Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Pig, the bad, and the ugly

Getting to Cincinnati can be a harrowing experience. Every year I've done the race though, I've left at noon and had no problem whatsoever, even with having to make multiple race expo and packet pickup stops before the 8pm race.

This year...

We were in the car at 11:55 am. It was raining. I-75 south is closed for 2 years - it took us until 1:20 to get out of Michigan. Toledo has been under construction longer than I've been running. Dayton has been under construction since 1894. The INTERSTATE cinches down to 2 lanes in Cincinnati. It makes ZERO sense. I started watching the clock, thankful I was already dressed for the Friday night race.
Yes, those are C3-PO leggings :)

We didn't make it downtown until 7:30. Yes, it took 7 1/2 hours to drive 250 miles. Our only stop was 15 minutes for gas and a lunch drive through. Talk about the *#&^ing miserable nightmarish hell of traffic!!! It didn't help one bit that the Cincinnati Reds had a home game and we had pick up and the finish line right next to the stadium.

I had to adjust my plans at the last minute. If I didn't run the 1-miler, we may as well have gone home right then because I had to complete all 4 races to finish the challenge. There was no time to go to the expo. Thankfully they offered Saturday morning pickup for the 10k and 5k right at the start line. I had booked a room right across the bridge in Kentucky, with plans to park and leave the car, walking back and forth. Unfortunately, I didn't know exactly where it was and I was feeling the time crunch, so I paid for parking and got myself to the 1-mile starting line 15 minutes before it started. Yes, it was still raining.

My arbitrary goal - after not doing a mile race since the 2016 Pig, and after very little speed training - was a sub-8. By my watch, I ran 1.01 miles in 8:00.47. By their clock, it took me 8:01.30. I'm still waiting for them to adjust it to "chip time."

Saturday was a ton better. I walked across from Kentucky, picked up my 10k and 5k stuff and had to use gear check for the shirts. Not a fan... The volunteers were all very nice, and it was as organized as one could hope, just a hassle I don't usually have. I wore both race bibs and carried the 10k medal in my waist pack so I didn't have to use gear check between the races. Then I had to walk up to the expo to get my marathon gear, my 5-year wristband, poster, etc.

My arbitrary 10k goal was sub-60. Actual was 62 and change. Along the course we were offered pretzels, cookies, licorice, orange slices and tissue! On a 10k!! I only took the tissue - it was cold!

5k, I just wanted to finish. I ran into "Mad Dog" at mile 2. He's also on his 5th year of the "5-way challenge." We ran together for almost a mile until I decided I needed a piece of candy and took a sugar break. I finished in 32 something. The important thing is that I finished.

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