Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A floating pig.

To reward myself for not training all year and half-assing my way through a marathon a week ago, i treated myself to a half marathon on Sunday!  Actually, i was looking forward to the Flying Pig all year.  I don't normally like "big" races, but the Flying Pig stole my heart last year, and i want to do it every year now.  I even briefly considered going to for the full this year, but just because i survived one marathon without training, doesn't mean i should push it and try two back to back.  So, i did the half again this year, and it was the best thing ever.  Maybe next year is the year i go for the full Monty!

We drove to Cincinnati friday night after work, which is the worst part.  Its late, and we were both trying to stay awake.  We ate Taco Bell on the road, and i make the mistake of trying to be healthy and getting the Cantina Bowl (which the "veggie" cantina bowl is just lettuce and rice.  Because iceburg lettuce is totally a vegetable.) Never try to be healthy kids. 

We got there late, but woke up early and took waffles for a four mile run.  Normally, i don't run the day before the race, but i knew this race would not be raced in anyway what-so-ever.  It was a nice way to get used to the Cincy weather (900% humidity) and Waffles needed the fresh air after being cooped up in the car on Friday.  We even took time to good around!
 Then we went to the BEST PLACE EVER for "noon tea/lunch.  There is a place in Cincy called The BonBonerie.  We got to eat finger sandwiches, fruit, and cookies, and other light fare.  If you are in Cincinnati, you MUST go here.  For little bites of food, it was actually really filling.  They even had Flying Pig cookies!  I love that the Flying Pig literally takes over the whole city for a weekend.  

Then Matt and i headed to the expo, which is huge.  It's not quite as big as the Chicago Marathon, but it's pretty dang impressive

I got my yearly picture with "Pigippides."  He is the pig that ran from Marathon to Athens that the history books left out.  Typical.
We went home and then decided to take Waffles hiking in the local nature preserve.  Because i am a pro at doing everything you shouldn't do the day before a race.  The weather was so nice i couldn't resist.

I went to lay out everything before i went to bed, and realized i only packed one arm warmer.  Because I'm awesome.  Bonus points because it was raining and i really wanted it.
The race starts at 6:30am eastern time, so that involved me getting up at 3:30am Chicago time.  Happy camper i was not.
They let the runners hang out in the football stadium before the race.  My pace leader David runs the pig every year, so he was going to run with us up until the split, and my friend Brittany was running the half too!
The rain cleared up for the start of the race, and except for a few drizzles hear and there, didn't start again until the finish (but then it poured)

The race was awesome.  So many people out SO EARLY cheering, dancing, having a good time.  It was like all of sudden we teleported to mile 5.  And then began our journey to the summit of that stupid giant Cincinnati hill.   It's really not the worst hill ever, its just that I am a Chicago flat-lander.  On the plus side, I ran up that entire hill (to mile 9.5) without stopping once.  On the down side, i had an asthma attack.  It wasn't the worst one ever, but it is still sucky experience.  I had mild asthma problems on the hill last year, but it was so hot last year i was taking walk breaks, so it didn't catch up with me.  This year it did, but luckily enough i had coach Matt to talk me down.  The worst part of having an asthma attack is the sheer terror of not being able to take a deep breath.  Luckily Matt was super calm, barking Lamaze orders at me (in through nose, out through the mouth!)  Eventually, we just stopped for a minute so i could just get re-center and get some oxygen in me.  I was very glad they didn't mind stopping with me.  After that, we began out descent back down.  This was much easier, and my breathing was in control (for the most part) for the rest of the day.  The downhill parts FLY.  (Crap - maybe thats why they call it Flying Pig??)

We all finished together as it started to rain.  They have TONS of food after the race as well.  Like more food than i have ever seen at any race.  I actually had to use my mylar blanket as a satchel to manage it all.
 We parked maybe 3/4 of a mile away, and we made the soaking wet trek to the car.  Only i forgot, i had put the parking ticket in my SPI belt.  It got SOAKED.  I don't know why, but we decided to try it anyway to see if the machine could read it.  Naturally, it jammed in the machine, and it was out of commission the rest of the day.  I was scolded by a 16 year old parking attendant who was in disbelief at the fact that i would even consider jamming the wet parking ticket in the machine.  He then parking shamed me as he glared at me while making an "out of order" sign for the machine.  

