Friday, May 08, 2009

The Cincinnati Flying Pig

Susan and I left town on Friday afternoon to head for my big marathon weekend in Cincinnati. We spent the night in Effingham, Illinois at the Hampton Inn. The next morning we headed about 5 hours southeast toward Cincinnati and arrived at the expo to pick up my race packet. The expo was huge and we wandered around in there for about an hour before we left to head for our hotel at the Sheraton North Cincinnati. We settled into the hotel and called a friend of mine from high school, Sarah Whitten. We met Sarah at Applebees and had a nice conversation while we watched the Kentucky Derby. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to relax. I had intended to go to bed early but Rob had a plan to come by the hotel and stay with me, instead of me picking him up early the next morning. Unfortunately for me, Rob had promised his boys that they could stay at King's Island until 10. By the time I finally got to sleep it was after midnight. We got up and left the hotel about 5:15 a.m. It was raining ever so slightly. We found a place to park and by the time we got to the starting line it was 6:15. Rob shared with me later that was cutting it a little too close for him. I had to take care of bathroom business before I got run/walking. As I was coming out of the bathroom at Paul Brown stadium I could hear the countdown to the start of the race. I knew I had plenty of time, because the starting line was packed with 16000 people preparing to run or walk the full or half-marathon. I finally was able to squeeze into line and approximately ten minutes later I was crossing the starting line to my first marathon. Since I hadn't run for three weeks, I was feeling good and I decided to run until my right achilles started causing discomfort. I had proactively ace-wrapped it. I was wearing my Salomon Pro X3D trail shoes with speed laces to keep from irritating the ganglion cyst on the top of my right foot. I was wearing my Swiss Gear hydration backpack with two quarts of hotel tap water in it (nothing but the best for me).

The first six miles (you can see by looking at the graphic) went very well. My foot didn't hurt. I stopped between mile 4 and 5 to remove my long sleeve shirt with my number on it. At mile 7 the elevation changed so I started my walking plan. I began to walk the uphill portions and run the downhill portions. As I'm typing this I'm starting to remember my frame of mind during this portion. I decided to keep running until 13 miles and then walk the rest of the marathon once I reached the halfway point. I was carrying my cell phone with me and Susan told me she, Robin and Rob's aunt were around the 13 mile mark. As the next few miles unfolded, I became frustrated because I came past 13 and still no sign of Susan. At mile 14 or so I rounded a corner and a fraternity had a table set up with a sign that said Free Beer. I wasn't so excited about that but I spied a Krispy Kreme box on the table. I walked up and asked if I could have one and they said "yeah man, get one". I slowed to a walk and ate that stale donut. I finally reached them and they were at mile marker 15. She explained that a cop had told them incorrectly. I sat down in the chair that Rob's Aunt Gayle provided for me and changed my sock and took off my ace wrap. My ipod was dead after 2 hours and 50 minutes of playing (I need a new battery). I gave Susan my ipod, a kiss and headed back down the road. I put my headphones in my cellphone and started the music up on it. I must have looked kind of tired at this point, but I was determined to finish. I had been receiving text messages regarding where Rob was on the course and I had just received that he had passed 19.7 miles. I told Susan and Robin that they better head toward the finish line because Rob would be crossing soon. I headed around the loop and by the time I got to 16.5 I stopped to use the porta-potty. It was nice to not be so focused on time that I couldn't go to the bathroom if I needed to. The technical details of the race are here. Around mile 17 I saw a young lady starting to stagger like she was going to pass out. I asked her if she was okay and she said she was and put her hand up giving me the sign to leave her alone, so I did. Around mile 18 they were passing out gels so I grabbed about three and didn't use any of them. I gave them to Rob after the race. The last time I used Gels it upset my lower GI tract too much. About mile 19 I was walking off and on around a 13 min/mile pace. I called both of my brothers to let them know my progress. Once I hit mile 20, I knew I was going to finish under 5 hours. I decided to run as much as I could tolerate. Taking walk breaks turned out to be the key to my success. I crossed the 26.2 finish line in 4 hours 50 minutes and 18 seconds. I became emotional after I crossed, getting a little choked up at the thought of my accomplishment. I was now officially a marathoner. I wandered around and got my mylar blanket and was more concerned about connecting with Rob, Susan and Robin than I was getting my finishers medal. Eventually I found Rob and we connected with the girls.
We went to the merchandise tent and got in line to get a finishers hat. While in line I met Biggest Loser contestant Bette-Sue Burkland. She told us that Ali (Vincent) was over in the Prevention tent. Ali was the winner of Biggest Loser season five. We headed over to the tent and met Ali and talked with her for several minutes. She was very nice and down to earth. We chatted with her for about 5 minutes and the girls had their picture taken with her. After the marathon, Rob and I headed to the hotel to take a shower. I'm sure that no one wanted to ride with us anyway. We stopped at McDonalds and both got a Big n Tasty and a Coca Cola. We eventually made it back to Rob's Aunt and Uncle's house for afternoon lunch of Lasagna and salad. Aunt Gayle had a friend who was a massage therapist. She came over and worked on my right leg and achilles for about 20 minutes. I wore a compression sleeve on it all day Monday and Tuesday it was feeling fine.

1 comment:

rob horton said...

awesome scott - sorry for messing up your sleep schedule on the night before the race. it still blows my mind that you went under 5 - i was so glad to see you come in. i am pumped for tulsa!