Training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon: Race Week Is Here!

Training for the Pittsburgh Marathon

The Pittsburgh Marathon is on Sunday. Today is Monday.

I’m in part-planning, part-panic mode, as is par for the course. Of course, we have some added complexities with our weekend festivities as Little League kicks off on Saturday. So we won’t be hitting the Expo until nearly closing time. Nothing like cutting it close, but seeing our boys kick off their baseball season is important to us.

The rest of the stuff seems to be falling into place though. I think. Ish.

What I’m Wearing for the Half Marathon

Uh, maybe this:

One Race Day Option

Or maybe this:

Another Race Day Option

I don’t quite know. I do know I’m wearing green this year as everyone yelled at me last year for not wearing any green. But hey! I wore black and gold for my first Pittsburgh Marathon which is not only awesome but obvious. So it’s either a green tank or green shorts. But definitely my new Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2s which I broke in all weekend, including at the 5K I ran on Saturday. (The 2 fits almost exactly the same as the first Wave Sayonara, and I’m super pleased with them!)

Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2

What I’m Eating and Drinking This Week

I’m eating normal foods and drinking all the water. The night before the race, I hope to eat something pasta-y with no red sauce as it gives me heartburn—and not a ridiculous amount, just a normal portion size. On race day, I am opting against breakfast as it upsets my tummy to eat before a long run (I’ll eat at the finish line) and going for a bag of Sports Beans a half hour before start, and then six or so at the one hour point. My parents are planning a big steak dinner for after the race (as a belated birthday party).

What I’m Running This Week

My initial plan was to run 4, 3, 2, and a 15 minute shakeout on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Then I tripped on the dog during bedtime routines last night and pulled something in my foot and/or pinky toe. My whole foot felt tender while walking this morning, so I scrubbed my run today. I felt like running on a foot I’ve already injured the week of a race seemed like tempting fate.

And that’s it. I’m feeling mostly ready, minus my foot-pain and the fear that I’m undertrained. I do want to remind readers I’m running on behalf of Our Clubhouse, a non-profit that supports families dealing with cancer. Feel free to donate if you feel so inclined.

I am likely to post a few more times about marathon related activities this week both here and my social media feeds. Additionally, you can track me on Sunday. Sign up for updates here. (They’ll work this year and you don’t have to pay!) I’d love if you let me know if you’re following me. As always, YOUR support means the world to me!

It’s officially #GameOnPGH time!


Be sure to check in with the other Official Pittsburgh Marathon Bloggers to see how they’re handling race week.



Training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon: Time to Taper

Training for the Pittsburgh Marathon

Nothing like starting your taper on Boston Marathon Day, right? Watching the amazing athletes run their hearts out to get across the finish line is nothing short of The Most Inspiring Running Thing Ever. And now those of us running the Pittsburgh Marathon get to… relax?

Of course, I’m being helped into my taper by a cold! Or allergies! Possibly both!

I started to feel it after my last long run yesterday. My throat felt scratchy, but I assumed the pollen smacking me in the face during my run caused it. I took some allergy meds and went about the rest of my day. By bedtime, my chest also felt tight, but again, I figured it was just a change in the weather.

I woke to real pain in my throat, heaviness in my chest, and limited voice. I got the boys ready for school and went back to bed for awhile, hoping to sleep it off. Nope. I’ve spent the day sucking on zinc drops, drinking Alka Selter cold medicine in between lots and lots of fluids, and working from the couch under lots and lots of blankets. At least one run will have to be skipped this week, if not two.

I assume I was already getting sick during my long run yesterday and that’s why I struggled so hard on the last five. Or, that’s what I’m telling myself.

Better this week than next week, right?

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Taper Time

And so, as I’m firmly plopped into the taper without the ability to run but totally inspired by the Boston runners, I now face the mental task of surviving the taper. At least the first couple of days will be spent in a medicine head fog. After that, well, not pushing the pace or running extra nag me a little bit.

Especially this year.

I’m coming into this race under-prepared. It’s my first time doing such a thing. I’m normally an over-preparer, but between the sub-zero temps, the (unnecessary) school cancellations which made it impossible to get out and run less someone call CPS, and my surgery in March, I didn’t get to follow my training plan as closely as I usually do. I always allow for flexibility in my schedule, but this year I went beyond “flexibility” and somewhere into “neglect.”

Oh, I ran a lot. I got in a few long runs, though I struggled with my ten miler this weekend. I even managed some great paces on shorter runs last week. But I didn’t put in the same amount of work in my half marathon training plan as in past training cycles, and I fear I may pay for it on race day. The taper will only poke at those fears, making me question my desire to run or race at all.

But at the end of the taper comes race day. And at the end of the race is the finish line. All this work, this struggle, this wonder and worry, this pain will be worth it when I step across the finish line. I’ll survive the taper. I’ll run the race. I’ll be okay.

And so will you.

Hopefully I’ll figure out what to wear this week. It’s definitely not what I wore during my run on Sunday (all the chafing). Hopefully this cold passes quickly and I’ll be able to test a few more things before committing!


Be sure to check out the other Official Pittsburgh Marathon Bloggers to see how they’re handling the start of the taper.