It's been quite a weekend. Saturday started off with the Kids Marathon Downtown. It was a beautiful day, and I got to run with my two favorite wee ones.
There were 3,500 kids running from at least a dozen different schools. We ran 1.2 miles with them, and at the end they got their finishers medal and a goody bag, at the same finish line that the runners would cross the next day. This was our second year doing this, and the kids really enjoyed it.
The next day it was my turn for real, as I got ready and prepped for my third Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
The race started at 7 AM, so we were downtown and headed to our corrals by 5:45. It was cold and dark outside, but the city was swarming with runners and volunteers. There was definitely a lot more security this year than I have seen in my past two years at this race, but everything seemed to run very smoothly.
I am not a super fast runner, and don't have many friends that were interested in taking on training for a half marathon, so I've had to do all of my running by myself. As I was waiting in my corral for the race to start I had the amazing fortune to meet two women. They were there together and standing just in front of me. One of them turned around and asked if I'd take their photo for them. Of course I did, and from there we just started talking. I don't know if it is just race nerves that makes people more chatty, or if all runners are super friendly, or it's just a Pittsburgh thing... But these two were so funny and friendly, that I felt like I had made two new friends.
Once the race started we stayed together, talking and laughing as the miles went by. It was wonderful!! I knew that they were faster than I was, but I managed to keep up with them until somewhere between miles 9 and 10. It was around there that my pace just couldn't cut it and I was on my own.
I finished this year with a time of 2:46, which is a few minutes better than my time from last year. It was a gorgeous day for the run and I am forever grateful to those two beautiful women that took me in during the largest portion of the race.
The city of Pittsburgh should be proud of job it did to make this another outstanding event. The race directors, volunteers, the police and everyone involved made this entire weekend a huge success.
And I for one, am thrilled to add another lovely finishers medal to my collection. :)
You can live a healthy lifestyle in the real world without giving up everything that makes you happy.