I didn’t think the Liberty Mile would happen for me. At the last minute, I had an all week work trip and the flight I had to book home didn’t land until 5:36pm and I was flying home from LGA. I was pretty bummed about that, as I have done this race every year since it started. Well, I had actually finished up work a little early so I had some potential hope of getting on an earlier flight, so I hung out at the airport all day Friday in case that happened. Well, long story short, I basically sat in the airport for hours doing work (and having a few drinks in the Admiral’s Club) and not getting on any earlier flights.
Since at this point making it to the race seemed like it wouldn’t happen, Jason volunteered to pick up my packet for me. This way, I’d at least get any goodies. The plan was I’d just run the race virtually then at another time.
The plan actually landed on time and since I had a first class seat, I pretty much booked it off the flight and took off at a very fast walk. I probably got some looks, but I had just under 90 minutes to get downtown and I was determined to make it (or at least try my very best). When I finally got to the other side of the PGH Airport, I booked it down to catch a shuttle to no where man’s land parking. I had parked around 17a and figured a shuttle would come pretty quickly. Five minutes later and there was still no shuttle. At this point, I thought I’d at least run back into the airport bathroom and change. I threw on the first workout clothes I could grab from my bag and then peaked my head out and saw the same people standing there, so I decided to just make a run for it.
At this point I had a good distance to cover, lots of bags in my hand and probably looking something like a crazy lady, especially since I was dressed at this point for a work out. I think this was my true Liberty mile as I tried to get to my car as fast as possible. I still never saw any shuttles driving through, so I am glad I went with this decision.
Once in the car, google maps said it was about 30 minutes into town, but being a Friday at 6pm I figured traffic would pick up somewhere on the Parkway. For once, the traffic gods of Pittsburgh were on my side and I hit no traffic going into town. There’s a lot of construction, so we had some slow down, but never actually slowed. And even better, once into town, I quickly found a parking spot on the Blvd. I did a quick change to what I actually wanted to race in (whoops — sorry if anyone got a show) and then proceeded to head into Market Square and it still around 6:35pm! I am not sure how it happened, but it did and I just don’t ask questions!
Once inside Market Square, I spotted Jason pretty quickly and got my stuff and Steff, Kelsey, Joe and Jeff were also hanging around. Having been on the road since Sunday it was nice to see some friendly faces. We all just chatted for a few minutes and then after a quick bathroom stop we all headed over to the starting line area.
Joe and I decided to run together as we were both going for somewhere in the 8 minute mile range. I knew this wasn’t going to be a PR and I was at this point just happy to run and finish this race. We started toward the back of the pack, so we had some fun weaving around to do for the first few meters. Just in front of us we saw a kid take a nasty spill. The biggest thing I hate about this race is that they allow kids of all ages to run in the One for Fun event of the race. However, there is a Kids of Steel race and with all of the chaos, I don’t believe any kids under the age of 15 should be in the One for Fun. They cause too make issues out there. Just run in the Kids of Steel event if you’re a kid. I am not sure why the race directors continue to allow kids to race in that first event.
Somewhere around a quarter mile in we saw Kristy, Dee and Mark. Since they have the time at every quarter mile, seeing my time at this point confirmed this wasn’t going to be super speedy. Joe and I just plugged along down the course.
Somehow the third quarter of the race, Joe and I ran in about 2 minutes. After the race we both commented on this and had no idea how that really happened. I am not the best of sprinters so I really hate this distance in a way because it’s just uncomfortable. The nice thing about this year is that I didn’t want to die as I crossed the finish line. I pushed it as hard as I wanted and felt find with how I did. Did I PR? Nope, didn’t come close, but I did have fun and made it to the race and that’s all that mattered.
We all met up with Jeff who was cheering for everyone close to the finish line. We cheered on the remaining group and then watched the Kids of Steel event. The winning kid won is just over 5 minutes. He was in pure beast mode. I wanted to stick around, but I hadn’t been home since Sunday morning, so I took off. At this point, getting home to relax on the couch was all I had on my mind. All the crazy work to get to a race that latest 8:31. It was definitely worth it!
Official finish time:
22/53, Females, 30-34