Fort 4 Fitness Half Marathon Race Report (w/ pics and music video link) (Read 791 times)

Former runner

    2009 Fort 4 Fitness Half Marathon Race report

    This race was a good example of what happens when you peak too early in training. I set a PR for total mileage in July of over 150 miles. Then in early August I started having some issues with my shins. A week later I had a run in with my mower, quite literally, which resulted in a small muscle tear. By the time I got back to working out I only had two weeks left before the race. Either way I was glad to be able to run the race even if I wasn't able to get a number of long runs in beforehand.

    Race day started out gloomy with fog and a slight mist falling. I started with a thermal shirt and my regular shirt but decided it was too warm for both. It stopped misting right at the start of the race. From the start to the first corner it was pretty congested as expected. Once we got going south on the first stretch of road I had to weave in and out of some slower people but it wasn't too bad. I was maintaining a pace somewhere around 8:38 to 8:45 for the first couple of miles. I had plenty of room to move around and it seemed like there was a huge bunch of people just ahead of me probably holding a 8:30 pace. Making the turn at the end of the first street and heading towards the park greenway, we hit our first real hill. It didn't seem to slow me down much at the time. Even though I run the greenway a bunch it seemed to be going by a lot slower than usual. Once we made the turn out of the park and into the residential area I could tell I was starting to get tired. My pace for the first 5 miles was sub 9 minutes which was probably too fast. My plan from there was to just try to hold on to a pace around 9:30 or faster. Then we starting hitting all the turns and hills. Where did all these hills come from? I don't remember Fort Wayne having this many hills. At one point some guy next to me started singing Word Up. "W - O - R - D - Up" Kind of funny but I remember thinking this guy can't be working that hard if he can still sing. The race organizers also added some live bands out along the course this year which was nice. At the 10k mark I figured a had a few minutes "banked" and that I would be able to slow my pace if needed during the second half. As I've read, that's all a bunch of BS and those minutes disappear once you get tired.  After a few hills came and went I felt like I was surviving them since I was passing a few people going up hill. I also starting passing people that were walking at various points. At the 10 mile mark my time was about 1:30: xx which made me feel like I would be able to finish in under 2 hours. All I had left was a 5k. I kept calculating the pace I needed to finish through my mind. I was probably getting the math wrong but I kept telling myself that all I needed was a pace under 10 minutes. Then suddenly during mile 10 I just started walking. I don't recall making it a conscience decision it just sort of happened. I walked for what felt like a minute and got my heart rate down. Eventually I started running again and felt like I could just cruise to the finish. During mile 11 I switched from sub 2 hour mode to just beating my time from May. That came and went when I took another walk break at mile 12. I was back on the first street and could see the railroad bridge before the turn into the stadium but I just couldn't force myself to keep running. Once I caught my breath I jogged the last couple of corners into the baseball stadium. It was a bit uplifting once I went down the ramp and into the outfield. The final turn went down the right field line and into home plate for the finish line. Finish time 2:03:02. 31 seconds slower than my Indy Mini in May. Not the PR that I hoped for but still a good experience.

    Notes for 2010. Come up with a better training plan. More long runs to improve endurance. Do some hill work. Avoid fence posts with the mower!


    Some pics after I finished.


    Running the warning track

    Finish line at home plate

    Infield tent for goodies and medals


      Cameraready.  Good for you, and you are so smart to learn from your experience.  In what ways will you do things differently in 2010?   Thanks for the report.
        I ran the race as well and it is good to hear someone else noticed those hills.  I never really noticed those hills before and would probably laught if I saw them now because I know they couldnt have been that big.  I just know the one leading into mile 9 really took it out of me.  That said....I will be there next year.
        Goals: 20 5k 1:35 Half Marathon 3:30 Marathon

          You still had a decent race.....good pictures and a nice report.


          You'll do better next year.....

          Champions are made when no one is watching

          Former runner

            Cameraready.  Good for you, and you are so smart to learn from your experience.  In what ways will you do things differently in 2010?   Thanks for the report.

             My plan for the next half is to come up with a detailed training plan and try to stick to it. We had an unusually cool summer and I increased my mileage in July too fast which led to the shin splints. I'm going to take it easy the next couple of months but I'm thinking the Indy Mini is a good possibility for May.