Monday, May 7, 2012

I Ran 13.1 Miles (aka "no walking b*tches!")

Ann, Erin and I working out the pre-race jitters!
After 4 months and 329.43 miles of training, yesterday morning at 4:30 a.m. I put on my running clothes, gulped down a banana and a scoop of almond butter and walked across the Ohio River to meet up with my running group to tackle the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon.  I was nervous but meeting up with the people who I had trained with during this journey converted some of that nervous energy to excitement. 
Bob Roncker's Running Spot meet up location at 5:15 am.
My goal for the Flying Pig was to run the entire race without walking. If I had to come up with a theme for these past four months of training it would be "Carrie does not want to take walk breaks anymore." In fact, the title of this post refers to this sentiment, which I made during one of my classic “running causes me to lose oxygen and speak without a filter" moments. Early during training for the Pig (January/February) it was a hard adjustment switching my body to running straight instead of doing 4:1 run/walk intervals.  On an early Saturday morning Valentine’s Day run in the bitter cold with Bob Roncker’s training group, I was ecstatic that I had ran the entire 4 miles without walking, and so as I ran across the finish line I yelled “no walking bitches!” (I of course thought that I said that quietly, but my friend Jonna will attest that I actually yelled that loud enough for most of the town of Loveland to hear:)

Here is a breakdown of my experience of the race:

Miles 1-4: The first miles flew by! I felt like I was running comfortably and I was chatting and laughing with my running group friends; the sun had not completely risen and so it was still a little cooler and less humid.

Jamie and Nicole and I!
Miles 4-8: After mile 4 we started the main incline portion of the route-which basically consists of a 4 mile uphill stretch through some pretty difficult hills. I knew those miles would be tough, but we had trained for those hills and so while it was difficult I felt mentally prepared for that portion of the race and I was able to push myself through even though I was starting to feel the heat.  Just a side note, all week they had been warning us about the heat (the event even offered heat deferrals, which they NEVER do) and I remember looking at the forecast and thinking 68 degrees is not that warm…let’s just say that I learned when you are running for over two hours and uphill, 68 degrees and humidity feels HOT!  

Patsy, Ann and I post-race- they were my rockstars!
Miles 8-10: What I was not anticipating was how rough miles 8-10 would be! Instead of feeling the euphoria of realizing that the hardest incline portion of the race was already behind me, the thought of still having 5.1 miles left just seemed absolutely overwhelming. I am so thankful for my running group buddies Patsy and Ann, because honestly if they had not been there running with me step by step during this time, encouraging me and pushing me, I know that I would have succumbed to that little voice in my head telling me to stop and walk. By sacrificing a faster time in order to run alongside and support me, Patsy and Ann reminded me that the true beauty of running is that while it appears on the surface to be an individual sport, distance running is truly a team endeavor. 

Miles 10-12: By mile10 I had pushed through the mental black that I was struggling with during the past two miles and I was just focused on plowing through the rest of the race.  I was still hot and tired and these miles were difficult, but I was no longer battling the voice in my head telling me to stop every 2 seconds. I just kept repeating that I could do this, that God had designed my body to run, and that I needed to keep going.

Tami and Rianna came down to support me:)

Mile 12-13.1: Seriously, this last mile felt like it was 18 miles long.  I knew that I was sooo close and yet it still felt like soo far away.  I remember telling myself that no matter how tired and sore I was, there was no way that I had run 12 miles only to walk during the last 1.1 mile.  I knew that my friends Rianna and Tami would be near the finish line and I was also thinking that I did not want them to have come all the way down to watch my race only to see me walking:) I will never forget Patsy telling me, “enjoy this, you have earned every minute of it, this is an amazing accomplishment” and Ann telling me that she believed in me.  Patsy also kept telling me all we had to do was turn the corner and we would see the finish line- (we were only like .3 miles away), but due to a dip in the road and a bridge when we turned the corner I could not see the finish line- and I distinctly remember saying “I THOUGHT YOU SAID WE COULD SEE THE FINISH LINE WHEN WE TURNED THE CORNER” and Ann saying “honey, its okay, I can’t see it either;) At the very end, Patsy said, "let's pass these people ahead of us" and even as the words "I can't" were coming out of my mouth, my body started sprinting and we raced into the finish line.

On May 6, 2012, I ran across the finish line hand in hand with Patsy and Ann and I accomplished something I never could have imagined or dreamed of 2 years or even a year ago- I RAN an entire half-marathon!   
All changed in dry clothes!

Carrie 2012 Flying Pig Half Marathon Results

Finish time: 2:25:30

Division place (30-34)- 548/1100

Gender Place: 2971/6761

Overall place: 5873/10853


  1. Carrie! You are amazing! I am so impressed by your effort and your go-getter attitude. You are blessed to have such wonderful running buddies!

    Thanks for being an inspiration =)

  2. Thank you so much Peggy! I loved the pics from your race too:)