Yesterday I participated in another marathon, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, 13 days after my amazing Boston experience. I wanted to conquer another goal – to earn a spot in the Marathon Maniacs group. With finishing the race, I was able to achieve Bronze level status with the Maniacs!
Overall, the event was pretty awesome. The entire weekend is dedicated to running! There are so many events including:
- Kid’s Fun Run
- Kid’s Marathon (1 mile run)
- Half Marathon
- 4 Person Marathon Relay
- Corporate Relay
Yes my friends, I saw it with my own two eyes! Around mile 5 I was passed by a guy in nothing but sunglasses, socks and shoes! I saw his bare tush in front of me for a solid mile. I knew at some point this guy was totally going to get arrested. Around mile 6 the police cars came zooming by us with their lights and sirens on. I seriously felt like I was in a movie! Apparently the guy had been warned to drop out of the race, but he kept trucking along, and was doing his best to avoid being caught by dodging the police. Eventually between mile 6 and 7 they police had caught and tasered the bandit, and I saw his bare buns yet again, and his bloody elbows, as he was lying on the ground, completely still with his hands cuffed behind his back. It was seriously the most comical/insane/ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in a race in my entire life! But I was sad that they tasered him in the end, not sure that was really necessary.
After all the naked excitement, I did my best to focus on the task at hand, but I’m not gonna lie, I did catch myself giggling a few times just thinking of the pure ridiculousness that ensued.
I felt great the first half of the race, only having to stop around mile 15 to take a pee break. I chose to use an actual port-o-john, and there was no line! But it did take me about 30 seconds to do my business. I was a little bummed it took that long, but it had to be done. I easily resumed my pace and was still feeling awesome, until about mile 20, when I suffered the most horrible cramping in my right calf. I contemplated stopping to stretch it but knew if I stopped I would have a hard time getting back on pace. Then before I knew it my right shoe came untied and I had no choice but to stop. I lost another 30 seconds with my second stop. By this time my quads and hamstrings were screaming, and it was a struggle to even stand back up after crouching down to tie my shoe. After mile 20 my pace began to slow way down, but I did my best to push through the pain.
One thing I had been warned about prior to the race, was that it was hilly. They weren’t kidding, Cincy has some serious climbs! I once again refused to walk any of the hills, but I admit, my slow runner’s shuffle by the last few were not much faster than a walk!
Around mile 23 I caught up to one of my friends and teammates from my high school days! He was running his first marathon, and did so amazing, but was hurting pretty badly. I encouraged him to resume running as we were so close to the finish. He caught back up to me and we chatted for a bit, it was nice to see a familiar face, as I was hurting really badly myself. By the 24th mile I seriously just wanted to walk, I haven’t felt that way in a looooong time, but I resisted the urge and kept shuffling along.
Before I knew it there was a mile left to go! I decided I was going to try my hardest no matter how much pain I was in, it was almost over and I needed to finish strong! Another great thing about this race, they give out awards to those who run the fastest final mile of the race! How cool! Now I was nowhere near winning that award, but it did help motivate me to finish strong.
I ended up finishing in 3:31:08, my second fastest marathon to date! I was pretty shocked, I had no idea what my time would be because somewhere around the 2 and a half hour mark, I stopped my watch by mistake, and I wasn’t sure how far behind the race start clock I was. I think in the end I crossed the starting line 30 seconds or so after the gun. I was more than happy with my time, especially since I wasn’t sure how my body would respond to another marathon attempt so close to my best performance to date, and with the course being so hilly. The human body is truly amazing isn’t it?
All and all the Flying Pig was a great race, one I would totally recommend to anyone, as long as you aren’t scared of some hills!
From this point on I look forward to taking a little time off to recover, and then get back out on the roads and race in shorter distances during the summer months. I am ready to set my sights on a fast fall marathon; I really believe I can go sub 3:20 in the marathon distance, and I am prepared to train harder than I ever have before.
Lastly, with each race, I always learn something new, or am reminded of an old lesson. Below is a list of some reflections from yesterday’s race.
1 – It is a bad choice to attempt to run a marathon completely nude.
2 – Running 2 marathons within 13 days is certifiable. As in crazy. But in the most fun way possible. I promise!
3 – Bondi Bands are amazing and I don’t know what took me so long to buy one! Best $6 I have ever spent!
3 – If a sports bra chafes you in a marathon 13 days prior, chances are the same sports bra is going to chafe you in the same exact spot, no matter how much body glide you slather on. Oy vey.
4 – I honestly think I could go an entire year or longer without drinking lemon-lime Gatorade, and it used to be my favorite. Is it possible to OD on sports beverages?
5 – My mom is hands-down the BEST marathon race crew and spectator! I dare you to prove me wrong.
6 – No matter how many marathons you have run, mile 20 is always a reality check. Respect the distance!
7 – Sometimes toeing the line with no real finishing time goal in mind, and not wearing a pace band can be really freeing, and fun. You may even surprise yourself in the end with your results. Um, hello second best race time, ever!
8 – And one last thing, running without braces in your mouth is amazing, and so is eating. No more adult orthodontia! Holllla!