The 2019 Flying Pig Marathon was my third marathon, and while I didn’t reach my time goal, I had a very positive experience. After each marathon I learn more about myself and what works and what doesn’t.

2019 Flying Pig Expo

My mom flew into Cincinnati on Friday and we went straight to the expo at the Duke Energy Center. It was well organized, but busy! Included in the swag was a t-shirt, poster, and large soft cooler. Of course I couldn’t resist the photo op with the 26.2 sign.

2019 Flying Pig Marathon Route

The 2019 Flying Pig Marathon route starts and ends near Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati. We’ve done every single part of the route on our training runs, so I knew where all the hills and turns were. That didn’t make them any easier, but at least I knew what was around the corner.

My official time was 5:29:52, almost 45 minutes slower than my goal, but still faster than Nashville. I didn’t have any issues with what I was wearing. I wore our session’s t-shirt, the same pants I wore at Indy and my trusted Brooks Glycerin shoes.

Everyone from Tri-State Running met at the company tents and someone snapped this photo of the group. This just tells you how many “friends” I had out on the course with me. So much encouragement and support. <3

The Struggle

I think it was around mile 5 or 6 that I started to think it wasn’t my day. I didn’t say anything and tried to think positive thoughts. But my heart rate kept creeping up to the high 180s – low 190s. Finally, sometime after mile 10, I told my pace group to go on without me. I didn’t want to hold them back.

I met up with Nolan around mile 14 and started crying. I wanted to just give up and walk home. The mile back to our house was tempting compared to the 12+ miles to the finish line. Instead, I did the loop through Mariemont, got a quick neck massage from Cameron at the Tri-State tent, and met up again with Nolan around mile 16. He gave me a quick pep talk and sent me along Columbia Parkway.

I had to stop at the porta-potty at mile 18.5. It was at this point that I let go of chasing a time and focused on my goal #2; enjoying the race. After that point, I zig zagged all the way to the finish line giving all the kids (usually with my eyes open) high fives, petting all the cute dogs, taking beer and tequila shots, and talking to tons of folks along the way. I got the best sweaty hug from Karen at the Tri-State tent at mile 22. As I approached downtown Cincinnati I saw three different Tri-State groups yelling “Go Em!” and I was able to run through the last 1.2 miles smiling.

Sausage Fingers

Can you tell how swollen my hands are? The photo above was taken right near the end. Talk about sausage hands! 😉 Not sure if my fluid or sodium intake was off, but my hands and feet ballooned. Luckily I avoided any huge blisters.

Finishing

I am still disappointed that I couldn’t crack my time goal, but I guess I used up all my “good run tokens” on the training runs. 🙂 Or maybe I didn’t do the taper right. Or maybe the sun/humidity got to me. Or maybe my own anxiousness got to me. Who knows. What I do know is that running is a wonderfully humbling sport.

The Medal

The marathon medal is large and heavy- you can see how it compares to the 10K medal from last year. Luckily, I triple enforced my medal rack, so I’m not worried about it ripping off the wall. Even though it wasn’t my best race, it’s not going to be my last.

Post Marathon Meal

Nolan got up at 4:30am with us, but instead of dressing for a race, he dressed a big ‘ol pork shoulder and put it on the smoker. It was his first time making pulled pork and it was amazing! My mom requested our favorite smoked beans and I requested garlic bread. He also made some cole slaw with fresh pineapple and jalapeños. I’m so grateful for Nolan’s cheering and cooking! <3 Now to start training for my next race!

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