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.

Georgetown Lake.


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.


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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