me hard … the dreaded running wall.
Now I’ve never experienced the feeling of “hitting the wall” before, mostly I figured because my hips never really held up enough to allow me to get there. But this time, thank you to the Godsend of a person who created KT Tape, my body felt amazing and I was able to push myself harder than I ever have before. Around mile 9 I was about 6 minutes ahead of my PR pace which was really motivating for me, then it hit me, the flattest mile on the course. Most people would be so excited to see that sign, as I was but my joy quickly turned to confusion when I physically couldn’t make my legs move the pace I had been. It was so frustrating knowing you felt fine and having no idea why you were slowing down despite continuing to push.
It was the perfect running conditions, nice and cool no sun, a little wet at the beginning but nothing too serious. I typically stop for water every 4 miles or so but today I didn’t stop until mile 10 for water, I didn’t need it and was well hydrated until that point. Which makes me think my lack of beverages led to me hitting the wall like I did. I had to keep telling myself don’t you dare give up, your body is fine think of what you are running for, don’t you dare give up.
Until now I haven’t talked about it on social media or the inter-webs but my Grandmother has been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, and my strong as steel 90 year old grandmother has been going through chemo since January. She was my motivation because she isn’t giving up I wasn’t aloud to either.
So I powered through by my time took a huge hit. I was able to still PR but barely. I thought my PR was a minute less than it really was so when I saw my watch pass what I assumed was my PR I slowed a little to the finish line and didn’t go in guns a blazing like I should have. Come to find out I did PR but not by much, had I finished strong I probably would have been happier but all that matters to me is that I finished, didn’t give up and didn’t let that wall kick my ass like it wanted to.
Moral of this story being NEVER GIVE UP.