Pittsburgh (Half) Marathon Weekend Recap

Well, that was surprising. Let's start with the 5K.


I... did not do well in the 5K. Or at least I didn't quite get the time I expected. Which, granted, might have been a bit ambitious. But I'd been feeling pretty good and felt like I should be able to do three 8 minute miles in a row. I was wrong. My splits were more like:

Mile 1: 7:57
Mile 2: 8:23
Mile 3: 8:54

Totally the opposite of negative splits. Luckily for me, no one else was trying on the 5K, so I actually did pretty well comparatively!

Overall: 443/3789 (top 12%)
Women: 122/2219 (top 5%)
Division: 19/347 (top 5%)

Beggars can't be choosers, so I'll take it.

Half Marathon

I did not think I would do well in the half. My training has been mediocre ever since I switched from the full to the half. I haven't done well in recent, shorter races (looking at you Pirates 10K and the 5K I did the day before!). So I lined up a little bit closer to the back, put some music on, and just did my best. And about midway through, I realized that my best this race might actually be my best ever. The one thing about Pittsburgh is that it has SO MANY HILLS. Every time I crested a hill, I thought "surely that will be the worst one". And yet, every time, I was wrong. According to my Garmin, the worst hill was actually at mile 12, which is also where I had the slowest pace. I still had energy, but my quads were feeling dead from hills. I've got a table of my pace/mile, but I also included what Strava calls "Grade-Adjusted Pace", which I think just exists to make me feel better about myself? Ok, maybe it actually helps determine if I put in even effort over even pace. Which, I think I did? According to the GAP, my pace only varied by a minute over the whole 13.1 miles.

Mile Pace GAP HR
  1 9:20 /mi 9:18 /mi 146 bpm
  2 9:04 /mi 9:04 /mi 147 bpm
  3 8:54 /mi 8:53 /mi 158 bpm
  4 9:07 /mi 8:59 /mi 167 bpm
  5 8:57 /mi 8:56 /mi 173 bpm
  6 8:41 /mi 8:39 /mi 172 bpm
  7 9:34 /mi 9:20 /mi 173 bpm
  8 9:05 /mi 8:57 /mi 169 bpm
  9 9:17 /mi 9:13 /mi 168 bpm
 10 9:30 /mi 9:24 /mi 173 bpm
 11 9:18 /mi 9:16 /mi 173 bpm
 12 9:55 /mi 9:14 /mi 172 bpm
 13 8:16 /mi 8:30 /mi 174 bpm
 14 7:13 /mi 7:31 /mi 176 bpm

I ended up coming in at 2:00:44, which is just SEVEN SECONDS slower than my personal record. Considering my PR was set at Run to Remember which had a total elevation of 138ft (this one was 454ft), I'm counting this as a personal record. I beat my previous time by over four minutes! I think I also did better comparatively than I ever have before in a half:

Overall: 3433/12795 (top 27%)
Women: 1342/7495 (top 18%)
Division: 238/1265 (top 19%)
Apparently I both run AND do double-unders with the same slack jaw and blank stare 😛

Apparently I both run AND do double-unders with the same slack jaw and blank stare 😛

The Great Race Recap - Possibly My Hottest 10K?

When I signed up for the Great Race, I did not imagine that it would be this hot in late September. Well... today has a high of 89 and yesterday, it was between 75 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The course was only about half shaded, so I ended up getting beat up by the heat pretty quickly. Admittedly, I started out a little bit too fast. But when I realized that I was on track for a 5K PR, I just decided to keep pushing it. It paid off and I finished the 5K in 25:13. If I had been running the 5K, it would've put me in the top 11% overall. I had to slow down a bit after that, but really not by too much! What really got me was mile 5. There was no shade, it had a bit of an uphill, and I was just spent. If it had been a bit cooler, I think I could've kept up my pace and finished two minutes faster overall. Next year! End result of the 10K was a finish time of 53:48 (pace of 8:39/mile). I finished top 18% in my division, top 14% of women, and top 25% overall. I was a bit bummed that I didn't hit my goal of 50 minutes, but I think I can do it next year!

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This Week In Workouts

Despite not running and overall feeling pretty off my game, this has been a good week for Crossfit PRs. On Tuesday, I did a 65# power snatch, which was a 5# PR for me. On Wendesday, I did a 15 minute AMRAP of 5 53# suitcase deadlifts (one 53# KB in each hand), 13 burpees, and 9 goblet squats with a tiny KB. I managed to get *almost* 8 rounds... two reps short! I felt pretty good during that and was able to keep at a really consistent pace that felt really good. Today was my biggest PR day and favorite weightlifting day... DEADLIFT DAY! My previous one rep max (1RM) was 215# and today I did 1x3 at 215# and then a 1RM at 225#! I've been stuck at 215 for quite a long time... I first hit it about 5 years ago? So it's really gratifying to see my work pay off and finally see a nice big increase in weight.

14 Miles: Done

This was my last long training run. I spent 20 minutes taping up my feet and my knees and I think it paid off. At no point was I limping (though I was pretty slow for a few miles). I set a new PR for distance and pace for distances over 10 miles. I finished 13.1 in 2:22:17 and finished the whole 14.15 in 2:34:37 at a pace of 10:56 min/mile. Considering how sore I was when I started, I'm feeling pretty confident that I can hit my goal of 2:10 come race day... maybe even sub 2! Considering I did my full marathon in 5:55 6.5 years ago, I'm feeling pretty damn amazing about these times.