Well. It’s been 2 weeks since race weekend…I should probably do a recap before my thoughts leave my brain. Lol.
Pittsburgh Marathon weekend. It’s something that I have participated in since 2011, whether it be spectating or running.
Here’s a brief rundown of my history with the Pittsburgh Marathon:
2011: Ran the 5k. Spectated the marathon. Made my decision to run the full.
2012: Ran the 5k and the full marathon (1st full).
2013: Dropped down and ran the 2nd leg of the relay (sick from Lyme). Then I coached my 1st time half marathoners. I was a certified running coach for the Steel City Road Runners at one point.
2014: Ran the 5k. First comeback race after initial treatment for Lyme.
2015: Ran the 5k and the full marathon (3rd full).
2016: Ran the 5k and the full marathon (4th full).
2017: Ran the 5k and the full marathon (6th full).
This weekend is my absolute favorite, and I truly look forward to it every single year. As long as my body allows it, I will participate in one way or another. It’s comparable to a holiday to me.
Months before, I requested Friday off from work so I would be able to enjoy the day in it’s entirety (as well as attempting to get some extra rest). I would’ve had major FOMO if I was working all day while knowing that the expo was going on. Haha! I was antsy all week long to begin with, and I’m sure that I was driving my coworkers nuts with all of my marathon talk.
Here’s the backstory to the picture on the left if you’re wondering why I look like a fish out of water on the “beach.” So…in high school, I took a graphic design class for all 4 years. On the first day of my junior year, we were assigned a project. The project was to show what fun things we did over summer break. The first step was to take a full body shot, and that alone was a horrific experience for me. I hated having my picture taken, especially full body shots. Once that was done, we were to cut ourselves out and superimpose our pictures into a fun location we adventures to over break. Well…I. HAD. NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. My summer break was spent in my bedroom, hiding from the world. No vacations. No fun day trips. Nothing more than the occasional shopping trip with my mom or random hangouts with the handful of friends that I had at the time.
I stared at my computer screen and drew a blank. I didn’t know what to do. I glanced at a few computer screens around me. And the dread set in even further. I saw pictures of elaborate locations that were hundreds of miles away. Me? I was lucky to have traveled more than 10 miles away from home. So. I started picking my brain and came up with a temporary solution to get me through what felt like a never ending moment. I Googled pictures of beaches. And without much thought, I chose an image that looked good to the eye. I pretended that I went on a family vacation to the beach to avoid telling others that I didn’t do anything fun. I don’t know why I cared so much. As an adult, I now know that not everyone has the opportunity to go on vacation every year. And there is nothing wrong with that. But at that moment, I felt dread for the mere reason that I cared far too much about what others thought about me.
We’ve been together for 6 years now, and I feel like it’s finally time for me to express my love and gratitude that I have for you given everything we’ve been through.
When I first met you as a young girl, I was captivated. I turned to you to play games like Tag and Duck, Duck, Goose. It didn’t take me long to notice and ultimately wonder why you got along with other kids more than me. You made me feel weak as I stood there gasping for air. And the others…well? You made them laugh and smile. Why didn’t I get the euphoria? Why were you punishing me? I thought running was a natural human power, but why did I not deserve it?
As I got older, our relationship worsened. I tried to ignore you until I had no choice but to face you in gym class. I was forced to be friends with you. We played mind games with one another. You caused me pain, and boy did it hurt like hell.
Years had passed, and I finally thought that I was free from your torture. I didn’t have to face you, nor did I ever want to.