Many good things happened in Pittsburgh this weekend.
I learned the definition of Yinz. (Thanks, Adrienne!)
I learned that the many bridges in Pittsburgh, because of its steel roots, are typically more flat than those in other cities so trains could get over the rivers easily. (Thanks, MK!)
And I learned that little donuts are, quite possibly, the best thing on race morning. (Thanks, Amanda!)
But the weekend wasn't about me. Pittsburgh was the first Target Race for the Train Like a Mother Club. (Target race: a race where the TLAM coaches and a critical mass of #motherrunners intersect.) A little rain on Saturday morning—and afternoon and evening—wasn't going to keep us #motherrunners down.
Coach MK and Coach Amanda rallied the troops for the morning shake-out run, while Chalkley, a video producer, shot some footage. (She was around all weekend, gathering material for an AMR ditty.)
Fast forward through some warm showers and lunch, and land at the BAMR Gathering. What it lacked it atmosphere (hello, hotel conference room!), it more than made up for in #BAMR spirit. The badass wall, a relic from our 2015 book tour, made an appearance.
We had an extended Q + A with Coach Amanda and Coach MK; one of the things we talked about was confident posture and attitude while standing in the corral. (Amy Cuddy and her TED talk back this up, btw.)
I challenged people to take a picture of themselves doing the V for Victory pose in the corral, and, naturally, BAMRs didn't disappoint.
Christine and Jennifer, before taking on 26.2, get ready for some VICTORY in a many strong-as-steelm miles AMR shirt!
Kimberly nails her V before nailing 13.1.
Race morning was a bit crazier than I expected. I saw some runners, like Lauren, twice (yay for tall #motherrunners!), but only had my camera ready for one shot. Marianne and Adrienne, coming across the first flat-ish bridge.
Love the smiles. Not sure what Adrienne is doing with her arms, but she looks happy, so we'll go with it.
#Motherrunner Lydia at mile 4.5 made signs for all the #BAMRs running. Despite being injured, she runs with heart too.
We had a cheering gang of four—me, Coach Amanda, Chalkley the videographer, and Katy, a #motherrunner who was injured so couldn't take on her first half-marathon. We had a great time chatting about everything from Brooklyn to babies as we walked down to mile nine, hoping to catch some half-marathoners. The half is pretty spectator friendly, but the marathon course, where we had a few athletes running? Not so much. We needed bikes (or a sense of Pittsburgh direction to be able to ride the T) to get to them.
We thought they'd be tough to get, but then we rounded a corner and magic! A full rack!
Huge shout-out to Katy, in the blue jacket, who not only capably navigated our way around Pittsburgh, but also helped us lock and load the bikes. (Note to self: Next time you want to rent bikes in a city like this, download the app first.) Coach MK would likely be the first of the TLAM Marathoners coming through, so we adjusted our saddles and we were off!
We headed up the course, and got to see all the leaders, which was very cool. (Little did we know we weren't supposed to be riding on the road. We were soon corrected, and obeyed the marathon riding rules after that.)
We rode up a long, steep hill on Liberty Avenue—a hill that the marathoners were going to cruise down—and planted ourselves at mile 22, ready to cheer on the runners. Then I got a text from Coach MK, saying she had dropped out; she was in Pittsburgh to Race, and the weather and her body didn't get the memo. I didn't have any other numbers of racers—I could only track three on my phone via the app—so we cheered a bit, then decided to head back to the finish area to catch any other runners we could.
But wait! Coach Amanda remembered she wanted to stop at Peace, Love and Little Donuts. No argument from Katy or me.
Yum. Maple bacon. I (stupidly) ordered two chocolate sprinkles; I had my kids in my head, not my own taste buds.
We were looking for a place to rerack our bikes, and ran into Cynthia and Lisa. While we had an excellent morning of adventure on our bikes and saw a bunch of Pittsburgh we wouldn't have seen, it was a bit strange not to see familiar runners a couple times on the course, like we were able to in Philly and Twin Cities.
So I was so glad to get a race report from Cynthia, who nailed her race.
All wins: She PR'ed by more than four minutes and she found a dime on the course (and stopped to pick it up). Next time, we just need her to open her eyes!
Race reports continued to float in over Facebook over the day, More PRs. Great pics. And some this-wasn't-the-day-I'd-hoped-for sentiments, which is hard to put out there when everybody else seems to be thriving.
Despite us all heading separate directions after the race, the BAMR connection was still running strong. Congrats for the good races, plenty of concern and compassion for the less-than-stellar ones, lots of love all around.
I wouldn't have expected anything else, Yinz.
(Join us for the other Target Races we have in 2017: Jack and Jill's Downhill Marathon; Twin Cities Marathon; and the Philadelphia Marathon!)