I FINISHED THE PITTSBURGH MARATHON!!! As you know (if you read this blog), I have been training for the Pittsburgh Marathon since January. There were ups and downs throughout my training, but all in all, I think I did a pretty good job with it. Then, the day was finally here: Sunday, May 2, 2010!
I woke up around 5:45am and ate a banana and a bagel. I got all ready and was out the door around 6:30am. Brett dropped me off downtown near the start line and I met up with Lee and Jess (brother and future sister-in-law who were running with me). The weather forecast all weekend had said that Sunday would be rainy and stormy. At 7:00am, it wasn't raining, but it was hot and humid! It was already 65 degrees outside at 6:00am and the humidity was intense. We got in line at the start, and waited to hear the gun go off. I was already sweating from the humidity and I hadn't even started running yet! And then what do ya know, as soon as the race started, it started to rain. It was only a light drizzle at first, and it felt GOOD! Around mile 3, it started POURING down rain. I was hard to see, it was raining so hard. Our shoes and socks were immediately soaked, along with the rest of ourselves.
It rained pretty much throughout the entire 26.2 miles. We were going strong for the first 9 miles, and then Jess's knees started to give out. We stopped at a medial tent around mile 10 and they gave her some icy hot and we were back on our way. We came into Southside, and the full marathoners split off from the half marathoners. The half marathoners headed a different route to the finish, and the marathoners continued on. That was a really good feeling for me. Now it was just the marathoners on our course (besides the couple people doing the relays). In Southside, Jess had to stop a couple times and walk it out, but we decided that we were going to do this marathon together as a team and we did. So we walked a bit, then got back into running to cross the Birmingham Bridge. That's where we met up with Brett riding his bike! He came by to cheer us on and report back to my mom and aunt on our progress, who were volunteering at a water station around mile 15. Heading into Oakland was the biggest hill of the course. It was a long, steep hill up into Oakland. It was rough, but we ran the whole hill. There were high school cheerleaders cheering us on as we went, and I will say it definitely helped! Towards the top of the hill, my right knee started hurting pretty badly. I had to stop and walk it out a bit, but then we got back into running.
We got to mile 15 where we saw my mom and aunt cheering us on and giving us water! That was definitely a much needed boost in the middle of the race! We stopped at another medical tent around mile 16, where Jess and I got some icy hot for our knees. It actually helped! It wasn't until around mile 20 that all three of us were starting to hurt pretty bad. Jess and my knees were killing and Lee had blisters all over his feet from the rain soaking his socks and shoes. The last 5 miles were very painful. We stuck together the entire 26.2 miles, even if someone had to stop and walk, we all stopped and walked. I don't know that I could have ran the marathon without Lee and Jess by my side. The whole time we were encouraging each other and pushing through together. When we finally saw the finish line, I was so emotional that I just wanted to cry. I couldn't believe that I had actually done it, I ran and finished a marathon. The three of us crossed the finish line together, with Brett on the sidelines cheering us on. We received our marathon medal and it really set in. I DID IT!!!
A special shout out to all the volunteers and spectators along the course, you are amazing!! Thank you for standing out in the rain all day and cheering us on! You all helped us cross that finish line with your support!! Thank you!!! :)