First up was the trail run from a few weeks ago. I need to start running trails to get ready for what I have upcoming in the fall. I'd been signed up for this race for several months, 10 mile trail run, location in between my sister and me, $25 entry fee that included a running skirt? Sure, sounded great to me. What I quickly learned on this run was that you certainly use different muscles on trail. I was more sore after that race than the marathon this past weekend. Of course, maybe I was sore from falling flat on the ground twice during the race. I learned I must not pick up my feet very much when I start to get tired! :0)
It was a fun, small race and despite a slow time, I won my age group...only because I was the only one it...haha! It was also the last race of my 20s. I'm officially 30 now!
Next up was the Pittsburgh marathon. I had to pack for this on Tuesday of the week leading up to it. It is not easy to try to remember what you want to pack and get in marathon mindset this early. I had to work out of town but it was just easier to pack for the whole week and leave from the other office. Luckily, I didn't forget anything major. Unlike my brother-in-law who forgot to pack his running shoes. He picked some up at the expo though!
My sister, brother-in-law and I drove up to Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon after a great lunch. After checking into our hotel, we picked up our packets and then made our way over to Trader Joe's. Had to stock up since we were in a city with a Trader Joe's. After that, we hit up the Spaghetti Warehouse. We just waited for a regular table and the staff certainly weren't to thrilled about all the runners in the dining room or the special pasta dinner. It made for a good laugh - our waitress was very rude. After dinner, we tried to sleep until the next morning.
I've never run a race this large. This was definitely a change. After we made our way across the start line, my brother-in-law took off. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to keep up, but it was also good in some ways. I was much more aggressive in passing people and getting through the crowds with him in the lead. Eventually, we decided we'd try to stay in between the 4:10 and 4:20 pacers. That was probably too fast for me, but I was just out to enjoy the day. I purposely didn't pack the Garmin so I'd just go out, enjoy the race and have fun. We stayed in that range until all of had to start making various port-o-potty stops. Luckily, we were always able to catch back up with each other. We were also walking through every water stop too and eventually were back behind the 4:20 pacer.
Around mile 16, I just started feeling tired. Not, like 'I can't run anymore', more like, 'Wow, I'm tired, I'd really just like to take a nap right now'. Around mile 18 or 19 though, I'd turned on the mp3 player and a great song came on ('Don't Stop' - Glee cast version). It gave me some energy and I felt really good through mile 22 although I did walk a small hill at 20.
My sister and brother-in-law pulled in front of me a little bit and I told them to just keep going, I was fine. My sister was trying to get her husband to the finish line. He's tried a few marathons in the past but has problems dehydrating and hasn't been able to finish. This was his last final try.
The last few miles, I did a little bit of walk/run to get through them but when I hit mile 25, I turned off the music and let the energy around me carry me into the finish line - I get why big city marathons are fun! I picked up the pace big time with all the excitement around the course. I crossed the finish line just about a minute after my sister and brother-in-law and we went through picking up our medals and some food. We started walking back to the hotel and realized we had no idea where we were. I also felt pretty bad. I hadn't really been able to choke down much of the food, so we stopped for a few minutes, I sat down, ate a cookie that tasted really good and we slowly retraced the last bit of the course to find our way back to the hotel. Soon, we had the car and were on our way back home.
I was surprisingly not very sore the next day. I ended up doing what every normal person does the day after a marathon - head over to the animal shelter to do dog introductions with dog number three. We had no intentions of adding a third dog but it just kind of seemed to have a strange series of events. This dog, who we are calling Hannah, I had taken over to PetSmart adoption days back in November. I'd spent the whole day with her, she's a great dog, young and one of those ones that I just thought would have been adopted quickly.
With the crazy work schedule, China and everything else, I haven't been over to the shelter much. 2 weeks ago, my husband and I both had part of the day off work and somehow we ended up at the shelter - no idea why or how, but it happened. I walked in and there she was. I was shocked. We went home, thought about it, decided it seemed to be too much of a coincidence and went back to fill out the adoption papers. She's spent the better part of her life in a shelter and has been sick for several of those months. I couldn't take her last week with being out of town, so we set up this week to do introductions with our 2.
Our lab mix is somewhat dog aggressive but he can be perfectly fine with some dogs - he just needs introduced in a specific way and it has to be the right dog. An hour and a half later, everyone seemed to be OK, so we took her home. Technically, we are just fostering her until we make sure everyone is going to get along but we have every intention of keeping her. To say it's been busy lately is an understatement. The next month or so will be crazy getting everyone adjusted and trying to teach some manners! This is my new 'Chocolate Lab Mix' as she is identified by the shelter. Yep, she chocolate but don't think there's too much other lab in her, but we'll go with that since it sounds good! Doesn't this look like fun to deal with?