February 18, 2020

Runner of Steel with a Titanium Ankle!

Phew!  Checking a Half Marathon off my bucket list!  On Sunday I ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon and became a RUNNER of Steel.  I am adding to that title – With a Titanium Ankle, since I have one of those two and really couldn’t imagine after my break I would ever complete both a Sprint Tri and a Half Marathon!  So if you had ORIF surgery, like me (about 1 year and 8 months ago)…  you can move on to a healthy active life!  Very active for that matter.  Be hopeful!  Pittsburgh Runner of Steel!Just look at that bling!  Isn’t it the coolest!  I am so proud to own it!  I originally decided to do the half for two reasons, one of my best friends said we should and I thought it would help me loose weight.  Unfortunately, I lost only about 5 pounds while training for the half when I had hoped to loose at least 25.  While I kept my eating clean.  Even gave up diet soda, the weight did not come off because I was so hungry and choose to eat the calories I burned because I was starving from all the running.  I maintained my nice plump figure throughout training!  So, back to calorie counting minus runs over 6 miles in hope I can loose a few pounds by Fall…

Training:  I talk about my training for this race here.   Two weeks before the race, I ran 13 miles for one of my long runs.  Thus, I knew I could do this.  The week of the race; Saturday I ran 10 miles, Monday I ran 4 miles, Tuesday I ran 3 miles, Wednesday I ran 2 miles, and Thursday I ran 1 mile…  I rested Friday and Saturday.  Tapper is such a happy word!  I tried to eat healthy and clean this week.  I also tried to drink lots of water all week long.  On Saturday I ate bagels and fruit for both breakfast and lunch.  At lunch I also had onion soup from Panera with my son as my date.  Saturday night we had a pancake dinner; which my kids were very happy about.  Sunday AM around 4:45, I had a coffee, bagel, and strawberries!  I drank 16 oz of water!

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Before the race:  I picked up my friend around 5 and we walked to the trolley from her house.  We were in Pittsburgh at 6, and hour before the race.  We arrived at Gateway center and were pleased to see our corral was right  there by McDonalds.  We took advantage of the potty at McDonalds.  Then we headed out to get our race numbers on.  I was in corral C and she was in D, so I moved back  to hang with her. We waited in the corral from about 6:30 till 7:30.  At this time I stated that training should include a long wait where you stand for an hour before your long runs.  Seriously…. I needed a chair.  Pittsburgh Marathon 2014

We entertained ourselves by dancing to the load speaker music and taking selfies as seen above!  I was amazed at the crowd of people ahead and behind us once people started getting in line for the race…Pittsburgh Half Marathon startIf you tend to be claustrophobic, this was not the place to be…  I of course started thinking of my escape plan if some wacko started to do something he shouldn’t.  The above picture shows us finally around 7:30 walking up to the start.  We hit the actual start mat around 7:35 am.   Between 6 and 7:30 there was a light rain, but by the time we were off and running – no rain.  We were glad to start the run because we both were getting a bit cold.  I kept my jacket on till mile 7.

I loved the run for the first six miles!  They went faster than any six I have run.  I talked to my friend which surprised me because I usually hate to talk when I run and for some reason I was able to hold a long conversation.  The bands were fun to see as we ran the first six.  We stayed pretty close to the pacer who held the 2:30 sign in hopes we could finish in 2:30 or around then.  I was happy with my start pace of around 11:09.  A little faster than usual, but all good!  I loved that the hills up to the bridges did not seem bad to me at all.  Around mile 7, my girlfriend who had worked a night shift the night before and only trained up to six miles started to have to walk the hills or take them slower.  I know once I stop running, I can’t start again, so I plugged along and she would catch back up to me on the downhill which I take slowly fearing I may trip.  Around mile 7 my friend caught me on a downhill again and then we quickly started up hill again.  I lost my talking buddy around mile 7 and did not see her again till the finish.  At this time I put my earphones on and enjoyed the course.  The course has 2 big hills at the end, but the rest of the hills were not bad at all.  I had practiced hills while training, I think that helped!   I loved the crowds cheering who took my mind off the running.  I loved running through the crowds at station square and on the South Side.  I dreamed of stopping for a drink at Fat Heads, but decided against that.

Here I am at mile 11.5!  I look pretty happy right?  My feet were killing.  I lost my second toenail during this race and since I lost one during training I could tell another was on the out.  I blocked out the pain as best I could!  My toes should be o-so pretty for open shoe season!

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I made it through the race with that one bottle of water.  It was perfect weather for a run!  No sun, not much heat, and a light rain to start!

At 2:36 in this video, I cross the finish!  I actually had enough left in me to turn on the guns and sprint through the end…  even heard the announcer say, “look at some of you sprinting, that’s pretty impressive considering you just ran 13 miles.”  Yep, he was talking to me!!!  My hands are up at the finish and I am so happy to be done!  I feel like crud as soon as I stop usually; but this time only half cruddy…  even feeling good enough to perhaps take a bite out of the smiley cookie I got at the finish…  I decide against that!  My phone peeps with text soon after I finish from those following me online.  It was fun to see people actually cared to watch the turtle cross the finish!  My time was 2:32.  I am very happy with that!

My beautiful friend crossed a few minutes after me and we both were so done!  Your legs feel like be blocks once you stop running.  We took advantage of the free massages, I am so glad we did that!  We took a few pictures and headed out in hopes we both could make our kiddos up and coming games…. A mom’s work is never done even after a long run!runnersofsteel 2014Woot!  What a race and what a medal!  Happy to have one and still not sure if I will ever run another half.  I feel fortunate I got this chance and blessed to have the memories with one of best gal pals!  If I can do this anyone truly can!

(The picture below shows my running apps. look at the race.  13 point freaking 3 and I am free!)

Pittsburgh Half Marath 2014 Race Report