Tag Archives: Flying Pig Marathon

The Current Short List

About a month since my last speculative marathon post, here is the new short list of the spring marathons that I am thinking about running:

 

3/18/2012 Publix Georgia Marathon Atlanta, GA http://www.georgiamarathon.com/

Currently, there is a contest to WIN a free entry to the race over at 26.2 Quest blog. It’s a $95 dollar value!

4/1/12 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Knoxville, TN http://www.knoxvillemarathon.com

8/1/11 – 11/30/11 $65.00
12/1/11 – 2/15/12 $75.00
2/16/12 – 3/27/12 $85.00

I haven’t inquired about being a pacer yet, mainly waiting to see about Georgia. I think unless I am asked to be a pacer, that I will be a volunteer.

5/6/12 Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon Cincinnati, OH http://www.flyingpigmarathon.com

$90.00 registration (11/1 through 1/31)
$105.00 late registration (2/1 through 4/20)

The kids absolutely LOVE Cincinnati, so going there would be like other family going to Disney World, except with lots of pigs… instead of mice.

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If I win the Publix Georgia Marathon, then I am going to run that one. My Lovely and Talented Wife has friends and we have family down there, so it would be a good trip for us. If I don’t win then I think I am going to eye The Pig. Oink!

Either way, I plan to use MyCokeReward points to get some “really nice” for my Guess My Time, Win Crap contest. More on how that’s all gonna work when I decide what I am going to do and when.

The Current Suspects

As of right now, here is the short (figuratively and literally) list of marathons for spring 2012:

3/25/12 Virginia Creeper Marathon Abingdon, VA http://www.runtricities.org/creepermarathon

It’s full.

4/1/12 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Knoxville, TN http://www.knoxvillemarathon.com

8/1/11 – 11/30/11 $65.00
12/1/11 – 2/15/12 $75.00
2/16/12 – 3/27/12 $85.00

Now, this is the marathon that I usually volunteer for as a course monitor, since monitoring the course while runners are on it is fun and full of surprises. Now, I could inquire if I could run as a pacer, which is like having your cake and eating it to… just replace “cake” with “energy gel of your choice”.

 

5/6/12 Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon Cincinnati, OH http://www.flyingpigmarathon.com

$75.00 early registration through 10/31
$90.00 registration (11/1 through 1/31)
$105.00 late registration (2/1 through 4/20)

The kids absolutely LOVE Cincinnati, so going there would be like other family going to Disney World, except with lots of pigs… instead of mice.

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I’ve run all 3 both of these, there’s a logistics cost involved which may be offset by the Super Happy Fun Factor. I don’t know. Maybe there is an obscure event that hasn’t found their way over to Marathon Guide yet.

2009 Flying Pig Marathon Race Report

I am now more than a month removed from the actual race, but I can still visualize parts of the race. Overall, I did not achieve the time that I was aiming for, 4:15, but rather finished in a 4:36:07, but I am not complaining (too much). Technically, I think I ran the race pretty well, I was well hydrated and it wasn’t until after the race that I realized that I had to make myself eat out on the course, because I never felt really hungry. One thing that will make this race report hard is that I can remember pockets of the race, but am not exactly sure where they were on the course. So, let’s begin.

Swine Flew

Despite the H1N1 Virus media frenzy, that did not stop the marketing of The Pig. Nestled downtown Cincinnati, Ohio housed the convention center and where the Packet Pickup and Race Expo was held. One of the unknowns for The Flying Pig was that this was the largest event that I had ran, ever. I am quite used to and can manage running for large stretches of races with no one around… no runners, no crowd support, no race support… just me and the watch. But this race was different, there were 4,070 finishers, just for the marathon, 661 teams and over 8,000 half marathon finishers. So at race start, there were over 12,000 people there. Slightly more than the 2002 Richmond Marathon where the marathon finishers were around 2500 or so.

