Tuesday, October 27, 2015

EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler Recap

Today for Tuesdays on the Run I'm going to be recapping the race that I did this weekend- the Pittsburgh 10 Miler!  This has quickly become one of my favorite races of the year, and I've run it every year since it started in 2013.  The course follows most of the Pittsburgh Marathon- but in reverse.  It's a pretty flat course (at least by Pittsburgh standards) and crosses four bridges.

Let's take a look at how the race went for me, broken into two parts.  I always find it easier to divide longer races into smaller chunks to focus on, so I thought of this race as two five-mile runs.  Here we go!

First Half:

The race starts in Station Square, and runs down Carson Street to the West End. I started out with the 9:00 pace group, and wanted to see how I felt for the first 5 miles, then decide if I wanted to stick with them or go ahead at that point.  We encountered our first hill in the West End right after mile 1, which is short and steep, then crossed the West End Bridge for another small hill followed by a long downhill.
(Mile 1- 8:51 . Mile 2-9:07)

After crossing the bridge, we ran up a small hill on the North Side to get up to Western Ave and the Humane Society.  Unfortunately, there were no dogs outside, but I love running through CCAC's campus and seeing the historic buildings on Ridge Ave.  I was still feeling great at this point and had no problems staying with the 9:00 pacers.
(Mile 3- 8:59 . Mile 4- 8:54)



Right after mile 4 was a water stop, where I decided to take a salt stick tab.  I was feeling really warm and overdressed, so I drank a bit of water and kept moving.  I think I was still feeling the effects of being sick last week, but luckily I felt great otherwise.  Note to self- next time a race starts at 55 degrees wear short sleeves.  The relay exchange was also right around this point, and I saw Steffany right after she finished!  Her team (along with Kristy) ended up getting 4th place in the relay, beating all the male teams.  Go girls!!
(Mile 5- 8:44)

Second Half:

I was still feeling really good at this point!  The pacers were running slightly faster than 9:00 miles, so I stayed with them.  I also finished listening to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me and switched over to music.  Dan (who took the picture above) and my parents were waiting on the Andy Warhol Bridge, which provided another short uphill and downhill.  After crossing that bridge, we turned to go right back over the Allegheny River on the Rachel Carson Bridge.  Around this point, I ditched the pacers and spotted Jennifer with the adorable Django and crossed the fourth and final bridge.  Luckily, the 16th Street Bridge is relatively flat and has a nice downhill into the Strip District.
(Mile 6- 8:32 . Mile 7- 8:47)


Running in the Strip District is one of my favorite and least favorite things.  On the positive side- it's a great street with lots of spectators and fun buildings to look at.  On the negative- there are so many different foods being cooked that would normally smell amazing, but make me feel nauseous when I'm running!  I still felt relatively good at this point, so my plan was to take it easy until I got to mile 8, then pick it up until the finish.  I also tried to take another salt tab since I still felt warm and was sweating more than usual, but it would not go down at all.  I decided to throw it out and just have a sip of water, which luckily didn't come back to hurt me!
(Mile 8- 8:50 . Mile 9- 8:41)


The final mile was extremely tough for me!  You are running down Liberty Avenue, which is a very long, straight road.  I could see the buildings downtown and knew which one was the finish line- but they never seemed to get any closer!  Once we were out of the Strip District and entering the downtown area, we turned a corner and I could see the finish line ahead.  At the same time, it felt like I ran into a wall of wind - it was so intense!  I tried to pump my arms harder to help out, but it felt like it took forever to get there.
(Mile 10- 8:25)

Final Time : 1:28:01


The shirt, medal and bib all had the same fall theme.  I loved it!  The shirt from last year is my favorite, and I love this one just as much.  I like having race shirts in basic colors, so this black one with a discrete logo is right up my alley!  


Overall, I was thrilled with the race!  I didn't have any goals or expectations coming in, so I was really happy to get a PR and feel strong the entire time.  I do regret starting with the 9:00 group, and felt that I could have stuck with 8:30 with no problem.  I love doing the 10 Miler every year and hope to keep running it in the future.

What's your favorite local race?
Do you usually run with pace groups?
Have you ever dressed up for a race?  Tons of people were dressed up, including the Doctor Who team in the picture above!

linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday

39 comments:

  1. Awesome race! Congrats on running so strong, especially after being sick. It looks like a really nice race and I like the medal :) I haven't dressed up for a race yet, maybe one day.

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    1. Thank you Meredith! It's such a great race!

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  2. Congrats on getting a PR even when you felt shitty at times. I am like you, the smell of the foods makes me sick when I am running. Normally I love the smells of the strip but during a race I can do without it. What is the next race?

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    1. Thanks Shaun! Next one is the Turkey Trot 5 miler. Are you doing it this year?

