Sunday, November 10, 2013

Race Recap - Denver Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon

My God is this recap late...I'm sorry.  I'll do the best I can.

I got home Thursday morning before the race, having completed my sims and being ready for IOE to start.  But more importantly, I got home ready to get this race done, and quite excited that I was able to do it in the first place.

We hit the expo on Saturday and spent most of it hanging out at the Run Colorado booth.  When we were done with the expo, we should have been going out for a 50 mile ride, but neither one of us had the motivation to do so.  I don't know if our bodies were telling us to relax and race the next day or what, but we instead just went out for a long walk and spent the night relaxing.

Race morning, we left the house early and found a meter near the start/finish.  That worked out awesome.  We walked to the near start, checked in our gear, and found the porta-potties.  The lines were crazy at one set, so I found another group of them that weren't nearly as full.  Then we weaseled our way to the start.  We said hi to our friend David, who was in one of the first waves.  Then we ran into more Run CO people, which was just awesome.  Chatted with them a bit, and found our way to the "corral".

We got close to the start, the horn went off, and so did we!

The Race
We vowed T would pace us this race.  We both had dreams of smashing our Denver 1/2 PR, our actual 1/2 Marathon PR's (mine was 2:15:48) and hopefully cracking 2:10:00.  Our running had been going really well up to that point, so I figured both were within reach.

The first mile, our Garmins had us well within reach of it, but already we were showing that we were off in distance.  The Garmin had me doing a 9:49 but the race had about a 10:15.  I vowed to not care/complain and continue on.  

We both kept plugging away, speeding up a bit, feeling comfortable, and not stressing.  When we hit the 5 mile point, someone screamed "yay Run Colorado!"  That felt good.  I later learned it was Janelle, who is a MHTC member.  

When we hit City Park, this is where the race usually/typically gets grinding.  You have to get into your head a bit.  And you have to trust yourself.  T and I both kept plugging away.  By 9 and 10, before you hit Cheeseman Park, it's probably the toughest stretch.  You're getting tired.  You want to slow it down.  But you have to keep going.

In Cheeseman Park, we were both wondering if 2:10:00 was within reach, but neither of us voiced it.  We didn't want to be negative.  Usually in these longer races, I have a tendency to not be positive, and I didn't let this happen this time around.  Right about the time we were both ready to mail it in, a bunch of our running friends were there.  High-fives, cheers, it was exactly what we needed.  Our spirits were boosted and we made it to mile 12.

The final mile, we agreed to pick it up and run together.  That lasted about .01 miles as T shot off like a cannon.  I tried to keep up with her, but to no avail.  The funny thing is, we joke about her having great speed later in races, but I wasn't moving slow by any stretch.  She was just moving that much faster.  Oh I promise you I tried to catch her.  In the meantime, I was eyeing my Garmin.  My Garmin indicated that I was on pace to finish 13.1 miles sub-10, but it was going to be VERY close.

I picked it up as best I could, and hit the finish line.  I knew I had PRed regardless, so I was quite happy.  We grabbed the usual bananas, water, chocolate milk for me, and a couple other things and moved on out.  We then tried to figure out if we hit our goal of sub-10 per mile.  

OFFICIALLY per the race, no, we did not.  Per my Garmin, I did a 9:58 per mile for this run, so logically, I know I did.  Regardless, I don't care, because I PRed, did a great job, ran very well, and had a MAJOR confidence boost.

Overall, I'll take it. :-)

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