Monday, November 30, 2009

Running in Pittsburgh

My first "long run" was supposed to happen this weekend. Never having lived here as a "runner," I've only ever driven distances longer than one mile within the city of PIttsburgh; therefore, I actually had to map out a 10-mile run around my neighborhood using the same online resources I would use in any foreign city. In the end, I came up with this route:

However, I encountered a few snags, in my attempt to follow it.

  1. There isn't a road in Pittsburgh (or at least in the communities around me) that stretches for longer than half a mile before it goes up or down a hill. Truly. I was tired before I had even gotten three miles out.
  2. I was also sore from the Turkey Trot the day before, which, although it had only been 3 miles long, I had run at a 7 min/mile pace. Proof that I am not a sprinter.
  3. I got lost about 4 miles out, when trying to find Thompson Run Road. When at last I thought I had it, I ended up walking up this mountain of a hill, only to dead end at the top at a buddhist temple.

Meanwhile, it was snowing and hailing and sleeting intermittently throughout this whole thing. Needless to say, I only ran about halfway out before getting lost, and I walked nearly the whole way home. Talk about a failure of a long run.

The day before that attempt, I competed in the YMCA Turkey Trot. I ran it as more of a sprint and less of a trot, seeing as there were 2,416 runners in total, and I had no interest in finishing 2,416th. I came in 124th overall, and placed 6th* out of 428 women in my age group (20-29). My finishing time, disappointingly, was 21:41. For some reason, I cannot seem to break 7:00 per mile. It's terribly frustrating!

I failed again two days later, when I raced in the Treesdale Turkey Trot. This time, I finished in 23:33--considerably slower than in the YMCA race, and this time well over 7:00/mile. Unfortunately, since the race was not timed by chip, I never found out how I placed. There were only about 200 runners in the entire event, though, so my placement couldn't have been too bad!

NOTE: I came in 30 seconds behind a girl I actually know: she was the cross country and long-distance track star of my graduating class. Talk about weird life turns--for someone like me, who picked up running all of two years ago, to consider someone like that a "running rival! See full race results here."

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