Well, I can now officially say I've run THREE half marathons! Yesterday was the annual Flying Pig Half Marathon here in Cincy and this was our 3rd time completing it together. Caleb has actually run it 4 times, he's a beast!
The morning of, we picked up my brother in law, Jared, and headed downtown. The weather report leading up to the big day was kind of scary and unpredictable. They kept saying to expect thunderstorms/lightning/rain all day. I'm so thankful to say it ended up being absolutely perfect. The sky was overcast all morning, so it wasn't too hot, and it stopped raining just in time for the race. It honestly couldn't have been better!
We got to the race just as it was beginning, so instead of getting to our designated corral, we sneaked through a side railing and jumped in an earlier one. Big mistake, these people were SPRINTING and we felt like we had to keep up since we jumped in. So the entire first mile we ran way too fast, which made us exhausted by mile 2-3. Luckily, Caleb is a good pace setter and insisted we slow down so we wouldn't die!
By about mile 4, I needed a quick break, which worked out perfectly because Caleb wanted to get rid of his jacket. It seems that every year I'm so surprised by the amount of hills in this half, even though I've done it twice before! Some of the hills are small, but most of them are huge. The views at the top are always worth it though...even when my calves are screaming.
Caleb and I both ran on and off the rest of the race, but we promised we'd stick together through it. His legs were cramping, and I had some annoying hip pain, but we encouraged each other and couldn't help but smile at all the amazing spectators the entire time. Seriously, I've never seen so many clever signs!!
One of my favorite parts of the course is passing a retirement home and seeing all these elderly men and women cheering us on - some of them had the best signs! It really makes you thankful to be able to get outside and enjoy a nice run. I was also encouraged by the multiple runners who carried heavy American flags - it made me pretty emotional!
After the most vicious hill of my life (my fitbit said I climbed almost "90 flights of stairs"), there was the sweetest group of Veterans singing in a choir. I mean!! How sweet?!?
We were SO close. We spotted the mile 11 banner and ran the next mile or so without stopping. Once we got to mile 12, though, we felt like we needed a break to walk. At this point, we were just SO exhausted and so ready to see that "finish swine"!!
When we rounded the corner, we knew it was a straight shot to the finish line so we booked it until the end. I always get so emotional when I cross that finish line! Seeing everyone cheering, finally making it. Just gives me such a sense of accomplishment!! We definitely took a little longer to finish than last year, but we didn't really mind. I wasn't trying to PR in this race, I just wanted to cross another half off my list and enjoy it alongside my man! That medal is always worth it!
Once we got home we relaxed for just a couple hours, made sure to stretch out our muscles so they didn't tighten up too much, then headed out for a carb filled post-race meal!
I'm not sure which half I'll run next, or if I'll run another one at all. I do like this distance, but I may want to switch it up. I haven't decided yet. Like I said last week, I'd really like to work on speed - and getting quick for 5K's, so we'll see!
It was so much fun crossing that finish line with Caleb, though. Accomplishing things in life together is one of my favorite things. It was fun to be each others constant source of encouragement throughout the race. I love that man! Hope everyone had a fun weekend!