One thing I love about living in Cincinnati is the Flying Pig Marathon weekend. If you have been reading my blog for a while now you will know that it was my first & second marathon. I also ran the half course for the first time when I was 6 months pregnant with Breck. Last year I didn’t participate in any of the races, which left me sad, because I couldn’t find the time to train. I was more than determined to run the half again this year.
I had a plan of finishing the race in 1:53 or less, with hopes of crossing the finish line at 1:50. The week leading up to race the forecast called for storms and strong winds. Everyone was in panic mode and was anticipating the worst. The morning of the race it was 63 degrees and 100% humidity (spoiler alert- it never rained!). Definitely NOT ideal running conditions. I still had hopes of finishing in my goal time despite the hot weather.
My brother and I started out the race feeling pretty good. By mile 1, though, we were drenched. That’s when I knew we had to run this race smart. I carried Smartwater with me and had Honeystinger chews and planned on eating every 30 minutes and drinking when I felt the need (BIG mistake).
Mile 1 8:28
Mile 2 8:11
Mile 3 8:20
We tackled the bridges with no issues. My quads were burning a tad bit but I sometimes feel that when I am not fully warmed up yet. Once we made our way back into Ohio I was feeling it. I pushed myself along because we were approaching one of my favorite sections on the race, 7th street. One thing that makes this race awesome is the spectators. No matter where you are on the course there are people out cheering you on. 7th street has people lines up 4 rows deep. It is awesome! Once we got through downtown we made the turn and started the dreaded hill climb.
Mile 4 8:16
Mile 5 8:27
Mile 6 8:24
At this point in the race I knew we had some time banked. I knew the hill would slow us up a bit so I wasn’t too concerned. That is until we start up Gilbert Ave. My legs were toast. I knew we had family up ahead and that is what kept me going. We made the turn into Eden Park where we saw our dad. Just a few feet away we saw Lauren and my mom. That’s when I started having issues breathing. I felt like I couldn’t get a full breath and my throat was closing in. I told David I need to walk for a second. He slowed our pace enough that I could start to breath fully again and we started up the big hill.
Mile 7 9:28
Mile 8 9:36
Mile 9 9:08
Yep, that hill killed our pace. I knew we had a big down hill up ahead and we could make some time up. It was really starting to heat up and I wasn’t able to drink enough water as I was sweating out. We split from the full marathoners and I was SO happy to not be them that day. I had flashbacks to my race back in ’13 when we has similar weather. I started to feel nauseous and had to walk a short time again. I am so glad I had David there with me. He kept me going and told me our time didn’t matter, we just had to finish this race. My mental game was off, I had to keep telling myself I loved this race, ha! I someone holding a hose up with a shower head like attachment on it. I darted over to run under it. It was ice cold and refreshing. I felt 10 times better once I did that.
Mile 10 9:37
Mile 11 8:32 (hello downhill!)
Mile 12 8:47
I wasn’t sure if it was the slight breeze from the downhill or what but I realized I wasn’t sweating as much. With feeling nauseous and not sweating I feared I was really dehydrated. David and I said from mile 10 on we would walk through the water stops (each mile has one) and drink a few sips of Gatorade then water. We made it down the hill and were in the final stretch. Once we hit mile 12 the heat got to David. We were making the final turn onto E Pete Rose Way and I had noticed David wasn’t right next to me. He stopped to walk so I turned around. I knew our goal of finishing under 1:53 wasn’t attainable at that point so we had to finish together. He wasn’t looking good but we were less than a quarter mile to go. Two spectators saw and hopped on the course with him. They told me to go on but I couldn’t leave him. They were SO amazing! They kept telling him to keep going, that they would finish with him and he could do it! Seriously, this race has the best crowd support.
Mile 13 9:19
We got into the finishing chute and we saw our cousins! It was an unexpected surprise (my uncle was running and my was aunt walked the race)! We were within feet from the finish line and I saw Andy, Breck and my mother in law! That gave me the little boost I needed to cross the finish line. Back at mile 12 I started to feel a twinge in my calf that made me think I might cramp once I stopped. I told David I may cramp and to catch me if I fell! He told me he might do the same, ha!
Mile .35 (course ran long) 3:16
We crossed the finish swine in 1:57:53. Not the race we were hoping for but still a good time. The weather wasn’t on our side that day. I made sure to walk towards a medic after we finished just incase either of us need it. They gave us some water and we chugged it. I started to feel better and we made our way to get our medals! I heard our names overhead and saw my mom and Lauren! They stopped to get us some donuts for after the race! Perfect!
The Pig is still my favorite race. I now have ran the half twice and the full twice, only one of those was a good race (when I was pregnant and didn’t care about my time). Those hills suck every time, I am sore for days after the race but I absolutely love this race. The crowd keeps me coming back. The race is so well organized, too! I’ll be back to tackle those hills again!
Next post I will talk about Breck and his first Pig experience 🙂