After a several year hiatus,the marathon returned to the city of Pittsburgh this past weekend. I did not run it. I did, however, run the half marathon, which is, in my opinion, the best racing distance. I believe this marks the fifth or sixth half marathon I've run in my life, but it was by far the most difficult. The race itself wasn't so bad. The weather was pretty good (upper 50s and cloudy for most of the race), the crowds were amazing by virtue of sheer number, and my new ipod +nike accessory helped me know exactly where I was and how fast I was running throughout the race, all while playing rocking tunes. No, the race wasn't so bad, but the training was another story. So many obstacles! First, I sprained my ankle about seven weeks before the race. Initially, when I could bear no weight on it for the 48 hours following the sprain, I didn't think there was any way I could make it. I called and asked for a refund on my registration fee and they said no. Um, what?! But, that gave me the push I needed and after only 10 days I attempted a short run. It was a success, and so off I went, trying to get my mileage up without re-injuring myself, a delicate balance to say the least. That was the most difficult hurdle, but I also battled illnesses and severely inclement weather. One thing that makes training for races so much more difficult with a baby is that I can't run when I want, when the weather is doing something other than say, pouring down buckets of rain on my head. But alas, I made it through. It wasn't my best time (I finished in 1:54, for an average mile pace of 8:45) but it was important to me because it proved my determination to succeed, to finish what I started. Eric and Emily were, as always, my biggest cheerleaders, but my mom and step-dad were also there, cheering and waving as I approached the finish line.