On Sunday, May 3, 2015 the Pittsburgh Marathon will take place. Thousands of runners will descend upon downtown to begin our journey. The majority of us have no hopes of winning or placing in a top spot, so why do we run?
We run to become a better version of ourselves. To prove that we can complete something extremely difficult. We've worked hard. We've overcome obstacles and setbacks. Some of our fellow runners won't be able to make it to the start line. They were derailed by injury or illness. When things get tough during the race, think of them.
We run for those who cheer for us along the way. They come out of their homes and welcome us to their neighborhoods. We run for our friends and family who have supported us every step of the way.
We run for charities that shelter animals, provide food and raise money for diseases that haven't yet been cured. We run for someone that is suffering and unable to run themselves.
We run for the fallen soldiers, police officers and firefighters. We run for those who fought so bravely to protect us.
We run for the ones we've lost over the past year. The people who can't be here today are the ones we will remember the most. We will carry their memory with us every step of the way.
On Sunday we will run.
It's hard to believe that only in a few days the Pittsburgh Marathon will be here again. This year I'll be participating in the half marathon. I'm really looking forward to it! Originally when I signed up way back in December I decided I was going to run Pittsburgh for fun and Washington DC for a personal best. As we all know, things rarely go according to plan and when a monsoon decided to show up the day of the DC race my hopes of a personal best were quickly dashed.
So now I'll be looking for a personal best in Pittsburgh. My training for this race hasn't been the best since I got a sinus infection the last week of March into the first week of April and wasn't able to run for a while, but I'm still going to shoot for that personal best!
Quite a few people have asked me why I'm not doing the full marathon this year. The truth is that my heart just wasn't in it this year. Running a marathon takes weeks of training usually in the bitter cold, and several hours on your weekend to do long runs. Not to mention the pain, the fatigue and the outrageous appetite you acquire logging those miles. I know one year I'll return to the marathon but for now I'm satisfied with what I've achieved in that race.
With that said, I can't wait to run this half marathon! Pittsburgh is my absolute favorite race! Good luck to all the runners. I can't wait to see you out there!
Yours in fitness,
A little over a year ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Suzy at CrossFit Mt. Lebanon. Actually it was more like I was in awe of her. She climbed ropes to ceiling, she did pullups with ease, she lifted weights I had never seen a girl lift before. After a while I realized that not only was Suzy a gifted athlete but also a talented coach who could transfer her knowledge to her pupils. Pretty soon Suzy coached me into doing things I never thought I could do including toes to bar, a pull-up and lifting weights I never dreamed of lifting. Through the past year I've felt very fortunate to have Suzy as my coach and as my friend. Because I admire her hard work and passion for teaching others I decided to ask her a few fitness related questions.
1. Did you play any sports in high school? Sure did! Standing almost 6’ tall, most of my life was spent playing basketball, and volleyball. To fill my time in the spring I did a couple different track events: throwing disc and shot put, hurdles, high-jump and triple jump.
2. When did you start CrossFit? I began CrossFit about 5 years ago in Texas.
3. What are your favorite workout shoes? Hands down, the Inov8 F-Lite 235 is the best shoe I’ve found so far. However, for long distance runs I switch over to my Brooks running shoes.
4. What is your favorite CrossFit movement? Overhead squats are my favorite movement, by far - the heavier the better! Clean would be a close second and butterfly pull ups would be my third favorite.
5. What is your least favorite CrossFit movement? Number one, all time least favorite is burpees. I'm also not a fan of chest to bar pull ups because I'm horrible at them.
6. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you work out? Depends on the day! Sometimes Pandora is on Wiz Khalifa, sometimes its on The Used or Rancid… But I can never pass up the Country Cool Down :)
7. What made you decided to become a CrossFit coach? Initially I got my L1 certification because the box I belong to in Texas was like my adopted family and there was no where else I wanted to spend my time. Then it just became a passion of mine. At the time I had no idea how much CrossFit would change my life and open new doors. It definitely came into my life for a reason.
8. What is your favorite post workout meal? I love my recovery shakes! SFH Chocolate and Progenex Peanut Butter Smash and Mocha are the best flavors ever created!
9. Do you think CrossFit is introducing more women to weightlifting? 100% yes! CrossFit has been great for that! The world we live in traditionally has not promoted the strong female athlete we are starting to see more of now. That history is why Olympic lifting hasn’t received the attention it deserves. However that mentality has dwindled since CrossFit has gained so much popularity and women are now embracing their strength instead of hiding it. It’s amazing and inspiring! It makes me love helping women get stronger every day.
