On Sunday I ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. It was my third Half Marathon, and my first time running in downtown Pittsburgh. During college I lived in the dorms in downtown Pittsburgh, but at that time in my life the thought of running never even crossed my mind.
When it comes to Half Marathons I have developed a very bad habit. I sign up for the race on a whim and see where the run takes me. I signed up for my first Half 4-weeks before race day (you can read about it HERE), my second Half two weeks ahead of time, and this time 3-days before race day. For my second Half Marathon I was out of commission for a month after being rear-ended while driving on my way to work, so my training was severely limited.
For this race, my friend Nicole, had been training for her first Half. She was running with our coach/running guru, Shep. Her goal pace was 9:30-10 minutes per mile. I decided to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon with Nicole and Shep. I thought that I would treat it as a long run at a slower, steadier pace, instead of focusing on the fact that it was a race. Although I have been running, my training hasn’t been as consistent as I would like and I didn’t want to injure myself by pushing to hard.
I ran the first 8-8.5 miles with Shep & Nicole, and then I got separated from them (the number of people running was insane!) The sheer number of people, the beautiful weather and the adrenaline of the race made it difficult for me to hold the goal pace. My body wanted to move faster!
After I got separated from Shep and Nicole, I picked up my speed a bit to finish the race. It was very difficult to speed up due the number of people running. I am now motivated to train for a Half Marathon and see how much I can improve my time. My first two Half Marathons I completed in 1:46 and 1:47. This Half I completed in 2 hours. Even though I was purposefully moving at a slower pace, something about the run really inspired me to want to see what I could do if I put in the training time.
Running is a physical display of training, effort and consistency. You have earned your place in that race through miles of sweat and hard work. It doesn’t matter if you are running a 5 minute mile or a 15 minute mile. By training, and stepping out on that course you are accomplishing something.
I definitely want to run the Pittsburgh Half again. It was beautiful. Running across the bridges and begin surrounded by cheering people felt amazing. The view of Point State Park from the West End Bridge was gorgeous. There were musical acts along the course, and people handing out water & gatorade. There were some people handing out beer (I declined). There were a ton of hilarious signs. The support, and the feeling of running with so many people was amazing. Everyone on that course set out to accomplish something that day, and just by showing up for the race they did that.
I want to hear about your race experiences! Tag me in your photos on Instagram: @BenderFitness #TeamBenderRuns #BFRaces You can also tag Jesse: @BenderCrosby1
Do you have a favorite race distance? A goal? An accomplishment that you are particularly proud of? I want to hear about it! Let’s share motivation!
It’s time for me to film a new workout. I will see you soon!