Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Colorado Cold Rush Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Colorado Springs, CO
Saturday, December 2
Half Marathon #194
Weather - Chilly, but sunny

If you have been reading a while, you know this blog started because I was racing half marathons in every state. It has/had always been my "favorite" race distance. No matter the level of training I am at, it's always "doable." With that said, I have hardly done ANY in the last 4-5 years as I've graduated into the 200 mile distance (which typically requires my long runs to be even longer than 13 miles). I've only done NINE since the start of 2019. So while I run 13.1+ regular, this would be my 10th "official" half in 5 years! While I have no real goals, I do eventually want to hit 200 lifetime half marathons.

Race Morning

I planned to wake up at 6:15. Christina and Lisa both woke up well before then, and with paper thin walls, I woke up as well, but I was able to go back to sleep. I had re-packed my bag the night before, so really all I had to do was get dressed and braid my hair. It looked like it was going to be a nice day from our hotel room:
We stopped in the lobby to get breakfast on our way out. I grabbed a small, crustless spinach and cheese quiche and a sausage/cheese breakfast sandwich, as well as a few slices of bacon and more coffee. I didn't eat all the food, but I figured I needed decent calories before running. It was about a 15 minute drive to the start. We arrived at the park but didn't really see the race start until we got out and walked over. We hit the bathrooms first and then huddled around the one heater under the pavilion until it was time to start. It was pretty darn cold. I had opted to wear my Rabbit holiday shirt under my Roost team tee, with CVG 5" shorts. I wore my Patagonia R1 over my back so it would be easier to take off when/if I got warm.

We started right at 8, and I was in the back with everyone else. I took the early lead, as it was a fairly runnable start at the beginning. Paved to get out of the park area, and then a wide, non-technical trail. Lisa and Janet passed me somewhere in the first mile. 
I had hoped to run more of the climbs but I knew that it was going to tire my legs out, so I just worked on power hiking. I was leap frogging with a couple of guys and ended up passing them for good when we got to the first area of more single track. Of course in that same section, we all got passed by a half dozen girls that were clearly just out for a leisurely Saturday long run. I finally passed Lisa when we were on the technical single track section, and passed Janet not too long after.
The first aid station was around 3 miles up - I did not stop. We started the big climb up High Drive. I was a bit surprised about the amount of snow on the trail, but it made sense with all the trees that lined the road/trail. While it is called a road, there was a gate that kept it closed for cars.
Somewhere around mile 4 was when I saw Ross - he must have started early. Getting close to the "top" and I was finally starting to get a bit warm, and decided I would probably take my jacket off by the time I got there on the way back. The next mile was a  nice downhill going to the aid station (although of course we would have to go back up on the way back). THANKFULLY, at the turn around aid station there were some bathrooms, but I had to go all the way across the lot to get to them. WORTH IT. 

I got back to the aid station just in time for Janet to head out. I grabbed a small piece of chocolate chip pumpkin bread and a swig of coke (plus an applesauce for later) and headed out. 

The climb back didn't seem as long, and I warmed up quickly in the sun. I passed Janet towards the top and took my jacket off as planned right before hitting the summit. I absolutely BOMBED the downhills. There weren't a ton of people in this pace group, but I passed probably a half dozen people. I was REALLY shocked to see some miles starting with an 8. Yes, it was icy and some technical spots, but I felt good and I pushed. It was relatively shocking how fast I got back to the other aid station (which again, I did not stop at).

Then I arrived at the single track section - my legs were a bit toast from bombing the downhills. I still did a pretty steady run/walk on the climbs.
Not shown - my amazing shorts :( 
The last few miles were definitely warm and I ran everything I could. I was grouped with a few other people and am happy to say that I managed to stay ahead of all of them!

I crossed the line and got my medal (no pic, but if I remember, I'll add later).