10. What are your future fitness goals? My #1 goal is always to stay healthy and injury-free. The injury-free part seems to be getting tougher and tougher as I get older. Regular mobility, maintenance and mandatory rest days help manage that. I also love team competitions. Tackling 2 or 3 of those in the next year is my list too.
11. What advice would you give to someone who wants to try CrossFit for the first time? JUST GO! Everyone is scared when they first start CrossFitting. Anyone that says they weren’t is either lying or is just insane. I so vividly remember being terrified to workout with the class and try new movements because I was embarrassed. I was SO BAD! Another piece of advice is to shop around and pick a box you are totally comfortable with. Every box runs a little different than another. So try a couple different ones out before settling on one. Being comfortable with your surroundings, your coaches, your workouts, and your COMMUNITY will make the transition into the sport much easier.
Spring is finally here! Along with spring, comes a slew of running races. Thinking about signing up for a race this year? Here are few do’s and don’ts of racing season.
Happy April Fool's Day! Today I'm excited to say that I am part of the Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event 2015. Today's post comes from a fellow runner, Melissa Marks who writes, "The Wheezy Runner." You can see my post over on "Sole for the Soul", where I give some guidelines for running a road race!
Let me start out with, you will never be prepared for your first marathon. Ever. No matter how corny people sound when they tell you that running your first marathon will change you, it is true. Believe in the corny. I woke up the morning of my first marathon puking. I wasn't nervous until every time I tried to eat I wanted to vomit because I was so nervous.
So here is how to properly prepare for your first marathon because I sure as heck wasn't prepared:
1.) Understand now that it's okay to be afraid: I joked with people telling them that I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to finish. Honestly, I was terrified that i wasn't going to finish. Like I said before, I woke up vomiting the morning of my first marathon.
2.) Don't eat the Sushi: Um, I'm not kidding. I ate sushi the night before my first marathon. No matter how many posts I read that said "DO NOT EAT ANYTHING NEW!" I totally ate something new and it was sushi. Maybe it was my body being stressed out and craving to eat something weird. I don't know but I do know that I'll never part take in that awesomeness again. I really did wake up puking the morning of my first marathon, maybe it was the sushi, maybe it was nerves, maybe it was because I was so hungry because sushi didn't really fill me up. I don't know but i will never, ever do it again. I promise.
3.) Don't drink two bottles of water before you start running: Yep, totally did that one too. My running partner and I had to pee within the first mile and it was the "I'm nervous pee." It was the "If I don't find the porta potty I'm pissing my pants with pride." Next time I'll pee myself because we stood in line and knocked us back 20-30 minutes but we both really had to go! No matter how many articles tell you that you need to be properly hydrated before a race, two bottles is not the answer. I even drank over a gallon of water the day before. There will also be more than enough water on the route.
4.) You'll feel awesome at mile 16 but by mile 19 you'll hate your life: All I remember is saying out loud,"10 more miles, I can totally do this." And somehow 3 miles later I was praying that it would all end soon. I also remember saying that I would never sign up for another one again and somehow by the Wednesday after it I was contemplating which one I wanted to run. (Incase you're wondering, I chose Columbus 26.2 for October 2015)
5.) Be okay with not being prepared: You will have your outfit laid out and instagramed the night before, the perfect breakfast ready, you won't hit any traffic getting into the city, but the second that your husband kisses you goodbye at the gate, you're going to cry like a little baby wishing you had never signed up. RELAX, BREATHE, STOP BEING DRAMATIC. Surprisingly enough, most big races that you sign up for are extremely organized and have an area sectioned off by letters of your name so you can find your family afterward. You will find him. You will be alive at the end. He will not leave you. I never take my phone with me and I always manage to find my husband afterwards. Even if there are over 30,000 runner and 100,000 spectators, we find each other. I think the scariest part of my marathon was leaving my husband because one my very last 20 mile run before my first marathon he road his bike beside me. I felt prepared and like I could do it. That is, until he wasn't there.
Before my first marathon I had no idea what to expect. You are going to be scared, nervous, and excited. Take this time to enjoy the process. You are going to learn more about what you love(sometimes who you love), what you hate(Sometimes who you hate), you'll find out what triggers your emotions and how much you really want something. There are going to be friends that come and go during the season but the ones that hang around and show up for race day are the ones worth keeping. Trust yourself, trust the process, and know that it's okay to cry. It's okay to be so happy that you cry and it's okay to have such a bad day that you cry. You'll have bad days and good days. The people you need most will be there for you.
The only advice that I can really give is this: Train. Train hard or train easy. Lay your outfit out the night before, don't eat the sushi, listen to your body, and know that when you kiss your spouse good bye that you'll both make it to the finish line.
Author: Sarah Warman
I like to run, take pictures and write. I've combined all three in this blog.