Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Flying Pig Half Marathon:::: #4 of 12 in 2012

flying pig half marathon, cincinnati ohio
half mary # 5
race# 4 of 12 in 2012
time:  2:16:25 (PR)
division:  408/1116
gender: 2125/6772

The race expo was Friday and Saturday and it was the largest expo I've ever attended. If you want to read more specifics you can check out this post. There were tons of volunteers which was really nice. There were really long lines for all the booths that had free samples. We got tech shirts, posters, and duffel bags (all really nice).

race morning:
Traffic was pretty crazy on the Ohio side of the river. Luckily Brad's parents live in Cinci and are pretty used to it. We decided to park on the Kentucky side of the river (AKA the better side!) and walk over. That worked pretty well. I had my standard Clif bar and some G2. We arrived around 6am (race time at 630am). You'd think that would be plenty of time but it totally wasn't. I was hoping to see Jill and my friend Becca before the race (it was Becca's first half!!), but that didn't happen.  I got to my corral (pigpen) and the bathroom line was RIDIC.

Not happening. I could have stayed and went (chip timing) but I didn't want to have to bob and weave more than I was already going to have to.

the race:

I felt prepared for this race. Ready for the hills. Hoping for a PR.

Prepared but not super confident. I had an A goal. One that I shared with NO ONE. Super secret.
And my B goal was 2:20.

This was the first half that I've done that I ran with someone I knew (my friend from home, Jill).  Oddly enough, we had never ran together before. It worked out a lot better than I'd hoped. She is a little faster than me but she wanted me to pace her, she usually goes out too fast.

Here were are within the first half mile of the race. I was a little stressed trying to maintain a good, steady pace. I REALLY wanted to catch up to the 2:15 pace group, but that never happened. They started from the E corral and I never saw them again. [Side note:  I registered WAY early for this race and plugged in the only finish time I had-- 2:32. I could have/should have/wished I'd been in the E corral].

I felt really good throughout the race and Jill and I did well staying together until about mile 6 or so. We were going up a hill and she found a new gear! I walked for a minute, got my legs back then started back up.

The other races I've done have been more rolling hills. You get a little up, you get a little down. My strategy to this point has been to walk uphill if I need to, then run down. This course was different because the uphill wasn't steep, but it was pretty consistent over about 3 miles. I ran most of it but took a few walking breaks when I needed. Maybe one day I'll actually run an entire half! ;)

Anyways, I was really pumped up at the halfway point. My legs were getting a little tired and I was worried I'd emptied my tank by running some of those hills, BUT I was right on pace for a sub 2:15. Anytime I felt like slowing down I just repeated my mantra, "HUSTLE HARDER." I also used 'dig deeper' a couple times.
The crowd support at this race was amazing. This was my favorite sign and I thought it was pretty funny that Brad picked it out and got a picture of it too! I love me some Luke Bryan and I thought this was the sweetest sign ever. HINT HINT Brad! Some others:

My mother in law made this hot pink "C" for me and it says 'Go Courtney Go!' It was super sweet of her to make (this is my father in law carrying it) and it was also great because they held it up while they were in the crowd. I could always pick them out when I was running up to them throughout the course!
There were so many people out cheering us on, so many great signs and well staffed water stations. There was no GU supplied on the half course which I thought was odd for a race this size. Best moment of the race? A group of girls had taken those tube popsicles and cut them in half and were handing them out. BEST POPSICLE EVER!!! I grabbed one and Jill and I killed it!
As I came to the end of the race I was getting super excited. I totally had my sub 2:15!!! The weird thing was, as my watch hit 13.1 I STILL COULDN'T SEE THE FINISH LINE?!?! WTH?  So of course I started getting super frustrated, but I kept running.

So what happened? The course was long. My watch said 13.46 when it was all said and done. Everyone else I talked to said the same thing. I was PISSED.  I met up with Jill, she finished a minute or so in front of me. There was a lot of different food out for racers, but they didn't have any bags for us so it was kind of dumb. There was no way to carry stuff, I ended up dropping half of what I picked up. They had cold Gogurt, which was a good idea. No chocolate milk (bummer) and believe it or not I made it thru the whole chute without getting a water. Not cool.
I found my family and we loaded up to go to brunch. Brad, his parents, and his cousin and her husband all came out to support me which was really nice! We had an amazing brunch in KY after the race... I had french toast with fresh berries, chocolate drizzle and powdered sugar! YUM!
When I saw my final time for this race my initial reaction was disappointment. Then I had a come to Jesus with myself and decided I needed to get over it. I was being a turd. I reminded myself of all the things I should be thankful for, and I got over it.
Besides, I'm totally going to get that sub 2:15 eventually!
After brunch we went home to shower and Brad took a long nap. He'd had a tough day ;)
(This was in the AM before the race). While he was napping I met up with Jill, who organized 12 in 2012! We had been trying to meet up all weekend but we kept missing each other. We met at Starbucks and chatted for a while. It was so great to meet her and her beautiful family!
I stole this picture from Jill!

All in all it was a great weekend and I would definitely run the Pig again.
I wanted to give a big shoutout to my friend Becca who rocked her first half at the pig!!! She's already got the bug and I'm hoping we can do a race together later this year!


  1. Nice run, Courtney. I love the medal and I am glad you had a great time, too.

    Nice PR and I bet you will get that sub 2:15 this year for sure.

  2. ahhh. i can understand frustration about the long course thing. i thought FOR sure my bro might be able to get 1:55 at Derby. which would have been doubly awesome for me because i have not run that fast of a half in a long time. at 13.1 on my watch the time had just turned to 1:56...i think we ran nearly .2 more. dang it! haha! it was okay though. i agree with Elle. you have gained a lot of strength and ai am loving all your mantras! you WILL get that sub 2:15! congrats on the PR and running a great race! this looks like a fun one...i need to do it some year:)

  3. Way to go on your PR! Woohoo! You got some great pics too:)

  4. Awesome Job Courtney! I was upset over the distance at that one last year as it was my first full and I was so ready to stop at 26.2 not .46!! Great Job! I was thinking of doing the full as a relay there next year maybe you could join me?!?!?

  5. Congrats on your PR!! Great Job :)

    I love the medal.

  6. Congratulations on your PR and 5th half marathon! We are tied now! But I gotta get to your time now!

  7. Good job on the race.
    On the distance subject, two things 1)even the best GPS watches are not 100% reliable and 2) you will only run 13.1 miles exactly if you run the tangents aka the shortest route possible.
    Going from side to side, avoiding runners, will often add mileage. On a short course you don't really feel it but when you get into longer distances it makes a difference.
    Next time, I'd recommend to look ahead and plan for the shortest route you can see to the next curve/turn. You'll see that you'll shave off time while running at the same speed.
    Oh and do you include speed training in your half marathon training program? It's a great way to gain speed.

  8. Congrats Courtney!! Another half and a PR! It was great meeting you and next time we'll have to go to pre-race dinner :)

    The sub 2:15 is yours for sure!

  9. You did great!! Technically you did run the time you wanted! :) My first marathon was the Pig and I think my watch read 26.75 when I was done. Talk about being tired and wanting it all to be over! Pretty soon you're going to get really close to a 2 hour flat marathon! I promise! The Pig was hilly and was a bit hot as well too! This fall you're gonna crush these times you're running now!

  10. Amazing job Courtney! That 2:15 finish time is definitely within reach. I'm glad you got to hang out with Jill for awhile. She's so sweet! Did anyone ever say anything about the course being long?