Flying Pig Shenanigans
It’s been nearly 3 weeks since I ran the Flying Pig Marathon with some of my BRFs so, surely, I should have written an update by now. I could write any number of excuses for my tardiness but sometimes the best experiences are just difficult to put into words. I’ve dubbed the Pig the ‘Best Worst Marathon Ever’ and, long story short, I plan to do it again next year.
If you want to read my technical review of the race weekend, please head over to BibRave. Honestly, Flying Pig Marathon Weekend is an extremely well-organized, friendly, fun, amazing event that truly has something for everyone. I’ve run NYC Marathon, and will be again this year, but the Pig reigns supreme. The people of Cincinnati are super friendly, race organizers and volunteers are organized, helpful, and professional. The course is beautiful with some architecturally interesting neighborhoods. There’s entertainment throughout the course and more aid stations and food than you know how to handle. This last bit proved integral to survival, as the expected gray and stormy day turned into a sunny, humid monstrosity. Aid was plentiful and in the last 10k, which was more of a death march for our little crew, additional race support biked and golf carted back and forth with additional water bottles and ice. Our first real hot and humid race of the year was a slow go (hence ‘worst marathon’) but the race itself was magnificent.
This was my 8th road marathon, but it was the first event I attended with 25ish friends! It was like an adult mini spring break. We ran in events from Friday night until the big race day on Sunday, and each time our hardy group of ATLiens took over the finish line. No ATCer left behind! This was T and R’s first marathon and we ended up with a small group of us running almost the whole race together. One of our group, a Cincy native, spent the day on the course on his bike. We saw him at several locations with his camera and awesome energy. Around mile 20 he stayed with us until the end, talking us through each mile and providing some much needed entertainment. At mile 25, another group member who finished the race earlier, joined us for the last mile. The rest of our awesome tribe was waiting in red and pink near the finish line, making for a rowdy arrival. Honestly, there’s nothing more powerful than the energy of your road warrior friends. Despite the rough weather conditions, T and R finished with smiles and ready to tackle marathon #2 in the fall!
- Chattanooga 70.3: This Sunday is the Ironman Chattanooga 70.3. Only 3 weeks post marathon, there was no time for a mental break after returning from Cincy. At this point the Xanax is strong with this one until I jump in the water on Sunday morning. Actually, I’ll probably want to throw up until I’m comfortably a few miles into the bike. Adam will be my trusty cheerleader as always, and T and her awesome husband are planning to hang out as well, providing a much needed distraction. This will be my 3rd 70.3 event so my overall goal is to beat my individual segment times from last year. However, this year’s event is really a benchmark for my next 4 months of training towards Chattanooga Ironman, my first full ironman event. This train just needs to keep on the rails for the next 4 months.
- BRAG: Bike Ride Across Georgia! Just 2 weeks after Chatt 70.3, Adam and I will be setting off from Oglethorpe College in Atlanta on our bikes and headed towards Savannah. 6 days of riding between 55 and 70 miles (with a potential 100 miler in the middle) isn’t everyone’s idea of a nice vacation but it sounded like a good idea at the time.
- PhD?! I’ve been at CDC for 6 years and, despite shittiness of being a contractor and not a federal employee, I really love my job and my coworkers. However, I’ve been struggling with professional stagnation. Last year I learned of a brand new PhD in Analytics and Data Science at Kennesaw State University. This is a rapidly growing career area and KSU happens to have the first, and so far, only PhD program in the country, right in the Atlanta metro area. It’s an applied math, stats, computer science program and while I don’t have the academic background for it, I felt my career experience and goals meshed well with the program. Taking a cue from Hamilton, I decided not to throw away my shot and applied; after years of claiming I would never do a PhD. Miraculously or ominously, I was one of 5 people accepted into the fully funded program. So, I’m leaving a job and people I like, for a 50% paycut, and classes I’m vastly underqualified to take. I’m thinking about writing a letter to Lin-Manuel Miranda and blaming him for this life choice (I cry every time I listen to the soundtrack). I guess I’ll just have to #RiseUp and take #MyShot. To say the least, Khan Academy and I are besties for the next 3 months. Between getting a college math education in 3 months and trying to tie up several projects at work, I’m emotionally a little lost right now. To top it off, classes will start right in the middle of my ironman training cycle. This last point might actually be a blessing in disguise. Maintaining my training schedule and involvement with Atlanta Track Club might be the only things that keep my organization and schedule in balance. The KSU pool is across the street from my future office and Kennesaw Mountain is a great trail running location; I plan to make that mountain my bitch.
- *** Addendum: one of my lovely ATC Tribe members just reminded me that I will also be training for the NYC Marathon in November. I’m running in a team of 6 on behalf of the Kilometer Kids program, a youth health and wellness program in the Atlanta area. Georgia has one of the highest rates of obesity in the country so getting kids active at a young age is really important for combatting this public health emergency. We have the goal of raising $25,000. If you want to help you can make a tax deductible donation here!
- And now for your viewing pleasure, my life for the next 5 years…