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Pueblo's Rock Canyon Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Pueblo, Colorado
United States
Southern Colorado Runners
38F / 3C
Total Time = 1h 33m 23s
Overall Rank = 50/601
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 3/22
Pre-race routine:

Normal breakfast at home. Drove about 45 minutes to race site.
Event warmup:

Easy running, about a mile.
  • 1h 33m 23s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 08s  min/mile

Pueblo Rock Canyon Half Marathon
Saturday, December 4, 2010

This is a race I trained hard for. I've logged more than 300 miles in each of the last 3 months. I cut back on racing to focus on training. I ran the distance multiple times at an average training pace that was faster than my race pace only a couple years ago.

Due to this race being in December in Colorado, weather conditions are always a factor. The forecast kept changing throughout the week with lower and lower temps. Early predictions of low 60s gave way to forecasts of low 30s. There was a slight wind as well. I tried to guess what to wear for the expected conditions, but I brought a bunch of options in case the weather was different once I got to the race site.

It was in the upper 20s when I got there. I had worn some tights and a long sleeve compression shirt with a long sleeve tech shirt over it. After getting my race packet I warmed up by running at an easy pace on the roads in the park. The sun was starting to come out of the clouds and there was very little wind. After my warmup I decided I was overdressed and changed into shorts with a short sleeve compression shirt under the long sleeve tech shirt. That felt just slightly chilly, but not too bad. I also wore my lightweight running gloves and a running hat. Temps were expected to rise very slightly during the race, maybe into the upper 30s. It did warm up, but I never overheated.

I started a few rows back and got off to a decent start, better than I have in past races here. Within a quarter mile the record field was already thinning out and I found myself running just behind Scott, a guy who just aged up out of my age group and who has always been faster than me. Another younger guy was running the same pace as well. I decided to stick with them because Scott typically runs the pace I was using as my goal. I had beaten Scott by a couple seconds in a 10 mile race back in August so I felt confident I could stay with him. The three of us ran together for just over 3 miles, then the younger guy started pulling away. I decided to stay right behind Scott as we seemed to be going at a strong pace. It felt like he was starting to fade a bit about 6-7 miles into the race and at the aid station just before getting out to the dam I made a strong pass and never saw him again. I saw the younger guy about a quarter mile or so ahead and focused on reeling him in. I felt I was maintaining a pretty even pace throughout the race even though I never once looked at my Garmin. Because I was keeping a decent pace I anticipated seeing the leaders at a certain point as they passed on the return, but the lead guy went by earlier than I expected. He had at least a quarter mile on second place and the others went by where I expected. I took a gel about mile 7 and just water at the aid stations. In an open area between about miles 10 & 11, the wind picked up some and all the training I've done running in windy conditions enabled me to keep on going at a strong pace. I told myself the wind wasn't going to beat me down today. As I worked to catch the younger guy I continued to pass people who were fading and don't recall being passed once I was on the river trail. Once I went by Scott I was pretty much on my own except for the few people I passed until I finally caught the younger guy with about a mile to go. I went right on by and also passed another 3-4 people in the last mile. I knew the big hill at the end would be a challenge, but I figured I would run as hard as I could before getting there to put a little time in the bank. I ended up passing three guys on the hill, but two of them repassed me in the last quarter mile to the finish. I don't have as strong of a finishing kick as the younger guys. As I rounded the final turn and could see the finish clock, it was just ticking past 1:33:00. Wow! I was well under my goal pace! This was a very good race! NEW PR by over four and a half minutes!

Finish time: 1:33:23 - avg. pace: 7:07 - 3/22 AG, 50/601 OA

My splits ranged from 6:53, which included going down the steep hill, to 7:21, going up the hill. Most others were in the 7:03-7:09 range. I never looked at my Garmin, just went entirely by feel.

I ended up talking with the younger guy after the race. His name is Mike, he's 27 and a med student in a Pueblo college. Nice guy! Scott finished at about the time I thought he would, but that was more than two minutes behind me. It was good enough for second in his age group though. It turned out to be a good day for runners from Colorado Springs as many of us including the overall winner took home awards. This was my first time getting an award at this race, but hopefully it won't be the last.

I'm still on pace to exceed 3000 miles of running this year as I expect to surpass 2900 this week. After the year ends I will back it down some and possibly do more focus on speed with less emphasis on volume. I think I can still continue to get faster and look forward to aging up next month.

What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Easy jogging and a few cups of water. Socialized with friends while I waited to get my award.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing. I ran as well as I was capable of.

Event comments:

This is a very fun race on a nice course. The word has finally got out and this was the first time they've closed registration early. The low cost of this race - $25 - includes a very nice sweatshirt.

Last updated: 2010-12-06 12:00 AM
01:33:23 | 13.1 miles | 07m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/22
Overall: 50/601
Performance: Good
Course: The race course starts with just over 2 miles in Pueblo City Park on a flat paved road, then goes down to the Arkansas River Trail. It is basically an out and back course going about 5 ½ miles west to the base of Pueblo Dam and back. It is run on dirt and asphalt trails along the Arkansas River, with a short distance on concrete. No traffic and great views. Despite the name the course is fairly flat however, there was one short, steep hill about 12 3/4 miles into the race, which goes from the river trail back up to City Park.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2010-12-06 12:53 PM

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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Subject: Pueblo's Rock Canyon Half Marathon

2010-12-06 5:21 PM
in reply to: #3238434

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Westlake Village , Ca.
Subject: RE: Pueblo's Rock Canyon Half Marathon
Great job Don...sounds like a great race!
2010-12-07 9:26 AM
in reply to: #3238434

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Subject: RE: Pueblo's Rock Canyon Half Marathon
smoking fast race!  Nice job out there.
2010-12-31 12:35 PM
in reply to: #3238434

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Subject: RE: Pueblo's Rock Canyon Half Marathon
sweet race. Congrats.
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