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Pikes Peak Marathon - RunMarathon

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Manitou Springs, Colorado
United States
The Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc.
Total Time = 6h 25m 20s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 20-24
Age Group Rank = 4/
Pre-race routine:

Reese flew in late Thursday night. Her boyfriend Grant, our jockstrap, flew in Friday. We went out Friday night to celebrate my promotion and Grant's new job and in typical pre-race fashion whenever Reese is around I drank too much. Saturday I was hungover picking up my race packet in Manitou Springs. Oy. I got to take a nap that afternoon, though, and by dinner time felt fine. We stayed literally 50 ft from the starting line at the Pikes Peak Inn and it was really nice to know we could just walk out the door in the morning and be there, ready to go.
Event warmup:

Woke up at 5am the day of the race. My nerves were fine at first but the closer we got to the race start the more nauseous I felt. I was so worried about how I'd do! I had some coffee and ate donettes and a powerbar for breakfast. I was able to go to the bathroom (3 times, which is the # of times I need to go to ensure I don't have to go during the race), thank goodness. With 10 minutes to go we got to the starting line and got ready to run.
  • 6h 25m 20s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 43s  min/mile

My heart rate was jacked for the first 3 or 4 miles. I could NOT calm myself down, my stomach was upset and I couldn't get my breathing under contorl. I was so nervous about the race and worried that I'd suck. After a few miles, though, I calmed down and just tried to enjoy myself. It was pretty difficult to pass people on the narrow trail and so I just resigned myself to going along at the speed of everyone else.

The ascent really flew by, despite the fact that it took a little over 4 hours. Before I knew it I was at the boulder field. And then above tree line! Past mile 10 the line of people thinned out enough that I could pass if I wanted to. I started passing people who were hiking too slowly. I felt really good. Strong and in control. I had to remind myself to eat and drink-- I was terrified of bonking because of too little nutrition for the amount of time I was out there. This was going to be the longest I had ever worked out in my life!

Matt Carpenter passed me at mile 9 on his way back down (wow) and after mile 10 those of us coming up had to get out of the wya for downhill runners all the time. Slowed me down a bit, having to move over so much, but it was cool to see all the fast people coming down already. I saw kilodave when I was maybe two miles from the summit, he looked good! He was in the top 20 men at that point.

Next thing I knew, I could SEE the summit banner. I couldn't believe I was already there! I felt such a rush of happiness seeing that thing. I was expecting to feel like a truck hit me, but I felt great! Grant was there yelling for me and he had a bag of stuff that I thought I might need at the top. I changed from my regular neaks to trail shoes for the way down b/c I wanted something sturdier for the downhill running (REALLY glad I did this b/c the downhill running was brutal on my feet). He bourght a can of coke... it tasted delicious. I high-fived him and was on my way pretty quickly b/c I wanted to be a runner that people had to move out of the way for!

Oh, and the weather at the top was perfect. Sunny and clear and the wind wasn't too bad. I had been so worried that it'd be rainging/hailing/lightning or something. Since the weather was so great, I left my waterproof jacket AND long sleeve shirt with Grant b/c I wouldn't need them on the way down and I wanted my camelbak to be lighter. It felt so much better with all that stuff off of it!

Miles 13-15 were slow b/c there were so many rocks to jump down from and people to squeeze around. But after that you could really let it rip. I saw Reese about 1.5 miles from the summit and she looked strong and in good spirits, so that was a boost for me.

Past a certian point it started to get HOT. At aid stations I took off my hat and dumped water on my head. My elgs were feeling pretty good and I was able to really launch myself down the mountain. I saw some people in baaaad shape, either that had taken falls or were sick from the altitiude. Running past an aid station I hear medics getting their stuff to go get a guy who broke his ankle. And another lady was leaning up against a boulder looking like death warmed over calling for a medic, so we had to yell that up the line to the closest aid station. Sort of scary, to see that the race really CAN be dangerous. I felt very lucky to be having such a good day. I saw a lot of bloody knees, scrapped up faces, people who had taken big falls. It is tough to keep yourself upright in some sections.

Doing the math in my head I thought that maybe I'd be able to break 7 hours, and that made me hustle my ass. I didn't stop or walk at all on the way down (which I saw a lot of people do, on the small incline sections on the wya back-- I passed a lot of people). My legs started to feel beat up but they weren't totally shot. I stumbled a fair amount on rocks and tree roots in the middle of the trail, but never actually fell. Phew!

The descent really flew by. Before I knew it I was seeing "3 miles to the finish" and then "2" and then I was back on the pavement! A woman I had been leapfrogging with the entire race was right behind me and passed me as I was being careful around a couple turns. I decided to take the last mile as fast as I could and pass her. So I did! My legs still had some kick in them! I ran as hard as I could into town and was thinking "where the f is the finish line? where the f is the finish line?" b/c I was started to get nauseous from the sprint. People were lining the street yelling and cheering and it felt awesome. I heard lots of "you go girl!" hahaha. One of my fav things to hear in a race, believe it or not. Then I heard the finish line announce call my name, and I rounded a turn and BAM there was the finish line! I threw my hands up and hammed it up for the cameras and then all of a sudden I was done and getting my medal. Finished way faster than I thought, in 6:25.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing for this first time running it. I was conservative in the beginning but that's b/c I was scared of going out too fast. Next year, if I do it again, I will be more aggressive to start with. I wanted to be careful and race smart, and I did both.
Post race
Warm down:

I sat in the tent for awhile. Then I went and sat in the stream by the post race party. It was a natural ice bath and felt GREAT. I met up with Grant and we watched everyone come in, waiting for Reese. My post race happiness was very short-lived. In fact, I was underwhelmed for awhile after the race and the feeling just worsened later in the day. I was expecting it to be so much harder and to feel like so much more of an event, an undertaking. I also didn't have anyone there to cheer me on specifically, which I think makes a race a lot more special (thank god for Grant, we needed him there at the summit and it was nice to hang with him afterwards, but he was really there for Reese)... a lot of people that I have supported and cheered on at races this summer didn't even call to wish me good luck or afterwards to see how I did (not anyone on BT of course, you guys were great). I felt like no one gave a shit about this race that had been occupying my time and energy for so long. My mom didn't even call! (Josh did... he set his alarm to wake him up at 1 am Saudi time to call to see how I did. what a sweetie). I don't want to sound like a whiner... but if I do, oh well, it's how I feel. My feelings were hurt that no one else who is important to me called.

