Tuesday, November 15, 2005

So what was it really like? Part 1

PITTSBURGH. I want to share a little more detail about my run at the Harrisburg Marathon on Sunday. The first thing that I want to mention is that I had great support. GSully and the little Sully's came along with my sisters and my brother-in-law.

For the pre-race spaghetti dinner, we found a great hole in the wall Italian restaurant in downtown Harrisburg -- Palumbo's on 2nd street -- that had great pizza and pasta. Unfortunately, I did not get a good night's sleep the night before. It was not the anticipation that got me, it was our 18 month old who has not spent a lot of time away from home. She played until 3 AM and then passed out, leaving about 2-3 hours of peaceful rest before the alarm went off.

The nice thing about running a smaller race is the convenience. The start, in front of Pennsylvania's State Capital building was 3 blocks from our hotel, and there was no need to head to the starting line before a half hour before the race.

The first mile was a lap around the capital complex, and as I ran the 1st mile in 8:45, I could not believe how fast other runners had burned through the 1st mile. As I came back around in front of the capital, my cheering squad was chanting "go Daddy go."

In the early part of the race, I settled in to a group of girls trying to maintain a 9:30 pace. I think 1 ultimately finished ahead of me and 1 behind. They watched their watches like hawks and burned some of the extra time by walking. The weather was beautiful, and a we headed north along the Susquehanna toward City Island through Harrisburg's Shipoke neighborhood, I was surprised at how beautiful it was.

Crossing over to City Island at mile 6, I spotted my cheering squad again, and got to rehearse the finish. Literally, part of the course was to run the last 0.7 miles through the finish line -- and across the Walnut Street Bridge back into Harrisburg. More later...

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