Sunday, May 25, 2008

Run #53 Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon Race Report

.Date/Time: May 4th at about 6:45 (start delayed due to fire near course)
Place: Cincinnati, OH (mid 40's at start, upper 60's by finish)
Mileage 26.2...(or is that 26.45? Read here for story-scroll down to end)
Time It Took: 6:24:38
Pace: 14:32 (oh geez!)
Miles this week: 34.43
Miles this month: 26.45
2008 Goal: 340.14

Thoughts/Comments: I may have slightly underestimated those hills. Who goes up a hill, and turn, voila, another hill? incredible! Is Cincinnati still the midwest? Ay-ay-ay! Can't even come up with a race report right now! Sometime tomorrow, friends. It's the middle of the night (ok...after 1am). BUT I DID IT! And since it's my first marathon, I can say that I "PR'ed" (personal record), hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Can't wait to get home to the flatlands of Chicago, we leave in the morning. Thanks everyone for your support!!!!!!!!


So after a decent night’s sleep of about 6.5 hours, I made my way down to the start line…just under a mile away. I walked most of the way with a husband and wife who were running, the wife running the half, the husband running the full marathon. They were from Dayton and she talked a lot about the hills. Her husband said the marathon course gets flat later in the course, but then corrected himself and said “Well, not really flat, let’s just say rolling.” I decided not to listen too closely after that, no need to freak out now, I was here. I downed half a bagel, but that was all I could stomach. Yes, I notoriously eat within 30-60 minutes before a run, it doesn’t bother my stomach at all, and eating way before that does me no good! My plan was to hit the Gu (energy gel) starting at 4 miles, for every 4 miles, and later in the race, more frequently if necessary.

Didn’t get the chance to meet up with Lou, my summer 2007 pace group buddy, who was running the half marathon, it was really crowded and they had the sides of the start line blocked off, so in order to get there, you either had to go all the way to the back, or just wait until they opened the blockades. Lou ran a PR, by the way, ON HILLS without training for them. AWESOME!!!!! Judging by her last few races, she may have officially graduated from the 12:00 minute milers! Way to go, LOU!!!!!!!

Shotgun start, fireworks, and we’re off! Within the first mile, my shoelace came undone. This, after I’d laced my timing chip onto my shoelaces b/c I had a mishap with the little tie-thingy. So right at the Mile 1 marker I stopped, retied and went on my merry way. Going over the first bridge I noticed a firefighter in full gear. “Whatever, man,” is about what I thought. Who knew? (click for story, what a hero!) After the first bridge , we were in Newport, Kentucky. 2nd bridge, Covington, Kentucky, and 3rd bridge, back in Cincinnati. The hills were little, but not bad at all. At around mile 4, I took my first Gu.

We start going uphill, leading up into a park. Now miles 5 through 8 are supposed to be the toughest part of the run, a pretty steep climb. It was pretty tough, I ran much of it, but it was crazy! The hill would go up, you’d see the top, and then you’d turn and it was another hill! It was pretty slow going in here for me, I was running, but very slowly. At about 8.4 miles, according to my Garmin, I had another Gu. At some point in here, and I don’t remember where, we were way up high, and the view was really nice. I’m no picture taker when I run, but if I were like Stacey, I would have been snappin some photos, it was pretty with the trees, river and houses nestled amid the trees

So we finally hit a residential area. Around Mile 9 I hit a groove, finally. At some point an ambulance drove by. I finally came across them and the paramedics were packing up their gear. The ambulance was still there, but I didn’t see anything. Read here for that story!

So although my pace was shot, I was moving right along. The miles were just flying by 12, 13, 14….The aid stations every mile were pretty nice, too. I still carried my own Gatorade and water, which came in handy when I could no longer stomach that “endurance formula” stuff anymore.

There were still little hills here and there, and each one was more annoying than the last! As l hit 20 miles and still felt ok, but I noticed my knee hurting a bit, the same one in the same place. Thankfully, I only felt one twinge of my muscles that plagued me the entire end of my 20 mile run a few weeks back. This part of the course through to about 24 miles SUCKED in that there were very few people along the course, other than policeman and people who had to be there. For a good long stretch were on the side of a highway and it was very boring scenery. This is when I started run-walking. Along the side there was this patch of grass and it looked refreshing. I wanted to roll around in the grass. For those who know me, you know I must have been half-delirious, since I don’t do the outside thing very much!

Around Mile 22, we were in a park, and this one chic was off on the side, I think maybe throwing up. Me and this other guy went to go check on her, he was like “C’mon, we’ll walk you back in to the finish.” All I could think was “Speak for yourself, buddy, I'm not walking for the entire rest of the race!”

My friend Megan sent me a text around this point, she’d be at Mile 25 to run me in. Guess I took a long time, bc I got another text saying she’s now be at Mile 24! It was around this time that my Gu was making me sick, Gatorade was putrid tasting, but I knew I had to “indulge”. I could feel the salt crystals forming on my face, so I needed the replenishment. But it was all I could do to drink it at this point. BLECH! Everytime I ran I felt Gu and Gatorade was jiggling around in my stomach.

So finally up ahead, there’s Megan!!! Megan was part of my pace team last summer, and although she originally intended to run the half marathon, she as on doctor/trainer’s orders to not run any long distances. So a few miles running me and Lou at the end of our races was ok. J Megan was who got me thru our 18 mile run last year when I didn’t think I was gonna make it, so it was so reassuring to have her there. She shuffled along with me, which is what I felt like I was doing at this point. Shuffle-shuffle-shuffle, walk-walk walk, shuffle-, walk-walk, and so on.

When I saw the 26 mile marker, and then the finish line up ahead, I felt like it was a joke. I’ve always heard that the last .2 seems long. But it didn’t seem that long at all, though I still wanted to be sure I could run it all! I shuffled along, right with Megan, and then I saw my hubby and two girls waiting along the side. I waved and yelled but kept running thru to the finish line. I was too happy, but to be honest, the first thing on my mind is “WHERE’S MY MEDAL!!!!!” So Meg walked with me thru the end, getting my chip taken off, getting my medal, a Flying Pig towel (that had jello stains and snot on it 10 minutes later-thanks Zoe!), and my mylar blanket. She even grabbed some water and ice cream (YES!) for me. Isn’t she the best running buddy ever?! AND she even reminded me to stretch, but eventually she had to go back to her hotel room to get ready for her trip back to Chi-town.

Me, Joey and the girls walked about a mile back to the hotel, well Zoe rode in the stroller. I saw an Arby’s and suddenly I wanted roast beef sandwiches. I sent him and Zoe there, and took Jada and kept walking.

Body check:

Sunday: hurting, even my toes hurt! I took a cold bath, followed by a warm shower, then did little but lie around and eat. I didn’t go to sleep until well after 9pm, though. Jada and Zoe weren’t having it. Who knew that a mylar blanket would provide hours of fun for them?

Monday (today): had to ride home (about 6 hours, including detour to our alma mater Univ of Illinois in our long-term plan to brainwash our children into going there) and I’m a little sore, but amazingly ok! Absolutely NO pain relief medication at all.

What’s next: Tomorrow will be another 6 or so hours in a car, going with co-workers for an RFP interview in Dubuque, Iowa of all places. UGH!

My running future: 1st off, I’m so glad I signed up for the Chicago Marathon. I KNOW I can do that course, and do way better than this run. And I’m excited to PROVE IT!!! My goal is to shave at least 45 minutes off of my time.

But first things first, this Sunday I’m running in a 5K Race to Empower, raising money for breast cancer awareness and support. It will either seem really short, or it will be horribly long..not sure what to think. Then on May 24th I’ll be running in the Soldier Field 10-mile run, finishing on the 50-yard line with my picture on the jumbo screen.

Well, it’s late, but I wanted to post this tonight since I will be out in the field all day tomorrow for work.

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