Well, I broke 4 hours. 3:57:17, or thereabouts. It was horrible. I said I wanted to break four hours in a marathon at some point in my life, but I didn’t think it would be today because I was coming off an injury and I didn’t train as well as I wanted, and I ate like shit the day/week/month before, and most importantly Pittsburgh is hilly as fuck AND it was 80 degrees today and the course is in full sun and I haven’t run in temperatures above 55 since September.
The first half of the race was bad news. The only thing that got me through it was the fact that I forgot I put most of the songs on my playlist and turns out “Dreamlover” can get you through some shit. (P.S. Sorry to anyone on the Southside. I was a little out of it and didn’t realize that I was singng along to “Mother Lover” outloud.) I peed my pants at mile 7, and then again four different times during mile 11. I was just happy that my kidneys were working, because the heat was AN ISSUE. There was a massive hill at mile 12, where I got passed by someone walking and said outloud, “Fuck a bunch of this.”
I don’t remember much of miles 12-19 except for a lot of hills, a giant dinosaur and my low point at mile 16 where someone said “Only ten more miles to go!” and I said, “Eat a dick!” Oh, and I choked on an orange slice that a nice church lady handed me and then belched so loudly that the dude in front of me turned around, saw I was a girl, then looked at my bib and said, “Guess that’s why they call you T-Bone.”
Then I got to Homewood and passed a bunch of people dancing in front of a BBQ joint and they all yelled, “T-BONE!!” at me and the theme to “Greatest American Hero” came on, and all of a sudden I had a little spring in my step. At mile 21 someone handed me a gu, and I normally don’t eat them, but I was struggling so decided what the hell? Turns out the gu was 2x caffeine and holy shit caffeine is a hell of a drug. After pulling 9:30-10:00 miles since mile 12, I ran mile 23 in 7:30 and then realized I had a chance to come in under four hours. So I hauled ass for the last 2.2 miles. Right before mile 25 a guy in front of me passed right the fuck out, and normally I stop to see if injured people are okay, but, and I feel bad about this, I kept right on going. I did yell for a medic when I passed the aid station, but that was probably the most competitive I’ve been as a runner.
I saw my father-in-law at mile 25.5 and judging from his face, I didn’t look good. Then I saw my parents, who drove in from Ohio even though they hate running and they hate Pittsburgh, and my dad yelled, “You look…good? Yeah, good!” and I could see the finish line. Right as I came to the finish, I made eye contact with Bart Yasso and he yelled “T-BONE!” which is basically the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.