Tips for first-time Pittsburgh Marathoners

Running is hard, no matter if you're doing the relay, half-marathon or a crazy bastard doing the whole 26.2 miles at the Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday.

Doing it for the first time? We've compiled a list of tips to help you ace the race.

Time goal? Fuck that

Look, we get that you're a goddamn go-getter, but the goal of your first marathon should be actually finishing. You will have plenty of chances at future marathons to crush those time goals. Enjoy the experience!

Nerves are normal

Sweating like a whore in church and thinking you might need to go vomit behind a Dumpster? Recall your training and how much you accomplished during those tough workouts, you badass!

Positive vibes only

No bad juju. (No, not the band!) Trust in those hours (and days and months, holy shit) that you spent training to get to the finish line. The more you visualize and expect success, the more likely it is to happen. We'll stop before we make ourselves stick.

Avoid 'flying and dying'

Look, you're not Usain Bolt or being shot at (hopefully). So pace yourself. We know you're going to start out with a shit ton of energy (because adrenaline), but stick to your own pace.

Wet your whistle and grab some grub

We wouldn't run if we were on fire, and we're pretty sure carb loading doesn't mean beer. Anyway, visit all the awesome volunteers along the route to hydrate at every chance and grab a snack. And, by all means, get shitfaced after the race. You deserve it.

Leave those new shoes in the box

Blisters will ruin your fucking day. Fast. The folks at Women's Running suggest you slip on a new pair two weeks before the race and put about 20-30 miles on them before the big day.

Make it social

You probably have friends. Have them send you good vibes (or cat pics or nudes) during the race to keep you going.

Also, signing up with a buddy can make it a lot more motivating and fun. Jeff Galloway, an author and Olympic athlete, tells his clients to choose someone whose pace is similar to theirs. "If you have a fast friend, ask if they can run at your pace. If it's too slow for them, you want that kind of honesty because you want to run at your own pace so you don't get injured."

Get an awesome playlist

Women's Running calls this one "The Best Marathon Playlist Ever," and we can't argue with that, because it goes from Pat Benatar to Iron Maiden to Nicki Minaj. It'll keep you on your toes and your feet to the pavement.

... and a weather app

Look, the weather is supposed to be shitty on Saturday. The people over at The Weather Channel are calling for a high of 74 with a 60% chance of storms.

(If you want to back out now and just drink all day in the Strip, this is a no-judgment zone.)

It's OK if things don't go according to plan

Shit happens. Hopefully not literally, because nothing will slow you down quite like explosive diarrhea. There's shin splints. And the dreaded chafing. Maybe your earphones blow out. Chill. Gather your thoughts, and get back on track if you can.

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no butthurt here

Charmin drops off Butt load of TP in Ohio

When life gives you a last name like "Butt," you best make the most of it.

Michigan tight end Jake Butt has been doesn't mind people having fun with his last name. The folks at Procter & Gamble sure are.

The parent company of Charmin toilet paper delivered a truckload of the squeezably soft product to him in his hometown of Pickerington, Ohio, on Wednesday.

And, of course, they brought a dump truck.

The nature of the relationship between P&G and Butt is unclear. A request for comment was emailed to P&G.

The gesture surely was a nod to Butt's last name, which elicits snickers wherever he goes. But he doesn't seem to give a shit.

"I love it so much," he told ESPN last August. "I think that's one of my greatest traits. It has really allowed me to grow my platform and build my brand."

He better.

Butt has made a name for himself as a football player for being a two-time Big Ten tight end of the year. He's one of the top players at his position available for the NFL draft, which starts Thursday.

On Tuesday, Charmin tweeted , "Have you seen the #CharminDumpTruck driving through? We've got a special destination for a butt-load of TP"

On Wednesday, a Columbus radio station, 97.1 The Fan, tweeted a picture of the load of toilet paper being dropped on a lawn with Butt standing nearby.

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Rehab, anyone?

Teddy bear had 750 bags of heroin in him

Always suspect the bear.

A prosecutor in Massachusetts says 750 bags of heroin were found stuffed inside a teddy bear in a child's bedroom during a drug raid.

Imagine how that bear must have been feeling.

Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said the drugs were found Wednesday in a Springfield apartment.

Gulluni says 22-year-old Joshua Santiago was arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

Police say they also seized cocaine, drug paraphernalia, a handgun with a defaced serial number and ammunition from the apartment.

It was not immediately clear if Santiago has an attorney to comment on his behalf.

No comment from the bear.

— Associated Press

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clear your calendar

'Thirteen Reasons Why' author coming to town

The author of the book behind one of this spring's hottest TV shows is coming to the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg next week.

Jay Asher's book "Thirteen Reasons Why" has become the latest binge-worthy series on Netflix, since it debuted on March 31. The book, which was published in 2006, was an international bestseller.

It deals with the suicide of a teenage girl and the cassette tapes she leaves behind to explain the reasons she killed herself.

The Netflix series has both been praised for focusing attention on the issue of teen suicide, and criticized, particularly for the graphic portrayal of the actual suicide.

Read more about Asher's visit from the Tribune-Review.

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won't save your diet, though

New Primanti Bros. sandwich honors Fleury

Primanti Bros. is going Canadian.

