Monday, February 14, 2011

Loveland Sweetheart Classic (Race Recap)

Saturday, February 12
Loveland, CO
Weather - Upper 30s, WINDY

This was my second year running the Loveland Sweetheart Classic 4 mile race. Last year I took A with me:

A - Loveland Sweetheart Classic - 2010
Me and A - Loveland Sweetheart Classic - 2010
A - Loveland Sweetheart Classic - 2010
A - Loveland Sweetheart Classic - 2010
This year I was pretty psyched to be running with L and her boyfriend, R. Also along for the ride were A and my niece, H.

The forecast was looking pretty nice. We hadn't had any snow all week and the temperatures were gradually increasing. It was supposed to be in the upper 30s at the start. Can't ask for much more than that for mid February in northern Colorado! With all the people that were going, we were going to have to take two cars, because my Dad was going to come along to watch the kids while the three of us raced. We were all pre-registered, but got there about 45 minutes early anyway. That gave us time to stretch:

H and A
H and A
We even managed to get a decent group shot... White is not my most flattering color apparently :D

Of course we themed this! Red and white! Me, A, H, L, R
A and her new Razzy Roo headband!

Festive Headbands!
Now... I ran this race last year. It was the first race I did after injuring my quad. I was afraid then that I wouldn't even be able to finish the race. All I really remember from it was that it was really windy and I was able to run the whole thing without walking. My time last year was 40:56, and my goal this year was to crush that.

The race started on time, and within the first half a mile, there was trouble. Part of the beginning of the course is on an unpaved road. Trouble is that with all the snow we have had and the cold temperatures, the ENTIRE thing was ice. I was scared to death that I was going to fall and break something. I couldn't get any traction on the ice and really felt like I was working too hard because I was having to take shorter, faster steps. First time I looked at my watch was after we were off that and on the main streets of the course at just under a mile. Clicked the Garmin at mile 1. Uh oh... 8:15. That is insanely fast for me. Need to slow it down or I am going to burn out.

After the ice, the first mile wasn't too bad. Slight downhill and running with the wind. After mile 1, it was still ok for another few minutes. Then the course turned east and it all went to crap.  Running against the wind. Getting tired. Feel like I am working HARD. Trying to remember if there was an aid station last year. I can still see L in front of me, she isn't that far ahead. Trying to focus on staying close to her. Water station just before mile 2. Grab a cup of water and walk for a bit trying to catch my breath. Even with the stop, at mile 2 I am still around an 8:30 pace. Still too fast.

Course now is against the wind AND uphill. Get passed by the out of shape looking guy pushing a double stroller. Bam... that was a massive hit to my ego. Keep going. Try to pull back on my pace but the hill and the wind is making me work TOO hard. See mile marker 3 and realize that if this was a 5K I would actually have about a 30 second PR. The last mile is freaking BRUTAL. I feel like I am barely moving. All of a sudden I am being passed by tons of people. L is a lot further ahead of me now. I'm tired. Exhausted. I can see the end, but all that really means is I have that section of ice to cross. My legs are burning and I'm tired... the ice seems even worse than the way out. I see the finish line and do my best to sprint. A finds me almost immediately and gives me a huge hug. What a cutie :D

Gun Time - 35:32
Chip Time - 35:25
Pace - 8:52
Overall - 133/321
Division - 18/63
Garmin Time - 35:24
Mile 1 - 8:22
Mile 2 - 8:33
Mile 3 - 8:55
Mile 4 - 9:41 (yep, I was dying)

Verdict? A 5:31 PR!! Yahoo!!

H and A waiting for Kid's Run
Kids lining up for fun run!
The race organizers couldn't find someone to lead the race, so R volunteered to be the "rabbit." He was assuming it would be a nice luxurious jog, leading kids under 6 or so. However, the kid who won the male under age 15 age group chose to run the kid's race and totally smoked R. Funny that R got put in his place, but WTH does a 12 year old who runs sub 8s need to run a fun run for??

The run was supposed to be about a half mile little loop and luckily did not entail running on any of the ice. However, H fell in the very beginning and did most of the run with L. A took off and kept a steady pace, never needing to walk. Here is a video of her crossing the line!

A post race - first girl across the line, maybe 6th or 7th overall!
H was last across the line. She fell and scraped her knees and nose but like a trooper still finished
It's really fun doing these smaller local races. If I always had someone to hang out with A while I was running, I would totally take her with me more often. She has a blast!


  1. Nice PR! I think that is about the same time I ran my SkirtChaser 5K - which is my slowest time on a 5K. You're a speedy pants!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures of A and H stretching and warming up before the race. Too darn cute!

  2. I love that the girls did a fun run. And that H finished, even bruised. Congrats on your PR!

  3. LOVE the pictures of A and H stretching and warming up before the race. Too cute!

  4. Yay for all of you racers! I love that the little girls are going for it!

    I'm curious about how much training you do during the week when you have back-to-back half marathons. Maybe a blog post someday, if we readers are lucky? I'm considering back-to-backs in May.

    Good luck with the full this weekend! You will kill it!


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