The Expo was well marked and with the maze setup, it was very easy to get the essentials (Bib and Chip) before being thrusted into the marketing sty of Flying Pig Marathon paraphernalia. There were a few things that I would actually have liked to purchase, but being a tight budget race, and the fact that I didn’t REALLY need any of that stuff, we passed on everything before going into the Vendor section of the race. Having experience with vendor’s both from MK and other marathons, while the Expo had more people than what I thought was comfortable, it was fairly manageable even with The Elder and The Younger.

Of the vendors at the marathon, I was happy to touch and feel some of the new products from Road ID. I am in need of a spare one and so I was hoping for some sort of race discount, which I got a coupon for, but am not sure that it is any good anymore. We scored a free canvas bag from the Wal-mart area, they had the space of 4 boothes filled with flowers and other silent auction items. There was even a Wii there, you could blow out a knee trying to do the downhill ski game, but it was fun. One of the more interesting things was the knowledge of the mini-Stick, a pre and post race tool… no Runner is complete without one. Actually you don’t “need” one… but they are pretty awesome, especially when you need to knead some lactic acid out of your legs, or back. My Lovely and Talented Wife actually put my name into a contest for a free race entry for the Niagra Falls International Marathon. The kids were entertained with some small Canadian Flags and then got these cool LED lapel pins that flashed lights in the race logo. Exiting the Expo, we were treated to a nice poster of the event and a messenger bag with embroidered race logo and sponsors. Definitely a nice premium for the racers, hopefully ASD Athletes will get to the point of getting super cool stuff for the athletes… but that is a different story.

So with the packet pick up going down and the bib was secure, the countdown to the race was more real… now only over-sleeping would have prevented me from getting to race start. We had plenty of time to drive around Cincinnati and found ourselves going in the wrong direction of civilization. The Elder enjoyed it because it was next to a train track, I wasn’t all that thrilled because the structures we were passing became more and more delapidated as we went… neat for historical references, BAD for personal safety. So, rerouting we finally made our way to something near civilization and had lunch at Texas Roadhouse.

Our next desination before going back to the hotel, was to find Union Station and check it out. Actually finding it wasn’t that hard, and actually getting to it wasn’t either. But when we started to park, we noticed that people in Tuxedos and Gowns were going up to the entrance. We were feeling a tad under-dressed, but that didn’t stop us from going in to see what the hours were for Sunday, providing that I was still alive.

Getting back to hotel, it wasn’t long before I went back out to get some stuff on the Walgreen’s list and Dinner list. On the way there, I was able to some of the local prostitutes hanging out on one of the corners. Thank goodness that it was daylight, because my silver minivan stuck out like a sore thumb… although I did want to roll down the window and ask “Hey, what can I get for 10 Dollars?” [ed note: reference to the movie Full Metal Jacket, made pop-culture through the rap song by 2 Live Crew]. Little did I know that just about 2 hours later, I would be lost in this neighborhood and be down by the business park where it would be dimly lit and nothing around where a nice out of town boy could be mugged or beaten or worse and no one would find out… it was like the opening scene of CSI.

Talk about motivation! It is times like that why guys don’t ask for directions… EVER! About 45 min later, I made it back to the hotel room, safe and secure. I had a salad with tuna, some almonds, raspberry vinagrette and after a couple of bowls, I was full and content. Next was to get some prerace rituals underway and make sure that I didn’t oversleep.

Race Day, Finally

The hotel that I was staying in was actually in Kentucky, so I had to leave with plenty of time to get to the early start. Thankfully when there are many THOUSANDS of people heading to the race start, it’s pretty obvious where you need to go. A light rain was falling, making it cool, though a little humid. I was just hoping that it would stay overcast.

It was about a mile walk from my room to the race start, so when I got there, I had a little warm-up and seeing that there was quite a number of people, I really was not expecting to take off in a hurry. My personal goal for this race was a 4:15 or better, so I made sure that I found the 4:15 pace group and lined up somewhere in front of them.

The magic of race day is just as exciting and powerful whethere there are 48 people at race start or 4,800. There is so much unknown, each race is different and that is one of the mysteries of the marathon. You never run the same race twice, and although you “plan” to peak at Race Day, you never really know until you are well into the race. And it’s the firing of the gun that sets you free!

