Saturday, March 10
Half Marathon #57
Colorado Half # 9
Weather - Pretty chilly, but SUNNY and virtually no wind. PERFECT.
I picked Run Through Time half marathon because I noticed that the last double digit run I was supposed to do was 12 miles, and about two weeks before the 100. I did a quick internet search and found this one, saw it wasn't that far or expensive, and as soon as I locked in babysitting, I registered. I figure 13.1 is close enough to 12, and running a real race with a few "challenges" is probably better than another two hours on the treadmill.
I got up at 4:30 so I had time to get ready and be out the door by 5:00 am. Mapquest had the drive taking just under three hours. However, plugging the address into the Garmin, I was looking at closer to 2.5 hours. Fine with me, that way I didn't feel rushed. The first part of the drive was hard because I don't see that well at night and it was a dark, two lane highway. After the sun came up, I nearly hit a wolf (coyote?) and saw about a dozen deer inches off the road. Arrived at the start line with a little over an hour to the start and go in to get my stuff. (Oh, YOU'RE the one who has their name in all capital letters). This is what picking up your number and shirt looks like at a teeny tiny (I think 250 total runners), no frills race:
Bathroom stop number one, then I sat in my car and listened to my iPod and ate my Luna bar. At about 8:15, I headed back in to give me time to use the bathroom one more time and to listen to the announcements about the course. I ran into Jennifer, a girl I ran part of the Fatass with back in January, and was recognized by a few guys who had also run it. I also got probably ten compliments on Razzy Roo's newest headband, the I heart Bacon one.
We had to cross a bridge and some railroad tracks to get to the start line. I was a bit worried I would be cold while running, but opted to not bring my jacket. I didn't want to have to tie it around my race or try to shove it in my hydration vest. Looking around, most people were wearing short sleeves with arm sleeves and shorts with compression socks. (Spoiler: I would have been FINE wearing less). It just SEEMED cold:
I'm going to do this recap a bit different. Most of what needs to be said can be said with pictures. So... here you go:
Hot, Hard, HILLS HILLS HILLS HILLS and (H)amazing.
I knew I was not racing this race. There were really only two goals. Finish without getting pulled for being too slow, and to NOT hurt myself. Both, accomplished.
The course was by FAR the most challenging I have ever run. I went back and looked at all my other elevation profiles, and the only two that showed similar gain were the Great Wall Marathon (only a few hundred feet more, but twice as long a race) and Greenland Trail 50K - again - LOTS longer, similar gain. (I didn't wear my Garmin for the 50 miler since the battery would not have lasted long enough, but I think that might have been about a 1000 feet more. But again, over FIFTY miles, not THIRTEEN). So I will just say, whenever I have complained about hills, I didn't even know what hills were. THESE were hills. So yeah, it was HARD. In addition to the steep uphills, there were steep downhills. It's arguably even HARDER to run steep downs. Couple that with SUPER muddy conditions in parts (literally, there was a section I slid down a good ten feet) and ice, a section of sand dunes, this course pretty much had it ALL. It was overall pretty well marked, but there was about a 20 minute gap when I didn't see anyone in front or behind me and I was 100% certain I had gone off course. I spent that time wondering who do I call. 911? A park ranger? It was scary. Luckily a woman finally came up behind me and we ran together for a bit - NOT lost. (In the picture of me after the race is over, she is lying on the ground half in the picture). Overall, the easiest way to describe this race? Think of the hardest hike you have ever done, then try to run it.
|Course was ALL OVER THE PLACE - can you see how I could have been LOST??|
Garmin Time - 2:59:50
Garmin Distance - 13.28 miles
Garmin Pace - 13:32
Mile 1 - 11:53
Mile 2 - 10:31
Mile 3 - 12:40
Mile 4 - 14:33
Mile 5 - 13:35
Mile 6 - 11:37
Mile 7 - 19:03
Mile 8 - 17:43
Mile 9 - 14:22
Mile 10 - 13:40
Mile 11 - 15:32
Mile 12 - 11:25
Mile 13 - 10:28
Mile 13.1ish - 9:52
- AWESOME aid stations. The aid stations were what you would expect at an ultra marathon. Sports drink, water, pretzels, chips, cookies, gels... more than just people throwing cups at you. They were friendly and helped you out any way they could. Including cleaning off all the blood off my hand after I bit it around mile 10 and bandaging me up. Thanks!
- The most awesome of the awesome in the running community were here. I have NEVER run with such an amazing group of people. Everyone was so nice and friendly. I LOVED IT.
- The course, and the views I was able to see from the course. Honestly, I have lived in Colorado about 95% of my life, and I usually find it pretty UNimpressive. I must have thought to myself - "wow, this is amazing," at least a dozen times.
- This race brought out the "runner" in me. I truly enjoyed myself. Even when I thought I was lost, even when I almost broke my neck sliding down a hill, even after I did fall and bloody myself up, I had a great time. I wish I wasn't such a weenie and felt comfortable enough in my abilities to run alone on the trails. This was so fun.
- CHEAP (for a Colorado race). No expo, no swag bag, no bling, and registering only about a month in advance and I paid about $35. COMPLETELY WORTH EVERY PENNY. I even got a pretty nice shirt. Since there were no sponsors, it just has a tiny race logo on the front.
- I wore the hydration vest that I got for the 100. It did not annoy me even a teeny tiny bit. I think it will be fantastic for the 100. Thanks, Fast Cory!!!
- My YMX shirt was freakin' spectacular. Any other long sleeve shirt and I would have been BAKING in the heat (so what it was only 43 degrees when I was done, it felt like 80). I loved having the pockets in the back to stash my gloves when I got too hot to wear them - at mile TWO.
- FREE race pictures!!! FREE!! These were taken at mile 4.25:
- If I had to be picky, I'd say no medal. But that's just because I really like them :D I knew I wasn't going to be getting one when I registered, so obviously, NOT a "bad"
- Honestly, NOTHING. This race was amazing. I will run it again, although I am not sure I am badass enough to run the full. You all can see how long "just" the half took me! Of course I was taking it easy, but in all honesty, I don't think I could have run much faster!