Sunday, May 4, 2008

Flying Pig!!

I had decided to run this one early in the year since one of the members of the running group was going to run it…I made the comment “if you do it…I will too.” Well that was made far before Atlanta and the idea of Fargo came up!

My wife had decided that she was going to run the 10k on Saturday so I finally would get to see her run a race!! I was pumped at the idea. She did a great job…not her best time but she was there to help a newbie finish her first 10k race and that meant just as much to my wife as finishing.

Saturday was windy and rainy at the start so I was dreading my start the next day. I got up and the wind had died down a bit and the forecast, while cold this morning, was going to be perfect weather for running. My wife drove me to the hotel so I could meet the girls this morning and the three of us headed to the starting line.

We got there and waited for the gun…and waited…and waited…it seems that the race had been delayed due to a house fire around mile 22. Because of this they delayed the start by 15 minutes so they could reroute the course…uh oh!

The gun finally went off and we headed out. We start the race by heading over the river and into KY for a short while and about a mile later we cross back over into OH. The bridge coming back over was a bit eerie…there were so many of us on it that the bridge started to move A LOT!!! So much that I nearly lost my footing twice!

As we start to make our way through the city the sun is already high in the Eastern sky and I’m going to be going that way for the next few hours. At mile 5 I see my wife, Melissa, and Jen I told them I didn’t need anything and kept going…about 30 feet later I turn around (to the dismay of a few runners) and run back to see if my wife had my sunglasses…she didn’t but Melissa kindly offered hers…Thanks again Melissa!!
Shortly after leaving downtown we start the largest climb of the course it was hard but not too bad at about mile 7, while I’m looking out over the river from a much higher elevation than you would think, I hear my brother cheering me on. My brother lives in Cincinnati with his family and I was glad to have another face in the crowd that I knew cheering me on.

By this point I should have hit the highest point on the course and should be a relatively gentle down slope to the finish…yeah right! The hill to mile 8-10 was so big that the rolling hills for the remaining course are small and are not detailed on the elevation map. I saw the wife and friends again around mile 12 and shortly after this I notices that my right nipple was starting to hurt…didn’t think much of is since they were taped up and I’ve not had any problems since I found that clear surgical tape works great.

I got to about mile 15 and I looked down to see that the right side of my shirt was bloody…I guess I lost the tape on that nipple…I found the next first aid station and asked for clear tape…they had none…offered Band-Aids and Vaseline…tried them both and in half a mile they were gone, useless!
I saw the wife and friends again at mile 16.5 and would again at 17.5 since this part was an out and back and she had Mtn. Dew!! I took a nice big swig communicated the nipple issues and continued on. My brother was waiting at around mile 17 (near the hotel my wife and I stayed when we where here for his wedding!) When I got back to the wife I asked for band-aids…again they were gone in a matter of minutes.

I trudged on but by mile 19 my nipple was in such pain that running just wasn’t really in the cards so I did my best. Saw my brother and nephew at mile 22 where I ran with Logan for a few feet.

Between mile 22 and 23 we were diverted from the regular course. I checked my GPS to verify the mileage and watched when we got back onto the course and noted that they had moved the mileage sign to correlate with the corrected distance…mile 24 was dead on. Mile 25 was dead on…and now it looked like the course was all down hill. About 0.5 miles from the 25 mile sign was the “last mile” marker…um…that is off by about 0.3 miles!!!
I managed to run the final 0.5 miles and found that they were unable to move the finish line meaning that the course was off by a minimum of ¼ of a mile. Even with the nipple issues, the hills, and the sunny conditions I was able to put up a decent time of 5:03:03 (corrected for the marathon distance…otherwise the time was 5:05:57)

Then with all that over I met up with the other runners who did phenomenally!! Kim with a sub 4 hour finish (once corrected for course length) and Yemi with a 4:10 finish for her 1st marathon!!
Saw my brother and family before we headed back to our car and a long drive home…I see a Mexican dinner in a few hours though…mmm salsa!!

Only 13 days until Fargo!!

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