On Sunday, my 4 months of training came to a head, as I made my way to downtown Pittsburgh for this year’s marathon, getting settled in corral D. We got a beautiful day for the event, sunny with warm temperatures, and I was feeling good. Thankfully, the event was very well organized, and I was calm and relaxed, despite 26.2 miles laying before me.
That feeling continued throughout the first part of the race. I started out at a comfortable and relaxed pace, settling in near my 11:00/mile goal pace and was feeling strong, hitting the half at 2:27 and a potential PR in sight. However, the temperatures were rising fast, and got to me quickly, as you can see below.
Shortly after the midway point, temperatures went upwards of 70 degrees, which was a shock to the system. For most of my training, my long runs were in temperatures between 20-50 degrees for the high, so jumping another 20 degrees ended up wreaking havoc on my core temperatures. I didn’t get dehydrated like I did in my first marathon (where I struggled through 10 miles of full-body cramping at the end), but I was feeling very warm and couldn’t get cool. Unfortunately, there also wasn’t much of a breeze, so my only relief was cool towels at the fluid stations. Alas, that wasn’t enough to keep me on track, and I ended up walking more of the second 13.1 than I would have preferred, mostly to make sure I didn’t succumb to heat stroke.
So, yes, it was a little rough, but I’m still proud that I finished my second marathon, and it only makes me want to run more of them (as I start to look for late fall marathons with cooler weather). It’s also piquing my interest in the half-marathon, probably because it’s a little more speed and I have yet to run an official road one (though there is the one trail half-marathon under my belt, but that was a whole different animal).
However, despite the slower-than-hoped-for time, I’m most proud of my charity efforts. When I signed up, I had modest goals of reaching $500 in contributions for the Mario Lemieux Foundation. However, when all was said and done, we hit $2,420 to help fight cancer and make hospital stays for children more comfortable, which was a full 484% of my original goal. That amount shocks me every time I look at it, and I’m blown away by all the contributions that were made on my behalf. Even if I had been slower, I’d still be extremely proud just for us being able to help so much!
Thank you to everyone who contributed! If I had medals to give each one of you, I would. However, I guess I’ll just leave you with the one I got…
We all did something great on Sunday! Thank you for being a part of it!