Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fying Pig Marathon's EXPO 2013

The Expo from a rookie’s point of view.

The Flying Pig Expo was on Friday and Saturday. It was held at the Duke Convention Center in Downtown Cincinnati. My boys had baseball games on Saturday so I knew I had to go on Friday.


While I was at work on Friday, my friend Molly said she wouldn’t mind going. Since this was free and open to the public event, she could go! We took off around 12:45pm and headed downtown. Downtown was so crowded that we began to panic! We had to get back to work and this was taking up precious expo time. It took at least 25 minutes to find somewhere to park.

 Finally, we parked and arrived at the top level of the convention center where you can overlook the convention area. That is where I took this picture:


I was nervous.


I was excited.


I was nervous.


Did I mention I was nervous?

Yes, I was more nervous than excited. I was so freaked out about running AND finishing the race. My foot had me a nervous wreck! Nothing like an injury before your first half marathon!

Why was I so nervous? I wanted this. BAD! It seems like all my life, people like to make excuses for my “success”. I remember coming home once telling my own husband that I got a 7% raise and his response “ you suck ass!”. Of course he was kidding but words hurt. I could go on and on about responses people have made about my success but that’s not what this blog post is about. I just chalk it up to jealously and move on!

I knew if I could actually run a half marathon AND finish, no one could say anything.

They couldn’t say I cheated.

They couldn’t make excuses up.

They couldn’t call me a “suck ass”.

This achievement was mine and I wanted it.


Molly and I went down the escalator and finally arrived in the Expo!

And when I say IN the Expo, I mean at the exit!

Yep, we went through the EXIT doors. Of course we didn’t realize this until we took about 4 wrong turns. We finally got back to the entrance where I picked up my race bib and clear bag.

 (Hey rookie—the clear bag is used for bag check on race day!)

Back to race package pick up…..There was an area for each event: 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon and so on. Then each area was separated out by last name. I got in the line for my last name.

And when I say line, I mean I got behind the one person who was in front of me.

That’s right, there really wasn’t a line anywhere. This was around 1:30pm.

So after my 30 second wait, I got my bib! My first bib!



After we got my packet, we went back through where we just came through. If you know Molly and I, this is so typical of us! We meandered our way through the Flying Pig store where they sold memorabilia shirts, shorts, sweats, etc.. I picked up a tshirt for $20, a can coozie for $2 and a magnet for $3.

Since the event is sponsored by Proctor & Gamble (known as P&G to locals), they were there giving out free samples. The line was long but it moved fast. As we got closer, we could see they were giving away several varieties of skin creams, tampons, pads, laundry scent booster, Dawn Power clean, AAA batteries and several other things.

Not only did we notice the men weren’t picking up the pads and tampons, they weren’t even looking at them! The turned their heads as they got to the table like they were embarrassed! It was quite amusing!

We finally got up to the front of the line where we were able to snag our samples.

Actually, here are all the free samples I got.


After that, we went through the vendor section and picked up a few more samples.

I was so happy to see that an area running store Bob Ronckers, were giving away race pace tattoos. I had no idea what a race tattoo even was until a few days prior when I saw one on Pinterest.

So what is it?

Its a temporary tattoo that runners can affix to their forearm. You can choose between several different finishing times and the tattoo lists the splits for each mile. If math isn’t your friend, then this might help you! I picked up 2 different ending times. 2:30—a stretch goal. And 2:45—probably a more realistic goal for my first half marathon. I wasn’t really sure which time I wanted so I figured I would figure it out later. Best part—these were free! I was ready to pay a few dollars for each of them. Thanks Bob Roncker! (stay tuned to see if it actually worked)

We were still pressed for time, so we tried to quickly move through the vendor section. As much as we were in a hurry, several booths we just HAD to stop at.

Such as Sweaty Bands! I love these things!!! They were having a special—buy 5 and get 1 free. Small ones were $15 and large ones were $18. I was only going to get 2 but couldn’t decide which 2 so I ended up taking advantage of the special. (Please don’t do that math!) When we got to the register, the saleslady said I could pick out a pig one as they were having an additional sale of buy any 2 and get 1 PIG one free. Looking back, that is what I should have done. But we were in a hurry so I made a rash buying decision.

 I’m a woman.

Are you surprised?
Don’t tell me you are surprised!

BTW, I highly recommend Sweaty Bands. They stay on my head and hold a lot of sweat. And I sweat like a pig!!!

No pun intended!

Right next to the Sweaty Bands was a booth that Molly wanted to stop at.


They had a belt she wanted so I ended up picking out one too. Ugh. We are bad for each other! This was going to be my first time using a belt. Would I like it? Stay tuned to my next blog.

After that, we said we HAD to go!

So we……..

 ……..stopped at another booth that caught our eye.

Yep. We did.

You didn’t expect us to leave now did you?

We needed sunglasses! We both picked out a pair that were $39. They were polarized. I have to have polarized. I love them. But I also wanted anti-fog. You can't get both in one lense.