In short, despite the giant hill, it is really one of the best races i have ever run.  They really make it an event for everyone too, with a 5k and 10k on saturday, and a kids run.  The whole town seems to participate.  If you are ever in need of a spring race, GO TO THE FLYING PIG.  The only thing i would change about the whole weekend would be the Cantina Bowl, and the bad call on the parking ticket.

I will be back for you next year, Flying Pig, and i will make it up the hill without stopping again, AND not have an asthma attack - its on, suckas!

29 comments:

  1. wow is all I can say! Doing a half a week after a full? Dang lady!
    Sorry to hear about the asthma attack, glad you got through it!

    I am glad you had a fun time!!

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  2. Um, I swear I just read a marathon recap here. So how did you turn around and do a half right away? My legs ache just thinking about it. Congrats on another half!
    It is pretty hilarious that you got scolded by a 16 year old.

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  3. Sorry about the asthma attack! It's good that Matt was there to help calm you down, those definitely suck :(

    Sounds like a really fun race otherwise! I like an entire town being into the race too. I noticed that in Chambana a couple weeks ago for the IL Marathon, which I thought was pretty cool.

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    1. I love that you call it chambana, haha

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  4. You make me want to run this one!! Sounds like a super fun weekend - and I so want a pig cookie right now :)

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  5. Haha loved this race recap! There is always some sort of something that takes place. I think the parking attendant was really mad bc then they had to actually do something at work instead of play Candy Crush all day. FWP for that one, for sure.

    I'm glad you're okay after your asthma attack. I'm sure that was scary! I should probably start looking into those Lamaze breathing techniques at some point in the near future. Probably...

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  6. I would run this race just so I could get that flying pig cookie. Looks delicious! Congrats on back to back marathon/half weekends. Wow!

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    1. You can't really see, but cookie is also covered in edible sparkles. Because of course it is.

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  7. Totally adding this race to my list!! I think I said this last year but, seriously, 2014 will be the year! That is, if I don't volunteer at Wisconsin again...

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  8. Cool...HA HAH HA about the wet parking ticket....and nice that the rain held off for all of you!

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  9. So did you end up rocking one arm warmer??? I can't tell in the pictures. :)

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    1. No, haha, it ended up being warm enough to be naked-armed

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  10. Aww man! This race sounds so fun! Or maybe you are just so fun! Love this recap. That cookies looks divine. I went hiking the night before one of my HM... is that a bad idea?! Oops.

    Scary about the asthma attack. I am happy Matt was able to calm you down and help you through it.

    OMG. I am laughing SO HARD that you put that wet ticket in the machine. Did you get free parking then? hee hee.

    Congrats on a fun race! :)

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  11. Hahahah your life wins. I want a picture with a marathon running pig!!! Love the parking ticket story -- totally a story for the kids one day!

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  12. I probably would have put that parking ticket in the machine too.

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  13. I did Flying Pig last year, and it ROCKED. If there weren't so many other races that weekend, that would be a must-do for me every year as well.

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    1. That is the worst part- so many awesome races that weekend!

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  14. This race is one of them I have on my bucket list, but I have never actually heard of anyone say that they ran it. I am glad that you liked it! I will have to make more of an effort to go back in the next few years and tackle that huge hill.

    You are a rock star for running a half a week after a marathon! I did that and was out of commission for two months!

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    1. I was also not putting forth spectacular times for either :)

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  15. The race sounds like a blast. It's a bummer that you had an asthma attack, but it's great that you over came it. Is there anything you can do preemptively to avoid have asthma attacks? That just sounds so debilitating!

    Oh, and I totally thought you had chopped off all your hair. It looks like a pixie cut in that first picture!

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    1. If only I was brave enough to rock super short hair!

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  17. I am SO there next year! My youngest is pig obsessed and ORDERED me to do it this year...except I was already on for Wisc. so next year for sure! Ugh hills.

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