Marathon #16: Cincinnati Flying Pig

It wasn’t pretty, but I got it done. Marathon #16 was the Cincinnati Flying Pig and was the first marathon I’ve done in over a year. My march toward a marathon in every state continues. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing in the photo below, but the medal proves I finished the marathon.

Flying Pig Marathon

I’ve had a good month of training and expected I’d break five hours. My goal was to do 11:30’s for the first half and then pick it up for the second half and come in between 4:50 and 5:00.

Things started off pretty crummy. There was a light rain and I had trouble getting warmed up during the first few miles. I had a fierce headache and seriously considered dropping out around mile 5. I took my hat off to wipe my hair back and my headache miraculously disappeared. I looked inside the hat and realized the fabric had bunched up from the rain (it was a new baseball cap) and was pressing on my right temple. I ditched the hat and immediately felt better.

Miles 6 to 9 were a solid uphill climb. I like hills so it didn’t bother me much but at some point I felt like I was in an Escher print. I sped up a little in mile 10 but forced myself to slow down to stay on plan.

My plan worked fine for the first 13 miles and I went through the half way point at 2:33. I tried to pick it up a gear but had nothing in my legs. Aerobically I was fine – my heart rate never got above 160 – but my legs were just dead. Miles 14 to 20 basically sucked. I just slogged through them at a 12 to 13:30 pace. I had input / output problems by this point – I ended up with seven pee breaks along the course. I don’t really remember much of the last six miles, although by 24 I knew I had it in the bag and somehow managed to speed up a little.

I finished in 5:24:45 – a very slow marathon for me. But I crossed the finish line which is all I was really focused on.

Amy and I had a fun weekend in Cincinnati. The Flying Pig is a big festival so there was plenty of great marathon energy around town. My coach Gary Ditsch came up to see me run and we had dinner the night before with him and his wife Nikki. I had ice cream at Graeter’s every night, stayed in the classic Hilton Netherland, had Skyline Chili, and watched Atlas Shrugged in the old style Empire Theater. While the marathon was a struggle and I eventually got tired of the pig puns, our adventure across America continued with a satisfying and successful weekend in Cincinnati.

  • Anonymous


  • SLCaruso

    awesome – you crossed the line. no substitute for perseverance!!

    so, when do you come down for the Duke City Marathon?

  • did you try bob evans while in ohio?

    • I didn’t – looks good though!

  • nice! as Bijan said to me recently, the #1 goal in startups is to stay alive.

    in marathons, the goal is to finish. way to get it done. 🙂

    • Thanks man. And thanks for the training help.

  • LukeH

    Congratulations. Glad you enjoyed doing the Pig in our fine city. Sorry about the weather.

  • All fifty states? What about us over here in DC? Come on down to the Marine Corp — good course (almost completely flat), probably the best ran marathon I’ve ever seen and a nice historic backdrop.

  • There are always the parts you don’t remember. Just like a startup. Well done.

  • Awesome! Go sip on some WhistlePig to celebrate

  • The pig is a notoriously tough one because of the hills. The locals can join pace groups for practice that run the actual course. Not a bad performance, esp. considering lousy weather.

  • Stevemassa

    Congratulations Brad – put this one behind you.

  • Anonymous

    Your sponsors salute you!

  • Brad – Glad you enjoyed the time in Cincinnati. Hopefully we can get you out here for The Brandery at some point in the future and show you more of town.

  • Congrats. Nice job to hang in there and get it done.

  • Anonymous

    Brad, congratulations on finishing the Flying Pig… and I’m very glad that your weekend in Cincinnati was a good one. At least we offered you and your wife a sunny Saturday. Come again.

    Our own son ran in – and finished – his first marathon in New Jersey on Sunday. He had some mental walls he too had to deal with around Mile 12 – 13. You might relate to some of his thoughts on his run that he posted in his blog today.

    Best wishes to you and I hope that you aren’t too sore today.

    • Your son’s post is great!

  • Congratulations!

  • Guest

    Aw, pretty is as pretty does in my humble opinion. Awesome that you crossed the finish line! I remember how the night before my first marathon I slept for fewer hours than I ended up running. It was a truly hideous performance but I finished, and finishing is what counts. So many parallels to life in that one. Congrats!!!

  • Brad, check this out, not part of the goal, but certainly a fun addition: Our team at Globalmojo will be running in it!

  • Anonymous

    Congrats! A finish is a finish and you should expect a crummy day with that many races.

  • joemaly

    Hi! great blog post. Thanks for reading mine as well. I think I am planning on completing the Pig in 2012!