Official time - 2:58:07
Overall Place - 64/106 (plus, "beat" everyone in our group!)
Division Place - 27/51
Elevation Gain - 2,582'
Garmin Time - 2:57:56
Garmin Distance - 13.31 miles
Garmin Pace - 13:22
Mile 1 - 14:27
Mile 2 - 15:21
Mile 3 - 13:56
Mile 4 - 17:18
Mile 5 - 18:22
Mile 6 - 15:12 (bathroom)
Mile 7 - 14:06
Mile 8 - 14:14
Mile 9 - 8:39 (wooo)
Mile 10 - 8:42 (wooo)
Mile 11 - 13:21
Mile 12 - 10:49
Mile 13 - 11:26
Mile 13.31 9:05 pace
This was exciting to see! (Probably just the PR for this watch, which I haven't had all that long)

This 2 mile, PR, however, is probably legit since I started Strava, which I *think* was 2014??
I haven't been running fast since probably 2010-2012, so this was fun to see
As soon as I crossed the line I sat down at one of the picnic tables and immediately started to get cold. I saw Janet coming up a few minutes later. We had a decently long time of waiting for Lisa and were sitting in the grass in the sun. It was NOT warm, and the wind had definitely picked up. I put my jacket back on, as well as my "emergency" North Face pants I had been carrying in my pack and I was still freezing. 

Christina crossed a few minutes after Lisa, and we had a good amount of time to wait for Susan and Alison. While we were waiting for them, Christina had to head out to relieve her husband of childcare duties.

We got a group picture after they crossed and basically disbanded right after. Coldest I have been in a long time!
Thoughts:
  • Semi-expensive event. I paid $100 back in September.
  • Swag is good - poly/cotton blend shirt, boco fleece-lined hat (I will actually wear again), wooden medal and a HUGE bag of protein powder.
  • Course was very well marked. The lower trails had quite a bit of flagging at turns, and "wrong way" signs. 
  • Aid stations seemed fine, although I only stopped at the one at the turnaround. I used my Salomon vest, and with it being colder, my two flasks were plenty to hydrate.
Probably would not run this again due to the cost and distance from home, but in my quest to get to 200 half marathons, it was fun to run something different and challenging. 

Week in Review (November 28 - December 4)

Tuesday (14,729 steps) - Peloton rides before work. Had another glitchy where I couldn't get the video I wanted to do to play. I don't have any updates so not sure what the issue is. Walked quite a bit on the treadmill during the day and did an upper body video at lunch. I definitely will be sore from this one. It was also... Spotify unwrapped day!
Definitely surprised that all my top songs were country!
Not as surprised about the top artists, except for Pink Floyd, which I didn't think I listened to nearly as much this year. ALSO exciting is there is finally info on Candice's new 300+ mile race. This is gonna be "fun"

AND, I got a cute new nameplate at work, haha
Took Olive for a walk before Ariel and I headed to the school for a meeting about her upcoming trip to France. We met Ben at Buffalo Wild Wings to celebrate A getting into the Colorado School of Mines. 
Wednesday (21,626 steps) - Work in the office. More treadmill desk while working, read my book at lunch. Headed up to Louisville to get my speed work done. Workout wasn't nearly as bad as I feared, although I ended up running longer than planned because I misjudged the distance of the area I was running. 

Nice night and I stayed at the store for a bit socializing. 
Thursday (20,571 steps) - Work from home. Went for an easy 45 minute run at lunch (which actually felt pretty easy). Took Olive for a walk. And in OTHER running excitement, Summit 200 finally (publicly) release a screenshot of the course. Wooo! 
Convinced Ariel to join me in Belmar for run club. Not a lot of people there, unfortunately, and it was chilly walking with Mo and Colfax. 

Friday (14,656 steps) - Wash Park - with special guest, Olive! New holiday drink menu at Stella's. Yum!
Joyce was going to be on vacation and Nicole thought it would be fun to bring her into the office, so she got a long walk before we went in. Olive enjoyed walking around and saying hi to everyone. She was so well-behaved! 