Most of the race, now, has faded into obscurity except for a few things that have stuck and so it’s these things that I will share:

It’s doesn’t take Rocket Science (and techincally, I have a nuclear engineering degree anyway) to know that People cheering on the course makes a difference. What I found was there was a long stretch were there were people 1-2 people deep for what seemed like a short time. I noticed that this time passed quickly because there was always something to see, people to look at AND because I wanted people to see my shirt and headband, just in case there was a fellow Dump Runner there, the crowd of people actually made me correct my form… and run more upright. However, the crowd, because it does get exciting makes it seem that you are running a faster pace then planned. It might just be a placebo effect… I’ll have to run more marathons to collect the appropriate data (it’s the Statistician in me).

Despite the positive effect of the large crowds, having run many marathon in near isolation was, tactfully a good thing. Apart from the super-MEGA-MONDO marathons where there are 1.2 million people around (or something like that), in most long distances races there are long stretches where it is YOU and THE COURSE. Having to go through this multiple times, it really makes things easier, when all of a sudden you are by yourself, or are in between pockets of runners. Right after the long stretch of people mentioned above, there was virtually nothing for a stretch… and if you were relying on the crowd for supplemental motivation, good luck! There was also another stretch coming back that was very similar, between water stations, there were some scattered runners and if you were alone at the start, more than likely you’d be that way for most of that stretch.

I could not believe how well I was on food during the race. It wasn’t until a week or so later after the race that I realized that I barely ate any of my own food on the course. In fact, I had to force myself to eat in the beginning. I wasn’t remotely hungry but experience has taught me that during a marathon, you don’t eat whenever, you have a plan and STICK TO IT! My standard plan for eating is eat something every 4 miles, plus take the energy gels on the course and alternate between carb-drink (gatorade, powerade, etc) and water. And not only was I not all that hungry, but I was well hydrated. It did help that it was overcast and slightly misting, although this (in my opinion) hurt me in the end… details to follow. When there are TONS of runners and people in the crowd, it is hard to find a place to ditch for a little tinkle. So, I just did what the professionals do. I went. I went while running. Now, I am sure that I wasn’t prettiest smelling person out on the course, but I wasn’t distrupting my time to stop and use the bathroom. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the most comfortable thing to do, but after a few times, I had a method to the madness. What a time saver!

My goal of a 4:15 became further and further attainable and finally succumbed to the almightly lactic acid, late in the race. It was some point after mile 20-21, where I went from my Marathon Racing Mode to Marathon Survival Mode. I wasn’t going to let the build up of lactic acid keep me from having, at the very least, a good technical race. I saw My Lovely and Talented Wife and the Dynamic Duo, I think, somewhere around mile 19ish. So after that, I knew that I wouldn’t see anyone (I knew) until the end of the race. I don’t think that I actually stopped running and shifted to walking exclusively. I might have, but I have blocked that from my memory. I would walk when I was either slowing down to, or starting back up from stretching my legs. I set visual goals for myself as I started up each time… making to a particular destination before allowing myself to stretch again.

Another, “We don’t need no stinkin’ Rocket Science” is that Practice Makes Perfect What You’ll Probably Do Naturally In That Situation. I had taken Matt’s 3-2-1 BLAST OFF workout and had made a hybrid of taking that format of 3-2-1 BLAST OFF and converting it specifically for ending a long distance race. For the last segment of the race, the first increment of the plan, I did a self-analysis of what shape I was in for landing (Finishing the Race). My legs were shot, heavy tree trunks just about short of falling over, but mentally I was still On-Point: Engaged and still in The Race. The second increment of the plan, is a race-analysis. Where was I relative to the finish? I knew my energy levels… so, who could I overtake?

The third increment of the plan would be what I associate with the actual launch (of the Space Shuttle). This is the point on the course, where you don’t hold back anymore and go for about 80% of what you have left in the tank. “Usually” this point for me is when I see the clock at the end of the race and can read the numbers.

