Countdown to Pittsburgh: 30 Days

Exactly one month from today I will be running 26.2 miles. For the first time ever. In Pittsburgh.

I’m nervous. I’m excited. I feel like it is no longer in the future. It is now. I am running the Pittsburgh Marathon. All 26.2 miles of it. All at once. After my successful 20 mile training run last weekend, I feel prepared. I know I could (and probably should) improve my training and speed, but my goal is to finish. There will be time for PR’s.

Marathon training has been tough. Really tough. And fun (I think, did I just say that?!) – I almost can’t believe I am about to be a marathoner. I’ve heard it said that people train for years to run a marathon – I believe it, I see why. Marathon training has pushed me to limits I didn’t know I could be pushed to – and I survived. My mind has been tested most of all, and I have definitely been learning to understand how positive thinking can directly affect performance. If my mind’s not in it – I can’t do it. It doesn’t matter if my body, heart, and soul are all on board – if my brain doubts us, we’re done. I will be thinking positive in Pittsburgh – from start to finish. I have to.

So, then, how coincidental is it that the Races 2 Remember Grace Band I won from Denise came in the mail today? Hopefully this means the running gods are smiling down on me. 

I love my Grace Band – how perfect! No excuse to think negatively on the race course now. This is my inspiration. And more – I might have to run an ultra – just to be able to make a longer band with all of the people, places, and things that inspire me to run everyday!

As part of my Countdown to Pittsburgh, every Friday until the race, I’m going to post about what I am thinking/feeling/freaking out over/etc. and tell you about 7 miles on my band. Exciting, huh? Actually, I enjoy reading about your causes and inspirations and what keeps you going so I hope maybe you can also find some inspiration here.

30 Days and counting…During the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 15th, I will be thinking of:

Mile 1: One Mile at a Time
 That is how I am looking at this whole race. I will start that way, and I will finish that way.

 Mile 2: Mom 
I wouldn’t be running Pittsburgh without the Courage to Start. My mother, Darlene, is an inspiration to me because of all she has accomplished over the past year. She ran her first 5K in August of last year and will run her first 10K the weekend before my marathon. She and my Dad gave the entry into Pittsburgh as a Christmas gift last year. I truly wouldn’t be going without my parents!

Mile 3: Dad
My father, Bill,  is an inspiration to me because he always comes out to my races and cheers me on from the sidelines, even if I am having a bad race. My Dad believes in me and supports me no matter what.  

Mile 4: Mollie
What can I say? Who else would buy a very tiny, very pink, scooter (you know, the one-legged, pushing kind) to go on my 20 mile run with me after running 6 miles herself? My sister Mollie! She keeps me laughing – both on and off the trails. My sister is running her first half marathon the weekend before Pittsburgh. If I need a laugh on the course, I’ll definitely think of her! 

Mile 5: Hard Part is Over.
The first 4 miles of any race or run are always the hardest for me. I don’t know why – I think it takes my body that long to actually warm-up. I thought my warm-up period might decrease the more I ran, but it hasn’t yet. If I can think of the first 4 as the “hard part,” um, the rest should will be easy!

Mile 6: Stephanie A.
In memory of my MIT friend and running buddy who passed away at the end of last year after being struck by a car. While she is with me in spirit – I could never forget her lovely smile – I still miss Stephanie sometimes when I run. She often hung in the back of the pack with me and made sure I was feeling okay. To Stephanie, it didn’t matter how slow or fast we went, just that we went! I will be running Mile 6 for Stephanie because she can’t.

Mile 7: Michael 07/07/07
All sevens for Mile 7. I married my husband, Michael, on 07/07/07. Seven is his favorite number too so it only seemed fitting to dedicate that mile to none-other than the love of my life. Michael doesn’t run, he doesn’t really understand my obsession with running (I don’t think), and he probably gets tired of hearing me talk (and occasionally cry) about it, but he supports me in what I do. I like that we have different interests – it keeps us both interested! He’ll be on the race course and I know being able to see him will make me smile for sure. Michael always tells me I can do it, if I set my mind to it. 

Dad, Michael, Me, Mollie & Mom

Until the next mile marker,
   


Comments

  1. 30 DAYS!!!???!!!

    It seems like just yesterday that we all started training together and look at how far we’ve all come. Through sleet, ice, sub-zero temps, pouring rain, injuries and laughter we’ve grown stronger than we could have alone.

    Your bracelet has me a bit misty eyed. It’s such a cool thing to help mentally when the tough times strike.

    We’ll be hundreds of miles apart on May 15th, but we’ll be running together in spirit!

  2. Hey, I know what #13 is! I still wish I could be there for Pittsburgh. I know you’ll finish and then, because you are koo koo bananas you’ll probably run another marathon, which will convince me I should run a marathon because you, my friend, are an inspiration to all of us Lucky 13’s (side note, I feel like Lucky 13’s had been tempting fate considering all the injuries. Maybe we should consider the Appropriately Lucky, but Not Too Lucky, so Please Stop Striking Us Down Universe 13’s. Is that too long?).

    Wow, I really need Ritalin. See you tomorrow!

  3. So excited for you! You’re gonna be so great.

  4. LOL @ appropriately lucky, but not too lucky, so please stop striking us down name. Love it.

    Sara – I always love reading your blog posts! We are going to have to run a marathon together! You are amazing!

  5. Sara, I found your blog threw a comment you left on MISSZIPPY blog. I can relate to your comment. It was about keeping balance in your life and family. You mention that your husband doesnt get your running. My husband is an amazing man. But he doesnt get why I have to run either. I honestly thought that I was the only one with a husband that did not get my running. So thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading more of you blog.

  6. I love this list of things to think of during a race! Did you see this somewhere or come up with it yourself? How are you going to remember which mile is which?

  7. I love this! What a great idea!!! :0)

  8. I just found your blog and wanted to say hi! I started running after a low point as well and have kept with it… slow and steady. On May 15, 2011 I will be running my first 1/2… IN PITTSBURGH! So maybe I’ll see you. If not (considering there will be over 20,000 runners) I wish you the best of luck!!

  9. Julie D. says:

    almost there! You can do it!! I wore a grace band for my first marathon and it made it all the more memorable!! Enjoy the journey!

  10. Hey, I know what #13 is! I still wish I could be there for Pittsburgh. I know you’ll finish and then, because you are koo koo bananas you’ll probably run another marathon, which will convince me I should run a marathon because you, my friend, are an inspiration to all of us Lucky 13’s (side note, I feel like Lucky 13’s had been tempting fate considering all the injuries. Maybe we should consider the Appropriately Lucky, but Not Too Lucky, so Please Stop Striking Us Down Universe 13’s. Is that too long?).

    Wow, I really need Ritalin. See you tomorrow!

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