Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What the Pig Taught Me.....

The Flying Pig marathon was a race that humbled me and made once again realize that running a marathon is work! Not only physically but mentally as well! 

Before I go into what I learned let me say that I really loved this whole event!! The expo was amazing!! It was huge, and even though I didn't spend a whole of time there, it had everything you ever wanted! The swag that came from the race was awesome! A great shirt (that fits!), the annual poster that goes with the race, & nice big cooler that will be nice to hold cold adult beverages! But it was the crowd support that was amazing! There were people everywhere and that was so awesome! It made me get a feel of what Chicago will be like. These people go all out for this race and that was so cool! The best water stops were on the long stretch of the highway....Michigan fans were handing out Gu nice to yell Go Blue! and right after them was the Parrot Head club..Fins Up! __/)__ And after crossing the the Finish Swine the after party was amazing. Even though I couldn't focus to much it was easy to navigate to where to go. 

Would I do this race again? ---> Yes! Maybe only half of it. 
Would I recommend anyone to do it?---> Yes!! 

So what did I learn:

  • Running a marathon is work! You can do all the training you want but come race day "it just doesn't happen"
  • Seeing that I know live and run in the flat land of Michigan find a race that is not so hilly! The hills would been 'easier' had I still lived in Alabama where you can't get away from the hills.
  • Maybe look for a spring marathon later in the spring, to allow for more time to get adjusted to the weather change. 5 days of above 40 degrees is not enough time for your body to get adjusted to warmer temps come race day! 
  • I learned how to hydrate during the race a whole lot better then my time in Detroit
  • I learned that oranges never tasted so good! 
  • I need to try something other then Gu, I couldn't suck down a whole packet.
  • I need to keep my brain in it! It was brain that quit before my body....but I still finished and I was not going to Quit!!!
  • And 12 hours later, the main thing I learned is that it is OK to not reach your goal, as long as you come away from it learning something!
No I did not reach my goal time, but I FINISHED my 3rd marathon!! Something I thought I would NEVER be able to say.

Medal and Beer...well earned!

I now have a big chip on my shoulder and ready to Dig Deep and Dream Big for the Chicago Marathon in October. 
 Coach Alex is well aware of this and I'm ready for what ever he throws at me!

So no the race didn't go as I would had liked, but I am at peace with it and ready to tackle the next one! I still have the drive to finish the next one, Stronger and better then ever!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

The day after the Flying Pig Marathon

One hard earned Medal!

I had signed up for the Flying Pig Marathon months ago, as one of those races I just wanted to run! Then I trained all winter long! And was it a long winter!! It was a challenge going out in the cold (really cold) the snow and the ice! But I was out there. All for this race. At the beginning of the year I had told myself and coach Alex I was going to use this race as a training run, to learn more about the marathon. But as the training went on, I kind of forgot all about that statement, I was now looking for a PR and that Sub-4hour marathon. But as the race progressed the goal changed quickly from the sub-4hour marathon to just finish! 
My Story of the Flying Pig....
I originally was going to drive down to Cincinnati Friday night, and have the whole day Saturday to rest, see friends, go the expo and rest. But due to a change in my husband's work schedule plans changed. I was lucky enough to have my friend, Chelsea, drive down with me on Saturday and then drive me home on Sunday. We got up early and drove to the expo Saturday. And the expo was massive! But we only spent a short amount of time there, trying to stay off my feet! I did get to meet up with one of the girls I used to run with in Alabama. We had lunch and got to get caught up a bit, which was nice. After lunch we checked in to our hotel and took a power nap before dinner with friends of mine whose parents live in the city just off the marathon route. Dinner was great and home made! After wards it was back to the hotel and sleep time! 
I woke up at 5:15am to get ready for the 6:30 start time! I put on the clothes and checked the weather...Rain!! Good thing I packed a hat just in case! Because there was a big green cloud of rain on the radar! I packed up my bag, as Chelsea was going to check out of hotel for us. No late check out---boo to that! I headed downstairs to catch a cab over to the start line, a mile and half walk did not seem exciting before running 26.2 miles! I got to the start area and into my corral, and the nerves and excitement really hit me. It was that magical time of waiting and seeing the startline and all the excitement that goes with it! The air had a crisp feel to it, if only it stayed that way! In the corral I did see Erica and we were going to try and run together, but she wanted to wait for the porta potty line, which still had about a 15min wait after the start. I figured we would see each other on the course again, but little did I know we would not only see each other, but I would watch her crush the uphill she passed me on! Oh the hills...
As for the race.....I felt really good at the start, I was on pace, a little fast, but felt great and I slowed my self down. At mile 3.5 Chelsea jumped in for a few miles. I asked her if she checked to see if the rain was still going to come, because it got humid!  Then the hills started around mile 6-7 and this girl who now lives in the flat land did not enjoy! I knew going into it was going to be tough, and the hills were going to be there...but I didn't realize how much they were going to effect me. When Chelsea was getting ready to cut off and meet me at the finish line, I told her this was getting really hard and I didn't know if I had it in me. The hills & humidity and started to beat me down, and this was at mile 10. And while going up the "last" hill people around were saying it was the last....not sure what they were smoking because they just kept coming and coming! And when I was on flat ground, my legs and brain had slowly checked out. I tried to get back on pace but it wasn't working. The only time I know I got back on pace was the final half mile, because I was not going to allow myself go over 4:30...so I cruised in at an 8:50pace and finished at 4:29. Not the goal time I had hoped but then again, I did originally sign up and plan to run it as a training run. And that is how I felt about it....12 hours after the fact!! 

I was humbled and I learned a lot from this run, and because I learned from it It was not a complete fail! 

What I learned will come in another post...this one's dragged on long enough! 
Back of Medal from Marathon #3

Have you run the Flying Pig Half or Full Marathon?
& would you run it again?
(my answer is yes....it was a great event and I would recommend to anyone!!)

If a Race doesn't go as plan, did you learn anything from it? And did it make you stronger at your next race?