When Pig's Fly

Four Days Before The Cincinnati Flying Pig Half-Marathon...

It’s Thursday morning and I am running along the riverfront. “Running” is an exaggeration; this was more like slogging (e.g., a slow jog).

The sun is shining and the air is warm but I am not enjoying myself. My mind is racing in every direction, cursing the fact that I have not trained as much as I think I should have.

My thoughts go back to 1998 when I ran the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego, having trained with Leukemia and Lymphoma Team and Training. It was my first, it was fun, the destination and event were beautiful and I met some cool people. Even though I trained hard and was certainly well prepared, after the event, I thought, “one and done”; I was not interested in training for another marathon, I didn’t like the training, thought it was boring and was quite honestly burnt out.

That all went out the window when I heard that my hometown of Cincinnati was hosting its first marathon, The Flying Pig, in May of 1999. Forgetting that I vowed to never run a marathon again, I signed up. Why? It’s the inaugural Pig, I’m a Cincinnati girl, fitness professional and I must represent. I dove back into long hours beating the pavement. After THAT, I thought, “Seriously, THIS IS IT. No more.”

I had a good time, but, self admittedly, I am not a natural runner and I really don’t LOVE training for one sport. And yet...

Since then I have trained and participated in three Flying Pig Half-Marathons, The Anthem Richmond (VA) Half-Marathon and two Queen Bee Half-Marathons. If you haven’t done the Queen Bee 4K or Half-Marathon, I highly recommend them; they’re beautiful events.

So, one would think, if you don’t enjoy the training, why in the heck would you sign up for another?


It’s the 20th anniversary of the Pig and I know the organizers, founders, and at least a hundred participants. It will be a good time and a nice bookend to the first one.

The thing is this time, I didn’t do as much training as I should have and I’m going to feel it and I’m going to feel it bad. Horribly, I’m sure, and I am going to hate every minute of it. That is what I think, at least.

For a brief moment, I thought of bailing. Just not doing it. 

Last night I even contacted the two girls I signed up with, Kim and Dawn, two of my BC sisters. We initially set out to train together but because of conflicting schedules and I guess the weather we didn’t get together more than two times, maybe. Kim, Dawn and I agree to meet for the race and I jokingly said, “Let’s go out for breakfast instead!” But I don’t think Kim understood what I meant because she texted back, “Breakfast afterward, great!” I thought, “Oh shit, I’ve got to do this I can’t get out of it!” 

I texted Kim and Dawn again to admit to my unpreparedness, “I know I will be slogging for 13 miles. Winter training is not my thing.”  

Kim texted back, “You will do fine! Its 80% mental and 20% physical ability (the exact words I often say to my clients)!”

Dawn said, “We got this.”

Kim said, “You bet we do—we are survivors.”

That’s right. Survivors. There are worse things than walking/slogging 13.1 miles.

And now, remembering that text, my mood lifts and I smile. Yes, I’ve got this. It’s going to be a great event. I will enjoy slogging through the most beautiful parts of the city with Kim, Dawn and 40,000 participants representing all 50 states and 20 countries. And on a day that is predicted to be partly sunny and warm. Maybe I’ll see you there.

20 things you should know about the Flying Pig Marathon