Flying Pig 5K and Marathon (May 4th and 5th)
This spring I have been in more of a base building mode as I have only been running for 13 months and I think that I am supposed to be a marathoner. Recently my older sister who inspired me to start running asked me to run the Flying Pig Marathon with her. I have had decent mileage, but not real a marathon training plan. I had time to get in a 17 miler and a 19 miler before a short taper. I live in a flat area of Texas and I have one hill that isn’t a real hill in town, so this wasn’t good for a course that isn’t flat.
I knew that this would be part of the thing that makes this race exciting. It was the first time that I was flying to a race and I was going alone. The nearest decent airport is Austin, TX, 2 ½ hours from my house, so I had to take Friday off of work in order to make sure that I could get to Cincinnati at a decent time on Friday evening after a short layover in Chicago. Plans didn’t work out so well. I got to Austin about 9am for an 11am flight that didn’t leave until 2:30. My Chicago flight kept getting bumped back for different reasons. After chillin for a while two young ladies (May and Alice) sat next to me and were chit chatting with each other. I heard them mention running so asked if they were going to run the Flying Pig also. After a while Alice said screw this do we just want to rent a car and drive to Cincinnati from Chicago. They asked me, a complete stranger to ride through a couple of states in order to get to a race. The girls had to get to Cincy as they planned on running a 10k (8am) and a 5k (10am) on Saturday morning. We ended up driving from Chicago through Indiana to Ohio and into Kentucky where my hotel was at. I personally wasn’t too worried about being in a car with two strange ladies that were pretty small.
5K- I was given a free bib from May who had somehow gotten extra race bibs. She was registered as a 47 yr old and a 27 yr old. I am sure I broke some sort of race etiquette as I ran the 5k as a 27yr old lady. I placed 125 out of 354 in that age group, with a time of 34:28. The 5k was a good reason to run some in order to freshen up my legs again and I finished about where I wanted to. Here is a picture of me and my travel buddies.
Alice, T-Rod, May
The flying Pig Expo was set up well and organized. Were able to get some free goodies and packet pick up was super easy. My sister thought it was the best one she had been to (18th marathon). After the expo my sister and I grabbed a late lunch and then just hung out and napped some while waiting for the Kentucky Derby on TV.
Charmin station at the Expo Sister Mona, Barefoot Runner from Mexico, T-Rod
I had set myself up for either a great race or a blow up, and one of them happened. When I was originally asked what my goal was for the race there was three. 1- Finish, 2- Enjoy it, 3- 4:44x. The 4:44 time was based on McMillan off of a HM that I ran in January. I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to happen and I wasn’t going to stress about it.
Sunday AM- We are up by 4:45 to start getting ready we were in the elevator headed down to catch our shuttle to the race and I felt I was missing something. I thought maybe it was my headlamp as 90% of my running is done in the dark. We get in the van and are about 2 blocks away from our hotel and I say Oh shit I left my bib. So we had to jump out and walk back to the hotel to grab it. We finally end up at the race and find the school busses that are being used for bag check and then get over to our coral. There is music playing and a ton of great energy from the other runners. There were tons of porta potties and we stood in line for a while waiting to use them. We lost our 4:45 group and were ok with that. I was planning on running by feel anyways.
The first 5 miles or so were pretty much what I needed to do. My paces were not even, but I felt good and I wasn’t doing anything crazy while we were dodging people.
Miles 6- 12 were not smart. I was feeling good but the inclines were not nice to me. I was feeling my quads some by mile 11 and new that it was going to be a long day. I think that this stretch while it felt great at the time ended up costing me big time.
Miles 13-20 I started to do some run walking as my legs were doing funny things to me. I had a cramp that was moving around and it was kind of funny. It would start in my quad then to my hamstring then to the other leg. I knew by about mile 14 that the 4:44 was out the window and that 5:00 would be in question.
Miles 21- 26.2
More cramping more good times and a couple of small Pabst Blue Ribbon Beers about mile 25. I was wanting a beer about mile 22, but it was worth the wait.
Thoughts on The Flying Pig:
Great support throughout the race. Tons of aid stations. Plenty of security – City Police, Sheriffs, Highway Patrolman. I felt very safe. Crowd support was good for most of the race. I would recommend this race to people. The town really seems to embrace the race and has fun with it.
Overall I was pleased with my 2nd marathon of the spring and 2nd career marathon. This race was neat since it was on the 1 year anniversary of my first race. I am 13 months from getting off of the couch and having a blast.
Post Race Photos
Thanks for reading.
”Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”
I'm glad you had fun with the race, even though it was much harder than you expected. Next time you'll know to train for the hills. That one at mile 7 looks like a killer. Good job finishing, despite the cramps.
I dont have any hills that, I will need to be creative to get hill work in, or limit myself to flat races
Tomas, congrats on #2! I hope to do my first in December. Is that your sis in the last pic? The travel with strangers was weird, but says something great about runners! So cool.
YAYpril - B-Plus
Congratulations on finishing another marathon! You really look fantastic. Keep up the great work.
Congrats on marathon #2. The smiles in the last picture say it all The elevation looks hairy!
uʍop ǝpᴉsdn sǝʇᴉɹʍ ʇI
Looking good, T-rod!! Cramps are no fun, but you finished. More importantly, it looks and sounds like you had a great time.
Ball of Fury
Congrats on your 2nd marathon! The Pig is a tough course...nice job!
PRs: 5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15
sister is in the last picture- she is wearing one of her magical Hope for the wariors shirts.
If I was the 2 Girls no way would I have let a strange guy hop in a car with me to drive. Both of them are from Los Angeles so maybe they felt like a Texas boy wasnt dangerous. I figured that their bags had made it through security so they couldnt have any real weapons.
That is a tough course for a TX guy. Great job!
Congrats Tomas! Did you see the smart-aleck who's always out there at about mile 18 holding a sign that read "Why couldn't Phedippides have died here?"
STILL HAVING FUN!!!
Great job on running the Flying Pig!
I don't recall that one. That's funny though. My favorite was a play on the blues brothers. There was a series of signs the first one was its 7 miles to Cincinnati then one about cigarettes and gas. Then there was a group of blues brothers playing music.
Tomas, you definitely look more like a 27 year old woman than a 47 year old one. I've always said that you looked much younger than your age.
Wow! That was quite an adventure you had! Considering the hills, you did great. If you haven't trained specifically for them, the hills will kill your legs and the last miles become really tough. You hung in there like a champ! For a guy who's only been running a little over a year, you already have lots of experience, that's awesome really. Congratulations! And I laughed at the pic of you on the Charmin throne... Prince Charmin , and that pic of you and your sis is adorable!
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
18 marathons, 18 BQs since 2010
Congrats on finishing and sharing your race report. That was quite the adventure just getting to the race! I love the pic of you and your sister after the race. Awesome smiles!
"It doesn’t matter how often you do it or how much you accomplish, in general, not running is a lot easier than running." - Meb Keflezighi