Wednesday, May 10, 2017

To Pittsburgh, With Love

Confession time: I was kinda dreading Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend.

I have been struggling.

Hating myself struggling. Stress eating struggling. Not wanting to run struggling.

My weight is the highest it's been in two and a half years; my clothes don't fit the way they normally do. Work has me incredibly stressed which affects my sleep, my mood, and my ability to get out the door for a run. I am disappointed with where I am in this journey. The years of healthy habits I have worked so hard to cement into the foundation of my life are starting to weigh me down.

Tracking my food. Always choosing the healthy option. Planning meals. Running. Strength training. Exercising. Making time for training. I am tired of doing these things.

This healthy lifestyle routine? It sucks. I hate doing it. I hate that I have to do it. Why can't I just be a normal weight, healthy person who doesn't have to ever think about food? Why can't I just be naturally athletic, run fast without trying, and love to work out? Why can't I have endless energy and a flexible schedule so I can cross off my to-do list and finish all the projects I keep meaning to get to?

I don't have the answers to these somewhat dramatic and irrational questions.

But here's what I do know; Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend made the struggle feel a little less crappy.

Starting line of the half marathon. 

I don't know if it was the races, the people, or the city itself- but my spirits were definitely lifted this past weekend.

There's something about the Pittsburgh Marathon races that makes you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself; like you belong somewhere. Like all these tens of thousands of people have the same, shared goal you have- to finish the race you start.

Home stretch of the 5k.

I can pinpoint the moment that something changed. Around mile six of the half marathon, I suddenly felt a jolt of pure joy- endorphins, maybe- and was overcome with happiness. I felt good... strong... athletic... healthy. I haven't felt much like that in a long time.

Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind.

Beyonce was playing in my headphones, the sun was shining, and I was high-fiving spectators and keeping an eye out for my running ohana- some were running, some were cheering. Throughout the course, I got to see familiar faces and hear encouraging and supportive words from friends. Strangers cheered for me by name- probably because it was on my bib, but still :-) I finished a tough course and then joined my husband and running ohana to cheer for folks still out there racing towards the finish.

I felt like a runner again. I felt like an athlete again. I felt motivated to want to keep trying- to maintain my weight, to get faster, to train more effectively. I felt like me again.

The crew.

Today my muscles are sore, my feet are blistered, and I've still got unpacking and lots of laundry to do. But I feel great. And somehow finding the time to run, and meal prep, and track my food doesn't seem to feel as crappy as it did before.

Like I said, I don't know if it's the races, the city, or the people, but Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend has some kind of magic in it. And I am so, so grateful. ❤


  1. I have been in the rut you refer to in your first couple paragraphs SO much. And am currently in it now. Gained some weight back, letting go a lot of the healthy habits I had worked SO hard to maintain - and it's making me so depressed. I wish Pittsburgh Marathon weekend did for me what it did for you - but I'm so glad it helped you! I signed up for a 21 day challenge w/ my favorite gym & I'm hoping THAT kicks my butt back into a good routine :)

    Ciara @

    1. Hi Ciara! Thank you for your comments- healthy living is SO DAMN DIFFICULT sometimes! Good luck with the challenge! :-)

  2. I'm reading this over my lame lunch which makes me want to eat candy and crying mostly because we are at the same place in life right now partly because we should be able to but don't have the time to lean on each other and partly because I'm tired, stressed and hungry for candy.
    You are NOT alone. Life as a WW seems so hard and unfair. Life as a slower runner seems so hard and unfair. But weekends with the Ohana like the one we just had (I literally had the same weekend you did, boo) make is so worth it -- keep trying, keep tracking, keep training.
    I love you like a sister.
    And hate you like one because now I have to write a DIFFERENT write up than this one. JK JKJK

    1. Lauren- thank you for being my soul sister. I can't tell you how much it means to me to have you as a friend, fellow runner, fellow WW and fellow bad ass lady. I'm writing down your words and keeping them on my mirror at home:"keep trying, keep tracking, keep training." Thank you for your support- you are awesome! Love you!

  3. This post was just what I needed. I little bit of reality with a sprinkle of support and inspiration! I truly admire your journey. Thank you for your post!

    1. Thank you! :-) Sending good vibes your way!

  4. Hi,
    I just ran the Pittsburgh marathon (my first marathon ever!) and I totally understand what you mean about it making you feel like part of something bigger. I enjoyed every minute - the high fives from kids, the bridges, the funny signs, the greyhounds, all of it. I'm glad it brought your spirits up too. Cheers!

    1. Jamie- congratulations! What a great race you picked to be your first marathon! Pittsburgh is so magical- I'm glad you felt it too :-)