Saturday morning brought more than just the start of spring – it brought the start of fall race season (pretty much my only racing season this year…ugh…I’ll explain) and the Hudepohl Brewery Run. Don’t know what the hell a Hudepohl is? Me neither. Just that it’s a local brewery here in the sprawling City of Cincinnati. The Hudy is a 14 or 7k run, often done in costume, and with the option to be a costumed team tethered together for the duration of the race.
A modestly late start time for morning races, 8AM, gets you a beautiful sunrise over the very well designed and planted riverfront parks. The race was crowded, yet another sold out run for the Flying Pig Organization, who hosts pretty much all of the big races in the area.
I have struggled all summer with my training – a common theme among the runners I chatted with along the 8.7 mile course through the…uh… less picturesque but slightly more
hilly historic parts of the city. My energy took a major dive and my runs became difficult sufferfests as I struggled to breathe, struggled to pick up heavy legs, and struggled to push through it all to finish the miles that, all of a few months ago, were easier than sitting on a couch for me to complete. It wasn’t the heat…. I tend to log my PRs in the hot and humid summer season. My BQ goal has taken a backseat again. I’m hoping to have this thing figured out….ideally before my run at the Detroit Free Press Marathon…. but let’s be honest….medical professionals have no idea what’s going on with me right now, so I’m hoping I’ll have an answer and all the energy in the world back next year for another, far more serious, attempt at the BQ and the race of my dreams.
Saturday’s pre-race prep consisted mostly of me walking the dog and feeling like my stomach was in rebellion. No idea what the deal was, but I was not feeling confident in my tummy’s integrity all the way up to the start of the race.
This race is the kind that fires the starter pistol, and then encourages a fast first mile by pumping the chicken dance over the speakers. My husband and I started out together, chatting and laughing, and I jumped into a couple of random people’s selfies as we hit the start line and started our jog. There were so many people in the race that it didn’t take any work to keep the pace slower. At about a half mile, the races split and I tucked in with some stranger I decided to bother about her tattoos. From there, I tried to go from tattooed runner to tattooed runner – asking about the meanings, where it was done, and if they’d recommend the artist (Spoiler, only one person wouldn’t). It was a ton of fun, and one lady stuck with me because she thought it was hilarious that I was even doing that.
By mile 3, I ran out of tattooed runners. I toyed with the idea of shouting out, “Any runners with tattoos that aren’t showing wanna tell me about them!?” but it seemed like it might not have gone over as well and I would’ve liked. We passed through the area the Bockfest 5k starts and ends, and the porta-potty lines was full of life, as the people danced to the music pumping from a near-by DJ.
I managed to tuck in with “Bob” for a while, sharing marathon stories and talking about current local issues. Oh, and about whether we liked the course being run backwards this year. I actually kinda did – and secretly kind of wonder what the Flying Pig marathon would be like, run backwards in the actual race.
Bob fell back during a water stop around the 6th mile, and I was in a dilemma of finding someone new to distract myself with. My pace was up significantly from what I started at, and so my crowd at this pace was a different type of group. They looked a little more serious, some were falling back as they started to walk from over-efforts to early on, and just about every single one of them had ear buds in. I’ve learned that people get a bit annoyed when you talk at them and they have to take their earbuds out.
By mile 7.5, I had decided to try to keep pace with a guy in green who told his friends that he was “going to try and shave off some time” in the last miles. In the last half mile of the race, some woman started pushing and I called at her about bringing it in strong. “Hell yeah! Lets do it!” was her response. We started putting on the speed, and so did the wind we were suddenly running into. She fell back a little, but now I was just wanting the whole thing over with.
My finish kick was pretty solid, and with my Garmin claiming a 5:45 pace for that last quarter-mile, I crossed the finish with 1:20:15 watch time (chip time was pretty close to this, showing 19 seconds instead of 15). Considering the amount of bullshit my running has felt like all summer, and my resulting reluctance to run with anyone else or a group or even consider wasting my time at a race I’d likely do poorly at – I was very happy with this result.
It felt good to be back out there – making friends along the course, sharing stories and fun times (Bob highly recommends the New York City Marathon, by the way. He says every runner should try it once), and seeing some of my former running group out there having a good time too. My husband managed his run in about 55 minutes. He said he didn’t need to walk a whole lot, and that he actually felt really good after this one.
In all, this was a great day, and another great run by the Flying Pig group.
Thanks for stopping by!