On September 27th, I ran for the third time in the Fort 4 Fitness Fall Festival. This was my second half-marathon, so I was not exactly nervous since I had been in this rodeo before. I really enjoy this event, not just because I’ve become a regular runner, but it helps with the promotion of running or walking as a fitness activity to help encourage people to get in shape. I know that I needed it for a long time and am glad that I participate in the event. On top of that, this also was a special year for me for two reason. The first is that I worked with my boss to sponsor runners from work by providing a t-shirt and we would make a donation to the Wells County Community Boys & Girls Club and the second is that April, Ean and Ella all participated this year.
With regards to work, we had twenty runners wearing the Peyton’s shirt and participated in either the four mile, 10K or the half marathon. It was more than I had expected and hope that we can do it again next year with a larger group.
I asked Ella earlier this year if she would have been interested in running in the kid’s marathon and she was extremely happy to sign up. She gladly strapped on her shoes and made a face of seriousness as she ran her first training run. I couldn’t help but put a smile on my face. She had a look of determination that she was going to finish the race that day. When the day of the kid’s marathon was upon us, she was bouncing out the walls waiting to get started. Once we were at the starting gate, her face changed and she was becoming nervous and hesitant. It's my belief that the crowd around us and the anticipation of getting started that made anxious. Once the gun went off she was raring to go. She made the entire 1.2 miles with only one short walk as we had to work our way through traffic. At the finish line, her face was flushed and sweat beads trickled down her face, but she had a big smile on her face. I was extremely proud that she completed the course after giving it her all.
For April and Ean, I can’t really say how their run went but April mentioned that it was crowded in several spots and they had a hard time even trying to run in some spots. April also mentioned that Ean was very able to keep up with her and when I joined them for the last quarter mile, even though his face was flushed, he was ready to go. Mike, Tanner, April and Ean all ran together for the most part and I know that was special for them as well.
This half-marathon was the forth time that I had ran that course because Alex and I have tried the past two years to run a practice attempt a couple of weeks before hand to eliminate some of the butterflies on race day. Last year, I finished in 2 hours and 19 minutes, but during my training runs, I had run several long runs that were around twelve and thirteen miles. However, this year with a more challenging life schedule, I didn’t get as many long runs so I went in with lower expectations and had a goal of finishing ahead of the last official pace group of 2 hours and 30 minutes. At our practice run two weeks prior, we had finished around 2 hours 35 minutes with some longer walks so we knew that it was more than a do-able goal. At onset of the race we kept a steady pace and stayed well ahead of the 2:20 pace setters.
The weather was perfect that day so the miles just started to go by. We made sure to hit the water stations as we went by them to ensure that we remained hydrated throughout the course. We made about nine miles and my calf started getting tight. I thought for a bit that I was going to end up walking to the end but instead Alex stuck with me and we finished around 2 hours and 23 minutes. Slower than I had hoped, but ahead of the realistic goal that I had set for myself. I was bummed that the pace we had kept for the first 2/3rd of the race didn’t hold up and I know it was my fault even though I had told Alex to go on without me. I appreciate him sticking with me though and finishing the race. It was enough to keep me pushing to get the time that I did.
Looking ahead to next year, my brain is already churning. I’ve been looking at testing the waters for running a Triathlon so that would make some adjustments to my training and eliminate the half-marathon for me. However, they had a Double Play event this year that I could run for time on a 10K and have enough time to join April & Ean in the 4 mile race if they wanted to do it again as well. Who knows? I’ll see how the miles pan out over the coming year.
For those interested in looking at additional pictures of the day, you can find the photoset on Flickr at this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/4mcintoshapples/sets/72157648722163421/