This was a weird race.
I signed up for this race because it was a bucket list item; a race I'd heard about for years and always wanted to do ... but never signed up for. This year, I finally signed up for it. It's a point-to-point race from - surprise, surprise - Georgetown to Idaho Springs, two mountain towns. You also lose about 1000 feet of elevation over the course of the 13.1 miles.
I was always planning on training through this race. With the way the summer has gone, I went into it with 0 expectations. I think I'd run 5 or more miles ... maybe four? times since the BolderBOULDER (one of which was probably TriRock) so I knew the lack of distance would come to bite me in the ass at some point during the course of the race.
Friday afternoon, I drove up to Idaho Springs for bib pick-up ... and proceeded to sit in traffic on I-70 for over an hour. Made it up to Evergreen just fine, but from Evergreen to just outside of Idaho Springs ... slog. Five miles in an hour thanks to blasting on a tunnel project. I finally got my stupid bib, almost fell asleep on the drive home, forced dinner down my throat and passed out.
Saturday morning, I woke up butt-honking early, because I knew it would take me a while to get up to Idaho - there wasn't any blasting going on, thankfully, but part of I-25 was closed down due to construction, so yay detours.
I got up to Idaho Springs about 5am, got Starbucks, pooped, parked ... and got one of the shuttles to Georgetown early - probably before 6am.
So excited. Also: new Ironman visor!
I rode the shuttle to Georgetown and just ... waited. Waited around until the 8am start. Huddled in a shelter to stay out of the wind and to stay warm. Waited until the last possible minute for gear check (about 7:45).
I also realized that my bib number (733) was the same as it was for Ironman. Told myself it was a good omen.
At the start, I seeded myself around the 2:30 pace group because I told myself if I hit that, I'd be happy. Then I spotted some people I knew from Run Colorado - Jeanne and Leanne, mostly, and ended up starting the race with them.
Leanne, Sade, me, Jeanne, Elina's ... husband?, Elina.
Running with these ladies for the first few miles saved me, I think. We started out by the 2:30 pace group ... and then passed them ... then the 2:25 pace group ... then the 2:20 pace group ... and settled in behind the 2:15 pace group.
I stuck with them and their pace until about the four mile mark when they veered off to use a porta-potty. I told them they'd catch up with me soon.
From that point on, I kept it steady. Kept running. Walked for the first time at about the halfway point thanks to a hill. Walked a bit more after that, a bit more often ... but for the most part, I kept running.
One foot in front of the other, keep on going.
I heard the shuffling footsteps of those around me, thinking it couldn't be good for their shoes (or their body long-term) for them to not pick up their feet. I listened to my own feet, to make sure I wasn't doing the same.
I enjoyed the view, running next to Clear Creek, loved the few mile stretch of dirt.
Surprised when I was able to keep going.
I felt a few pains here and there, but I adjusted gait or walked a bit or told myself, "You're fine," and they disappeared.
The wheels finally started coming off with about a 5K to go. The miles started getting longer and longer. I started walking more and more. The 2:15 pace group, which stayed in sight for most of the run, started slipping away.
There's one hill most people talk about, and it is at about mile 12.8 and it sucks because it's at mile 12.8. I walked up it and then ran it into the finish. I had just started my final kick when I heard my name being called - Jeanne and Leanne had finally caught up to me.
I finished, my Garmin saying 2:18.
I went down into the field, got my t-shirt, got some watermelon, got my medal (which I paid extra for and apparently lost that day. Boo.), got a pint glass that Runners Roost was handing out, got my bag from gear check, called Brandon, heard that Norm came in third in his age group, left the field, saw Norm, got in my car, drove home.
My legs hurt, but I was able to get in some decent workouts on them the next few days.
Overall Rank: 1274/2159
Gender Rank: 698/1347
Division Rank: 138/252 (F30-34)
Also, for the curious, the Garmin splits (for the 13.16 miles it said I did):
Mile 1: 11:01.9
Mile 2: 10:32.2
Mile 3: 9:42.3
Mile 4: 9:54.5
Mile 5: 10:08.2
Mile 6: 10:08.6
Mile 7: 10:18.8
Mile 8: 10:37.4
Mile 9: 10:30.5
Mile 10: 10:30.8
Mile 11: 11:06.0
Mile 12: 11:34.2
Mile 13: 11:12.1
Last Bit: 1:09.1
Of note: Look at miles 5/6 and 9/10. My ability to have consistent mile splits lives on!