Last year (wow a year huh?) I wrote about my personal record at the Flying Pig Half Marathon. This year was the 20th anniversary of the Flying Pig Marathon and I was having serious FOMO about not running. So as soon as my doctor ok’d me, I set a running goal of finishing the 5K on race weekend.
I had 3 weeks to prepare for the race (well really 2.5) and my first run was 1.5 miles with me walking probably 1/4 to 1/2 of it. I started to wonder why I set this goal for myself. My body though was kind of craving the run. It was definitely letting me know limits, but at the same time, I felt strong and proud.
Flying Pig Weekend in Cincinnati is one of my favorite weekends. The positivity and community feeling that pulsates through the weekend, through every event, lifts you up and while everyone might have a different reason for participating, one common goal of finishing is held. 42% of participants travel to run in these events. The first year saw 6,100 people run. This year, the number registered topped 43,000. The weekend is electric with feelings of strength, perseverance and accomplishment. I did not want to miss it.
I kept pushing myself and had a good run of 2 miles one day.
The next run was 2.8 miles, but I had to walk a good amount. That was the Thursday before my race. I had planned to give myself 2 days of rest in between my training runs, however, due to habit, I miscounted and ended up with only a day of rest.
The amazing thing about the race day is that where endurance, training and mental strength might end, the energy of the crowd and other runners will pick you up. It might be one of the addicting parts of these races.
So I ran. I put my music on, started my Garmin (which I love for running now that I actually get to use it for running), and paced myself. My first mile was my best mile since giving birth – 10:00:04. My abs do cramp slightly, but I did just have a baby – they might still be healing a little bit. The second mile I could feel my pace slowing, however, my goal was to finish the race in under 36 minutes. I had some wiggle room with my first mile time. My best 5K time ever was a Thanksgiving race and I ran it in under 30 minutes. I don’t remember the exact time, but I really should start keeping track of these things. Excel spreadsheet, here I come!
I got to the third mile and I knew the race had turned into a mental game for me. My legs were saying they wanted to stop but I knew I could keep going. In the back of my mind I have the concerns of complications from my diabetes. My biggest concern is my feet. I don’t want to lose them. Staying active and healthy is one of the best ways I can think of to keep this all in check and lead a long life. So I fought for it.
I crossed the finish line at 32:46 – well under my goal and close to my best time ever! I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know how strong and capable my body is – because if I can do this, then I can certainly beat diabetes!
A few days of rest and I will be back at it – there’s a half marathon in October I think I’ll sign up for – plenty of time to train and the mental strength that comes with this will forever help on this journey.
Until next time,