Monday, September 26, 2011

The Great Race Report

Yesterday was a really awesome day.
 It wasn't my best race time, but I really enjoyed the race.

Saturday was super busy as we had 2 soccer games and then had to immediately hit the road in order to get to the race expo to pick up my race packet.
Can you believe that this was my first race expo E-V-E-R? I have about a dozen races under my belt, but this is the largest one I ever signed up for so I had no idea what to expect!

14,500 registrants! SOLD OUT!

Looking for my name to confirm my bib #. I realize in the picture I'm not looking anywhere near the list of names/bib #s. I don't know what I was looking @ but I should've been looking at the list.....
 Got my race packet, picked up a cute Great Race tee shirt (it's a cute pink baby-doll style shirt. Yeah, I got an official race shirt in my race packet but those are always made for men and never fit me - I always think that if I put a belt on, I could make it into a dress; short torso on board!)

Next stop was the Double Wide Grill in the Southside for supper. Awesome place - click on the link for photos and menus. They have an entire vegan menu - made me just a tad excited. I had the Caribbean Coconut Tofu with cilantro rice. It was yum, hard to explain, so just trust me :) the boys loved this place - they had hub caps and wheels and things of the like hanging all over the place. They had an old Chevy truck hoisted up over the bar. Go there!

Next stop - Hotel. We stayed @ the Wyndham Grand in downtown Pittsburgh - the host hotel for the race. We had an awesome view from our room - right onto Point Park State Park which was conveniently the finish line for the race!
We took a little walk around downtown to see some sites and figure out where the race shuttle would pick me up in the morning.
Then back to the hotel to get everything laid out for the morning!

Morning came quickly and we were ready to head out to the shuttle pick up. I didn't want to get there too soon - I don't like arriving to races too early. It's just me - makes me nervous. I'm not one of those runners who goes out for a several mile 'warm up' before the race. I had exactly 6.2 miles worth of run in me so I didn't want to waste away in nervous energy. Race started @ 9:30, so I figured if I got on the shuttle around 8:30/8:45, I'd have more than enough time to get to the start line.

Ha! This is what the shuttle line looked like when I got there! Crap! So I jumped in line and chatted the time away (racers are the coolest people to strike up a conversation with, not to mention they help keep that nervous energy @ bay).
Gotta love the PPG buildings in Pittsburgh. I think Pittsburgh is just an awesome city. Go there!

So, off I go on the shuttle. Arrived @ race about 9:10am. It took me until about 9:28 to get to the start line. The gun went off @ about 9:36 and I crossed the start @ about 9:40.
First hill @ about .1 miles into the race. It was in a beautiful neighborhood, so I didn't mind too much.
The sun came out in all her glory and I was sweating buckets by 1.5 miles.
We ran through Frick Park area, the into Squirrel Hill District (so pretty), then into Oakland and through parts of University of Pitt campus, past the hospitals, then onto the Blvd of the Allies and right around mile 4, we made a turn and there was the skyline of downtown Pittsburgh. Ah! I was really starting to tire out - I didn't really expect that. I think there were a few things happening that played into that:
* The sun beating on my back
* I'm not used to running an entire race watching the road - I had to in this one because it never really thinned out - there were people passing, weaving in and out the e-n-t-i-r-e race. I was scared to look up and enjoy the sites for fear of tripping on someone (I did pass quite a few people too).
* I was just totally overwhelmed with the big race experience - it was so awesome @ times that I almost started crying (like when families were standing on their porches cheering us on or when college students set up their bands to play for us - just not used to all of that).
* I really had to pee (starting around mile 3.5)
So between miles 4 and 6 , I took about (4) 30 second walk breaks. I just couldn't help it.
Then, of course, as we rounded the last corner, there were people lined up all over the place cheering. Something kicked in and I took off, sprinting the last little bit of the race (maybe a tenth or 2/10 of a mile, nothing significant).
I crossed the finish line in 58:30!
I caught my breath, called Jeremy and the boys (because I didn't see them @ all coming in the finish area), we met up and pretty much headed back to the hotel for a shower.

This was the view from our room! Awesome!
 The boys waiting for me to come in!
 I'm in there somewhere (look about mid picture - green shirt, white head band) - this was just after I crossed the finish line.
 Hot, tired (and really had to pee), but oh so happy to be back with my boys.

So, I met my Goal C.
Official race results:
Clock time: 1:02:49
Chip time: 58:30
Overall place: 3959/7865
Female place: 1451/3947
Division place (Females 35-39): 210/567
I'm OK with all of these stats. It puts me in the top half of all the categories :)
I'll be back next year, Great Race, and I'm hoping to bring some friends with me. This race was too good not to share! So if you are a reader/follower of this blog - let me know if you'll sign up next year!

Thanks for taking 1/2 your day out to read this :)


Hetrick family said...

AMY!!!!! So proud of you!!

You look incredible. Your support team has got to be the handsomest around!!! :):):)

And your stats are great (especially considering the pee situation!).

So I am officially running again. Officially. You MAY be able to count me in next year. I'll keep you posted. I have my sights set on a Tri :) Interested??

I really really can't wait to catch up with you in Erie!!

HudkinsFamily said...

Aim - yay! for you! I'm interested in trying a tri but I don't have a bike and need to get me some serious swim lessons. I have a tentative tri on my list for next August. Have you done one before?

Angela said...

Congratulations!! You did amazing even if it wasn't your best race time! How wonderful that your family was there to cheer you on! I would love to run it next year (I love Pittsburgh!) but goodness knows where I'll be. It's a great race to add to you list of running accomplishments :)