Race Report: Pittsburgh Marathon 5K

Because I've had a lot on my mind this week, I put almost zero thought into this race. When I signed up for it, the day I finished the JASR 5K, my goal was to meet my under-30 time goal I missed by six seconds at JASR. But this week, I was focused on healing my left heel, which has been hurting for about a week. So I'd decided that I wasn't going to go full throttle because I didn't want to risk hurting my heel again. I thought I might still be under 30 minutes because it's a flat race, but if I wasn't, oh well.

I picked up my race bib Friday after work. I walked Downtown with Django and met my husband, who works Downtown. I told him we could bring Django into the expo, but he didn't think dogs were allowed. I pointed out that we have a greyhound, which technically is a dog but also sorta isn't because they are so unlike "normal" dogs, and that greyhounds are in expos all the time. In the end, my husband stayed outside with Django while I ran in to get my bib, so I didn't get to walk around the expo at all.

Saturday morning was cool and cloudy. Perfect running weather! I dressed in Athleta relay capris, black chi tank, and white elite half-zip, and my new Lulu bangbuster in Pretty Purple that I just got. 

I walked down to PNC Park to get to the starting line. As soon as I got there, I ran into Steff and said hi (so nice to meet her!) and then shortly after ran into Kristy (so nice to see her again!) Then, before I knew it the gun went off and we started moving. I was at the very back, and I knew from overhearing conversations that most of the people near me were going to walk. I should have moved up a bit, but I was in my "I don't really care" mode so stayed put.

Well, I was weaving in and out of people for at least the first 1.5 miles. I had my Garmin set to "pace" instead of "average pace," and saw I was doing between 8:50-9:50. Not bad, considering I wasn't pushing my pace too much.

The course was a nice mix of Northside and Downtown. We started on the North Shore at PNC Park, went toward West Park in the North Side, around Allegheny Center, across the 7th Street bridge, down Wood Street, and then down the Boulevard of the Allies to the finish line. The slight grade on the bridge slowed me down a bit. I surged forward on the downgrade, but by the time I got to 2.5 miles, I felt myself losing steam a bit. But by then, I knew the end was near and could hear the finish line as we turned onto the Boulevard.

My husband was there and took these pictures of me crossing the finish line.

In the finish line chute, I ran into Kristy again and talked to her a bit before meeting up with my husband.

This was an expensive 5K ($40), but you got a nice medal! Here I am afterwards with my medal.

Here's the race swag--a technical shirt and the medal.
 And a close-up of the medal.

Here are my race stats according to my Garmin.
I had a really good pace, but the distance showed I did a lot of weaving, and I knew I might not have been sub-30. Sure enough, I was over by 20 seconds. Dammit! If knew I'd be so close again, I would have pushed more. My official time was 30:20 for a 9:45 pace.

After the race we walked to the expo before walking back home. There were a ton of greyhounds there because they're part of the Steel City Greyhounds cheering team (at mile 18). "See!" I told my husband. Greyhounds are allowed everywhere. :-) We could totally have brought Django in the night before and just said he was with the cheering team!

It was cool and looked like rain in the afternoon, so we just walked Django over to West Park. I love how when I want to take a picture of him, he looks away and refuses to look at the camera.

We stopped near a tree with a very aggressive squirrel that was yelling at us. Usually, Django could care less about chasing animals--probably why he was disqualified from racing and never raced! Here's a shot of the squirrel on the tree, my husband watching it, and Django faced the other way, completely uninterested.

But finally, we did get him to look at the squirrel, and he got a little interested, which is pretty crazy for him.

Here I am with Django, dressed in Lulu Parallel Stripe Wunder Under Pants (they vibrate in photos!), Lulu Cool Racerback in Paris Perfection, Athleta White Shiva Top, and Lulu Raindrop jacket.

Overall, it was a nice course and fun race. I only wished I'd put a little more thought and energy into it. I still need to break 30 minutes for a 5K!

Tomorrow I'll be leaving my house at 5 a.m. (ouch!) to walk to the finish line, where I'll be volunteering. It's an early start, but I think it will be a really fun day. Good luck to everyone running tomorrow!

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