Race Report: PGH Marathon 5K

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Guys.  This race.  Everything.  The weekend.  Everything!  Our people?!  EVERYTHING.

Listen, I’m not going to pretend that I was easy not running the marathon on Sunday.  But, I can say, with certainty that I have a lot of peace with where I am physically and with running.  That certainty allowed me to really really enjoy participating in the 5K.  It also, truly, allowed me to soak up our people while we were in town for the weekend.  Sure we were busy and running from event to event, meet up to meet up.  But, without the pressure of the marathon, and having a peace with this season of my running life, I was thoroughly present.  I could enjoy each person I saw, really see them, enjoy our time together.  It was an amazing time.

First up though, the 5K.

MB and I arrive in Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon and Omni was home base.  I had coordinated with Steff to meet and walk over to the start of the 5K.  She and I both pretended like I’m not 100% directionally challenged and I ended up meeting them right outside of PNC park which was perfect.

it was so dreary and cold.  and wet.  and dreary. 

fancy we run social pic from their insta page. Also LNRB, stop going out in the rain without a hat on.  You look ridiculous.

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PGH Marathon: Training for Cheering

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In a week, I’ll be waiting, anxiously, to have dinner with my friends who have successfully dominated another Pittsburgh Marathon weekend.  I’ll also be basking in the warm glow of my success as one of the best cheer-ers that the Pittsburgh Marathon has ever seen.  Since I’ve run the course about 790 times, I have scoped out all the great places, as a runner, where people’s yells, snacks and funny signs meant the world to a marathon-weary runner.

especially that time I ran 2 marathons back to back!

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Race Report: Walt Disney World Marathon Part II

When you last left us we were riding a roller coaster and setting off for the second half of the marathon.

Miles 14-20

These miles are usually pretty dark and stormy for me.  Luckily, this time, I never really felt that way.  We headed out of the Animal Kingdom and met up with Charles — Kelsey’s husband — and her mother in law where they had sodas and fruit for us.  We ran past a marching band playing All I do is Win so I knew that these miles would end up OK.

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To Sara, On Marathon Eve

Remember in 2006 in the summer, when you were buying small potted plants for your boyfriend’s, now husband’s apartment?  And I was, I don’t know, whatever I was doing.  And we used to go on those fast walks around Shadyside, preemptively judging everyone who would try to judge us?  Those were some of the happiest half hours of my life during a year that was emotionally torturous and left me on the brink.


i love this picture.

I don’t think it’s a mistake that a decade later, during the same type of year, you sent me an eloquent email essentially saying:  we need to do our fast walks again or I’m going to kill someone.

I had no idea then, but as I sat on my couch that day, tearing up at what you had written that, again, your dedication to a goal, your perseverance and your just general badassery would deliver me through another tough year.  But, I should have known.


too bad nothing we do together is ever fun or eventful

As your coach I should tell you that you’re ready, that you’re strong, that you were actually able to run this race in late October.  But I’m not going to.  What I will tell you is thank you.  Thank you for giving me a reason to pick myself off of the floor literally in Nashville and know that regardless of what happened with my knee, I would be at the starting line.  Thank you for giving hours of support and companionship on the long, hard runs back, even when we were seperated by miles and miles and miles.  Thank you for giving me courage and grace when I had none to give myself.  And thank you for showing up for me, in a million little Sara ways, just when I need you.


I’m so happy you found me crying hysterically in the law school library stairwell.  I’m so happy you’re on your way to my favorite place on earth to meet some of my other favorite people on earth to do my favorite thing on earth.


Oh and the hay’s in the barn, you’re ready blahblahblahbal.  But that’s the stuff you already know!

Head up, wings mother fucking out!

PS — GOOD LUCK to all the marathoners this weekend here in Magic Town USA and all over!! ❤ 

Walt Disney World Marathon Packing List

The time has come!  I’ve finally started to pack for my epic 7 whole days in the World, which will include the Ohana, tons of delicious food, cheering for the half, running the full and enjoying an overdue vacation with MB.