Only one or the other. That’s my luck.

BUT for $3 you can buy an anti fogging cloth to rub on the lenses.

Of course we fell for that too.

At this point I ask the lady if there is a discount if we buy more than one pair.

HEY! It doesn’t hurt to ask.

She said she would knock off the tax. Sold! We both got a pair of sunglasses and a cloth. (She threw in one of the cloths for free! Thanks!)

Now we said we HAVE to go.

 So we……..

……..stopped at another booth that caught our eye.


We had to stop for fuel. No not gas you rookie! J

Don’t feel bad, until about 2 weeks ago I didn’t know what fuel was either. Turns out fuel are products that help you run faster and longer.  They say if you jog for 30 minutes, you only need to drink water. But if you're running longer than an hour, you need carbohydrates, AKA fuel.

An example of fuel is something called GU. Pronounced goo.

And here I thought goo was the junk found underneath the lunch table in grade school.

Who knew.

So I picked up 2 GU’s and a pack of Jelly Belly’s for a buck a piece. This is where we also found another awesome magnet!



Now we said we HAVE to go.


So we……..

……We finally made it to shirt pick up!

Did I have you worried we were going to make another stop?

We didn’t. But we would’ve had I seen any red running shoes. As I was walking through I kept my eye open for a pair, but no luck! The neon and bold colors are so popular right now when I just want a pair of red running shoes!!! Why can’t I find any?!?!

 Anyways, I’m whining like a pig.

 Again, no pun intended.

So we go to t-shirt pick up. I pre-registered for a medium thinking men and women would all have one fit. I was wrong. The women had a ladies fit. I needed a L. The guy handing me my t-shirt said he had to give me a M but directed me to the area where I could exchange it for a different size so I did. Yay!

I was also given a nice soft sided Flying Pig cooler and a poster. I have read on other blogs were people say the poster is a waste of money. I for one liked it! Of course, this was my first half marathon so I appreciated the memento and plan on keeping it.

I might even frame it.

If I actually finish the race that is!

Here's my race swag:

All in all, the expo was easy to move through (both times—through the exit area and back!) and was very well organized!

As we left, I had to get my picture taken with this pig!


I do kind of wish I wouldn’t have gone during work so I had more time. Of course, I probably would’ve found more things to buy! So maybe it’s a good thing!

Up next: RACE DAY!!!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Half Marathon?! What?! Can I do it!?

Back on December 31, 2010 I wrote on this blog about how I wanted to run a half marathon. Over 2 years have went by where I didn’t take any action.
Until now.

On January 1st, 2013 my friend Molly and I ran the Commitment Day 5k run. The run is about starting a healthy way of life. Forget making a resolution. Make a commitment. It’s all about feeling good, and inspiring someone else to make a positive change.

To find more info visit this site

On this day, I wrote on their commitment poster the following….


I commit to doing what it takes to be a better person.

Pretty specific huh?

I am normally one of those people who set a New Years resolution and end up breaking it by the end of January. This year, it was different. Something in me was driving me to have this year to be different. Maybe it was the Commitment Day run.

And by run I mean walk. Yes, we walked the entire 5k in 58 minutes.

Hey, you have to start somewhere!

This also inspired me to set the rest of these resolutions.


Not resolutions.


For #1, my progress was going great! I was getting up at 4am to work out before work. I’m lucky that I have a fitness center right in my office building! I truly had no excuses!

Let me tell ya, I am NOT a morning person! Matter of fact, I trust no one who smiles before 9am. But I still got up and got my grumpy non-morning butt into the gym.

Then there came a time when Molly and I talked about doing a RunDisney race in the fall. We were so motivated to do this!

Then I thought to myself, I know I won’t be able to stay motivation that long without a race before then. I looked at the calendar and the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon was scheduled for the first Sunday in May. Also looking at the calendar I realized the Flying Pig was 2 days before the anniversary of the death of my best friend Lynnette. I see people all the time running for causes and I thought I could push myself and run the half marathon for her.

I started training on the treadmill shortly after that. We had a very snowy winter so I didn’t get a chance to start running outside until the end of March.

Yes, you read that right.
The end of March.

Wow! What a difference there is running on pavement! I should've started sooner! After just 2 short weeks, I developed an excruciating pain in the bottom of my foot. This prevented me to train like I wanted.

Fast forward to 5 days before the Flying Pig race. I finally went to a foot doctor where he told me I had plantar fasciitis. He injected the area with something. I don’t know what it was. Nor do I care because it worked. (I do remember him saying it wasn’t cortisone.)  The doc also gave me a few exercises to do and this pretty thing:


It wasn’t comfortable to sleep in but I didn’t care! This girl was following doctor’s orders! Why? Because he said I would be race ready IF I do what he says.

Stay tuned in the next blog to see if he was right.

On Friday, 2 days before the Half Marathon, I went to the Expo. Also stay tuned in the next blog to read all about the expo!

Sunday was the race! Did I do it? Was I able to finish? Stay tuned!