In the case of the Space Shuttle, there is point where the Space Shuttle has reached a certain speed and the procedure is to go faster to help break Earth’s Gravity. For those who biggest News event (Pre 9/11) was the Space Shuttle Challenger, this is the point that 72 seconds into the mission, that the O-ring failed. This is Throttle up. And my executive function (i.e. Houston) and I have communication on this point on the course.

“Go for throttle up.”

“Roger that, Going for throttle up.”

I am not sure how many people I passed in that last little bit… I was hurting. I felt like I was running a 6 minute mile. I am sure it was closer to a 8 minute mile, but when I got to the end, I was exhausted. At the very end, the Mayor of Cincinnati was there shaking finisher’s hand. My next goal, after crossing the finishing mat was to shake his hand. And breathless, I did.

“Are you going to be okay?” was the Mayor’s words to me. I kinda nodded and moved along. The next guy at the finisher’s line asked, “Are you with us now?” I was at least functioning, but still not that coherent. I wandered around the finish line a little bit with my mylar blanket (BEST THING EVER!) trying to gain some clarity. I was hoping to meet Kevin from The Extra Mile podcast, but I had been running late and missed him, plus I wouldn’t have said anything that made sense… Bumblebee Tuna.

I continued to wander out to the food area. Being a middle of the packer sucks, but not “as” bad as a back of the pack runner because of the scarcity of food. It doesn’t help that being on Gluten Free nixes many of the snacks at the end of the race. I think Oranges was the only thing they had left that I could eat, oh, and potato chips.

My family found me, at some point, and we did make it back to the car (eventually). Now that I had finished the marathon, it was time to go over to the Union Station and visit the Children’s Science Museum. It’s a fine day when you can run a marathon AND have fun with SCIENCE!

So, not a PR race, but I had (what I thought) was a good technical race for myself. Not “only” as a guy, I can pee standing up… but now I know how to do it running. I think what held me back was the lack of miles during training. Looking back at my average weekly mileage during the previous 12 weeks, it was an average of around 27-28 miles per week, with a peak of 32-33 miles one week. So, I know that with “proper training regiment” that I can break that 4 hour barrier, no problem.

Oh, and remember that drawing that My Lovely and Talented Wife entered me in at The Expo? Well, I won… I won a free entry to the Niagra Falls INTERNATIONAL marathon! Seeing that I want to run the Flying Monkey Marathon again, and that’s not very PR friendly, this will be my Fall marathon Race. At the end of June, I will start officially training for it. I am thinking that I am going to make a mash up of Ryan Hall’s Half-Marathon plan with one the Hanson’s Brother’s plans, plans on that later.

I’ll have pictures up… eventually.

And the Winner is

Sorry that is has taken me so long to dish out my crap to the winner… It’s not that I have forgotten it is just that it has been busy since we have gotten back from the ‘Natti. With my OFFICIAL finishing time of 4:36:07, this means that the winner of the Flying Pig Guess My Time Win Crap Contest is none other than the chick that puts the “Nelope” in “PE”… Penelope! That’s right… she wins the Tea, the Bottle and the Bag. Look for it soon in the mail…

The next contest for Guess My Time Win Crap will be later in May for the Expo 10k. More on that in the upcoming weeks. Thanks to all those that played.

This has been another successful contest from PRIZ3S a division of planet3rry.com

Guess My Time, Win Crap

It’s race time in the Higgins household and that means… well, lots of things. But for me it’s time to figure out what crap I can find to offer as a prize for the winner of Guess My Time, Win Crap Contest.

So, Here are the rules (in no particular order): Click on the Contest Arena of my website (Hint: It’s at the top of the website.) You’ll see the entry form… wait. IF the entry form is there, you can still play. If it’s not there… I can’t go for that… no can do. You’ll have to wait until the next contest.

So, you fill in the form. Send it in and wait patiently for the results. My guess is that they will post them later in the day. Of course, if I do that Twitter thing that all the cool kids are doing, then you might find out my time earlier. However, as with all of my crappy contests the official race time as published by the race entity or its affiliates will be the end all and be all of the results.


The Race: The 2009 Annual Flying Pig Marathon on May 3rd 2009 at 6:30 AST (Anticipated Start Time)

Oink!

