Monday, May 6, 2013

Reflections on the Flying Pig...

Tim and I finally ran "The Pig"

After eight half marathons and five full marathons, Cincinnati's Flying Pig seemed like the only course around I had yet to attempt.  Each spring I run a half marathon with my running buddies and Cincinnati was always one of the races we said we would do if "nothing else came up."  In the past I've traveled with a sometimes large group of running friends to races in Indy, Louisville, Columbus, Nashville, and Carmel, Indiana to name a few.  Often times the race was more of an excuse to enjoy a long weekend in the city.  As the years have passed my running buddies have come and gone, the long weekends of enjoying the city have turned into short overnight stays, and this year "nothing else came up."  It was time to run the Flying Pig and I had one buddy left that was willing to join me.

Tim Kearns and I have run enough of these half marathons to know what it takes.  We know we're never going to win one and we know the minimum amount of training required to complete one.  During our training   we ran a few Saturday morning long runs with some locals, which prevented us from getting too lazy.  Special thanks to Amber Cordonnier, Matt & Julie Magoto, Tyler Phlipot, and Tommy Francis who were also training for The Pig and kept Tim and I honest.  Believe it or not, I've always enjoyed the camaraderie of training with friends as much as the actual event we are training for.  Those people I mentioned are also all faster than Tim and I, so it was nice to be pushed a little as well.

Amber pushed me on a few Saturday morning training runs

The Flying Pig weekend finally arrived this past weekend.  During those early running years we might have taken a half day off work on Friday and got an early start driving to the city.  This year we waited until the high school track meet was over Saturday afternoon and left after that.  Instead of staying at the Embassy Suites, this year we stayed at the Travel Lodge.  And instead of reservations at a fancy Italian restaurant, we were treated to hamburgers on the grill at my brother-in-law's house in Newport, Kentucky (which were better than any restaurant in Cincinnati!).

The race morning atmosphere was great, the weather was ideal, the crowd support was awesome, the hills between miles six and nine were killer, and the finish was rewarding.  Overall, it was motivating to be out there with so many different kinds of runners and in retrospect, perhaps we should have ran The Pig years ago.  I'm always inspired after running a half or full marathon and maybe that's why I do it.  Maybe that's why I'll run another one again next year.  Maybe that's why I'll run the Flying Pig again someday... if nothing else comes up.  

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