Monday, June 3, 2013

Steamboat Springs Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Steamboat, CO
Sunday, June 2
Half Marathon #84
Colorado Half #24
Weather - Sunny (cold at start, warm on the course)


I had not planned on running the Steamboat half marathon. The other B picked it for her Colorado race, and as much as I wanted to run, it turned out to be a bit of a logistical nightmare. Literally minutes before registration closed on Thursday afternoon, we figured out a way to make it work.

Where I last left off, I was dying of starvation at A's bridging ceremony. L and I were not able to head up to Kremmling (where we decided to stay for the night) until about 7:30. From Denver, the drive to Steamboat is only half on interstate. The rest is on a windy 2 lane road with no cell phone service and a lot of deer. The drive was long, we were both tired, but we got to see a pretty amazing sunset.


Never heard of Kremmling, CO? Well it is a teeny tiny "town" with about 12 buildings, 3 of which are "motels." The place we stayed was nice and the desk clerk was super friendly. We were in bed by 10(ish) with a morning wake up call of 4:30 so we could drive the additional hour to meet the other B at her hotel in Steamboat Springs. We got there a bit earlier than planned, and spent some time in the lobby of B's hotel eating their food (mini donuts), applying sunscreen and using the bathroom.

B and Emma came down about 6 and we drove the 3 miles to catch the shuttle to the start. Everything was really well marked and we got on the bus only having to wait a few minutes. We were dropped off about 6:40, which meant we had almost an hour standing around until the start. It was COLD. Only thing to do was shuffle through the bathroom lines 3 times. The lines weren't long, so even THAT didn't kill time.

(PS - even though the race CLAIMS no race day pick up, we saw people picking up bibs at both the shuttle pick up AND the start line).

B freezing at the start line, but thankfully the sun is coming out (can you spot her in the argyle skirt?)
Per my normal race plan, I lined up toward the back and hoped to 1). Not die 2). Not be in pain 3). Not hate the race.

Emma took off for the front because she was going for a big PR and didn't want to weave around people. L took off shortly after the start. The unspoken plan was for me and B to run together. We managed about a mile together before I stopped to walk. Tight calves and heavy legs, how shocking. B quickly glanced back and I waved her off. That first break might have been my longest. I walked about 3 minutes, and took some pictures of the beautiful scenery.
These are taken between miles 2 and 7 of the course (if I remember correctly)
Knowing it was going to be THE LONGEST DAY OF MY LIFE if I didn't run, I tried to jog a bit. Don't let the elevation profile fool you into thinking that it is a downhill course! Yes, the first mile was a downhill, but there were some decent uphills. I walked a LOT this course. A LOT. So disappointing after how great my last race was. I definitely started out too fast, and I think that also contributes to the sore calf issue. Really need to remember this in the future. I played "catch the rabbit" and ended up passing some people.

Really, I took quite a few pictures and just didn't want to walk more than I needed to. L had made it sound like the course "wasn't that great" but I was pretty impressed with the scenery. Granted, we were running on road (which was fairly graded), but just off the road was some of the greenest grass I've ever seen. Stunning scenery, especially with the cloudless sky.



I got tons of compliments on my skirt during this race (even more when B and I were running together) and the announcer at the "loud" aid station (I think it was somewhere between 5 & 6) said he loved my striped socks and called me "Soxy." That amused me.

I really was having an off day. After the initial walking, I can't say that anything really HURT, I just felt (like usual) REALLY fatigued. My gels did not rejuvinate me. Around mile 10 we had a really steep decline, and while that turned out to be my fastest mile, that's when the pain DID set in. My knee and IT band started to ache, and the hip pain that I was having back in February came back. I walked more than I would have liked to on the last few miles of the course. Running down Lincoln Avenue was pretty much the longest chute of my life. I tried not to "kick it" too early, but felt my legs felt like lead. So relieved to be done with this one.

Trying not to die
Official Time - 2:29:14 (surprisingly 4 minutes faster than Colfax, where I ran the entire time)
Pace - 11:25
Overall Place - 623/724
Gender Place - 407/513
Division Place - 75/86
Mile 1 - 10:09
Mile 2 - 11:49
Mile 3 - 10:59
Mile 4 - 10:23
Mile 5 - 11:33
Mile 6 - 11:10
Mile 7 - 10:30
Mile 8 - 12:07
Mile 9 - 12:26
Mile 10 - 11:48
Mile 11 - 9:49 (wow. a sub 10 mile. magic.)
Mile 12 - 11:51
Mile 13 - 11:30
Mile 13.xx - 9:30

Collected my medal and found L, B and Emma without any issues.

L, Me, B

L, Me, B, Emma
Then headed back to B's hotel, where she was nice enough to let L and I shower too. FYI, all three of us girls showered and got dressed in 20 minutes. Just sayin', it is possible.
We had planed to eat at the Mahogany Ridge Brewery for lunch. Much to our dismay, we arrive there only to discover that they did not open until 4:00. Wahhhh :( We ended up going to a pub near the finish area. I had a pretty delicious burger and the only dark beer available, a Guiness.


We unfortunately had to leave right after eating so that we could go pick up the kids. Our only issues was missing the turn in Kremmling and driving an additional 10 or so miles and then an accident near Georgetown had is in pretty much dead stop traffic for over a half hour.

Thoughts:
  • For the most part, I enjoyed the race. Only 5 aid stations on the half course, which I was concerned would seem like not enough. Turns out the only time I needed my own water was before the first aid station, which didn't come until after 3 miles in.
  • The scenery is GORGEOUS. I wonder how the first half of the marathon course looked like.
  • First year for the race to have a finisher medal, so that was nice.
  • The drive is LONG. Especially since half of it is on 2 lane road. I can't imagine driving up there again just for the race, but never say never.
  • My Runner's Roost friend Luke actually WON the half marathon. LIKE WON THE WHOLE THING. Wowza!!!
  • I probably should NOT have run this one and actually continued my run hiatus as planned. Whatever is going on with my body is clearly not getting healed with just running here and there. I am hoping I am not further injuring anything, but it is getting VERY discouraging running and not knowing what to do to make it suck less.
  • However, I am glad I did run this one, since I missed seeing the other B in Wyoming over Memorial Day. (We did also meet up in Denver one afternoon for a quick beer, so I got to see her a few times). 

3 comments:

  1. Pretty course. Pretty pink shirts on B and L (must remember how well pink and black photograph, I love it!)

    I'm sorry you are having a rough time of it. I have new sympathy for you. If you feel like I felt in WY during your races right now, I hope you figure out your issues soon. That kind of running/feeling would make me stop being a runner if I couldn't shake it or explain it.

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  2. it really is a gorgeous course. When I picked B up from airport she said you ran it and I asked what changed-- "peer pressure" she said hehe, glad you were able to knock another CO race off.

    I agree, rest seems like what your body needs right now

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  3. Nice work out there, especially with the injury issues you've had! And thanks! Spoiler alert, the first half makes the second half look ugly. See you at the full next year! haha

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