Flying Pig training: The Hoth Half Marathon

This week, winter made its presence felt in Cincinnati in the most inconvenient way possible. The skies opened up and poured buckets of snow on the city nearly every morning just before rush hour, snarling traffic and causing people to post charming Photoshops of AT-ATs invading Over-the-Rhine.

And of course, I can't find any of those pictures now. (Via.)
During the brief breaks in-between snowfalls, temperatures plunged below 0, freezing the river and prompting a correspondent for Today to do a live broadcast from Covington as the city steamed in the background. School was cancelled every day of the week. People worked from home whenever possible.

But hey, that 14-mile run isn't going to destroy itself.

The worst snowfall of the week was scheduled for Saturday morning, when we normally do our long runs, so Fleet Feet arranged for a make-up run on Sunday. The sidewalks were completely impassable, so the store devised a route that wound through suburban neighborhoods where we wouldn't have to worry about running on the streets. (Mostly.)

And it turns out those suburban families had been busy that snowy week. A crowd of snowmen were hanging out in the front yards, ready to cheer us on.


This one had a mustache, so we had to give ourselves mustaches. Naturally.

Be the snowman. BE the snowman.

We're smiling because we're not thinking about the 12 miles we still have to run.

Thanks, snowmen! Your support pushed me to finish my 14-mile run ...

... which, since my longest run has been a half marathon, means I broke my distance record today. Not bad for a blizzard day, huh?


Flying Pig training: Hubris

"I ran 12 miles today."

"I'm training for the marathon."

I work those sentences and others like them into conversation whenever I can. I probably sound like the world's biggest ... is "douchenozzle" considered a curse word? Because I'm trying to keep it family friendly up in here.

Anyway. I'm starting to get a little worried that the people in my life will start to tire of me constantly talking about the douchenozzling marathon. And I keep meaning to pull back from talking about it so much. And then ... I don't.

Here are my reasons, as near as I can figure:

  • Running (and other exercise designed to help me run better) now makes up a significant portion of how I spend my waking hours, which also means it occupies a large percentage of my headspace. Literally everything seems to relate to the marathon. "Agent Carter is great; I wonder if Peggy ever considered running the marathon?" 
  • I am still a little in awe of the enormity of my goal. Repeating it out loud reinforces it to me.
  • If all goes to plan, these four months will be the only time in my life when I can say these things.
  • I am proud of my accomplishments and want others to know about them.

This last reason you might recognize as "bragging," as the editor of our local business newspaper did in a column last month where he advocates ridding the world of the 26.2 car decal. He attempts some self-deprecating humor by "bragging" about the accomplishments of various family members and then explaining that as much as we hate his bragging, that is how much he hates marathoners' bragging about their 26.2 in sticker form.

(Except I didn't hate it! His family sounds awesome and very dedicated to their various pursuits, and I'm happy that they've succeeded!) 

Perhaps there are some people for whom the marathon comes easy. I'm not one of those people. My marathon will be the result of nearly a year of mental and physical preparation. When the day comes, it will take me somewhere around six hours to complete the race. 

So you'd better believe that on the Monday after I cross the finish line, I will limp out to my car and slap that 26.2 onto the bumper. Heck, I might even buy a second sticker and save it for my next car.

All this training, all my time running, is building to this. It's not just bragging. It's part of who I am. And that's why I can't stop talking about it.


Flying Pig training: Eep.

Facing the beginning of marathon training last week, I had Thoughts on Twitter.

This weekend, I'll run 11 miles. We are fast approaching the "more miles than I've ever run at once in all my 10 years in the sport" mark.

Just keep going.