Saturday, August 13, 2011

Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Idaho Springs, CO
Saturday, August 13
Half Marathon #40
Weather - Sunny, HOT

So. My 40th half marathon, and my second time running the Georgetown to Idaho Springs. I registered for this one long enough ago that it was only $35. I wanted a race in August so I didn't go two months without running a half. I guess I feel that I lose training. Anyway.

We did the usual pre-race dinner at... Applebees. But no dessert. (Crazy, I know).

I even saved a little bit of room for a beer:

I went to bed at a pretty reasonable hour and actually slept well for once.

Alarm goes off at 4:50. I get dressed, eat my bagel with peanut butter, and L and I head out. Quick stop at McD's for a coffee, and then we head into the mountains. We arrive in Idaho Springs around 6:00, but by the time we park and use the port-o-potty and wait for the shuttle, it is already 6:30 before we are on the bus to Georgetown. Of course the race doesn't even start until 8:00. We arrived at the lake later than last year, the sun was already up and it wasn't as cold.

There is only a tiny building to wait in out of the cold before the race starts. Maybe 100 of us were able to cram in there. I labeled my bag and dropped it about 25 minutes before the race started - which gave us some time to cycle through the bathroom lines. (Which, incidentally, they had a TON more of than last year. +1)

There are pacers this year (if there were pacers last year I don't remember), and we lined up somewhere around the 2:10 pace. Of course, like every other race, there are a TON of people that do NOT belong that far up. It is slow going the first half mile or so.

The first mile passes and I'm already melting. Also unlike last year, there are mile markers at EVERY mile instead of only even numbers like last year (+2). I realize I am in trouble when I have to walk at about mile 1.5. My thighs are so tight I barely can jog. I'm moving so slow I am pretty much walking. I do a very awkward run/walk until the first aid station at mile 2, and then I have to pull over and stretch. It helps a bit, but I am worried. I was very optimistic going into this race. I felt prepared and rested. Did NOT think that my legs would suck.

Blazing. Hot. Sun.
Even when my legs finally started to loosen a bit, I just felt tired and drained (I practically sound like a broken record, pretty much every race lately has been like this). I got passed by the 2:10 pacers shortly after the 2 mile marker, and the 2:15 pacer a mile or so later. I cannot remember walking so much in a race. I honestly walked at LEAST once every single mile. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. This course is relatively flat with very minor uphills in the first 2 miles, but then is pretty much a pretty extreme downhill the rest of the course and it just KILLED me.

I guess this race just messed with me. I felt I had a good excuse for walking in the beginning, but because of my early struggles I ended up running with people who walked a LOT. So... I walked a lot. There were aid stations every 2 miles with Powerade and water. I kept filling my water bottle at the stops. Because of all my walking I was a lot more thirsty than usual. Did I mention it was HOT and SUNNY?

Somewhere around mile 6.5
Mile 7ish?

I kept hoping to catch back up to the 2:15 pacer. Actually, what I really wanted was to beat my time from last year - 2:11:08, but that was just NOT going to happen. Disappointing.

Mile 9.5 - Kill.Me.Now.
I was really starting to wonder if I was ever going to finish this race. The last few miles actually seemed easier than the beginning, and for the first time (probably ever), I think I actually had negative splits in this race.

Mile 12.5ish
I remember walking at this sign last year, but it was only the second time I walked during that whole race. From this sign to the finish line (.75 miles at most), I must have walked at least three times. My legs felt like crap, I just wanted to be done. I actually ran the last .25 of the race, crossed the line, and immediately ran into L. We walked to the finisher area and drank a ton of water and gathered our goodies and then walked back to the car. On our way a man stopped us and said, "Hey, didn't you two run Longmont? In a different outfit?" Yep.

Official Time - 2:16:11
Overall - 1598/2526
Age Place - 154/246
Garmin Time - 2:16:13
Garmin Distance - 13.12 miles
Mile 1 - 9:46
Mile 2 - 11:01
Mile 3 - 10:48
Mile 4 - 10:10
Mile 5 - 10:55
Mile 6 - 9:47
Mile 7 - 10:17
Mile 8 - 10:46
Mile 9 - 10:09
Mile 10 - 10:38
Mile 11 - 10:02
Mile 12 - 10:41
Mile 13 - 10:04
Mile 13.1 - 8.23

Of note:
1. According to the drops in pace I took 23 walk breaks. 23. Most of them were 45-60 seconds long. Keeping that in mind, this actually was a pretty decent overall pace.
2. Even though I am SUPER disappointed in how this race went, I looked through the RLRF book and if I look at the KR3 section, the pace I kept is only ONE second off my HMP. (I think 20 seconds faster than MP). So. I guess not bad. Again, considering how awful I felt and ran, I found this interesting.
3. This race was MUCH better than last year. I mean, it isn't the race's fault I sucked. Key things that were improvements over  last year?
  • Mile markers at EVERY mile
  • Many more port-o-potties at the start line
  • A pint glass finisher award!!!
4. Really, my only complaints of this year:
  • 3 oz Dixie cups are TOO small for aid stations. They had to fill them all the way up and that was messy and awkward. Plus they are super cheap and flimsy and I ended up getting tons of RED Powerade all over my socks and shirt (I have NO coordination when I race).
  • Same stupid cups at the end (.25 away from the finisher line before there even IS water). The pint glass was great, they should have given that out right after crossing and not even bothered with the tiny cups.
  • They ran out of Powerade :(   - this whole race is 100% for charity, so everything they have is from donations, so it isn't really the fault of the race, but the fast people and their family/kids should save some stuff for us slow folks.
Overall, I can't complain too much, just hope next race goes better.


  1. Great job gutting it out and finishing in a good time even though you walked a lot. Some days are like that. 3 oz cups? that is way too small!

  2. Congrats on your 40th Half!. Wow!
    It doesn't matter that you walked, the point is that you finished!

    I have only done 2 half marathons to date and shooting for my third at the end of the month. I can't imagine doing 40 of them.

    Great job!

  3. You are so hard on yourself! You did great, and must've been really running well when you were running to get such a good time.

  4. Your times - even when you walk - are so much faster than mine! I have to get my tooshie in gear!

    Is L running Disneyland Half, too?

  5. 40th!?! wow!! great job. still a great race like you said per RLRF. glad you are enjoying the program!


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