Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fort4Fitness Half

A half marathon in my hometown...interesting idea. I first heard about this race back in April of 2011. Was not even running at that point in time, but had been walking for exercise for about a month. Called my Mom to see if she was interested in doing the 4 mile walk, but it was the day after the first price increase and she was not interested. As I got into running that summer, this race is the one that was hanging out in my mind saying, "Run me!"

Fast forward to Saturday morning September 29, 2012. I arrive at Parkview Field a bit too early, but had no problem finding a parking spot. Not busy inside the stadium yet and I snap a shot of the quiet finish line.

After the 4 mile race started, runners for the half started filing into their corrals. I was assigned K, but considered moving back a few since my training time was minimal. But then I remembered that at Geist I spent my first mile weaving around those that were walking straight from the start.
The start

After the cannon sounded 2000+ runners were off. I seemed to be fine with my corral choice as I was not weaving around many people and others were not streaming past me. As we turned down Calhoun, a wondrous bakery smell hit, soon to be replaced with the scents from the many Asian restaurants and grocery stores. Oh look, there is Southside High School where I took the SAT's in 8th grade. Look, there is the huge cornucopia on Scott's grocery store.
I took this holding the phone over my head and
facing it behind me.

We turned onto a paved trail that might be called Rivergreenway. It follows the St. Mary's River along Foster Park. We went right past the apartment building my parents lived in when they were first married, and where I lived as an infant. There is still even several pieces of playground equipment on the other side of the path just like waaaay back when.
The apartment where I lived as a baby and Melissa
aka Miss Pink

I did not take any pictures along the park but it was gorgeous. Huge old oak & sycamore trees, leaves changing colors...ah...beautiful scenery.

Somewhere between mile 4 to 5, a lady in a pink shirt pulled alongside and said, "Hey...we've been keeping the same pace," and let me know what it was (I don't wear a watch, as I keep track with Runkeeper on the phone). We then proceeded to run together for the rest of the race. She had only gotten to 8 miles in training and it was 10 for me. In my mind I called her Miss Pink until I finally asked her name (Melissa). Neither of us had much extra energy for chit-chat.
Just a pretty shot

After exiting Foster Park area we saw huge old houses in the Old Mill Rd. area. No pictures as I was trying to focus on the running. It was getting more difficult and oh no...all of mile 9 was uphill!

Then came the merging with the 10k walkers. I think trying to get around them the last several miles added at least a minute to my time. They were walking all the way across the road rather than staying on the right. Many times Melissa & I played "thread the needle" where I just pushed through a tiny space between two walkers. We used so much extra energy of which we had none.

Those last two miles were the most painful, and I even started saying, "Ow...enh...ow," outloud. As we turned onto the last bit before entering the stadium, I just wanted to cry because it was almost finished and I had made it.

It was really awesome entering Parkview Field. People were lined all around the edges and in the seats cheering for the participants. But you know what...running the perimeter of outfield is long!
Coming to the finish line

I was quite thankful that I had Melissa to keep me going those last miles, and she was thankful for my help.
On the jumbotron!

Mile 4 was my fastest, and mile 12 the slowest. But the most unbelievable thing?? I ran the entire time and did not once walk!!
Recovery area
Finisher medal
Post race cheese!

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