Monday, April 11, 2011

Platte River Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Littleton, CO
Sunday, April 10
Half Marathon #30
Repeat State, #3 in Colorado
Temperature - Mid 40s at start, sunny, WINDY

I really don't like to do long training runs. I've discovered that if I keep racing the 13.1, then I don't really HAVE to do them. So... since I'm trying to stay in shape and this fit into my schedule, I signed up for the Platte River half marathon months ago.

Now, I had been sick ALL week. For about 5 days I was fighting off a stomach bug that made me nauseous all the time. I hadn't really been eating, and I was SUPER tired. I also had yet another sinus infection, so combine that all together, and my exercise for the week was sparse. 2 BodyPump classes and 20 minutes on the crossramp was literally all I got done all week. I think the rest did me good, and I was feeling about 75% by the time Saturday night rolled around. I decided I'd go for it.

We did our regular pre-race dinner at Applebee's, but this time we of course had the kids along for the ride. Same food as usual - spinach dip, three cheese chicken penne pasta and our chocolate mousse dessert shooter. At home I had 2 beers before bed (around 11:45 pm), and set my alarm for 6:55 am.

I woke up a few minutes before my alarm went off, got dressed, and headed upstairs for breakfast. Happy to have my bagel and peanut butter and NOT be feeling sick. We headed out the door just after 7:30 to drop H off at my parents (A was going to stay home with J). Forgot our Luna bars at home, so stop back by the house on our way to the start. We had no trouble finding the start, but parking was already limited. Luckily we found a spot just a few blocks from the start.

We had decided against doing the bag drop since it was already pushing 50 degrees. We really didn't take into account for the 20+ mph winds. We used the port-o-potties and then gathered at the start line.

Me and L
I hadn't done ANY research on this course. I had no idea what to expect in terms of elevation, terrain, even aid stations. It's weird going blind into a race. The elites started the race a few minutes before everyone else. The start area, like always, was total chaos:

It really drives me nuts when people line up with a pace that they are not capable of running or having no intention of doing. If you are planning on "jogging" or walking, stay in the back at the start. IT'S RUDE. Anyway... the start was very slow and congested. I was planning on taking it pretty easy, so I didn't get as annoyed as I usually do, until we were about 1.5 miles into the course and moved from the street onto the trails. The trails were super narrow, only wide enough for about three runners across. Yet of course all these people need to be buddy buddy and run next to someone without any regard for people trying to get around them.


Race temperatures were great. Nice temps, and the early part of the course wasn't that windy at all. It was really sunny and I was mildly regretting not bringing my sunglasses.  Almost all the course ran along the Platte River. Pretty!

Right before mile 2
I don't know what I was expecting, but the course was nice! It felt pretty flat, which is exactly what I needed to use for a recovery race. I was keeping pace pretty well, and then about mile 2.5 my ankle/foot starting aching/twinging again. Not as bad as it has been, but bad enough that I was obsessing about it a bit. I probably should see a doctor about it to make sure I haven't seriously injured it.

I stopped at the mile 4 aid station to use the bathroom, then headed back out, finding a good pace. Running a bit slower than usual, but there weren't as many aid stations as I have grown accustomed to (placed every two miles). I was getting pretty fatigued - not in my legs, I think it's still just recovering from the plague that attacked me last week.

I was honestly surprised at how good I was feeling. So nice after last weeks fiasco to actually be passing people. I wasn't running anywhere near as fast as I am capable of, but my small victory was not walking at all during the course outside of the water stations. Hurrah!

Mid course
The second half of the course was crazy. The wind really picked up, and running against the wind is tough! I was glad I was wearing my visor because I had to keep putting my head down to block the wind from blowing in my face. Little pieces of dust and debris kept getting in my eyes, which sucked because I wear contacts!

I was still enjoying the course, just wished the wind would calm a bit. Came up on the aid station at mile 8, and I was psyched that they had someone with a box of tissues on the side! I was still suffering from congestion and totally needed that.

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful, still crazy windy. The last aid station came at mile 12, and I knew that the toughest part of the course (really the only hill - going up an overpass) was going to be coming up, but then we would be done! I really concentrated on just keeping my feet moving and NOT walking. I had been racing with a woman for the last few miles, and I made it my goal to just finally beat her at the finish line. I hate it when people sprint past me just to walk and then as soon as I pass them they do it all over. It's so annoying! I let her get ahead of me in the chute and then I sprinted past her at the end.  Hehehehe. I checked her results later, I actually beat her by a few minutes. Ha. Ha. :D

Official Time - 2:14:51
Official Pace - 10:18
Overall Place - 1467/2235
Gender Place - 758/1342
Division Place - 167/246
Garmin Time - 2:14:50
Garmin Distance - 13.14 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:15
Mile 1 - 9:24
Mile 2 - 9:28
Mile 3 - 10:00
Mile 4 - 11:50 (bathroom)
Mile 5 - 9:51
Mile 6 - 10:04
Mile 7 - 10:34
Mile 8 - 9:55
Mile 9 - 10:31
Mile 10 - 10:03
Mile 11 - 10:48
Mile 12 - 10:24
Mile 13 - 10:43
Mile 13.1 - 7:31 (!!!)

Me and L
Took a few minutes to find L at the end. The finish line was at an intersection of a neighborhood and was very crowded. Disappointed that we didn't get a medal, and the line for the post-race food was seriously hundreds of people deep. We decided we didn't want to eat THAT bad and headed to get our free Light Rail passes to get back to our car.

Having never taken the Light Rail, we followed our mantra of "follow the herd" to get back to the car. Of course we stuck with the one guy who apparently had no idea what we were doing. We ended up on the wrong line and had to get off and backtrack back to a station to catch the right train. All in all our adventures took almost an hour. We did, however, make it back to the car with no trouble once we figured out where we really needed to be.


  1. Congrats....i am so impressed! Your post is very inspiring! Great pics too!

  2. What? I thought it was kind of standard to get a medal for doing a half marathon? Not fair. ;)

    I laughed at your finish with the other runner - and passing at the end. I totally did that yesterday in my half marathon! It must have been nice to run and then just go home - instead of hurrying to shower and catch a flight!

    Congrats on the running and not needing to walk!

  3. And now, I've read your recap and am prepared for the race this Sunday. So glad you talked about the course elevation, as I couldn't find anything about it online. Now, about the weather forecast...


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