Workout log for August 19 – August 25:
August 19: Body Pump class with Katie
August 20: rest
August 21: rest
August 22: 3.12 miles, Time: 28:58, Pace: 9:17 + 1.25 mile walk with Izzy
August 23: rest
August 24: 3.1 miles, Time: 28:39, Pace: 9:14
August 25: 11.5 miles at Fort2Base, Time: 1:44:03, Pace: 9:03
Fort2Base 10 Nautical Mile Race (11.5 Miles)- August 25, 2013
Fort Sheridan to Great Lakes Naval Station | Time: 1:44:03 (9:03 pace)- PR!
As part of my summer goals, I wanted to run a “longer” race. For me that was Fort2Base. A half marathon just seemed too daunting to me (although after this race, it doesn’t seem that bad now!), so this was the perfect distance. I followed the training plan for the most part and got in lots of long runs thanks to Kim and a few others along the way, which was SO helpful!
Prior to race day, Erin graciously picked up my race packet (Sidenote: Not sure how many race participants were from the suburbs, but if it was a sizable amount, I wish they offered another option for packet pick up. Grumble grumble!)
Anyways, by Sunday morning, I woke up at 4am to get some breakfast, move my joints and stretch and hit the road by 5am. Tyler was a good sport and drove me around that day, and I am so thankful he was able to support me!
By 5:30 or so, we made our way to the parking lot in North Chicago where Tyler and I parted ways. Despite it still being dark out, I connected with Erin and we boarded the bus to the start line in Fort Sheridan. By the time we were off the bus, I was starting to get really nervous, but luckily Erin and Kelly helped calm my nerves while we waited in line for the bathrooms before we started the race (which was RIGHT on time, I might add– love that!)
I told myself that I wasn’t going to aim for a certain pace, rather, I’d let my legs decide for themselves that day. I ran/chatted with Kelly and Erin for a couple of miles and to make sure my pacing wasn’t too fast and ended up right in the 9:30 pace group of runners. I was feeling particularly good around mile 3 (the first few miles were on a narrow bikepath). So when I saw a water station come up, I made my move around the pace group and just took off. My pace got faster from there and I was feeling great. I was a little surprised though, as some of the mile markers were a little off compared to my Garmin. At one point, it was .25 miles off but after a few more miles it got right back on track—phew! There were aid stations every two miles with Gatorade and water, which I utilized each time. I also ate some energy chews along miles 6 and 10, which really helped keep me going.
The last couple of miles were on the naval base, and I saw Tyler around mile 10. I knew that the dreaded Hero Hill was coming up, but wasn’t sure exactly when so I tried to pace myself. However, once I rounded a corner, I couldn’t miss it. I literally let out an “oh crap” after seeing runners ahead of me walking up Hero Hill. It ascended straight up like a roller coaster at Six Flags. No joke. So… I buckled down and just told myself to keep running. The incline was so steep and my legs were burning. I was breathing super heavy and my heart race was definitely up but I kept on running! After what felt like FOREVER, I made it up that hill and then slowed down my pace to catch my breath before continuing on. VICTORY!!!! I had conquered Hero Hill with flying colors (in fact, it didn’t affect my pace all that much), but I still had about a mile or so to go.
As I reached the finish line, I saw Tyler and got a last surge of energy to really kick it in at the end. My official time was 1:44:03. I felt great afterwards except for a sore neck…I really tensed up throughout the run for some reason. I had such a feeling of accomplishment knowing that I set my mind to it, stuck to the training and finished faster than I had anticipated!
At the finish line, I got my sweet medal, and had my hands full with water, full size Gatorade, bananas, PowerBars, Sports Beans and pretzels. Tyler and I took a couple photos then made our way back to the shuttle to be transported to our car at North Chicago. We capped off our trip home with a trip to McDonald’s (hello iced coffee!)
Overall, I had a really great time at this race. As a “civilian,” it was neat to get on the base and see what it was like. And the shirt and medal are really nice and certainly unique! The shuttle buses weren’t my favorite part, but that’s to be expected with a point to point race and an added layer of security protocols when dealing with a military base. Yeah, I get that.Now I feel like I have the running bug! I don’t want to lose the momentum from my longer runs, so part of me wants to tackle a half marathon in the fall. Hmmm. Maybe?! Any suggestions on good ones in the area?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary race entry as part of Fort2Base’s blogger ambassadorship program but all opinions are my own!
Linking up with Chicago Running Bloggers.
PS- I’m in the running for the Chippmunk Expert Shopper Contest! My submission is all about my gorgeous coral Hunter rain boots that I got for under $80! Voting ends TOMORROW night so if you have a second, please vote here! Thanks for your support!
Congrats on conquering the hill and the race! As for races in the area, you may want to try the Schaumburg Half Marathon on Nov. 30. Or, if you feel like venturing into Milwaukee, the Brewers have a half-marathon on Sept. 28. I ran that last year as its inaugural event and it’s very well-done…and the perk of running on the dirt in the stadium on the perimeter is kind of cool. Happy running!
Thanks for the suggestions Chris! The Brewers one sounds awesome and what a unique opportunity to be in the stadium!