And I finally got my yoga ball to put on my treadmill so I don't have to keep moving it. I still have my regular chair, but this is going to be a game changer. 
We went for a walk with Nicole late morning. Headed home to work the rest of the day remote. Lisa came to pick me up to go to Colorado Springs. A group of us signed up to run a Saturday morning race and decided to get a hotel the night before. We got to packet pick up in the Springs around 4:30. Everyone else arrived shortly thereafter. We were all hungry and decided to go to BJ's for dinner since it was close. I got my trusty jalapeno cheeseburger. Delicious!
Alison and Janet were sharing a birthday weekend, and Janet had made delicious cupcakes for us to have after dinner. Yum!
No picture of all of us, which is a shame. By this time it was "late" so we went to the hotel. Lisa had booked a suite for me, her and Christina to share. I got my own room (yay!!!). We stayed up chatting until maybe 9:30. I had a bit of trouble falling asleep - I blame that on the room being much warmer than I normally sleep in.
Saturday (29,146 steps) - Colorado Cold Rush half marathon - recap separate.
We decided we would just head right back to Denver after everyone had finished. Once I got home I took a quick shower and then we went to Torchy's so I could finally get something to eat. Instead of starting with Fargo, we rented a movie - "The Fall" - WAY different than I expected, and it was pretty good! 
Sunday (18,918 steps) - I had an hour recovery run on schedule, which I was dreading. I had actually "raced" (versus just running like I normally do) and I was pretty sore. We did a loop that was semi dirt and paved. The paved was actually worse since it hadn't been plowed yet.
I was definitely tired during this and it felt like a massive effort. Really happy to be done with it. Took Olive for a walk. We then had a busy afternoon - first we had to go to Costco for groceries. We then went to 4 Noses so Ben could get a beer (I'm still not drinking for a bit, so I just had a Topo) before going to Target. So many errands, but we needed our sport laundry detergent and of course ended up with a bunch of other stuff we didn't need. Fargo.
Monday (20,343 steps) - Work from home. Olive spent a lot of time with me in the office, which she has been doing more and more lately.
Went out for my run and it was unfortunately really windy. I didn't feel horrible, but still pretty sore and tired from Saturday's race. In addition to the windy, the mud was actually pretty bad since it has warmed up since we got snow. 
Then I took Olive for a walk. Because of the mud I had encountered during my run, we did the "mud" route, which took us by this house that I normally only see on our really short night walks.
And another fun thing from Cocodona, they used me and Ben running through Buffalo Park in the start of their newest reel. 
Short dog walk with Ariel and more Fargo.

Stats:
  • 139,989 steps
  • 33.21 miles run
  • 30 minutes of cardio
  • 30 minutes of strength

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Week in Review (November 21 - November 27)

Tuesday (15,348 steps) - Peloton before work... where I already got my prize for winning the fitness challenge! I wasn't wearing the right shoes for it in this picture, but HR wanted a picture of me using it for the email blast, haha. This is a pretty cool gadget, and only minorly irritating to move out of the way when I would rather be sitting.
Gym during lunch for full body strength training - gonna feel that for a few days. Oof, when will I learn.
Wednesday (29,538 steps) - Work in the office. Walked on my new treadmill quite a bit while working. Was very happy the weather was nice for my run! Left work a few minutes early and headed to North Table. Ugh, as soon as I saw the parking lot I knew I made a mistake - nice weather equals WAY too many bikes. I used to run these trails all the time, and just hate coming here because 90% of the bikes are soooo rude and have no trail etiquette. There was a LOT of jumping off the trail because only maybe 5 bikes stopped, and only a handful slowed down. UGH.





Ben also got off work early, so he met me for a beer at New Terrain. Thankfully, we got a table near the door since there was also a live band. 

