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Fort4Fitness Half Marathon - Run


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Fort Wayne, Indiana
United States
Fort4Fitness
51F / 11C
Sunny
Total Time = 1h 43m 1s
Overall Rank = 286/2513
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 33/162
Pre-race routine:

As usual, I slept restless, only the sleep before this race was much more restless. I woke up multiple times throughout the night and thought about this race. I got out of bed 30 minutes before the alarm went off knowing the sleep was over and that my restlessness was likely causing Lis some sleeping issues.
Once up I took it easy and got a little coffee in me but waited to eat because we needed to be downtown so much earlier because Lisa's race began 30 minutes before mine.
At 6 AM I grabbed my normal breakfast and was ready to go.
Event warmup:

After seeing Lis off for her 4 mile race. I jogged lightly back to the truck and ditched my warmer clothes, except for my jacket, and stretched and jogged. After 2 laps around the parking lot, about a quarter mile, I stopped again at the truck and tossed my jacket. Finally, there were only about 10 minutes before the race began and I ran to the start to get a little more blood moving and my muscles ready for a little more stress.

Run
  • 1h 43m 1s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 52s  min/mile
Comments:

The run started out with 5 of us from HMW dialed in together. Mark Strasser, Tyler Smith and I decided to work together through the course to offer support. All of us were looking for very similar times so this worked well. The other 2 guys, I was told, would try to hang on for a while and then they planned to drop.
At the sound of the cannon, which brought back memories of Boston, we began the slow shuffle toward the start line and then out to the course. The congestion at the start was normal but it cleared quicker than bigger races that I've run (obviously). The 3 of us that decided to stick together were trying to navigate the crowd rather quickly and we got separated for a minute or so, but we were together before we reached a quarter mile.
The first mile seems like it is always a bit of a sufferfest as I get my HR up to what I expect the race effort to be. Once there I seem to be able to settle in and find my groove. We also brought a lady into our group that had come to town from Grand Haven, Michigan and was looking for a really strong race. She hung on for 5 miles and we dropped her. But she was a very strong! She had run the Flying Pig while pregnant last year and went 3:22.......Very solid!!! However, she was JUST pregnant. She didn't even know she was pregnant until she finished the race.
For the first 5 miles the course rolled up and down and I employed the race strategy that has become my hill running norm. I felt very good and pretty strong through mile 5 but then I was struck with some sharp pain in my left knee. It has become a norm for me to have this pain on occasion and I know exactly what it is when it occurs. The pain was somewhat short lived, only 25 yards or so, but it was definitely a concern.
At this point I was just behind Tyler and Mark and pacing with them. After only another quarter mile I experienced the pain again only a little more intense. I continued to try to keep the pace. Now I was past mile 5 and I tried to maintain my running form knowing improper form would only cause me to have more problems. From here I was able to hold onto the pace for the most part but it was becoming harder. I believe I was actually not running with good form and it was going to catch up to me.
I have come to learn that when I have this bout with pain it will, most of the time, subside and I can continue. This time wasn't looking like most of the other times in the past. The pain was more intense, although not crippling, and I was growing concerned about the number of miles left in this race. Was I going to be able to hold on?
Up to this point I was still running a 1:29 pace and feeling good but beginning to wonder if I was going to be able to hold the effort even without knee problems. This was one of the reasons I was looking forward to running with Tyler and Mark, mental support. About 7.75 miles in I was turning a corner and I felt some pretty excruciating pain in "the sweet spot" and I fell hard off the pace. I tried to hold some semblance of hard pacing but the pain was to debilitating. I kept running but watched as my partners kept running ahead without knowing what was going on with me. As I passed the aid station at mile 8 I was so far off the pace that I knew there was absolutely no way of finishing close to my goal. It was time to dial things back and just keep running at an effort that would remove some of the pain.
I made it only about a tenth of a mile into the 9th mile and decided to stop. I could already feel some mild swelling occur but I thought it wouldn't get too bad. I had been wearing my calf sleeves at this race and decided to pull the left one up to and across my knee to reduce the fluid. Once I did this, taking as much as a minute to readjust the sleeve, I began running again. I did experience some relief with the sleeve providing some support but I was still very far from the goal pace.
Most of mile 9 was still a struggle but it was greatly reduced from where it had begun. All of the pain up to this point was 3-4 on a 10 scale except for the harsh onset at 7.75 miles.
Mile 10 brought on more pain at a very slow pace. I began to think about DNF-ing but it is such a foreign thing to my mind that I was unable to entertain the thought for any long term contemplation. Having stopped twice at mile 9 I struggled to keep my run going without stopping but the war was about finishing without an embarrassing time.
I struggled throughout the rest of the race, the details are many and I'll spare most of them. But machismo proved to be more than I could bear. Many times I thought about calling Lis and asking her to come get me, I knew she had been done with her race by now, but I couldn't make myself admit "defeat." To me, the warring was about giving in to something that I have never been able to do, "give up." I don't think I have ever given up on anything in my life. I have been able to work, force, battle and struggle my way through just about any other adversity in my life and a DNF at this race would be admitting defeat. I indeed waged a war, mentally, to keep running to maintain a foolish notion that I can accomplish anything and be tough enough to manage it completely.
I finished the race with much encouragement from so many spectators who witnessed my physical struggle and maybe they contributed to my false sense of toughness. I heard so many people trying to verbally encourage me to stay with it and finish strong.
I came into the finishing chute and was almost completely exhausted from my physical fatigue, yet somehow having a better half marathon than my first 3 HM's.
What would you do differently?:

