One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


My Pittsburgh Half Marathon Weekend in Pictures

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pittsburgh skyline
Thanks to fortes for the image

My weekend adventure started Saturday morning when I hit the road for Pittsburgh. I’m about 4 hours away and I enjoyed my lonely road trip. I opened the windows, blasted the radio and soaked up the midday sun. It was nice.

I got there early afternoon and met Laura, an old High School friend I reconnected with on FaceBook a few years back. She looked wonderful, glowing even.


We headed down to the strip and had a great time strolling through the shops and chatting. I, of course, had to get a little goofy.

roni on the strip

We did find this great little hand made glass jewelry booth called LZ an EJ’s. I bought a cute butterfly piece and had a great time chatting with the owner.

LZ asnd EJ

I bought a few more things and then we headed to dinner. There was a great little Thai place right by her house and we split a few dishes. I know nothing about Thai food so I let Laura do most of the picking. One of my favorites were these duck and noodle lettuce wrap things (NO idea what they were called but boy were they tasty!)

Green Mango

After dinner we headed back to her house and I got to hang out with George.

A very vocal, VERY affectionate cat with a foot fetish. He was awesome.

We then headed back out for a beer with @MrDirby. One of Laura’s friends who’s also slightly obsessed with web design and social media. I love meeting fellow geeks.

We headed back early to get a good night’s sleep before our big day.

It was Laura’s first half marathon and my second. I wasn’t as prepared as I was for my first one last year at this time so I wasn’t expecting to finish strong but I knew I’d finish. I was also really excited to run with someone during a long event. I haven’t really done that yet. Normally I’m running solo.

Here we are making our way to start line.

And another shot as we waited for the race to begin.

Then the race began. It was a beautiful morning temperture-wise, a little overcast but nice. We were expecting to get wet and as soon as we crossed the start line I felt a drizzle which soon turned into a steady rain. It was actually nice. Refreshing even.

Since it was raining so hard I didn’t feel comfortable pulling out my camera phone and snapping during the run. Of course now I can’t remember what I wanted to remember because I don’t have any pictures. It’s funny how I use my photos as visual ques to remind me what I want to write about.

Anyway here’s what I do remember about the race…

  • It was mostly flat. REAL flat which was a relief.
  • We crossed 5 bridges and I really love running bridges.
  • I was really crampy after the first 4 miles and that’s when we decided to walk the water stops.
  • I love reading people’s shirts and one of the best ones I saw was "Make every day count." LOVE that.
  • The rain never let up and by mile 8 I was pruney.
  • I surprisingly felt really good that last 3 miles.
  • By the finish I was so wet I could ring out my shorts.

Chart taken from Nike+ web site after sync. Click here to see how I did it.

Notice the dip at the end. I couldn’t shut off the iPod because my fingers were too wet!

My official race time was 2:26:38 and I’m ecstatic I finished under 2:30. Last year I ran my first half in 2:07:57 but I trained my butt off. This year I barely trained and I knew I wouldn’t come close to that time.

Here’s Laura and I after the finish with our medals. We had a great stroll back to the car and we were completely smitten with ourselves for finishing the race. I guess you can say we had a post race glow. :)

After a hot shower Laura took me to one of her fav spots for breakfast. My post race meal was an egg white western omelet with half of the potatoes and half a strawberry hot cake (SO SO SO yummy)

Overall my Pittsburgh weekend was amazing. I got to get away, catch up with an old dear friend, explore a new city, and prove to myself, yet again, that I really am a runner. :)

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There are 30 comments so far.


    May 3, 2010

    Nice job! I did my first half marathon yesterday and I got soaked too! Cold/rain/snow but it was still tons of fun. :)


    May 3, 2010

    I live in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and was actually in the city today. For brunch. Not to run 13.1 miles. Though at 1:30 pm, we saw a handful of people still wearing their race bibs…

    I was wondering how the runners would feel about today’s weather…glad it wasn’t as miserable as I would’ve thought!

    Nice work!!


    May 3, 2010

    Again, way to go on the half! I’m so glad you had a fun weekend. I live about 40 minutes north of Pittsburgh, and now that you’ve talked about the Strip District, I don’t think I’ll get it out of my head until I make a trip down there! hahaha


    May 3, 2010

    You’re an isnpiration for us, runners-wanna-be’s. I guess I will have to keep my 6K training, since you just ran a freaking half!

    Renee Potloff

    May 3, 2010

    You rock!! I just started Couch to 5K and you are my inspiration!

    Lori @ All About Me

    May 3, 2010

    Roni, great job. I love your Nike+ photos. I can’t wait until I’m in the green too!! Right now I’m orange. Your time was awesome! Go you!


    May 3, 2010

    As ever Roni, amazing effort and achievement. Go Roni! I’m trying to get my racing mojo back after having an asthma attack at the 15 mile marker in my first marathon a few weeks back. It really knocked my confidence but just reading about your positivity never fails to pick me up and brighten my day. Congrats again.