While I was running, Ariel took Olive to get a new outfit. OMG it is the cutest ever. Lambchop is her favorite toy, and now she can dress like her buddy. (As an aside, I'm glad I read the reviews since it runs very small - she had to get a large!)
Thursday (14,752 steps) - Up early since Kristin was going to pick me up for the Louisville Turkey Trot! This event used to be free with food/clothing donation, but it's up to $25. At least the money goes to a good cause. I had chosen bare legs because it seemed warm(ish) at home. Once we got to the start, it definitely was colder.
We wandered around the start area, used the bathroom and decided to go back and sit in the car until it was closer to time to start. We headed BACK out with about 10 minutes to the start (of the untimed, non-bib "race") to use the bathroom one more time. I lined up with Kristin and Lisa. There was, as expected, a TON of weaving around big groups of people and walkers in the first mile. After a few minutes, I spotted Larry! We ran together for a few minutes, until I pulled out ahead. (Optimistic, but didn't really work out for me. By the hill that started somewhere around the first mile, I was already struggling. I wanted to maintain my pace, but I did end up walking a bit. Shortly before mile 2, I saw this cute spectator:
I was finally comfortable (not too cold/warm) and thankfully the last mile is downhill. I did stop for this:
My (somewhat pathetic) "A" goal was to run under 35 minutes. I'm happy to say that I did that, haha. The course ran just a bit short, but average pace of 10:27.
Garmin distance - 3.06 miles
Mile 1 - 10:31
Mile 2 - 11:03
Mile 3 - 9:53
Mile 3.06 - 8:55 pace

Headed immediately to the Liquid Mechanic free beer, where I found Larry in line. We all socialized a bit at the finish line until we were all too cold and then dispersed. When I got home we took Olive for a walk before the weather came in. Brrr.
Deidre had invited us over for Thanksgiving, which was wonderful! They always have such delicious food (plus, we didn't have to cook!)
Pretty sure we watched a movie. Maybe this was the night we watched Descent 2.
Friday (10,750 steps) - "Slept in." Thankfully, a rest day as it had snowed all night and it was ridiculously cold. Went to get Dutch Bros. since they were giving a shoe charm (jibbitz). On the way home we stopped at the grocery store to get some necessities. We took Olive for a long walk and it was freezing.
Torchy's for lunch, then up to 4 Noses so we could do a flight of all the new stouts. (Thankfully we split all these, because I think they ranged from 11.5-15ish%. Oof.)
Another movie? Maybe this was Meg 2 night - which was actually a pretty decent/fun movie.
Saturday (19,630 steps) - Still snowing. I was originally supposed to have a 3+ hour run on schedule. Since the real feel was in the single digits, I switched with Sunday, at an hour-ish run. It was "fine" I guess, glad to get it done.

Took Olive for a walk, lounged around and in general the day just disappeared. We did go to Pho for dinner.
Sunday (29,202 steps) - Should've been doing a 3+ hour run. I made the choice to go to Rock Creek. Within about 10 minutes I decided we would max out at 10 miles, whatever that ended up being. The first part wasn't was bad, but man, the 4 miles or so towards Stearns Lake was miserable. The snow was not packed down and it was chunky and felt like a Herculean effort. I have no regrets about turning around sooner.
Smiling, but only because we are halfway done

The way back wasn't as bad because it's a gradual downhill, and it did seem a bit more packed down (maybe melting since it was actually sunny?) We stopped at Ziggi's so I could get a protein smoothie. Went to 4 Noses so Ben could get a beer. Home to walk Olive and shower while Ben went to Costco to pick up a pizza for lunch. When Ariel got home we all went to get the Christmas tree. Welcome to the house, Bruce the Spruce!


We started watching Fargo over the weekend and it's a pretty fun/interesting show.
Monday (19,487 steps) - How is it Monday already?? Work from home. Did some cleaning and waited a bit (it seemed sunny?) to head out for my run. I was worried I was overdressed, but I actually selected my clothing perfectly. 
I was undecided if I was going to try trails or not, and luckily the trails were actually perfect! Cold enough the dirt was not muddy and all the snow was packed down. It's been a bit, but finally an easy run that was easy! Turned right around to take Olive for a walk.
Ariel randomly was working for the evening and we still had not gone grocery shopping. I convinced Ben we should try the sushi restaurant down the street. It was REALLY good.
More Fargo.

Stats:
  • 138,707 steps
  • 30.3 miles run
  • 30 minutes of cardio
  • 30 minutes of strength

Colorado Cold Rush Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Colorado Springs, CO Saturday, December 2 Half Marathon #194 Weather - Chilly, but sunny If you have been reading a while, you know this blo...