Monday, August 17, 2015

Race #3 of the Season: Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half-Marathon

I need to race more. August and I've only raced thrice? TF? 

I liked this race a lot last year. Brandon heard me rave about it and was hoping to do it with me ... but it was not to be. Stupid work.

It was a lot less hectic this year. I managed packet pick-up the weekend before down here in Denver at Runner's Roost before one of the days I went up to Boulder. The downside is I had a bib on my desk staring me in the face, reminding me of my under-trained...ness for a week.

The night before the race was my niece's birthday and we got invited to go to Casa Bonita with my brother for said birthday. Clearly ideal pre-race food, but I wanted to see my little potatopants, so we went.

Pro tip: Do not go to Casa Bonita, preferably ever, but especially not the night before a race.

We got home past bedtime, but I was still able to wake up ridiculously early to be able to make the drive to Idaho Springs. Left the house a bit after four; got up to the mountains a bit after five. Stopped at the Starbucks when they opened; Didn't get coffee (I know better by now), but I did get a bagel with cream cheese and a cup of water. I figured, since I was awake and up there at 5 but the race didn't start until 8, I could slowly munch on it pre-race to keep calories going into my system.

Pro tip: Up early before a race? Keep slowly shoving food in your belly in the hours prior to race start to avoid bonking ... particularly if you typically don't need calories during, say, a 13er.

After Starbucks, I parked in one of the lots downtown and waited until just before 5:30 before walking to the buses. I caught the first bus to Georgetown, got to Georgetown ... and just waited.

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Georgetown Lake.

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Waiting.

For the most part, I huddled in the same shelter I huddled in last year, although it was quite a bit warmer this year. If I thought I could have found a comfortable spot, I may have just napped a bit, but I didn't want to take that risk.

I could have parked in Georgetown and avoided a lot of this waiting, but chose not to, as I would then need to catch a bus back to my car post-race. As I had to work later that afternoon, I figured it would be more prudent of me to park in Idaho Springs and then just bust ass out of town afterward.

So, I sat, wasting time on my phone and slowly munching on my bagel. About 20-25 minutes to race start, I threw on some sunscreen and with about 10 (or so) minutes to race start, I dumped off my bag at bag drop. A late phone conversation with Brandon had me wearing arm warmers, but I probably shouldn't have started with them.

Eight o'clock rolls around ... race start.

Remembering the year previous, I took the first mile nice and slow. 11:03. Perfect.

Mile two, about 15 seconds faster. Great.

Mile three, about 10:00/mi. Oops. Picked it up a bit too much (although fairly significant downhill).

Mile four, barely faster. Back on track. (Arm warmers came off.)

I had to walk for the first time just after mile five, but it wasn't for long. I was solidly in front of the 2:20 pace group and the 2:15 group was easily in sight.

10K Split: 1:04:47

There were times, probably between miles seven and eight, that I was able to run right up on the heels of the 2:15 pace group.

However, the wheels started falling off in mile eight, and fell off for good with about a 5K to go. I felt the 2:20 pacers breathing down my neck (figuratively speaking) and wanted desperately to stay under 2:20. In my brain, if I could finish below 2:20, it'd be a good day.

At mile 10, I also figured if I could keep around 11 minute miles, this would happen.

Mile 11: 11:11. Mile 12? Slower than that. Wheels were off, and wheels were off badly.

Right before the finish, the 2:20 pacers passed me, but I was still holding out hope as I knew I crossed the start mat after they did.

I give everything I had left across the line (which wasn't much) and stop my Garmin: 2:20:04. SO DAMN CLOSE.

I was a little upset, but I also knew I gave everything this untrained body had to give. I wandered down into the field, got my medal (and tossed it around my shoulder so I wouldn't lose it this year), got another pint glass from Runners Roost, got watermelon and chocolate milk, got my bag from bag check, and headed to the car for home.

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Happily, looking at the official results, I made my goal.

Final Stats:
Time: 2:19:59
Overall Rank: 983/1567
Gender Rank: 439/977*
Division Rank: 108/172 (F30-34)

Under 2:20, but barely. I won't be able to do this race next year, as we're hoping for the Ironman double and this race a week after IMBoulder will not be good recovery for IMChatt (or Tahoe) ... probably. So if I do return to this race (which I'd like to, ideally trained), it won't be for another two years.

Garmin splits, for the interested.

Mile 1: 11:03
Mile 2: 10:46
Mile 3: 10:03
Mile 4: 9:58.22
Mile 5: 10:22
Mile 6: 10:09
Mile 7: 10:05
Mile 8: 10:47
Mile 9: 10:32
Mile 10: 10:56
Mile 11: 11:11
Mile 12: 11:22
Mile 13: 11:46
Last .14: 1:01.8


* So the results don't show by gender, but by going through the age groups, this is as best as I can figure.

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