Oh my. Sunday I run a race. A big race. The Great Race, if you will (hahaha... which is funny 'cause that's what it's actually called! Oh, I crack myself up). 14,000 registered runners. The most in the history of The Great Race, surpassing 1987's 12,807 runners. That's a lot. For comparison, the last race Alyssa and I ran only had 119 runners - this is that, times a thousand, with a couple thousand more added in. However the 14,000 is split between the 5K and the 10K (last year of the 12,788 runners - 8,292 ran the 10K), so I'm not sure how many will be running each length. It doesn't matter though - it's still thousands more than the last race!!!
We will be running the 10K, which starts in Frick Park and runs past CMU and PITT and then through the city on Fifth Ave and Boulevard of the Allies, ending at Point State Park. You might as well call it the University race because it runs past: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Carlow University, Duquesne University and Point Park University. It's hard to believe that's only 6.2 miles! After the initial uphill push in the beginning of the race, most of the course is downhill - thank goodness.
I guess I'm most excited for Friday night though, that's when we go to our first Expo. What is an Expo you ask? Well it's where you go to pick up your race packet, which included your t-shirt and bib (race number)! Also at some (I don't know if it's the case for The Great Race, but I would assume) you also get a goodie bag filled with samples and coupons and things provided by the race sponsors. There are also booths set up where sponsors and vendors have things on display and to purchase.
As for the running itself, it is going well. On Saturday Alyssa and I went to Arrowhead Trail and ran/walked 7 miles! Our general game plan was: run a mile, walk 2 minutes, run the remainder of the mile, walk 2 minutes, and so on and so forth. It went fairly well, mile 3 was pure torture for me with mile 4 being the easiest (I think because it was mostly downhill). Alyssa had more problems towards the end, but we stuck with it and encouraged each other. I led a final push at the end, which is usually my weakest point in the run, but maybe it was the combination of anticipating Starbucks and having Glenn Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy blasting in my ear that gave me the strength to kick it out. Don't judge - I (heart) Glenn Campbell. Following the run was probably the most pathetic stretching session ever. Sore from the run, I could barely get my leg up onto the fence to stretch out my hamstrings - it was not pleasant getting it down either. Our times are improving, we average between a 12 & a 12:30 mile. Which for 2 former non-runners who have only been training now for 3.5 months to maintain that pace is pretty impressive in my book.
Since we have the race on Sunday, we are swapping our long run and the short run this weekend. Scheduled was 8 miles for Saturday and 3 for Sunday, so instead we are running 4 on Saturday and racing 6.2 on Sunday, which I think is a fair swap.
And I promise I will try, try, try my darndest to write more often so that you're not presented with a lengthy tome every time I finally sit down to write!