    That is amazing! Congrats Roni! :)

    You continue to amaze me, Roni! Barely training and rocking a half?! You are awesome!


    May 3, 2010

    Nice sum-up and photos Roni, it was great to have you in Pittsburgh :) The Thai dish was duck summer rolls from Green Mango in Regent Square.

    What an awesome race, great job!!


    May 3, 2010

    go ms.roni :] i would have died doing that . glad to see you did so well !


    May 3, 2010

    Hey Roni – congrats on the run! When I saw you were coming to do the Pitts marathon I was excited because I too had signed up to do the half (although I was a walker). You were my inspiration to sign up to do it last year, by the way. I kept telling my friend (who I’m sure gets tired of hearing Roni this and Roni that) that I would see you. Well, around 7:00 while in a long bathroom line I spotted your shirt as you were zipping by and I said – there’s Roni! You were only 10 feet from me, but I didn’t yell and then you were gone. I was mad at myself all day for not yelling out to you to get the chance to talk. Anyway, I really do enjoy your site, which I have been reading for years. What a wet run, huh? And, hey – did you hear about the bomb scare? That was wild. We were re-routed at the finish when we came in, which was total chaos! Well, keep up the great work. You truly are amazing with everything you do!


    May 3, 2010

    Aaaack! You should have totally said hi! Here’s the problem with wearing that shirt.. spectators will call out my name and support me but then I don’t know of they “know” me or if they are just being supportive.

    Anyway NEXT time (there will be a next time right) say hi! :)

    And I heard about the bomb post fact. I had no idea while at the race.


    May 3, 2010

    I did the Pittsburgh Half yesterday, too! I didn’t see you, even though we finished at roughly the same time. Of course, whereas you were feeling great at the end, I was incredibly tired. Still finished though! Feels great, doesn’t it! Congratulations :)

    If you’re interested on my take of the event, I wrote a recap on my blog:


    May 3, 2010

    Nice medal!! Good job! :)

    What a beautiful recap! Glad you had such a good time and I loooove the Green Mango! Don’t you love the medals? I’m so happy with them!

    Aww catching up with old friends is so much fun :-) And congrats on the run.


    May 3, 2010

    Great job on your run and spending time in Pittsburgh. My husband and I use to go there all the time and stay down at the Waterfront. They have a Dave and Busters, Sing Sing Piano bar, near Kennywood, giant movie theater, and tons of shops and places to eat. I think it is actually a homestead address but so easy to get to from the highway.


    May 3, 2010

    I live in Pittsburgh and ran the 1/2 marathon as well. It was my second 1/2 marathon. I wasn’t bothered by the rain either. I thought it would be miserable but it was refreshing. Anyway, just wondering if you know the name of the breakfast place where you ate. Looks delish! Congrats on running the city of bridges… I do NOT share your love of the bridges. They KILL!!!


    May 3, 2010

    Hi Susan! It’s a link above.. The egg white omelet was FABULOUS!


    May 3, 2010

    GREAT JOB! Glad you had a good weekend!

    I think that is amazing. Looks like you had good girl time and a great race. Life is good.

    YAY!!!! Love it!!!

    Roni — you are such an inspiration! I love it. I signed up for the Santa Cruz Mermaid Duathlon — which is 1.5 miles run, 11 mile bike and 2.5 mile run in September. I want to get the nike sensor to track my training.

    Thanks for being amazing!


    Rob Dyess

    May 5, 2010

    Didn’t I hear something on the news about the end of the race being re-routed? Why am I remembering this?

    As always- I enjoyed your adventures!


    May 10, 2010

    There was a bomb threat but I didn’t even know until after the race. The end was a disaster… so I’m wondering if I was crossed the rerouted finish?? No idea.. I wasn’t familiar enough with the city to tell.


    May 13, 2010

    Roni — You probably crossed the normal finish. I also ran the 1/2 marathon, and finished around when you did. After I met up with my mom (about 30 min later), we were trying to get back to the hotel we were staying at, but couldn’t because the police had the area cordoned off for the bomb scare. So, I think it mainly affected people finishing at 3 hrs +. I don’t think they ever rerouted the half — I met a lot of people trying to figure out how to get to the finish (and I wanted to cry for them!), but they did reroute the full marathon. Only the race winners ran the original full marathon course :-)

    FYI — The end WAS a disaster. Apparently, they were assuming that they would get a crush of people at the 3 hr mark, and were really surprised when a ton of people showed up at 2:30. I was stuck, smashed next to a bizzilion other people, for about 10-15 minutes before I could even get any water or food!


    May 14, 2010

    I didn’t want to focus on it but OMG it was the WORSE end of a race ever. I was totally squished and my calves were seizing up. I rarely claustrophobic but I was 2 seconds away from climbing the fence!


    May 19, 2010

    You went to Pamela’s?!? Definitely the best breakfast place in the ‘burgh. What a nice treat after running the Pgh Half! This year the Pittsburgh Half Marathon was my sister’s first half marathon – I’m hoping to do it with her next year!! :)