History: Haven’t run this one yet, but here are some times from my last few marathons…
Richmond Marathon, Nov-13-1999, 4:15:55
Richmond Marathon, Nov-18-2000 4:18:31
Myrtle Beach Marathon, Feb-17-2001 4:23:35
Richmond Marathon, Nov-10-2001 4:09:03
Mardi Gras Marathon, Feb-17-2002 4:38:14
Richmond Marathon, Nov-09-2002 4:27:06
Virginia Creeper Marathon, 03-30-2003 4:57:54
Myrtle Beach Marathon, Feb-19-2005 4:45:20
Knoxville Marathon, 03-26-2006 4:21:44
Chickamauga Marathon, Nov-10-2007 4:08:38
Rutledge Marathon, Nov-15-2008 4:50:52
Flying Monkey Marathon, Nov-23-2008 4:43:12

Guess Accuracy: This contest will be the Over/Under format, which means the closest time guessed over or under my official race time will be the winner of the contest. Should you fall within +/- 2 Seconds of the time, then your prize will either be upgraded or an extra prize will be included. Should your guess be 100% accurate, then you’ll get something even better! But it’s a secret at this point.

Official Entry: Your official entry time will be the time stamp on my email of your guess. You may enter more than once, but your most recent time will be your official Guess. IF for some reason you can’t use the comment form, you may use other methods to submit your guess. Check out Where To Find Me on the Right Side Bar, but there is no guarantee that your guess will make it… but I’m a pretty nice guy, I might let it slide.

Disclaimer: If you do win AND you want your prize AND if I don’t have it already, you must submit to me your mailing address so that I can send you the prize and/or prizes. This of course, will subject you such things as random mailings, holiday greetings and anything else that I might have in store for you. MUHAHAHAHA

Track Me:

You can also track my progress and your chances to win…(click here to sign up)

Wanna Stalk Me?

It’s Early Morning on Sunday… DO you know where Terry is?

Well, now you can. Okay, at least for Sunday May 3rd, when I am P3 in Cincinnati! Flying Pig, that is!

For approximately 4 hours only… STALK ME, well kinda. It’s like an RSS feed for a marathon. It’s called

The SWEAR LINE

The Swine Line

BACON!

(click here to sign up)

The Flying Pig marathon is having runner stalking tracking available and yours truly will be on there. As of Monday evening I am the only athlete named “Terry Higgins Super Star” Of course, Facebook is still the lazyman’s RSS feed. And I can’t even update my own feed!I am hoping to get the form up for the This Little Flying Piggy Marathon Guess My Time, Win Bacon Crap contest. Judging by the decrease in the overall comments at my site… you have a REALLY good chance of winning.

Even if you put down 2:04:58. Of course, if I find my inner Kenyan, shake up those number to be more like 5:42:08 4:02:58

Back in the Saddle

Today, I was supposed to run 12 miles… However, I only ran 7.5 miles.

And I don’t care. You wanna know why?

Susan Stout’s (I Run For My Life) Facebook comment on my status: Lightning McTerry

I.AM.SPEED

Okay, I am not as fast as most of the people out there. Typically around 33% of all runners finish ahead of me in a 5k and as the race gets longer so does my Regression to the Mean (I move closer to 50%). Seeing that just 6 days ago, I had been struggling with making it to Mile 21 so that I could quit. Today, I let the engine throttle.

I was talking with THE Stewart Ellington, the 2-time (consecutive) winner at the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon (2008 & 2009) about how sore he was. He said that he wasn’t all that sore and that he ran a local 5k today. I haven’t looked to see where in the Top 5 he finished, I would imagine 2nd, only because there are other runners out there training for speed and not distance. He said that the wind held him back and so he held back on going faster (he finished in 2:29). Speed. It’s ALL relative.

This morning, I took the throttle off and just WENT. The first 0.75 miles felt sluggish and that was around a 9 min pace. I could then feel myself warm up and throttle up. I hit 8:36, 8:18 and 8:07. I realized that after the 2nd sub 9min mile, that I would NOT be able to keep that kind of pace up for that long. So, I decided to stop at the Greenway Interchange and turn back for another 3.75 miles. I took about 2 minutes or so to recollect my thoughts and headed back to the Van.

