It’s time for another race recap! I did my 8th half marathon this past Sunday, and it was eventful, to say the least. If you want to read about how I fell down and someone kicked me, keep reading. If not, see you later.
The Flying Pig weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the entire year. This is my second year doing the half marathon (Last year’s race recap HERE) … There is so much energy and excitement around downtown, and everyone is excited about the race (we even had the cashier at Panera wish us good luck!). My friend Sam and I went down to watch another friend in the 10k on Saturday morning, and then hit up the expo to pick up all our goodies. There was a scavenger hunt and a create your own t-shirt stand and it was SO much fun! The rest of Saturday was spend resting, hydrating, and watching Game of Thrones.
I woke up Sunday feeling excited to get down to the start line and get to racing. The first 4 miles went by without a hitch as I settled into a 11:30/mile pace. I passed the spot last year where I tripped (but didn’t fall). There was no itching or KT tape to peel and I felt fantastic. I was on pace to finish under 2:30, which was my goal time. And then we rounded the corner to head into downtown. It was nice because there were tons of people lining the street cheering… I even ran into a piggy captain america!
For whatever reason, this part of the course was severely crowded, and somewhere between miles 5 and 6, I got distracted and tripped over a streetcar rail (if you live in Cincinnati, you know all the drama surrounding the streetcar, which makes this even funnier). And unlike last year when I tripped, I actually ate pavement (not a proud moment for me). The person behind me didn’t react quickly enough and kicked me, almost sending him down to the ground with me. (kicked while I was down). I got up pretty quickly so I didn’t get completely trampled and ran over to a water station where I poured some water over my bleeding knee. The volunteers asked if I needed medical to come over, but no way was I about to be pulled over a bruised and bleeding knee, so I continued onto the hardest, hilliest part of the course.
After that incident, my time slowed wayyyy down to about a 13:00/mile pace. Which is much slower than I was aiming for, but I physically could not push my knee any harder than I already was, or I knew I wouldn’t make it to the finish. Mile 7, which is all uphill with little relief, was my slowest mile at 14:24 (still almost 2 full minutes faster than last year). At this part of the course, a woman passed me that was pushing her disabled sister in a stroller. It was so inspiring to see and it definitely gave me a huge boost to push through the pain for a little while longer. Mile 8 now runs right past my apartment… I could see my bedroom windows, which made me want to just run home and get a band-aid and some ice. But alas, my keys were in my car, which was at the finish line. So I pushed forward.
Mile 10 is completely downhill and it was totally exhilarating. I blocked out the pain and literally FLEW down, easily sprinting past 100 people. But once I got to the bottom, my knee reminded me that that was a terrible idea, and I slowed down as the course flattened back out… At mile 12.5, I turned to corner to the finish and people were lining both sides of the street cheering
me the runners on. I stopped at the “unofficial hydration station” at the 13 mile marker and chugged a beer before going into a dead sprint toward the finish. At this point, I was audibly talking to myself like a crazy person, but I did not care in the slightest. I crossed that finish line, got my medal and bee-lined for the medical tent. My knee had turned black and blue in the 7 miles since I first fell down and was swollen like a balloon. After getting the ice wrapped to my leg, I made my way back to the finish line to watch my friend Sam finish the full (she’s a complete badass!!)
All things considered, this was a great race! I finished slower than I wanted, and I busted up my knee pretty badly… But it was so much fun! I can’t wait to do it again next year! :) And look how pretty all my medals look lined up next to each other!!
8 down, 22 to go…