Friday, May 6, 2016

Flying Pig Half Marathon Recap

Part One: Flying Pig Expo and Little Kings Mile

We woke up Sunday morning to a thunderstorm. Legit lightening and thunder. The weatherman told us it wouldn't last much longer, so I got ready as planned. It was 60 degrees and 100% humidity at 5:15am. Great for me, I do well in warmer weather. 

Side note: I love this tank!

MY QUADS WERE CRUSHED! Fear was suddenly in my soul. I have been warned of some epic hills in the middle of this race, but at this point I have no idea how I will make it. 

Start time was at 6:30am. We got downtown around 6ish. The port-o-potties were in the starting corrals so I decided to head over early. It's still raining and I'm glad I grabbed a heat blanket after the 5k and could toss it. 

I walked right up to the port-o-potty which was a first for me! As soon as I came out there was a line of at least 10 people. Score one for me! 

I lined up close to the front of my corral. I was in corral B so it wouldn't be crazy at the start. The rain had stopped and the sun was coming out. Man, it got steamy quick. Here goes nothing! 

The race started a little further back than the day before, but we would run up the same road the starting corrals were on for the 10k/5k. We went across the same bridge to Kentucky. I was already feeling it in my quads. Just keep focusing. The crowds were AMAZING! There were TV cameras, cheer stations, signs everywhere. It was awesome. 

While in Kentucky I saw a man handing out bacon. Something that didn't seem very appealing at the time, but I bet an hour later I would have taken it. The race continued over the smaller bridge from the day before and over by my hotel. There was a cheer station outside a senior high rise. The ladies were cheering and holding signs. One said "Run faster I don't have all day." It was great! 

Mile three was the last bridge back into Ohio. Quads are still burning on the uphill and the rain started again. I could see the sun poking out once I got to the top of the bridge. Alright, this is what we're doing the rest of this race. 

Mile 1: 8:40    Mile 2: 8:31    Mile 3: 8:43

Mile four was the purple mile for Team In Training. I always love cheering with Team for my girl Lauren. I could feel the spirit of my friends with me. It was a beautiful moment. It was around this time that I also high fived a man in a pig costume while another runner screamed "I LOVE BACON FOR BREAKFAST!" Yeah, I thought I was losing it. 

I knew I would see Joe around mile five. Turns out the crowds were four deep at mile five. Luckily, I found him easily and it made me smile. I knew the struggle bus was waiting for me. 

When you hit the mile six marker you can see the uphill you have coming. I was running next to the 3:50 pacer for the last mile and I heard him say "Now we have a little bit of work to do, then we can have some fun!" Clearly this man is crazy.

Mile 4: 8:30    Mile 5: 8:53    Mile 6: 8:32

Okay, so the hill everyone talks about is legit. Like real legit. At the start of the hill there was a man dressed in pink camo pants, a pink shirt, a bull horn and a giant pink letter F. He kept saying "Get the F up the hill." "It's just an F-ing hill." All of which was hilarious to me and kinda helped. 

There was a slight break in the hill at the seven mile marker. We went down for a slight bit and I tried to get my legs back. Just when I started to feel better, bam, another hill. Great. 

Kelsey had told me we run by a lookout at the top of the last hill. There was a sweet old man singing group, a tv camera and a beautiful overlook. Too bad it was super foggy and I could barely see anything. The fog was starting to break but I needed to go. 

Even though the steepest part of the hills were over, the climbing would continue. I overheard a man next to me telling the story of why he was running for charity (sadly I didn't catch which one). He said someone in his family was diagnosed with cancer and the community came out to help. This was a way he could give back. This made me think of Carrie and all I wanted to do was give this man a hug. Instead I took a deep breath and send some vibes to my friend and continued on. 

Mile 7: 9:53    Mile 8: 9:44    Mile 9: 9:29

I almost ended up on the marathon course. I zoned out and almost missed the split. Thank goodness for the volunteer who noticed my bib and flagged me down. The sun was out and the humidity was building. I pulled my pony tail out of my singlet and it was a HUGE knot. Yeah, I'll just tuck that back in there. 

I remembered hearing that there would be tissues close to the end of mile nine. My hands are covered in snot so cleaning up would be great. Those tissues were everything! Not far after that volunteers were giving out wet paper towels. Man, I didn't think it could get much better! 

As I approached mile 10 I heard a woman yell "Where the *%#^ is the downhill!?" Lady, I know! There was a super nice high school football team pumping us up as we ran through a balloon tunnel. It was the final climb. I could see the downhill it was still a little further down the road but it was coming! 

I grabbed a twizzler from an awesome cheer station and let the downhill happen! The course ended up on the other side of the road from the initial hill. The pink camo F man was still out cheering on the masses. I passed the flying fish station and took some Swedish Fish. 

To be honest, I never saw the mile 11 mile marker. The sun was blinding and reflecting off the wet concrete. The next thing I know I was at the mile 12 marker. Again, the crowds were awesome and all I can smell is pancakes. Gosh I was really freaking hungry.

Mile 10: 9:50    Mile 11: 8:36    Mile 12: 8:47

The final mile. I knew I would be really close to breaking two hours, but I couldn't go any faster. I had nothing left. As long as I was moving forward I was making progress. I grabbed some candy from another cheer station hoping the sugar would help. 

There is was, the finish chute. I saw Joe again and the finish swine. I checked my watch and knew even with my greatest kick, it wasn't going to happen today. Still, I was kicking it in to that finish line. 

I high fives another pig and crossed the line. I finished 13.1 miles in 2:00:23. When I stopped running I almost fell over. My legs were shot. Thank goodness I grabbed my medal and took a few cups of Gatorade. I legit left everything out there over the four races. I was spent. 

I finished the 3-Way Challenge with Extra Cheese 51st overall (450+ participants), 10th female and second in my age group! While there was zero plan to even do anything like that, I'm super proud of my work! I also qualified for the Half Fanatics when I finished! 

Did I love this race, yes! It was challenging, but so enjoyable at the same time. The whole weekend was just incredible. I was blown away by the organization of the race, the volunteers and the crowds. The swag you get is awesome and the area was just so into the race. Joe already asked if we are going back next year! 

Here is the course map and elevation chart from the half marathon! 


  1. Great job lady!!

  2. Awesome job, lady!! You're so inspiring!

  3. I knew you'd love it! I'm trying to plan my return someday too!! :)

    1. I need to go back! It was way too much fun!!

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