2017 Flying Pig 5k Recap and a New Race Distance

I love doing races. It doesn’t matter if I run, walk, or a combo of both – there is something about a race that lifts my spirits and motivates me to continue to stay active.

As I have mentioned before, the Flying Pig Marathon is a HUGE deal in Cincinnati and perhaps the national running community. A large amount of local and visiting runners participate in the event. In addition to the marathon – there are a variety of other races throughout the weekend. Last year I ran the 10k – and had a great time. This year – the weekend fell exactly six weeks after giving birth. My exercise routine consisted of leisurely stroller walks – so I knew  wasn’t going to run anything – but I REALLY wanted to participate in something – so I decided to power walk the 5k with my mom.

I picked up both mine and my mom’s bibs at the expo the night before and that was a poor decision on my part. Because my little baby was only six weeks – I didn’t feel comfortable taking him to the super crowded convention center. So I waited until my husband got home from work so he could watch the baby and I and drove in rush hour traffic in the pouring rain to Downtown Cincinnati by myself. I made it in the nick of time to pick everything up and barely spent anytime in the expo perusing the booths. “Morning of the race” bib pick up was available – and I should have taken advantage of that and saved myself the hassle and the $10 for downtown parking.

Since this was my first race post baby – I had a few extra things to coordinate before I left the house in the morning. I thawed milk the night before and laid out bottles for the baby. I also laid out my clothes and put all my race day essentials in my fanny pack.

I planned to wake up at 6:30 am with the intention to leave the house at 8am – this would allow me the time to get ready, eat breakfast, and nurse. The baby woke up around this time anyway – so I nursed him first, and spent the remainder of the morning getting myself fed and ready. Things ran pretty seamlessly for both me and the baby.

My mom picked me up and it was a quick and easy drive downtown. We parked in a lot a few blocks away from the start line. We also got there SUPER early – which again, was a poor decision. I thought that downtown would be super packed and that we needed a lot of time to park and line up in our corral, but that wasn’t the case. We spent an hour and a half sitting in somewhat chilly weather – watching the 10k finishers (the 10k was held two hours before the 5k start).

Eventually the time came for us to line up in our corrals, or “pig pens” – and shortly we were off. The course goes through downtown Cincinnati and does not cross the bridge into Kentucky like the 10k, half, and full. There were a lot of families and many babies in strollers and even one being worn. My baby was still too young  for this year – but next year, if I do the 5k, I will definitely bring him.

One thing I should have done was bring my own water. I am exclusively breastfeeding and I get really thirsty pretty quickly. Thankfully, there was one water stop halfway through.

Both my mom and I felt we weren’t really “pushing” ourselves with our walking. I did give birth six weeks before – so I didn’t want to over exert myself. We did finish with a time of 50:59 and a pace of 16:24.

At the finish line we got our medals – which I was pumped for since it had been a year since I did a race where they gave you a medal. The post race food was pretty scarce – they only offered you a fruit cup. I wasn’t really disappointed since you don’t burn that many calories – but I always like to stock up on free granola bars.

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The Flying Pig Races are something I really plan on making an annual tradition – there is something for everyone – even kids races! (hello Diaper Dash). After this year’s race weekend there is a short window of time to register for next year’s race at the lowest prices available. I have always wanted to conquer the marathon distance – and the Pig is a great choice for first timers due to the generous pace requirements and amazing course support. And since the price was so reasonable I bit the bullet and did it! I have no time goal – just to finish upright and smiling. Training will be a challenge since I am a nursing mom – but I am going to make it work! I hope by this time next year I will be able to call myself a marathoner!

 

2016 Flying Pig 10k recap

A few days after we arrived in Cincinnati, OH, I registered for the Flying Pig 10k. Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon is considered by many to be a “must do”. The race weekend consists of a one mile, 5k, 10k, half and full (the half and full are held at the same time – so one must pick either option). While I would have loved to have done the half or the full – the past month has not allowed me to consistently train for running a distance longer than 5 miles – so I felt that the 10k would be the best choice.

I went to the expo the day before the race to pick up my bib and it was super fun – it was similar to a RunDisney expo in size and vendors, but a lot more manageable in terms of crowds. What I love about “the Pig” is the hometown pride – this is truly Cincinnati’s race – and it made me super happy to be a part of the community.

On race morning – I got up early and drove myself downtown. I gave myself a generous amount of time to drive and find parking – I arrived at the start area close to an hour before the start time. It was drizzling a little – but the rain let up by the time the race began.

The corrals AKA “pig pens” were all released at once. The course crossed into Kentucky so this was the first race where I ran through TWO states – pretty cool. There wasn’t any on-course entertainment – but there was a sufficient amount of aid stations. I crossed the finish in 1:18:24 with a pace of 12:38 – not a PR but I’m happy with my time.

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I quickly grabbed a bottle of water and some complimentary snacks and hopped in my car and drove home. As I walked to my car it started to rain again, and continued throughout the day – I lucked out! I’m still anticipating a soggy, wet, race in the future – but today was not that day.

This race was a great scenic tour of my new hometown AND a great introduction into Cincinnati’s running community.