Saturday, August 2, 2014

GNC Live Well Liberty Mile 2014

What a fun night!  I really enjoy this event.  I think it's a great combination of simple family friendly fun and all out awesome athletics.  If you recall, I ran this with Victoria and Vincent last year and we knew that we'd make this a yearly thing.

Our goal this year was simple:  Both kids wanted to PR.  Last year we all ran together and Vincent sprinted ahead the last bit.  This year the plan was for Vince to just go off from the start and run his own race without all the dancing and split jumps and running from one side of the road to another like he did before. ha.  I was running with Victoria and using our pacing strategy from our practice runs.  We were going to go just fast enough for a PR time and then if she had anything left the last 200m to kick it into gear.  We were also NOT going to use run/walk intervals but just run steady.

We arrived downtown about an hour before start time and spent some time wandering around and watching everything get set up.

Parking garage goofs.

Garrett wanted in every pic, and that was ok by me. :)  He's a wonderful cheerer.  Next year he'll be running too!

Nick and Garrett left us near the starting area with about 20 minutes to go.  The kids thought it was really cool watching the start line get blown up.

We waited until we were able to get onto the street and then got into place.  Vincent really wanted to go "right on the line" but I said no because I knew there were faster runners and while I wanted to avoid most of the congestion, I also didn't want to get ran over by the ones going all out.  I do have to say that we did pretty well this year as far as being in a good position and not having to do a lot of weaving around people.

At the start!
Required starting line selfie.

We didn't have to wait too long and we were off!  After we crossed the start line Vincent was out of sight and Tori and I stayed together as planned.  We did start off a bit on the fast side, but I quickly slowed us down as per our plan.  I kept her updated on how far along we were and kept assuring her that she had this PR in the bag.

I can't say enough about how strong she was.  She was so determined.  Right after we turned onto Liberty, she started fading a bit.  We were still within a PR for her, so I let her settle down in pace just a tad.  I could tell around the .75 mile point that she was struggling, but I told her to look up and see that finish line!  She had promised herself that if she saw the finish line she wasn't backing down and she would start forging ahead.  So, she started chanting "suck it up, suck it up, suck it up" and when she saw the 100m to Go sign she found that last gear and really ran ahead.  I let her go ahead of me, in awe and totally proud of her before catching up right at the finish.  We finished in 10:35 - a 21 second PR for her!  She did it.  I knew she would if she put her mind to it! :)

Vincent was waiting for us just after the finishing chute.  He had a huge PR himself - a 1:08 PR!  He finished in 9:28!  Nick said he saw him stumble on something just before the finish and he kind of stood there for a second and then sprinted across the line.  I can only imagine it was one of our city's lovely cracks, gouges, or potholes that even I have had the experience of rolling my ankle on.  But, it's all good, he had fun and I am very proud of him as well.

After we met up with Nick and Garrett, we headed to Market Square and drank some water and the kids had some snacks.  We also perused the various tables and talked with some people.  Tori is interested in Girls on the Run, so we might have that in our future.  :)

Then we headed back to the race finish area and got a spot almost right at the line to watch the other races.  There are some absolutely incredible athletes out there that participated in this event.  Some people I recognized from local social media/DailyMile/etc.  And the Pro Milers?  Just freaking wow.  To be *that* fast!  Holy crap!  I tried to get a pic of the finishers, but they were too fast for my slow old iPhone! haha

I swear that's Jordan McNamara kicking it in for the big win!

I got a high five from Jordan McNamara after the race, so hopefully some good luck rubbed off on me.  I did have a great run this morning, so I can hope, right?

All in all, another great Liberty Mile.  This is probably one of my favorite Pittsburgh events and I will continue to come back with my kids year after year.  What a great way to kick off the month of August!


  1. Congrats to Vincent & Victoria on their PRs! It looks like you were in the same wave as I was (the first) so I'm sorry I didn't see you to say hi.

    1. Oh no worries. The starting area got quite packed really quickly. :)

  2. Congrats to your kids on their awesome PRs! That's so great that you all run it together, I love that!

    1. Thanks! We have a great time with it.