Wednesday, August 2, 2017

2017 GNC Live Well Liberty Mile Recap

I say it all the time, the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile is one of my top three Pittsburgh races. The other two are the Pittsburgh Penguins 6.6k and the Pittsburgh Marathon 5k, in case you were wondering. I have done this race every year it has been offered except for last year. It's a super fun night and a fun distance.

This is was a little different. Since I don't have a fall goal race, and I'm still finding my legs - I knew this would be rough. Plus, there was a huge threat of storms. It was just not helping my mental state. The only reason why I ran this year is for my friend Carrie. She is having some rough health issues and I know she would give anything to have done this race. I had to do it for her. No matter how ugly it was going to be.

So I met my friend Teil downtown on a Friday night among the most amount of homeless people I have ever seen. Seriously, I have never encountered that many homeless people in downtown. We picked up my packet and did gear check. The volunteers were AMAZING! They were so friendly and really knew what was going on. Thank you all again!

Since this was Teil's first time running the Liberty Mile, we decided to walk the course backwards, just so she can get a feel for it. I remembered to point out the turn, because that usually trips people up. A sign of what is to come.

We got to the start line a little early and just did some people watching while dodging some raindrops. Hey, we wanted to keep our feet dry for as long as possible. The website said we should be in the starting corral a half hour before the race, so we did.

I was standing in the corral talking to people about Garmin's, why the children should not be lined up in the front and the Disney Marathon. It was great. Really took my mind off of how unprepared I was for this race. I had a plan in my mind. I wanted to run 1:45 1/4 mile splits. Based off of my track workout earlier in the week, these were obtainable splits.

My Garmin would not connect, and I couldn't figure out how to get it on just stopwatch (#NewWatchProblems) so I had to go with it. Okay 3...2...1...GO!

I stayed in the middle of the road. I was not going anywhere near the slick line paintings or the bike lane posts. I felt very good and in control for the first 1/4 mile. It was so enjoyable not having the swarm of children in front of me. I was so mad at myself when I saw a 1:22 as the first 1/4 mile split. TOO FAST YOU NEED TO SLOW DOWN!

So I did.

After the bike lane ended I moved closer to the right side of the road. Near the curb. I saw someone in front of me who looked quite familiar. It was Abby! She's on the Oiselle Volee and we have followed each other on Instagram for YEARS! I yelled her name and she looked back and said hello! It was fun.

Alright, so about halfway through the race is the turn down on to Liberty Avenue. This is where everything went downhill for me. As I said, I was hanging near the curb on the right side of the road, well guess what? I got blocked in. Hard. Like two wide in front of me, one behind and a bunch to my left. Let's also add stepping in a HUGE puddle. I knew my race was over.

I decided to be smart and coast to the finish line. It's not worth trying to regain speed over halfway through a mile when I'm just getting back to speed. So, I took in the atmosphere. Tons of awesome spectators were out cheering us on.

I got to the 3/4 mile mark at about 5:30ish. (I do not remember what the half mile split was because...well) and I was really hoping to break 7:30 at this point. I was already so defeated by the clock that I didn't want to see it again.

As the finish line got closer I could feel the rain starting. Please just let me finish. I can't deal right now. Just as I finished these thoughts, I am getting passed by a man and a tiny little dog. This right here correctly describes my race. I guess I had a pretty epic look on my face when this happened (Thanks for noticing Chelsea lol). I crossed the finish line and just threw my arms up.


Well, I broke 7:30.

Was I mad, yes. Mad may not be the word. I was super upset. A few months ago I was running 7:30 for tempo miles and now I was running it for a mile. Yes, I phoned it in at the halfway point, but it still hurts. This was my first time not breaking seven minutes at this race.

Even though my performance wasn't the best, I still love this race. It is such a different distance and I love the people that come out on a Friday night and cheer on strangers. It's a really fun yearly event in Pittsburgh that I will run for as long as I can!

So, how fast can you run a mile?

Disclaimer: I was provided entry in to the GNC LIVE WELL Liberty Mile by the P3R organization but all thoughts are my own.


  1. That sounds so frustrating!! Short races are so tough because if one thing goes wrong your whole race is out the window. I'm glad at least I got to see you after :)

  2. Awesome!! I've never done a mile race although I'm considering one this summer. Honestly, the distance scares me as I know it's going to hurt!!