Race Recap: Pittsburgh Half-Marathon

Pittsburgh Marathon 2014 | almost getting it together

Third time was a charm for Pittsburgh, if you count a charm as being sleep-deprived, poorly fueled, potentially still drunk and still getting your second fastest time (and PR-ing the Pittsburgh course, at least). I really want to experiment with what lack of preparation I can get away with in a race. This blog is called “Almost Getting it Together” for a reason, you know.

At about 2 a.m. Sunday morning when I rolled home, chugged a bottle of coconut water and re-checked my alarm for 5 a.m. I seriously considered just not waking up and running, but I’m also not someone to back down from a challenge. In my head I just envisioned how miserable 13 miles of hills would be as soon as that hangover set in around 8 a.m.

I woke up and forced myself to eat oatmeal and drink more coconut water. I started psyching myself up in my head, saying that it would be okay and I would have fun and that I had to be there for all my friends who I drug into this race with me or that were running the full. I also couldn’t look like a weakling who was going to let a few glasses of wine and potentially some tequila get in the way of a race.

Pittsburgh Marathon 2014 | almost getting it together

Starting line photo with my sorority sisters Kayla and Paige!

The Pittsburgh Half-Marathon is seriously getting too crowded. I think this is my last year running the half, I have to run the full next year, or get to sub 8-minute miles in a half-marathon within the next year, because I cannot handle all of those people. They also should do a better job putting people in the corrals they should be in – if you are going to start walking in the first mile of a marathon, you have no business being in corral B.

The first mile I felt okay. I was weaving in and out (my feet hurt today and I finally figured out that was why) and ran an 8:42, which I did not expect for the number of people in my way. My second mile was a little faster and I was staying right around 8:30-minute miles for the first 10K or so and thought to myself, “you have a vague chance of PR-ing today”. I also forgot how hilly Pittsburgh is after telling everyone and their mother how it wasn’t bad until mile 11.

Around mile 8.5-9 I started to feel a little lonely. I was still in the pack but lost my friends and just needed a buddy. Low and behold my friend Lesley who was pacing the four-hour marathon group was right there. I was so excited so I jogged with her for a little bit and filled her in on my current situation, which was sleep-deprived and ill-prepared for a long run. Then I ran into my friend John who was in her pace group and had someone else to chat with for a while and then we all ended up going our separate ways. It was really nice to just stop thinking about running for a couple minutes.

I did in fact run with three gels and used all three. I also had nothing left in my tank for the last 5K and felt absolutely awful. I was trying to go faster and I just could not. I was getting passed but at the point I thought as long as I beat my time from Pittsburgh last year and/or get under two hours that I would be fine with it.

Pittsburgh Marathon 2014 | almost getting it together

Kayla and I in much better shape than after the Turkey Trot…

At the last mile, I knew I was going to beat my Pittsburgh record, as long as I didn’t drop dead first, which at this point, was a slight possibility. I crossed the finish line and knew I was somewhere in the 1:56 range and I just smiled, impressed with how irresponsible I was and how in the end, it didn’t even matter. I was happy because of my irresponsibility and I was happy because I ran my second-best half.

Pittsburgh Marathon 2014 | almost getting it together

My friend Andrew’s first half-marathon, fueled by my Clif Shot choices of course.

I was pretty wiped out yesterday but I was still happy I stuck around to see my friends after their races and before brunch. Everyone ran such an amazing time and I was so proud of all of them from finishing their first half or full marathon to breaking their PRs. Team Beer went to brunch and I came home and foam rolled and stretched like a responsible human being.

 

I would not recommend this plan of action as a training plan for any normal person but I’m also in pretty good shape endurance wise. I think I’ve been convinced to actually follow a training plan by Emily and Lesley to see where I can get my time. I’ve consistently been finishing in the top 10-15% lately so I’m curious as to what I can do if I actually push myself. I have another race on the docket this summer so I’m going to take a week or two and start the process again.

Chat with me:
Do you think I’m absolutely irresponsible and insane? Have you ever ran a race ill-prepared because you just didn’t care or something more fun then going to bed at 9 p.m. on a Saturday came along?

