I'm so happy that I completed the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon. It was 3 years ago that I ran my first ever race there. I ran in the 5k there in 2008 with my sister Denise and my daughter, Briana. So cool to go back there and run the full marathon.
It was a tough race that I was hesitant to run in. About 4 weeks ago, I had a great deal of hip pain. I found out that it was my IT Band. I went through physical therapy twice a week over the last 4 weeks and it got better each week. However, it probably wasn't up to a marathon running condition.
I did consider going down to the Half Marathon, but stubbornly I really wanted to knock out marathon #5.
Thanks to my brother-in-law, Gary and his daughter, Bethany for chasing Denise and I around the course. It was so cool seeing you guys and hearing your encouraging words.
I'm so proud of my sister for knocking out her best marathon ever beating her previous best by 15 minutes... a PR of 4:54:11. Way to join the Sub-5 hour club!
I started ahead of Denise and was running a 9:50 pace for the beginning of the race until mile 11. Once I hit mile 11, the pain of my IT Band was starting to get to me. My paced slowed once the pain started and I began walking here and there. At about mile 14, I knew a respectable time was out of reach and that I just wanted to finish this thing. Meanwhile, Denise kept up her steady pace and caught me at about mile 17 when I was visiting with Gary and Bethany. She was so focused on keeping up her pace that she didn't want to take a photo op with a Great Dane. Here's a pic of her surprised that she caught up to me.
I was actually excited that I'd be running a race with Denise and might possibly be crossing the finish line with her. I even mentioned to Gary that maybe that I could help push her below 5 hours. We ran a couple of miles together until she left me. I kept having to take walk breaks with the hip pain. At first I was bummed, but I'm so glad that she went and killed her PR!
The last miles were a will of the mind and body as I continually thought about quitting because of the pain. My positive mind games had me envisioning the feeling of crossing the finish line, receiving the medal, and just experiencing something that seemed so far out of reach. It would have been so much easier to stop every time that I saw a Medical Dude on a bike.
I kept telling myself that if I could make it to mile 21, then I could make it mile 22, if I could make it to mile 22, then I could make it mile 23... you get the idea.
I resigned myself to running the downhills and walking the uphills. It seemed that there were more uphills than downhills. I also kept reading my arm... I wrote on my arm 2 things - "Count it all joy!" and "Just keep running!".
"Count it all joy" was huge as I could have wallowed in my own self-pity that I wasn't going to run in a sub-4 hour time, PR, stay within 4:30, heck... stay within 5 hours. But, "Count it all joy" meant enjoying the accomplishment of finishing the darn race. Enjoying the ability to run. Enjoying the experience of using this body that God gave me. Enjoying that I overcome an injury to complete the marathon.
I did visit the medical tent afterward where they stretched me out and provided some ice for my hip.
I'm glad that summer's here and that I'll be pulling back my mileage. I want to heal this IT Band so that I can run at the level that I think I'm capable of.
Crazy to think that this was marathon #5 in 17 months. I will definitely be doing one in the fall, but am not totally sure of which one yet. It will probably be White Rock as I'd still like to get that time down in that race.