Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh’

Fool me once . . .  shame on you.

Fool me twice . . .  shame on me.

I ran my second marathon today in Pittsburgh.  If you have never been to Pittsburgh, let me sum it up for you in one word:  HILLS.

There’s a Hill District.  There are the North Hills.  There are the South Hills.  Here a hill, there a hill, everywhere a hill hill.

I know it’s not possible to start at one elevation and end at the same elevation without equal amounts of going up and going down.

But I went up hill a lot more today than I went down.  I broke the laws of physics.  I don’t know how.  But I did.

Why did I run a second marathon?

Runners

The origin of the modern marathon is rooted in ancient Greek history.

In a nod to Greek history, the first marathon commemorated the run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield near the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C.

Apparently stupidity “ran” rampant even in 490 B.C.  (See what I did there?)  And history apparently repeats itself.  I ran a second marathon.  Shame on me.

What is often forgotten in that historic legend is this:

Pheidippides ran the approximately 25 miles to announce the defeat of the Persians to some anxious Athenians. Not quite in mid-season shape, he delivered the message “Niki!” (Victory!) then keeled over and died.

He DIED!  I obviously trained better than he did, as I have survived.  Barely.  I am walking with a limp.  I’ve been having some Achilles tendon problems (another Greek myth/legend!  Damn those Greeks!  Damn them all to Hades!)  And like any obsessed devoted runner I more or less ignored it.  Most days the discomfort went away after 1-2 miles.  I didn’t rest, ice, compress or elevate.  I ran through the pain.  I loosened it up!

It does not feel loosened up after 26.2 miles. What the Frick in Pittsburgh was I thinking?!

My heel is angry with me.  It is punishing me.  I would kick it if I could but it hurts too much to do that.

Notes from the race:

Despite the pain, I finished in 4:17:59.  Good for 52nd place in the 50-54 division.  For what it’s worth, I ran in the Asics Gel Nimbus 19 today.  I ran in the Brooks Ghost 9 in Philadelphia.  Think I preferred the Brooks, but the data may be complicated by my Achilles issue.

There was a threat of rain but it never rained.  With an average temperature of 55 degrees and no burning sun, it was actually a great day to run.

With the threat of rain, however, I thought the crowd turn out was a little less than in recent years.  I didn’t actually count them, but it seemed like there were fewer people cheering me on.  The energy level just seemed more subdued.  Maybe I was distracted by my pain.

No really memorable signs along the way.  May the Course be with you.  Liked that.  The “If Donald Trump can run so can you” signs were out in full force.  It was funny.  Give it a rest.  Maybe you should tweak it . . . “If Donald Trump can WIN, so can you!”  Also, the “This is the worst parade ever!” and “Did you think they said RUM?” signs are a little passe.  One lady who I kept passing for some reason on and off–one of us was time warping–had a shirt that read “Have you hugged your lawyer today?”  I have not.

I’m not saying I will never run another marathon, but I may need to be senile to do that.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Today I competed in my second Pittsburgh Half Marathon.

PM2016Logo

By “competed,” I mean I tried to 1) finish, 2) without injury or embarrassment, and 3) with a better time than last year.  I managed the trifecta!

With an official time of 1:49:05 (pace=8:19) I came in 1305th place overall, and 51st in my age group (50-54.)  51 years old and I came in 51st.  Kinda cool.  This outpaced last years race with an overall time of 1:50:46 (pace = 8:26) and an overall place of 1802 which put me 72nd in my age group.

I’m not sure how many half marathon runners there were, but let’s just say there were a lot.  I lost count, oh, about 10 yards into the race.  (According to the website, there were 14,127 in the half marathon and 3,681 places in the marathon.)

The weather started out iffy, and it drizzled/rained for the first couple of miles.

RunningRain

IF IT RAINS, YOU RUN.  IF IT THUNDERS, YOU RUN FASTER.

