Monthly Archives: May 2015

Flying Pig Marathon 2015 – part 2

I had a horrible time trying to sleep. I always expect that the night before a race, but that was a bit excessive. I woke up around 3am to some sirens outside. Soon, one of my crew members sent me a random text (I had to miss a squad shift for the race). And my alarm went off at 03:30am…. I wasn’t necessarily rested, but I was awake.

I got up and did my usual pre-race thing… Food, coffee, pee about a thousand times. I decided on a sleeveless top and shorts for the race because it was going to be chilly at the start and close to 80 degrees by the time I finished. I finally headed downstairs around 5:15am, tired of waiting around. I neglected to grab a heat blanket and pretty much froze for the next hour waiting to start.

They had the half marathoners and the full marathoners start together in the same corrals because we would run the first 9ish miles together. That got old real fast because, nothing against half marathon runners (I am happy to run those too!), but it’s become the “everyone can do it” distance and so you’re surrounded by people that don’t know race etiquette or how to seed themselves…

Anyway. They took their time starting each corral with fireworks (which was kind of cool), and I finally passed over the start line around 6:40am. I was trying out a new running belt (the FlipBelt) and was surprised I didn’t need to adjust it constantly for the start of the run (more on that later).

The first mile was, as any race is, energizing as there were tons of people cheering. We soon went across a bridge into Kentucky and completed a few miles there before returning to Ohio. Then we hit the hills. OMG. I had heard about the hills, but I was not prepared for them. These were STEEP hills, ones I could barely walk up. I didn’t even try to run them.

Soon, my left foot was throbbing. I had never had problems with it before, and I was starting to wonder if I would be able to finish. Walking breaks helped, but I couldn’t run for very long without the pain returning.

I don’t remember much about the middle part, other than getting bored. There were some pretty areas, but nothing terribly special. Around mile 18, the sun was fully out and it became extremely hot, with no shade available. I stopped sweated and just kept thinking “I’m so hot. I’m so hot.” I was so hyponatremic that my hands were too swollen to make a fist. Gatorade wasn’t helping and was downright sickening. 

I had been pacing earlier to PR, but I crashed and burned. Not so much from hitting the wall, although I kept bouncing against it, but I just felt dejected. Unprepared, undertrained, overweight, unenthusiastic (about things beyond running), and just really, really hot… The last couple of miles, my Garmin died, and I lost all knowledge of my pace. The mile marker for 25 finally passed, and then… More hills. Seriously. I cursed the race course makers and trudged up them. I told myself that once I could see the finish line, I would just keep running, no matter how slowly. But man, that final half mile or so felt longer than the rest of the race. 

I passed over the finish line and into the dirty (seriously, it was so gross) finisher’s chute, waving away anyone who wanted to take a picture. I never buy them anyway, and I certainly didn’t want a reminder of this race. I finally made it to water and food and plopped down near the river…  

I had the “coveted” Flying Pig medal, and a tired body. I was glad I did it, but I was also really glad to restart a training cycle. I’ve got some plans and ideas, which I’ll explain soon.

Overall, I think it was a good race, but not the “amazing” race other people have called it. Richmond has it totally beat on crowd support. Seriously. Richmond is the best. Run it, thank me later.

Flying Pig Marathon 2015 – part 1

This past weekend I drove (yes, drove… 8 hours one way!) to Cincinnati, Ohio for the famed Flying Pig Marathon. I opted to drive over flying because it was going to take almost as long to fly there from Richmond as it would to drive there (not an easy airport to get to!), but cost close to $400, versus a few tanks of gas. Plus, driving let me see parts of the country I hadn’t seen before.  

I got there Friday evening and checked into my hotel and went looking for dinner.   

While I know there were tons of restaurants to try, I headed to Panera to try to keep my costs low (are you sensing a theme here?). I soon plopped into bed, exhausted from the past few weeks.

The next day, I started my day off with a quick swim (my first triathlon is in August!) in the hotel’s teensy saltwater pool:  

Once little kids came in, I jumped out and showered before going to the race expo and exploring the city.

The expo was pretty small to me, but I’m used to the massive ones we have in Virginia. Lots of flying pigs… Apparently that’s a thing year round here.   

 

I’m as creeped out as you are. 😳

The expo as seemed a big disorganized – they had bibs sorted by names, but not matching the signs they had posted, and then got mad at me for being in the wrong line. People were also kind of pushy. So much for nice Midwesterners… I found the shirt boring, the poster useless, but I might use the backpack as a gym bag.

I then went off to explore the city a little more and figure out how long it would take me to walk to the starting area the next day. It was pretty, but quite warm, and I soon found myself overrun by runners from the 5K and 10K that was held that day.   

I also found an observation tower where you could view the city from 49 floors up! 
   

I knew from past experience not to wear myself out walking all day because I would suffer during the race, but I also didn’t want to regret not doing something just because of the race. I tried to balance fun with rest, and eventually turned in early since my alarm was set for 3:30am (the race started at 6:30am).

Coming soon… My race recap!