The restaurant on Thursday unveiled a "Canadian Pitts-Burger" sandwich in honor of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Penguins begin a second-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

The sandwich is modeled after Primanti Bros.' Pitts-Burger but includes Canadian bacon, cheddar cheese, a fried egg and fries, slaw and tomato, according to a prepared statement.

— Tribune-Review

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Not so hot

Pa. worker crushed under 1,200-lb. hot tub mold

Just a month into his new job, a worker at a central Pennsylvania swimming pool manufacturing company was killed after he was trapped under a 1,200-pound mold.

The company's owner said the employee might have been trying to get a dropped cellphone when the accident happened.

The (Sunbury) Daily Item reports the Northumberland County coroner planned an autopsy Thursday on the 20-year-old worker, whose name wasn't immediately released.

The man was killed Wednesday about 7:30 a.m. at Strong Industries Pool and Spas in Point Township, about 55 miles north of Harrisburg.

"We did everything we could do to try to save him," Wade Spicer, Strong Industries owner told the Daily Item.

Spicer said the man had only been working at Strong Industries for a month. The death is the first at the company since it opened in 1992, he said.

Spicer said he's reviewed security video of the incident and said the worker leaned into the mold and may have done so after dropping something, possibly his cellphone. Spice said the worker was wearing ear buds and might not have heard any warnings.

— Associated Press

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huge jolt

Can you imagine a 4-story Starbucks?!?

The Magnificent Mile is about to get even more magnificent.

Chicago's swanky strip will soon have a mega jolt of caffeine as Starbucks announces plans to open the world largest coffee shop of its brand.

The chain announced this week that it will open Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago in 2019, WMAQ reported.

The North Michigan Avenue business be four stories tall and will be a "full sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting, brewing and packaging its rare, small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world," according to a press release from Starbucks.

The 43,000-square-foot Starbucks will open in the building currently holding a Crate and Barrel at Michigan Avenue and Erie Street.

It is the third roastery in the U.S. The first is in Seattle and opened in 2014. The second is scheduled to open in New York City next year. There are roasteries planned for Shanghai, Milan and Tokyo.


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park and ride

Here's the new stuff at Kennywood this season

Ready to ride?

Kennywood is gearing up for its 119th season with some new features. Founded in 1898 as a trolley park in West Mifflin, the historic amusement park is mixing in some new foods and deals with its nostalgic rides and modern attractions.

Check out what's new.



For the first time, Kennywood will open the park a week early for season-pass holders. The park will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on one weekend, April 29 and 30, exclusively for season-pass holders, in what is called Season Pass Appreciation Weekend.

"Season passes have become very popular and are a good value for guests. If you come two or three times, you've paid off the season pass," park spokesman Nick Paradise said.

Not all rides will be operating during Season Pass Appreciation Weekend. Furthermore, guests will need to RSVP online to reserve their spots and vouchers to visit the park that weekend.


(Wikimedia Commons)

Kennywood's newest coaster (built in 2010), the Sky Rocket, is getting an upgrade of sorts. While the track and cars are the same, it's the rider experience that's getting a boost — from virtual reality.

Riders will now be fitted with (you can opt out, of course) black goggles holding a Samsung smartphone that will allow you to ride the coaster in a virtual coaster through a blue-gridded downtown Pittsburgh.

(KDKA screenshot)

KDKA's Dave Crawley went for a spin:



A new dining pass is available to season-pass holders. The $79.99 All Season Dining Pass is a credit that is added to the existing season pass, which is separately priced. Users can swipe the card for up to two combo meals a day at various food stands in the park for the entire summer season.

The card can be used only once in a four-hour period to buy park food, such as Philadelphia cheesesteaks, hot sausages, potato patch fries and chicken tenders, Paradise said. Guests can get free cotton candy or popcorn each day with the dining pass.

The park is making changes to its food offerings, too. In addition to opening a new Auntie Anne's pretzel stand, Kennywood is overhauling the menu at Pedro's Mexican food stand to be more "Chipotle style" with a build-your-own concept with fresh fare. The Kiddieland food stand will feature a more health-conscious menu, too.



It pays to plan ahead.

One-day tickets purchased at the Kennywood gate on Saturdays and Sundays are now $47.99 each, which is $3 more than those bought on weekdays at the gate.

Since last year, the price of a one-day ticket has increased by $1, making the cost $44.99 at the park and on its website and $32.99 at Giant Eagle stores.

A Super Senior FunDay ticket was introduced this year for park-goers at least 70 years of age. The ticket is $9.99 online and weekdays at the gate, $12.99 at the gate on weekends.

Most Kennywood guests, who use season passes or come with group events, will not see price changes, Paradise said. Guests should check with their employers, school districts and credit unions, as well as AAA, to find the best deals on ticket prices, he said.


Theater-goers at Kennywood's new "LEGO Movie 4-D Experience" will feel real-life wind gusts, water squirts, trembling seats and leg ticklers.

"The idea is that you're being fully immersed in what you're seeing on the screen," according to Paradise, who also said that different smells will be piped into the theater to correspond with the movie scenes.

Kennywood, which opened the 88-seat theater in 2015, will show the approximately 12-minute Lego movie about every 15 minutes daily, from the park's open to close.

The film features computer-animated images and is a spinoff of the full-length Warner Bros. film "The Lego Movie," released in 2014.

Aside for the Legoland properties in the U.S., Asia and other places Kennywood is the first park showing the movie.

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