Will I be Fit by Forty?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fort4Fitness Half Marathon Race Report

Here's the Race Report I wrote after my last half marathon.

What a difference my second half marathon is!

The Fort4Fitness is an event in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. They had a 4 mile run/walk, 10K, Half Marathon and a Kids and Senior Marathon. (for that one, kids and seniors would run/walk all summer working up to 23.2 total miles. They finished the last 1.2 miles on Friday night.) This is a race that my brother does every year (he lives in Ft. Wayne) so I decided to go do it with him.

I didn't train at all this summer for the race. Every week I'd think, "I really need to get serious about this half," and every week something would come up. My longest run since the end of May was 6.5 miles. I knew I was not in the place I wanted to be, so the big joke was that I was going to walk 13.1 miles.

The nerves I had for my first half were non-existent. I really wasn't worried - or stressed - or anything. I'm not sure what that means, but I'm a little freaked out that the thought of finishing 13.1 miles didn't phase me. (guess that could be another definition of being a runner)

The weather was perfect - mid-40's in the morning - and it wasn't supposed to get over 65 degrees that day. My brother checked out the weather channel when we woke up and he told me that if I could finish in 4 hours I should avoid the rain.

My parents also came over to watch us. This is a really flat course that goes through downtown Ft. Wayne, around a park/golf course and then back into downtown and finishes at their very, very, very minor league baseball stadium. My parents brought their bikes so they could meet us at different parts of the course.

The gun sounded and we were off. I was hoping to make it at least 6 miles before I would start walking. People obviously actually paid attention to the corrals they were supposed to start in as I didn't have to weave in and out of too many people at the start. There were quite a few walkers, but I think they actually started at the back of the pack.

Of course I started out faster then I really wanted to. I tried really hard to just slow down and take my time. Things were going really well until about mile 2 - I hate between mile 2 and 3 - it's always my hardest part to run. I made myself keep going as I knew it would get better after mile 3 - which of course it did.

The water/Gatorade stops were plentiful which was nice. I did walk through the water stops which I never really did before. This was also the first race I did where our names were printed on our bibs. It took me some time to get used to the water stop people calling me by name. :shock: 

About mile 5 my left butt cheek and my left hamstring started cramping up. I know this is because I didn't train, nor did I do any proper nutrition the week before. (traveling to two cities in two days for work makes it very hard to eat right) I made it to mile 8 before I knew I needed to walk. Up to this point, I was averaging about 13:30 minute miles which is actually really good for me.

I then walked for 1/4 mile and ran for a 1/2 mile. I did that until mile 11 when I then had to go to walking 1/2 mile and running 1/4 mile. My legs/butt were killing me. 

At the 11.5 mile mark the rain started (my brother was WRONG!). At first it was just a light mist - and then it got harder and harder - and then I was freezing. I really wanted to run to warm back up, but my legs just wouldn't let me. I started running again at mile 12.5 and ran the rest of the way.

I finished in 3:08:15 which was 6 minutes faster then May. After my first half, I had really wanted to finish this one in less then 3 hours. After not training, I had no expectations. I was very happy with the results.

I really liked this race. It was FLAT!!!! Everything was really well done and organized. I can see myself doing this one every year.

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