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!