Flying Pig Marathon Race Recap
The morning started just like any other race morning for me. I set about 18 alarms and of course when they all went off I hopped out of bed and shut them all off and started getting ready. I choked down a bagel with PB on it and a banana. Sipped some Gatorade which I loaded with ice to water down for Brian to give me when he saw me throughout the race course. I obsessed that I was running a marathon to Teresa and her husband who came to be part of the cheer entourage while I let those nervous butterflies flutter in my stomach.
At 6am I met Meghann and Kelly downstairs in the lobby of our hotel and we left and made the quick trip to the start line.
I left them at corral C wished them luck ( I knew they were going to rock) and headed back to corral F to wait for the start.
The race started right on time, and before I knew it I was passing Teresa, Chuck and HB at the start line!
I was off! I was running another marathon!!
Meghann and Kelly and I have obsessed over the elevation chart for the Flying Pig course over the last 6-8 weeks through email,Facebook, Twitter and in person when we met up over the weekend. I knew that there would be a 4 mile climb from miles 6-10. I tried not to obsess too much over it while I was running. I just tried to make the best of the hills as I reassured myself that they’d be over soon. I definitely had to channel my girls Regan and Suzanne (Who are hill QUEENS) when I hit that point.
Side note: I was really hoping to do well at this race. I trained hard, got progressively faster as my training went on, and hoped I could come in under 5 hours . (chicago I had not trained as hard as I did this time around and came in over 5 hours) I had ambitiously made the decision to grab a 4:45 pace tat at the expo to keep myself on track .
I kept right on track for the first few miles, doing my 5 minute run , 1minute walk intervals and I kept the 4:45 pace group in my sights and was playing leap frog with them for a while.
at mile 5 I had kind of lost them, I was SO glad to see Brian, Teresa, and Chuck though. I yelled, waved my arms and then saw the giant hill in front of me shortly after I passed them.
I continued up the hill at mile 6, and kept about 5 minutes slower pace than my pace tattoo had said. I was feeling good, my legs felt great despite the 4 mile climb and mentally I was in the game.
but god I was glad when the hill climbing ended at mile 10.5/11ish
Part of me wanted to split at that point with the half marathoners, but I knew that I was strong and I was going to finish well.
I had been sipping water at all of the water stations starting around the 5k point. When I saw everyone at mile 11, I took some of the Gatorade that I had handed Brian before we left.
It tasted so sweet. I also ate a couple of my honey stingers at this point.
I continued on for the next few miles feeling good and strong and mentally well.
Then mile 15 hit.
My back had started to hurt (I’m still not sure from what) and I had started to slow down my pace a bit. I remained about 7 minutes off of the 4:45 pace and kept thinking to myself that I could easily hit 4:55 and be really pleased with that.
I kept taking water and gatorade and mixing them at each water station. The sun was getting higher and higher in the sky and it started to get hotter and hotter and the course had little to no shade.
Literally… I was baking and I could feel it.
I met up with everyone again at mile 18 and was so glad to see them.
I took some gatorade from Brian, ate some chews, and exclaimed that my back was really starting to hurt.
Teresa reassured me that I was looking fantastic and that I had this in the bag.
I took off and headed toward the highway.
I think that this was my favorite part of the course. Even though there was not a lot of crowd support, I felt fast, (of course it was on a downhill) and I picked a bunch of people off right and left. I was excited though when we finally got off the highway around mile 20 and into some shade.
I kept them there for a couple of miles, but I had slowed down so much and was hurting so badly that I eventually lost them. That’s when any sights for hitting my goal kind of went out the window and I just wanted to finish this thing and not die of heat stroke.
Miles 22-25 were pretty desolate the volunteers at the water stations were stellar in cheering us on (THANK YOU GUYS!) Despite the lack of support, the views of the Ohio river were pretty awesome for those few miles.
At this point, I was doing more walking than I was doing running. I couldn’t decide when my back hurt the most, when I was running, walking, stretching or stopping. I stopped several times throughout those couple of miles to do some down dogs. A couple of the Med-grunts on bikes asked if I was okay, I kept shooing them off. I just wanted to be done.
Finally, I hit mile 26 and took off at a moderate run.
Ps. Whoever decided to put the HILL at mile 26 should be seriously punished. Cruel… very cruel…
My back was throbbing, but I kept trucking, I had Eminem rapping in my ear though my Ipod and I praised the good lord that I was finished!
I walked the rest of the way through the finishers chute, and when I got out, I sat in childs pose for a good 5 minutes until Brian , Teresa, and Chuck found me.
Thank goodness they brought flip flops. They told me I did great and I started crying and told them how upset I was at my time, and now I have to train even harder and run another marathon to redeem myself (not that I wasn’t going to run another marathon anyway, I was already planning before I ran this one)
Official time was 6:01:30. Not too bad for a turtle… I’m not sure still why my back started hurting the way it did, I have never felt anything like that before during any of my training runs.
Also, thank you for all of your encouraging tweets, texts and facebook messages. You guys are amazing.
Overall I had an awesome experience, and I would definitely run this race again. Probably the half though next time.
Here’s to some speed work this summer! Who’s with me!