In order to have the literal best time possible — especially for the marathon — one needs to have everything from home to make is a success.  Here are the things I’m bringing with me for marathon domination.


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One Month to Go. Stay healthy.

Today, we are one month away from the Walt Disney World Marathon.  I’m hoping that, at this time in 30ish days we will be well into the first two or three miles of this most fun marathon ever.  I’ve even gone so far as to start stalking the weather, which, as we seasoned marathoners know, that is a stupid thing to do.  We cannot control the weather, only how we react to the weather.  But I’ll tell you what we can control — taking care of ourselves.

As I write this, MB is asleep on the couch, down and out with the stomach flu.  It was bound to happen — tis the season, you know?  So as I washed my hands for the 80th time, I thought I would share my tricks for getting to the start line of the winter marathon healthy and ready to dominate.


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2017 Race Projections

Happy December!  Aside from all the other months of the year, December is my favorite.  Christmas trees, Jingle Jogs, MB making too many of these cream cheese mints that give me a belly ache when I inevitably try to eat them all.  It’s a joyous time.  I also start getting antsy for the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, now less than 5 weeks away, which in turn reminds me “Oh yeah!  You get to put together a schedule for next year!”

I have to disclaim this because last year when I wrote this post, I had big running plans that included really fresh, fast Marathon and 10K PRs and you know not dislocating my patella or getting bursitis in my hip.  This year, I’m writing this look ahead with a very humble runners heart.  All my big plans could be laid aside with one chord of Motown Philly and while I don’t live in fear of an injury, let’s just say I’m trying to plan races so that I don’t actually get one.

Onward to 2017!

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Race Report: Alexandria Turkey Trot 2016

Msheed and I have Turkey Trotted together in recent years.  This year, her plans changed and the trot we usually do together, a 5K was $40.  This seemed a little ridiculous to me — like come on, I know we’re doing this for charity but let’s get real with ourselves, Arlington Turkey Trot.  So, I did some googling and saw that my new neighborhood also hosted a 5 mile trot for half the price.  Sign me up!

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New hood, new race, same trot.

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Packet pick up was super easy.  I remembered that I wanted to do it about 90 minutes before it closed, rolled up to the school gym, parked, and was in and out in 15 minutes.  This race also allowed you to opt out of the shirt — which was an additional cost I think — which I LOVE.

Dear all races, everywhere.  Please PLEASE PLEASE let me opt out of the shirt.  Donate mine to charity.  Give it to the guy behind me.  Brand the bananas with the sponsors.  Whatever you have to do.  Just let me opt out of the shirt. Kthanxbai!

Anyhoodles.  The race morning dawned not too bright or early.  The gun was at 9 so I had time for Thanksgiving Day chocolate pancakes with MB.  I got my food donation together and he dropped me at the start on his way to the gym.  I waited inside the gym since it started to sprinkle a bit and around 5 to 9, I headed out to where I thought the start was.

We were a little short on announcements and directions but honestly for $20 I don’t care.  I can sort of follow crowds and show up on time.  So as I stood on the sides, chatting up a recent Boston qualifier asking me about the Disney marathon, wondering where the start line was, people started moving forward and — oh!  The race started!

I plugged into Mad Chatters talking about the recent D23 event and the best sit down restaurants at the Magic Kingdom and settled into slow and steady 5×1 intervals.  As I told you earlier this week, I had already run 10 miles and had 18 more the day after Tgiving, so going balls out was not really my jam.  I just trotted with my neighbors, taking in the ‘hood.

The course was familiar parts of my regular running route.  It was nice to have neighbors out cheering and handing out water.  The race only had one water stop — which is one short for me — but again for $20 whatever, I’ll bring my own next year.

I finished at about 56 minutes which was perfect for what I was trying to do — finish at all.  I popped into the gym for my granola bar, grabbed a banana and a bottle of water and walked home.  I was showered and complaining about being hungry to MB by 11:15.

I can’t recommend this race enough.  It was organized, well attended and a really run distance.  And, if you hadn’t noticed, I’m into the price.  I’ll be back next year!

How was your holiday running?