This is a very late blog, so I apologize. Life has been busy. More details on that to follow soon.
I was very excited to do this race. It's knows as one of the best in Colorado and is used often as a Boston qualifying course. Probably one of those races one must do if they live in Colorado. One of my goals this year was to race a lot, so it seemed logical to sign up as I had the days off to do so.
We left our house ridiculously early and drove to Ft. Collins. We had discussed staying that night up there, but the ability to have our breakfast the way we like it overruled that decision. That, and you know, cost.
We found parking in a garage and after grumbling about being awake, we found our way to the buses. We had heard through the grapevine that up at the start, there were tents to keep people warm and coffee/hot chocolate to drink. This would certainly be welcome on what was a cold morning, with snow potential.
On the bus on the way to the race start, I even commented to T that this seemed well-organized and well done.
Oh how wrong I was.
The ride up seemed to be taking forever. T attempted to snooze while I just looked out the bus window. Eventually it had been determined that we had gone to the start of the marathon course instead of the 1/2 marathon course. I figured we were hosed, but thankfully, we made it to the 1/2 marathon starting point in time. Barely. There was barely enough time for the porta-potties and pre-race rituals that we like. So much for a relaxing start.
Regardless, we pushed it out of our minds and got ready for the start. We positioned ourselves somewhere between the 2:10 and 2:20 pacers. I stayed wrapped in a bed sheet until the start.
I wasn't tapered for this race. Coach asked me if I wanted to be and I declined, preferring to get in as much riding as possible (I need miles; more to come on that soon). So I went into this race not only undertrained, but a bit beat up. I didn't care - I was treating it as a training run and we'd see how it went from there.
In the early 3 miles, T and I were never out of sight of each other and usually staying right close. We were running our own races today but it was up to each of us to decide what we could do.
Around 4 miles in, I started feeling great. I was comfortable running sub-10 and was ahead of the 2:10 pace group. I figured at the pace I was running, it would be sustainable, even on the minimal training I had under my belt.
Then came the "hill of doom".
In mile 6, there's a hill that's about 4/10ths of a mile long. It's not terrible - on any other day it'd be fine. Today though, it cooked me. I got slower and slower going up and eventually walked with T. At the top, she bombed down the hill while I hung onto my just sub-10 pace. It'd be the last time we ran together this race.
In mile 7, I felt myself slowing down. I attempted to regain my pace, but was unable to achieve it. By mile 9, I felt the fatigue in my legs and knew I was cooked for the day. The lack of endurance training in running at this point + the previous week's work did me in. I walked/ran the rest of the race. In mile 10, it started snowing pretty good and I was getting colder. Not much fun.
I ran hard when I saw the finish, but my heart was barely in it by this point.
Final time - 2:23:38
While I can't say this was a bad race for me, it was a tad disappointing. I believe I could have done better even on the training I had. I also believe that the bus ride was a major factor playing into my performance.
Regardless, it was a good training run!