7:55, 8:31 and 8:41 for the return 3 miles. The last 0.75 miles was more of a cool down. I knew that I didn’t want to kill myself on this run, nor did I want to reinjure anything that may have just healed from last Sunday’s run. So the last 0.75 miles was in 7:37 including my Fave: Fast Finish, Race Rehearsal… not only do you speed up to the finish, but you practice exactly as if it is the race finish and you are closing in on another runner to beat them to the finish line. Practice Makes Perfect..

So it’s 29 Days until the Flying Pig Marathon… and I am actually feeling excited about the race this early. Since this is somewhere around my 14th marathon. I usually don’t get really engaged in the event until the week before. This is usually when I write up the Guess My Time post about the race. And of course, I still get very excited on Race Morning. I think that I know that marathons are no fun for me, is when Race Morning is a chore. Sure, there are times during training when I think, “Why am I doing this? Do I really want to this?” But even marathons being used as training runs (Myrtle Beach 2005 and Knoxville 2009), I still get really excited. I love having conversations with people who are going to be running their first marathon, even the race day excitement of 5k and 10ks really can’t compare to the Shock & Awe feeling of getting out there and standing in line for a marathon.

29 Days and counting. It would probably be prudent of me to reevaluate my training program and see what needs to be changed. I can’t fathom that what I have scribbled on the calendar would really be effective.

The Magical Animal

Saturday Morning, I fried up some bacon… a whole package. That’s a pound if you are keeping score at home and using the English Measuring System. I thought that the delicious aroma of boiling pig fat would wake up My Lovely and Talented Wife… she has a hankering for bacon. It’s like the 6 degrees of separation among food.

So, I was thinking that I was going to get to run this morning, but that didn’t happen. But it wasn’t all bad because I stayed outside today working on some pre-gardening stuff. Any time that I get to burn sticks, it’s a good fun job. Making sure that you don’t put too many sticks on the fire to snuff it out, but I am trying to make some ash. The ash, I will turn around and mix in with some soil for my garden that I am going to have this year. I think that I will cheat and get some starter plants, because the prep in my “garden patch” will continue at least until next year. Being close to the River, about 3/4 of a mile if I could throw a rock that far, I have two things that is just under the top soil… Rocks… and Clay. Sigh. So, I am in the process of mulching leaves and foods and building up a small area in my yard to host a variety of plants… only to grow them big and mature and then hack the fruits of their life off and leave them as a warning to the plants the next year. In 2008, I tried to garden but everything died except for one plant, that was either a pumpkin or watermelon plant. But that thing got root-rot and died as well before the flowers actually made anything. My luck, that plant needed a mate to bear fruit and died sexually frustrated. But this post isn’t about the garden… this is about reference to that animal that is bacon, sausage and ham (oh wait! Chitlin’s too).

Remember how I was supposed to send in my registration for the Flying Bacon Pig Marathon? Well, I didn’t because I was going to run and when I was going to go, I was going to the post office and drop off my entry form. Except that I didn’t get to run… and therefore no postmark. boo hoo hoo, what is a runner to do? I reasoned with myself that the $10 online process fee would be okay to pay since it would still be cheaper then waiting to the next day and paying the increase fee amount.

Well, when I went to register for the marathon, the processing fee was only $4.20, just $3.78 more than what I would have paid to mail it. So, huge fee avoid, registration is complete. I am ON for the Flying Fried Pork Rind Pig! Oink!

Holy Pigtails Batman

Well, it’s a good thing that I decided to mosey over to the Flying Pig Marathon site to see about Registration. Febraury 1st, the rates increase by 25%! I know! So I better get my entry form in the mail. It has to be postmarked by January 31st to get the least expensive pricing of $60.

OOOOOO… reading the Entry Form, the shirts are Technical shirts. Nice!

So, when I get this in the mail, I will be registered for Marathons #13 and #14. WOO HOO!