This past Saturday, I ran my second half marathon, the Fort 4 Fitness half marathon.
I mentioned to my mom early in the spring that I wanted to sign up for this race, so as one of my birthday presents, Mom signed me up! I was very excited to begin training for this race.
A couple of months before the race, my mom decided that she was going to walk the half marathon. She found a training plan, and walked and walked in preparation for this day.
After my first half marathon, I didn’t feel very well and my knees really hurt. This time around, I made sure to partake in plenty of stretching, I participated in a couple of yoga classes, foam rolled regularly, and even booked a pre-race massage. Not only did I complete several long, steady-state runs, but I also made sure to include some speed training in my regime.
My ambitious goal was to complete the race in under two hours, but when the day before the race I could barely open my eyes because I had a horrible headache I changed my goals around.
I was slightly disappointed, but my mom helped to put things into perspective for me. My goal changed from running a sub 2 half marathon to completing a half marathon and feeling great afterwards!
On Saturday morning, mom and woke up bright and early to head out for the race.
It was a chilly morning, but the sun was shining bright and it made for beautiful running weather.
The Fort 4 Fitness is a Fort Wayne city-wide event that continues to grow each year. This year, there were around 10,000 participants!
The events included a 4 mile race, 10k, half marathon, children’s and senior marathon, and bike races.
The race began just outside of Fort Wayne’s Parkview Stadium, and ended inside of the field.
I completed my first half marathon in just over 2 hours, so I thought that I would be able to keep up with the 2 hour finishing time pace group.
I saw the giant pole in the air and the bright yellow t-shirts that made this pace team very distinguishable. I gravitated right to them.
I had never run with a pace group before, and was honestly a bit nervous about it. Now, I am so glad that I had these experienced runners to guide me.
They were strategic about their speed the entire way through the race, and they talked us all through their tactics.
We started out a bit faster than pace to get some minutes in the “bank” because the end of the race was a bit hilly.
Once we got the minutes in the bank, we kept the minutes in the bank. As we were nearing the 10 mile mark, I heard one of the pace team members shout “Who’s finishing sub 2!!??” Although I had my headphones in, I could still hear her screaming this.
I immediately took out one of my headphones, and asked what she estimated our finishing time to be in disbelief that I could be in the sub 2 finishing group. She said we were estimating at coming in under two hours, and she asked how I felt. I told her I felt great and that I was ready to finish strong.
We all stuck together, and as soon as I hit that last mile my adrenaline carried me all the way across the Parkview Stadium to the finish line.
I looked down at my watch in disbelief:
My official finishing time was 1:56:53 with an 8:56 pace. I couldn’t believe (and still can’t) that I finished in under two hours. After finding Brian and my dad in the stadium, I had to say thank you to my pace team.
I honestly don’t think that I could have done it without them. Running a constant and steady pace was so easy with a group to keep my speed level. From now on, I will always find a pace group!
For some reason, crossing the finish line is always so emotional to me, and I just can’t keep the tears in!
A great feature of this race was the ability to sign up for text message tracking for race participants. I signed up for race updates on my mom so that once I finished, Brian, my dad and I could predict when she would finish.
I finished at about 10am, when I checked my phone for my mom’s estimated finish time, they estimated she would be done around 10:33am.
I wondered how accurate this was, because she was WALKING the race. My dad and Brian assured me that the timing was accurate for me, so we headed toward the finish line to wait for my mom to cross.
As we saw her nearing the finish, I noticed that she was running! I immediately ran down to the finish line to greet her.
The first thing she said to me was “I ran the WHOLE thing!” And she was nervous about WALKING it!!!
My mom never ceases to amaze me, and I am so proud of her for completing this race so strong!
I am so glad that my mom and I were able to complete this race together, we both beat our personal goals, and we had a great time doing it.
I can’t wait for my next half marathon 😉
What are some of your favorite running experiences?
Completing the half marathon sub 2 hours with my mom
What is your favorite race distance?
I am pretty much loving the half marathon right now!
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