I was also really excited because this was going to be the first Pittsburgh We Run Social meet up! There were so many people saying they were running the race, because of the four different distances, we thought it would be easier to just have a formal meet up! It was so nice to finally meet a bunch of internet friends!
Since I was using this as a training run, I decided to run with the 9:30 pacer. I have been running long runs at around a 9:15 pace, but I had planned on staying with this group until the final five miles then seeing what I had left. I saw Amanda in the starting corral and was so excited! Home girl is quick and super nice. I'm glad we had that moment!
The 30k runners started in a different spot from the half marathon, 8.1 mile and 5k participants, we had to add on some distance. We also started about five minutes a head of them. After we took off up the first hill, we merged in with the masses. This is fine but at the time we merged, we were with a lot slower of paces. Plus, the biggest hill of the race was coming and with slower and quicker paces together, it was a cluster.
The pacer was having a problem trying to figure out why we were off from the mile markers. We were about a half mile ahead of the markers. She didn't connect our extra distance in the beginning, plus we are going kinda faster than a 9:30 pace. We would go through the first timing mat at the 3.6 mark and started our first of three five mile loops. This is my usual loop I run, but I normally switch directions after each loop, that was not an option during this race. The wind was rough about mile five and the sun was coming out. Still, I was chatting with the pacer and felt really good.
I took my first gel around mile six. Fueling for a 30k is hard because it is not an even distance. Everything felt fine, but I had to pee. I decided I would stop right before the timing mat (8.6 mile) and fix my business. I told the pacer I would catch back up. I ended up getting to her right about the nine mile mark.
First nine miles splits: 9:22, 9:25, 9:13, 9:22, 9:17, 9:08, 9:30, 9:31, 9:20
Now remember, I am running with the 9:30 pacer. It was starting to get very warm on the second five mile loop. I had started taking water and pouring it over my head. Mile 10 was a 9:16 and I remember telling the pacer we were going a little quick and she said we were alright. I knew it would not be smart to stay with her much longer. This is a training run and I am not going to be able to keep up with these quick paces in the warm. At the next water stop I took some of my gel and watched her go off. Pretty much the whole group has fallen behind, since mile 11 was a 9:20 with a walk break through the water stop.
So the next six-ish miles I am on my own. I knew I would see Gloria at the end of this loop. She had real Gatorade and some pretzels with her. When I finally saw her I told her this lap would be long because the pacer was so off. I took my Gatorade and some pretzels and started on my last lap.
Miles 10 - 13: 9:16, 9:20, 9:41, 10:25
New plan, walk the water stops and take your time. My hips are screaming at me and I'm really warm. It was easy to focus on getting to the next water stop. There would be three on the last five miles. I will not lie, I walked a little on some of the uphills with no shame. The wind was rough on that last loop. I finally saw one of the people who had also lost the 9:30 pacer and it made me feel so much better.
I remember making it to the final water stop. One mile to go. Okay, I can do this. I dumped some more water on my head, and took my time. I just wanted to finish. I remember getting closer to the finish line and being so freaking proud of what I did. I haven't done a distance like this in so long, let alone running the same direction around the lake for this long. I'm really proud of myself!
Miles 14 - 18.8 (remember potty stop): 10:20, 10:45, 11:20, 11:22, 11:41, 9:16
I finished in 3:07 which I was thrilled with. I was hoping around three hours and I was there! I saw Gloria and had to sit for a little. I got a huge medal and didn't finish last in my age group (7 out of 11). It's hard to remember that I have only been training for this marathon for three weeks and most have been for about 10. My journey is a little different and that's alright! I am running Pittsburgh to finish and have a better experience than the first time I ran it. I think I am very much on my way!
Would I run this race again? Maybe. I think the 8.1 mile is an interesting distance and I would like to do it. I'm not sure I would run more than that. It is a really great training run for any of the Pittsburgh Marathon races, especially if it is your first marathon. Tons of other runners, great volunteers and a huge medal!
|And an automatic PR for a new distance!|
Here is the course map and elevation chart.
Did you run JASR? How was your experience?