After I was done I just thought "that's it?" I was proud of myself and glad that I finished in a good time, but it didn't feel like that big of a deal. I had been training all summer for it, and it was SO anticlimactic. Maybe I shouldn't have been expecting so much. Races can be hit or miss... sometimes I feel such a sense of accomplishment and I get so stoked after completing one, and sometimes like this one it's a letdown. I had more fun TRAINING for this race than actually doing it. I can't really tell what the difference is between the races that make me feel so great afterwards and this one. Hmmm.

Event comments:

Anyway, the race was incredibly well-run. Volunteers were wonderful. Aid stations were good and there were enough of them. It's a pretty impressive undertaking, putting on a race like that. And just the possiblilties of danger in the race, being able to keep everyone as healthy and safe as possible and tend to injuries quickly. The race org did a great job and my hat's off to them!

Last updated: 2009-01-20 12:00 AM
06:25:20 | 26.2 miles | 14m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5]

2009-08-18 12:04 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Denver CO
Subject: Pikes Peak Marathon

2009-08-18 12:36 PM
in reply to: #2355797

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Colorado Springs
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon

Way to go Bridget! I didn't realize that was you until I heard you yell. I tried to cheer back, but I was pretty lost mentally. I'm glad to hear your trip down went better than mine. I know what you mean by building up a race so big in your head, that if it's not truly epic... it ends being truly underwhelming. You should be super proud of yourself you did awesome!

2009-08-18 1:18 PM
in reply to: #2355797

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon

Nice job Bridget!  Great that the weather was decent for you guys.  I was in the Springs with the family on Sunday and thought of all you running the Peak.  I almost was wishing I was running...almost.  Cool you could see Carpenter on his descent...the guy's an animal! sorry you don't have the big "Post Race High"...that happens sometimes. feel good about your accomplishment rocked it!  Congratulations!

2009-08-18 3:02 PM
in reply to: #2355797

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Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
That is an impressive accomplishment! Way to go!
2009-08-18 4:36 PM
in reply to: #2355797

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Conifer, Colorado
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Well, for what it is worth, I am super proud of you! I think you accomplished something that in my mind is larger than life. I am afraid of that race, but am inspired to do it now.

As for your post race blues... go back and read my Ironman Arizona race report. I had nearly the same after race ennui. I'm pretty sure I described my feelings with identical words!

Bridget, you go girl! I can't believe I said that. It is one those phrases that makes me cringe. But for you, I said it.

Congrats buddy! You are a toughie!
2009-08-18 4:47 PM
in reply to: #2355797

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Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Way to go Bridget!  You are a BADASS!  I thought about you running up there when I was out at Aurora rez thinking you might be getting snowed on.  I am glad the weather cooperated for you!

2009-08-18 9:52 PM
in reply to: #2355797

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Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Great freaking race!!!  To make it sound so easy -- you rock girl!!!
2009-08-19 9:21 AM
in reply to: #2355797

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Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon

This is such a huge accomplishment.  Very good read.  Nice job B.

2009-08-19 10:53 AM
in reply to: #2355797

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Wow - so impressive! That is so sweet that Josh called you at (his) 1 a.m... keeeeper!
Super congrats, and... you go girl.
2009-08-19 1:06 PM
in reply to: #2355797

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
You are AWESOME!! What an intense race!! Congrats on such a great accomplishment, you are hardcore
2009-08-19 1:26 PM
in reply to: #2355797

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Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Definitely an awesome run - and a great report!

2009-08-19 1:34 PM
in reply to: #2355911

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Official BT Coach
Englewood, CO
Gold member
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon

Well done!  That is a killer race!

2009-08-19 1:36 PM
in reply to: #2355797

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2009-08-20 10:55 AM
in reply to: #2355797

Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Bridget, you always impress me. You should be a professional people impressor. But this feat of stamina and athletic prowess atop Pike's Peak, this does not impress me. It astounds me, which has to be, semantically, much more a$$kicking than impressing. Go ahead, ask Webster, he agrees. So now you can be full time impressor, and pro-bono astounder. You are awesome.

Edited by yeats 2009-08-20 10:56 AM
2009-08-20 4:28 PM
in reply to: #2360223

, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon

I'm with Yeats.  I am always so impressed by what you are up to!  Going to check out your blog is always an exciting way to spend a few minutes.  Great job at a super tough event. 

2009-08-21 9:47 AM
in reply to: #2355797

Extreme Veteran
Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon

Congrats! I think that the fact that the race felt "easy" is an amazing accomplishment and shows how awesome your preparation was. I've always wanted to do this race, but it intimidates me! I have a friend who broke his hand on the descent!!

2009-08-27 9:52 AM
in reply to: #2355797

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon

Awesome racing, Bridget!

I would have called you to see how you'd done but the terms of the restraining order dictate that I can't do that. Sorry.


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