WTG!!!! You did such a great job! I knew you were going to have a great race because you looked so strong on those long runs. Awesome! :)
This running thing is addictive! I love a fall half marathon and there are so many to choose from. It depends on what you’re looking for: small, large, close to home, close to water, etc…. This will be my second year running the Chicago Half marathon on September 8. It’s downtown and runs right down Lake Shore drive. I love it because I love looking at the water while I run. It just makes me happy :) Hopefully, you find one that’s right for you! I think you’re definitely ready :)
You’re so sweet Emily- thank you! Just goes to show how important following a training plan is! In terms of a half, I’m looking for something preferrably close to home, nice scenery, not too pricey, etc. I got a couple of suggestions so I’ll have to think about it :-)
And you will totally rock the Chicago Half…you are my hero. I hope I can run like you if I am ever pregnant. AMAZING!
Great job at the race and conquering Hero Hill! I’ve been wanting to check out this race, but it didn’t fit into my training program this year.
Look into the Prairie State Half Marathon in Libertyville at Independence Grove on October 12th. The trails are beautiful and less taxing on your legs than city streets!
Thanks Jen- it sure was a tough hill but I survived thank goodness! I will definitely check out that half in Libertyville- I bet it will be a very scenic run with the leaves changing!
I might be doing that race with Emily (CRB, not donut Emily) for fun :)
The 10/12 prairie state half :)
Great job on the Fort2Base! I found your blog via the Chicago Bloggers page (I’m new to the area) and I love it!
I’d like to second the Prairie State. It’s cheap and the colors are suppose to be gorgeous! And I don’t think it’s too crowded, either.
Thanks Danielle! I appreciate you reading my blog and welcome to the area! Congrats to you on finishing Fort2Base as well :-) I am definitely going to look into Prairie State– fall seems like the perfect time to do a half!
Well done! I was fortunate to run the first two Fort 2 Base runs but was unable to make it this year since we have relocated to Tennessee. I hope to make this race a destination run in the future. Congratulations on completing the race and conquering Hero Hill. Both are tremendous accomplishments! As a side note, my father went through Great Lakes Naval Base in 1949. When I told him about Hero Hill, he scoffed at me and said they had to run that hill with a full pack. And when they got to the top, they ran down and did it again. Anyway…welcome to running and good luck in your half marathon and future races!
Thank you! Did the race vary from year to year that you did it? And that Hero Hill was exhausting but of course the military guys probably think it’s a piece of cake…definitely good for training! Thanks for reading!
Melissa Prange says
Great run! This was my first Fort2Base and I LOVED it!!! I also felt the same about Hero Hill, but used way different verbiage ;)
There are 2 half marathons that I am running~ Biggest Loser, Racine, Sun Sept 22 and Skeleton Skamper, Racine, Sat Oct 26.
I thought I was crazy for signing up for a half, but it’s only 1.6 longer than Fort2Base!!!
Good luck!! And you will keep the running bug.:)
Thanks Melissa- congrats to you too! And as for Hero Hill…I think I was mentally thinking what you were! :-) I’ve heard about the BL Racine race (I did the 10k last year) but I have something that weekend..I’ll have to check the other Racine one. Thanks!
HUGE congrats! You worked so hard, I just KNEW you were going to kick some major butt! What a stellar week for you… started and ended with GREAT things that show how awesome you are :) And picking up the pace like that?! SCHWEET!
I love that the medal has a ribbon with it now (or… whatever you call that). When I did it, it didn’t. It was a “coin.” In fact, it sounds like a lot has changed, like moving packet pickup to the city (barf).
The shirt is super cute too!
So you decided to start and take the shuttle afterall? I am happy that worked out! :)
Are you still thinking about that Indy half? I think you should keep going! You’re on a roll!
Thanks Kim- I really appreciate the kind words! Needless to say, I felt like I was on top of the world for TWO reasons! :-)
Yeah the medal is really sweet…definitely sounds like it’s evolved for the better over the years! They had a suburb packet pickup before though?! Jealous! I’ve seen in past years they did a half zip long sleeve which I kinda would have preferred to wear during the fall but the shirt is still really cool and different!
The shuttle really seemed like the only option based on security and timing, etc. At least there were no major issues with it!
Definitely thinking about the half in my hometown in Indiana…it’s an inaugural race and I kinda think running a more local race closer to home might be preferred but we will see!!!
Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian says
It was great seeing you this weekend! Fort2Base was my first long-distance race, too, for the same reason. A half marathon seemed too far for me, but 11.5 miles was approachable. That was in 2011. It was a gateway race!
Likewise Kelly! It was so nice to run with you and Erin at the start- really helped calm my nerves! (And now I’m thinking..sheesh is was only 1.7 more miles to a half- no biggie HA!) I’m sure you’ll be doing longer distances with your Iron Man training right?
Erin @ Loop Looks says
You rocked that race!! A half marathon will be no big deal if you do one in a month or so. Were you sore at all Monday or today?
Congrats on running such a great race AND not taking a major hit to your pace with Hero Hill. I guess training in Lake County has some perks!
Thanks Erin- congrats to you as well!! And thank you again for picking up my packet- that really helped me out! I hope we can do another race again soon! Strangely, I wasn’t sore at all. In fact, I made the mistake of ordering a large iced coffee at McDonald’s after and as a result, wasn’t able to take a nap and instead cleaned the house and wet vac’ed the carpets! HAHA
Katie @ Live Half Full says
Wow, what an amazing job you did! And a new job- AMAZING WEEK!
Thanks Katie :-) Yeah…this week I feel like I am on top of the world!!
Congrats! You will totally rock a half marathon!
Thanks Alyssa… I appreciate the encouragement!
Maggie - Mag Mile Runner says
Congrats on your race!! Running is addicting! Hope to see you at a future race!
Thanks Maggie! It sure is! Would love to see you at a race sometime…it’s just a matter of time at this point!