Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Heart Mini/Half Marathon

Last week the Coney Quest went on hiatus, this was due to us participating in the Heart Mini (and Half) Marathon. When you eat cheese coneys once a week one has to make sure to find a way to burn off all those calories. For us, it is running that helps burn those calories. As much as we love coneys, it does not make for a great pre-race meal, so we had to take a short break from the quest.

This was the 34th annual Heart Mini Marathon and the inaugural Heart Half Marathon. I am in the process of training for the Flying Pig Marathon so I decided the Heart Half would fit in great with my training plan. The longest Alison had run was the Thanksgiving Day Race 10K and she wanted to give herself a new challenge, which would be the Heart Mini.

For some reason whenever I run a race in Cincinnati, the weather stinks and this race continued that trend. It was cool and rainy, while I don't mind running in cool climates (its much preferable than hot environments) I could have done without the rain. This was the 4th Half Marathon I have run and it was by far the toughest course I faced. A majority of the course is Columbia Parkway which is very hilly and they throw in a portion of steep Torrence Parkway to add to your torture. The Half splits off from the Mini at the 6th street exit where you follow Eggleston to Newport and back. That section was tough not because the terrain, but because I was on my own as there wasn't much of a crowd rooting for you (like there is at the Flying Pig) and a majority of runners were doing the Mini. So it was up to yourself to stay motivated and root yourself on.

So how did we do? Alison did awesome. It was her time ever running that distance and she finished in 1:48. To compare, I ran the Mini last year and finished in 1:47 and I had run longer distances prior to last years mini. She was worried about her legs holding up but aside from typical aches after running such a distance, she felt good. I finished the Half in 2:43. This was below my goal time of 2:35. I was on pace for that 2:35 goal until Mile 11 when my right knee flared up. This discomfort got worse and I barely made it up Sentinel hill by P&G, but fought through the pain and finished strong once I turned the corner and saw the finish line. Luckily the knee pain was temporary, but its something I need to monitor as I continue my Flying Pig training.

After such a difficult race we both feel very accomplished and tired! We are also very happy to continue the coney quest where there shouldn't be another break until May when I tackle the Pig.

We finished!...and I enjoyed a well deserved ice cream sandwich

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