29 comments on “Race Recap: Pittsburgh Half-Marathon

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Jessie on May 6, 2014 7:17 am

I too have run a half marathon partially still intoxicated from the night before.. however big applause as you were able to get a new PR. Super impressive! I’d say you deserve an award alone for that :)
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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:32 pm

YAYYYYY So glad I’m not the only one!! xoxo

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Susie @ Suzlyfe on May 6, 2014 8:40 am

Spoken like a true sorority girl ;) I think we all do things that might be a little insane from time to time, but believe you me, others have done FAR worse. You should be proud of your accomplishment, and tell the others to SUCK IT
Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Moving Beyond Fear and Expectation #ToughTalkMy Profile

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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:31 pm

#SIGMASCANDALOUS. Love it :)

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles on May 6, 2014 9:03 am

The fact that you managed to pull that off after 3 hours of sleep and wine…lady, you are insane…but so badass. :-p Congrats!
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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:31 pm

Haha thankkkk you that means a lot :)

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Erin @ The Almond Eater on May 6, 2014 9:24 am

Hhahah you crack me up. Seeeeee… who needs sleep the night before a half marathon? Not you! Congrats on your time lady :)
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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:30 pm

Thanks girlie! Also gotta attribute my awesome time to your good luck text! xo see you tomorrow!

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Davida @The Healthy Maven on May 6, 2014 9:46 am

Ohhhh Cass I love you. I’m still impressed you ran it. Then again I’ve actually run drunk before and time flies so I might actually be capable of running a half if I was still wasted…Plus you had quite I bit on your mind ;) Next time you’re calling me during your race and I’ll entertain you.
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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:30 pm

Can I please call you at 7 a.m. my next race?? But I’ll just need you to basically be a podcast and tell me stories for two hours. xoxo

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Caitlin on May 6, 2014 11:19 am

Nope hahaha. A nice chunk of my long runs for my marathon last summer were done under similar conditions, and I survived just fine ;) I think it’d be cool to see what you could do following a plan, though. And def do the full next year ;)
Caitlin recently posted…Pittsburgh 2014My Profile

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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:29 pm

That makes me feel a lot better coming from you since I aspire to get up to your level!! xoxo

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ganeeban on May 6, 2014 1:36 pm

I like your style. Sometimes its fun to test our limits. Being hungover during a half marathon…you might just be my new idol ;) Sometimes FUN needs to supersede our training, but just sometimes! I think that’s normal.
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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:28 pm

Hahaha thank you!! Yes, if I hadn’t had a great race the week before I wouldn’t have done that, but it was fun to test my limits!

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Em Todd on May 6, 2014 7:00 pm

Best day ever! Love you, Cass!!
PS – please teach me how to pose for photos.

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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:27 pm

Definitely the best day ever. #TEAMBEER

PS: We can have a posing tutorial soon.

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Jan @ Sprouts n Squats on May 6, 2014 8:03 pm

Great work you were able to do a PR! It is my goal to go back and do another half marathon and do it in under 2 hours, I know I can do it but need to get my running back up there again.
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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:27 pm

You can definitely do it!! I didn’t think I was able to when I did last year… but the feeling after makes everything worth it.

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Lindsay on May 6, 2014 9:50 pm

no sleep and wine, hey, that works! LOL! great job lady!
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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:26 pm

Thank you!!

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Megan (The Lyons' Share) on May 8, 2014 12:21 am

Haha, this post made me laugh! While I have definitely done my share of long runs the morning after a few too many drinks, I’m pretty sure I’ve NEVER set a PR that way! Good job on pushing through … hope you re-hydrated :)
Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted…Physical Fitness Month, Group Half Marathon Training, and more!My Profile

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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:25 pm

I’m going to say I was pretty wiped out the rest of the day… and the next few days. Lots of coconut water in my life.

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Arman @ thebigmansworld on May 8, 2014 5:49 am

LOL this is the best. I can stand by this because for once, you were tweeted (intoxicated?) at an Australian appropriate time! You did good, kid.

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Cassie on May 16, 2014 4:25 pm

The 5 a.m. part rather than the 5 p.m.?? I’m such a fail as a 25 year old but I’m slowly getting out of my rut. I’ll have my tolerance back up by Australia :)

[…] I haven’t tried any other gluten-free bagels as a disclaimer, but I have had gluten-free bread (not super into it) and gluten-free English muffins (kind of okay with them). These bagels had a very bagel-y texture and tasted like the ones I could get at Bagel Factory in Pittsburgh (but not NYC bagels – nothing compares to NYC bagels, except Montreal bagels which I would gluten myself for). I definitely enjoyed them and despite my lack of preparation otherwise, I’m going to assume these guys helped me out in Pittsburgh. […]

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