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  3. Congrats on a great race and PR- definitely putting this on my calendar for next year! I love the 10 mile distance!!

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    1. I'll see you next year! Best race ever :)

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  4. Great job!!! And way to go on the PR and strong finish! :) and we wear the same shoes. Pace groups are tough. Sometimes I run with them and sometimes I act like they don't exist- it just depends on the race. I would love to do this race one day!

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    1. Thanks Margaret!! Shoe twins- but for some reason I'm WAY slower haha! Not fair!

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  5. Congrats on the PR! You had some great splits! I need to do this race someday-- I've heard great things about it.

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    1. Thanks Julie! You should definitely do the race!

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  6. Great recap and congrats! It's nice when you can keep your splits consistent - I've tried pacing groups but could never keep up with them. I need to do a race in Pittsburgh soon, the sights look amazing, and who doesn't love running over bridges? :)

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    1. I kinda hate running over bridges, but you get used to it when you have no choice! Thank you Janelle!

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  7. Great job on the PR. Your recap with the bridges remind me of Venice. We had to drag our luggage to our hotel and we thought we traversed all the bridges in the city. Nope, only 4.

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    1. Thanks Lesley! Pittsburgh is one of the few places with more bridges than Venice. It's crazy!

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  8. I said this on insta but your pics always come out SO GOOD! Congrats on such a great race :)

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  9. I love love love your race pictures! That smile!! I have a favourite local race but it's SO hilly. Gah. And no I don't run with pacers, because I have so many bad experiences with them. They start out too fast, quite often, in hopes of being a hero to the people they're pacing, and then everyone crashes and burns in the second half. I see it all the time! What a great race you ran though. Congrats again on that PR!

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    1. Thank you Suzy :) I agree about pacers..I told my dad about them running faster than 9:00 and he said "those pacers don't care about anyone but themselves..if they're feeling good they just take off". That's been my experience too so I can't rely on them!

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  10. Congrats on your run and your PR! Love the fall theme, that's so fun. I (sort of) dressed up once for a St. Patrick's Day half marathon, sparkly four-leaf clover headband and stickers and green glitter everywhere. It's the closest I've gotten, I'm not huge on dressing up. But then I get jealous of everyone who goes all out hahah .... ;)

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    1. Thank you Leslie! Sounds like a cute, subtle costume. I haven't even gone that far. Lame!

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  11. aw man i would have run up and hugged the doctor who runners hahaha. love it! this looks like a super fun race, love the fall theme of the medal and stuff. i'm the same with basic shirts, the more neutral, the more likely i will wear it!

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    1. They were too fast for me! I couldn't keep up :)

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  12. Congrats on a PR and strong finish! You look so happy in the photos and it's clear you genuinely enjoyed the race! I prefer simply designed race shirts also - they're easier to wear and usually so much cuter!

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    1. Thanks Laura! This is definitely a shirt I'm going to get lots of use out of!

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  13. HOLY MOLY that is a fast race time!! Yayyy Gretchen!

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  14. Congrats Gretchen on a strong race and PR! I love the 10 mile distance but there are so few around here. Thanks for linking up!

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    1. 10 milers are my favorite too! I wish there were more around. Thank you for hosting the linkup!

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  15. Ah, this recap makes me wish I'd have run it too! Some year... For being sick just a few days before, feeling a bit nauseated, and not putting in much effort until the very end, you did so awesome! What a great race for you! And what a great year in general. You've gotten a PR in every distance you ran, right? Congratulations!!!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! Funny how when you lower your expectations you do so much better! My race day anxiety has definitely improved this year which has helped my times :) Hope to see you there next year!

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  16. I enjoyed reading your race recap! Congrats on your new PR! There's a 10 miler in town in two weeks that I'm thinking of running. I've never done a 10 Mile race.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Debra! Thanks for stopping by :) 10 milers are so fun- you should do it!

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  17. great race! I totally agree with you its no fun running past smells of food, i dont know what it is but when i smell food i get super nauseated, but if i was walking i would be hungry and want to go home and cook. crazy how that works.

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    1. It is crazy..and annoying!! Thanks Rachael :)

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  18. Sounds like a really cool race. Great job running it. (And I hear you - I never seem to have on the exact right amount of clothing. That's why I love arm sleeves so much...)

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    1. Thanks Erika! I definitely need to pick up sleeves. I have some reward dollars for my running store and I think I'll get some!

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  19. Way to go Gretchen! High 5s and hugs for an awesome race and a PR. You should celebrate all weekend!

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    1. Thanks so much Jill!! I did celebrate tons ;)

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  20. Congrats on the PR!! I ran the race as well but was coming off of 2 straight weeks of travel for interviews. I felt like I got hit by a truck before the race even started... it was not pretty at the finish. Definitely a fun course though :)

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