The short!..................DNF!
The long; My character is to "never, never, never give up" but sometimes giving up in a race would prove more strong than continuing. And this race is a really good example and a lesson for me to learn.
As I told Lis, I wasn't going to get an award, paycheck, newspaper article or an interview on TV because of some heroic effort! I was going to get a medal for crossing some line in the sand that was somewhat meaningless for a person who has already proven I could cross these types of lines almost whenever I want. All I proved at this race was that I think too much of my image of strength and toughness to allow common intelligence and physical health to be the most important factor at any race or event.
Post race
Warm down:

No warm down was required. I finished the race at a pace and effort that was slower and easier than most of my easy runs.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My limitations were common sense. I do feel I would have been able to have gotten further into the race and maybe have completed it without pain if I had worn different shoes. I chose to wear my Wave Musha's that have 160 miles on them and there is virtually no cushioning in them. They are much lighter and I thought I could use the reduced weight to maximize my goal.

Event comments:

This was a great race! I just wish I could have really enjoyed the race in my hometown.




Last updated: 2013-05-15 12:00 AM
Running
01:43:01 | 13.1 miles | 07m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 33/162
Overall: 286/2513
Performance: Bad
1 06:47.4 164 174 2 06:42.6 169 172 3 06:51.8 168 172 4 06:49.3 166 172 5 06:53.4 166 171 6 06:50.8 168 171 7 06:50.2 169 172 8 07:23.6 165 171 9 09:02.8 150 158 10 09:09.0 147 152 11 08:42.7 148 154 12 09:04.2 148 155 13 08:59.5 146 151 14 :37.5
Course: The route is a slightly rolling profile with only minor hills throughout. It winds through man y neighborhoods that became very motivational because of the crowd support.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2013-09-29 3:47 PM

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Master
3486
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Fort Wayne
Subject: Fort4Fitness Half Marathon


2013-09-30 6:59 AM
in reply to: #4866569

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Expert
1439
100010010010010025
Tallahassee
Subject: RE: Fort4Fitness Half Marathon
Sorry you are injured and wishing you a speedy recovery. You still ran a very fast race...even injured!
2013-09-30 12:34 PM
in reply to: KWDreamun

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Expert
2380
2000100100100252525
Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Fort4Fitness Half Marathon
Dirk no one will ever question your mental or physical toughness. Like Karl said that's a great time especially considering you ran more than half the race injured and in pain and discomfort. You shouldn't beat yourself up over your decision to continue, hindsight is always 20/20. However it's a good to take away the lesson learned here and trust me I've done many things that I shouldn't have done as well so you are not alone. The more important thing is to get healthy and get yourself in a position to get ready for IMWI next year. You don't have anything to prove to yourself or anyone else. I'm sorry this race didn't go as planned but you have a much bigger one to be focusing on and you'll want to be healthy for that one.
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