Pittsburgh is my White Whale

On May 5, 2019, I am finally going to catch my White Whale. I’m going to give it everything I have physically and mentally, and I am going to attempt to run the Pittsburgh Full marathon. This will be my third marathon, but it will be my first time attempting the entire full marathon course in Pittsburgh.

I have wanted to give this race a shot several times but life got in the way.  I have signed up for the full once before–forget which year–but dropped down to the half when I realized I couldn’t do the full marathon. One year, I decided to put the Pittsburgh full off until next year when I started a new job as a consultant. The following year, I ended up doing the Columbus full as my first marathon.

The following year, I put the Pittsburgh full off until new year when I had surgery on my abdomen. That surgery reset me to zero but I still tried to do a marathon that year. I ran the Indianapolis full in 2017 and added a half hour to my previous marathon time.

I wanted to do the Pittsburgh full marathon in 2018, but at the end of 2017, I tripped and face planted, breaking my nose and pride. By the time I recovered from that, bronchitis came roaring into my lungs and hung out there for a solid month.  Last year, I put the Pittsburgh full off until this year.

This is my mother-fracking year. I am going to do this. I had a couple of challenges, namely bronchitis yet again.  My umpteenth bout with bronchitis and my one billionth sinus infection during this recent training cycle actually led me to installing an internal french drain in my basement. I am tired of getting sick, damnit.

 For the first time ever, I am actually consistently cross-training during a training cycle. I have been seeing a trainer once a week, and I’ve been working on weights and core. Friends, I actually have a bicep muscle. Squee! The other day, the trainer referred to me as Quadzilla. Other people can actually see the progress I’ve made since I decided to accomplish this goal of mine and get this White Whale. I am giving it everything that I can.

Pittsburgh, in all its hills and pot holes, is my White Whale. Just even thinking about running the  Pittsburgh fullmade me think I could be more than a sickie, that I could be a runner. That I could actually be an athlete. Growing up, I was the weirdo kid who you did not want on your team during gym class, so for me to even be considered athletic is mind boggling.

Pittsburgh is my white whale because if I end up not being able to do any marathons after this, I will be okay because I did the race I have always wanted to do.

I’m fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis foundation, which does amazing work for those living with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. My cousin Kathryn’s children, Andrew and Cece, have Cystic Fibrosis. I want these little ones to grow up as strong and healthy as they can be, and the CFF is the foundation making that happen. Whatever you can donate, I appreciate it, and if you can’t donate,  please share!

https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/runtocurecf2019/lkhuffman

 

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The Good in People

Two days ago, I was walking with a manager from one building to another for a 12:30 meeting. We were only a block or so away from Firstside, and well, I tripped over a crappy piece of sidewalk and face planted. I was carrying my laptop bag and purse, and just tripped and my face met the sidewalk.

It was surreal. I started gushing blood from my face immediately, and I am pretty sure I went into shock. I mean, that’s what happens when you bloody your face, right? I just lied there for a second, marveling at the blood coming out of my face.  I was trying to keep the blood from spilling onto my pants and feet, but came up unsuccessful. (RIP navy blue dress pants.)

My manager came to my aid and you know who else did? A bunch of complete strangers also came to my assistance as I laid bleeding on the Boulevard of the Allies.  Someone handed me a couple of napkins, which did absolutely nothing but I appreciated the sentiment.

A man and a woman came up to my manager and me and told me to hold my nose together in an effort to stop the bleeding. Another woman, a middle aged woman, actually went running to a firehouse a couple of blocks away to get help for me. A complete stranger ran to get help for me, and she came back minutes later with towels.

These strangers stayed with me and my manager as my mouth kept bleeding. They kept me absolutely calm (or maybe, that was the shock). Honest to dog, it warmed my icy cold heart that these strangers stopped to help a thirty-something woman who face-planted onto a sidewalk.

Pittsburgh is definitely a small big city, and the day of my accident showed me just how much.  I am forever grateful to these strangers for helping me, and for my coworkers keeping calm as my upper lip would not stop bleeding.

Also, for the record, I wanted to share that I DID NOT CRY. Once. Not after I fell or when the adrenaline wore off.  I ended up with a broken nose and busted chin and lip. I’m bruised and cut up on my right knee and elbow. The bright side – my glasses didn’t shatter (although one lens got scratched up) , and I still have all of my teeth. I’m pretty sure my guardian angel (what up mom) did her job on Thursday.

Now I know what it feels like to be beat up, and frankly, not a fan. I hope I never have to experience that again. Fingers crossed!