It was actually a little refreshing, but it became a little humid after the rain stopped.   At the last minute,  I switched from a T-shirt to a long sleeved shirt.  Mistake.  Should have trusted my weather.com temperature predictions!  Instead, I looked out the window of my hotel and saw a lot of people wearing long sleeved shirts and light windbreakers.  Psyched myself out.  It’s kind of like reviewing your answers on a test and changing a correct one at the last moment because of second guessing.  Oh well.

I seemed to be the most popular runner.  I kept hearing, over and over again, “GO TODD!”  Now, I did have an ear bud playing music in one ear, and there was a lot of background race noise, so it is slightly possible that these folks were yelling “GOOD JOB!”, but I think they were cheering me on.

One sign read:  “IF TRUMP CAN RUN, SO CAN YOU!”  Thought that was pretty funny right there.

TrumpRun

Not from this race . . . . too much SUN!

Another one said “SHORTCUT” with an arrow pointing away from the main course.  I thought about it, but it seemed a little questionable, especially since the arrow looked like it pointed to a parking lot.  Maybe they offered a shuttle service to the finish line?  Had it pointed to a bar offering free beer, I’d have gone for it.

And, as I passed a group of young women sporting Nittany Lion logos on the back of their tank tops, I said “GO PENN STATE!” as I passed them.  A guy running next to me then yelled, “Penn State!  Let’s hear it.”  So someone else started yelling “WE ARE!”  and a chorus of “PENN STATE!” ensued.  After three cheers, the cheerleader yelled “THANK YOU!” and we all politely responded, “YOU’RE WELCOME!”

Never had that happen in a race before.

Read Full Post »

CrosbyBeBack

Read Full Post »

Is It Worth It?

Here’s a deal even Faust couldn’t pass up . . .

DevilDeal

Sorry for the crappy picture–my cell phone doesn’t do pictures well.

So is the 666 deal with the devil your soul for a Miller Lite, or your soul for a Pittsburgh victory?

How much for a quarterback?

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

While grocery shopping with my wife, my son and I had to wait while she went in search of some, um, feminine products.

Trying to break the awkward moment, I asked him in jest, “How about them Pirates?”

I’m not a huge baseball fan.  OK.  I’m not a small baseball fan.  I’m about 5′ 6″.  But I don’t follow the sport anymore like I did when I was my son’s age.  But I do know that the Pittsburgh Pirates were actually in contention this year, or at least until the last month.  The basic point of all this is that people ARE actually talking about them again.

My son replied, “Yeah?  What about them?”

“They’re doing pretty good this year.”  What is taking her so long?

“I guess.”

“Who’s your favorite?”

“I like Johnny Depp.”

“Oh.  I’m not familiar with him.  What position does he play?”

“Captain.”  He said it with that ‘doh, are you that stupid’ voice.

Team captain, huh?  I don’t follow the sport, but I don’t know who is the team captain of the pirates.  I don’t even know if they have team captains in baseball.  But I probably couldn’t name one player on the roster right now anyway.  “Captain, huh?  But what position does he play?”

“Position?”  He’s getting annoyed with me.  What is she looking for in that aisle?

“On the field?”

“What field?”  He looks confused.  This makes me confused.

“The baseball field?”

“We’re talking baseball?”

Well, I’m not talking about the Pirates who don’t do anything.  Just the ones that can’t win anything.

“What are you talking about?”

“The Pirates of the Caribbean.”  Again, that doh! tone of voice.  “What were you talking about?”

“The Pirates of Pittsburgh?”

“Is that a movie?”

“No.”

“They have Pirates in Pittsburgh?”

Well, there are three rivers.  You can sail on the river, right?

“The baseball team?  The Pirates?”

I’m looking for some evidence of recognition, but alas the lights are on but no one is at home plate.

“I didn’t know that Pittsburgh had a baseball team.”

Up until this season, a lot of people didn’t know that either.

“Do you know who’s on first?”

He shook his head.  “I don’t know.”

“He’s on third.  Who’s on first.”

“Is this something to do with the Pittsburgh Pirates?”

“Whatever,” I exclaim in disgust.  Don’t they teach these kids anything in school anymore?

“What?”

“He’s on second.”

Fortunately my wife came back at this time.

Maybe someday he’ll figure it out.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: