Oh the difference a year can make.
The Flying Pig is a special race for me because it marks my one year anniversary of this crazy running world I have become a part of. It was fun to run the race this year and remember all of the spots that kicked my ass last year. Mile 15, the 1 mile section of
And now the report…
Kim arrived Saturday just after 2:00. We went right to the expo to pick up our race packets and spent some time looking around. Then we came back home and watched the Kentucky Derby. Not because either of us cared about it but because we had been watching the pre show for the past 2 hours so we felt obligated to watch the actual race. After that we ate dinner then watch Access Hollywood, which featured a compelling story about David Arquette’s transvestite sibling. Then we watched some of the Reds game while I tried explaining to my mom on the phone that wearing my race t-shirt to the race tomorrow would be a big running fashion no-no. She wasn’t aware that there were rules about that kind of thing, “Yes mom, there are rules.”
After that riveting evening we went to bed early to rest up for our big day. We woke up at 4:15, ate and got ready. We both didn’t really know what to do with ourselves. There was really no preparation to take care of, no drop bags, extra socks, shoes, food. After all we were only running a marathon! After sticking it to the man at McDonalds we went over to UDF to get Kim’s coffee and made our way downtown for the start. We were supposed to meet Rob at 6:00 by the baggage busses but we were running late and by the time we got there, about 6:15 Rob was intelligent enough to make his way to the starting carrel, Unfortunately, I wasn’t. I wanted until 6:28 to line up. By that time it was so backed up there was no way of making it to the 3:50 pace group, which was my goal finishing time.
The gun went off and 3+ minutes later I crossed the starting mat. I was way behind the 3:50 group by this point and was doing my best to dodge through traffic and find an open area to get in a steady pace. I was worried how much all the bobbing and weaving I had to do early on would affect me later on but I didn’t see any other way. After we crossed back into
Then, finally, at mile ten I caught up. I was relieved because I would finally be able to settle in and stop playing catch up. After a couple miles with them I thought to my self “self, you have been running 8:30 per mile the whole race, you feel pretty good, why slow down now?” So I speed back up to my 8:30 pace and continued cruising. I chuckled on the inside when I reached mile 15 and remembered how I felt at this point last year. This is when I started getting confident in my ability to maintain this pace throughout the race. My previous PR was 4:18 and I don’t do much training under a 9:00 pace, so I didn’t know what I could do for 26.2 miles on the road. Then I hit the stretch of desolate highway on
When I hit mile 20 I knew I was good to go. I remembered last year being in the 4:30 pace group and the leader told us at the start of the race “you run the first 10 miles with your legs, the second 10 with your mind and the last 6 with your heart.” It was a nice saying and it came in real handy last year. My legs were definitely feeling the pace, but I knew I had enough to bring it home. At mile 24 I caught up with a couple guys in there late 50’s. They were starting to speed up, feeling the finish. Somehow ultrarunning came up and I told them about my adventures, and how I was training for Mohican in June. After that they started to drift away and one made the comment “You think you’re in shape, then you get this guy whose trying to run 100 miles!” That made me laugh, and the finish line was now about a mile away, so I picked up the pace. I was probably doing about 7:30 pace for the last mile then with about .25 to go I made my sprinting attack to move up as many places as possible in the overall finishers list. I think I caught about 10 people in the last ½ mile. I crossed the line, a final time of 3:43:26, 8:31 per mile, no huffing and puffing, no hands on the knees “I better sit down or I might fall down” , no blackouts, just a nice finish, and a year of running in the books, I’ll be back….hopefully for a BQ.