Some thoughts on this years Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati. It started out beautifully, with perfect weather and what seemed like a very large crowd. Almost everyone who was running seemed to have a crowd of supporters with them. The crowd was energetic, and so were the runners.
Just like last year, the first four miles – starting at Paul Brown Stadium, winding over through Newport, KY and then eventually back in to town – went by pretty easily. There are a few hills in this first stretch, but because your posture and energy levels are both still good, it’s a pretty easy four.
The first water stop, just like last year, was at mile six. This is the little oasis in the desert, because from here to about mile 10 the hills are pretty brutal.
None of this was any different than last year. At around mile 8 though, I started getting severe stomach cramps. Not like “wow I wish my stomach wasn’t cramping” stomach cramps. I mean, like Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber stomach cramps.
I tried my best to power through that, but by mile 10 it was clear that a choice was going to have to be made. So, I veered off the course and in to a course side McDonald’s. There was a sign on the door, clearly put there in advance of the run, that said “Customers only, no public restroom” or something similar.
Ignoring this, I went in anyway, only to find an employee in there mopping the floor. He took a quick look at me in my sweat drenched running shirt and shorts, running band still on my arm, bib still on my shirt, and said “um, customer’s only sir” – to which I replied “MOVE!”, grabbed him by the arm, and pretty much threw him out of the stall.
After a short 15 minute break, I was able to resume the run – though I did battle with more cramps on and off the last three miles.
What did I learn?
- If your overall finish time compared to last year only goes up ten minutes and you spent 15 of that in the bathroom, you have to call it a win.
- The best road side sign I read was someone who has (for whatever reason) done up a sign that just said “Don’t you put that evil on me Ricky Bobby!”
- Do not drink a half a bottle of wine the night before unless you want to deal with serious dehydration cramps the next day.
- As much as I hate to admit it to myself, and as much as I think I’d like to eventually run a marathon, the thought of turning around at the end of that run and doing it all again was incomprehensible.
That’s pretty much it. See you in Chicago.