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Colorado Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Fort Collins, Colorado
United States
Colorado Marathon
35F / 2C
Total Time = 1h 49m 53s
Overall Rank = 185/1241
Age Group = F35-39
Age Group Rank = 19/154
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:35 so I could catch the 5:15 shuttle to the start line. Ate pop tarts on the way there and drank water.
Event warmup:

Used the porta potty once we arrived at the start area, stood around for awhile (we had well over an hour before the start), walked up a rough access road/trail by the start area for a bit and back down again, and then used the porta potty one last time before lining up with everyone.
  • 1h 49m 53s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 23s  min/mile

This run is a point to point race and a net downhill, but for one big climb in mile 6. The descent was anywhere from -0.1% to -0.7%. Not significant, but it still helps us out.

I started out at a controlled and very maintainable pace. After we got out of the canyon, there was a big uphill at mile 6 and then the trip down the other side in mile 7. My mile 7 mile split was much faster than my previous miles had been so I decided to kick it up a gear and see if I could hold the faster pace. I figured if it was too much I could back off after a couple miles.

I was able to hold that pace for the next couple miles and then around mile 9 some guy jumped on my heels and never got more than about two feet away from me. At mile 11 I decided we might as well develop some camaraderie and said, "Only 2.1 miles to go!" and I smiled at him. He didn't even acknowledge I was there.

WTF? You're going to literally breath down my neck you're pacing off me so closely and then you can't even acknowledge I'm there? I was irritated. I decided to push my effort level even a bit harder. I wanted to be sure there was no way he would be close enough to try to sprint by me at the finish. Holy painfulness! My engine hasn't had to push at that level in quite awhile! Eventually his footsteps faded to several feet behind me, and then we finally hit the torn up dirt road right before the finish and I couldn't hear much more than the pain I was feeling. One girl who was clearly feeling really strong and handling the dirt road much better than I was sprinted by me about 10 yards later, but I never saw the guy who paced off me. Success!!

It's a good thing the race wasn't 13.2 miles though. I crossed the finish line without a drop left in the tank. If I had had to run .1 more miles I think would have started to lose it in all kinds of ways.

Mile splits:
9:08 (Hill! Aid station! Trapeze artists! Just kidding about the aid station.)
What would you do differently?:

Not much. This time is much slower than what I know I can do for a half marathon, but my focus right now is on the Ironman. I was actually able to run much stronger than I had expected and I feel like I'm starting to see some of the fitness benefits from the increase in s/b/r training the past several weeks. I'm good with this finish time.
Post race
Warm down:

I found my mom, we hung out for a bit, and then found the husband and son of my friend who was running the full marathon. We cheered people in until she finished. I walked down the course a bit to look for her and tried to run with her for about a quarter mile once I saw her. My quads felt like they might tear in half. I couldn't believe how bad it hurt. But she had run twice as far as I had, and she was hurting pretty bad herself, so I stuck with her until she reached the paved section right before the finish and her five year old son jumped in to run the rest of the way with her.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of strong run-focused training while I focus on IM training. Still digging myself out of a fitness hole after last summer and fall.

Event comments:

Well organized event, plenty of aid stations, and lots of volunteers. Good event. I would do it again.

Not much of a cheering section until you get into Fort Collins itself (essentially no one in the canyon), and there is mandatory bussing to the start line for the half and full marathon so you won't get to hang out with family and friends right up until the start.

Last updated: 2010-12-29 12:00 AM
01:49:53 | 13.1 miles | 08m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 19/154
Overall: 185/1241
Performance: Good
Course: The course started in Poudre River Canyon. It was about four miles down to the base of the canyon, a few miles on 287, and then the remainder of the race was on a bike path through town until the last quarter to half mile, which was on torn up gravel road until about 50 meters from the finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
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] 4

2011-05-01 6:45 PM

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Wellington, North Island
Subject: Colorado Half Marathon

2011-05-01 7:15 PM
in reply to: #3476370

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Colorado Half Marathon

Well done.

I swear, that was not me breathing down your neck...and my proof is my finish 8-9 minutes after you!

Good run on an epic course.
2011-05-01 9:24 PM
in reply to: #3476370

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Colorado Half Marathon
Congrats Kelly! Those paces look suspiciously like a negative split, the veritable holy grail of running racers. You rock! Nice kick too with neck-breather trying to hang tail back there. Awesome race.
2011-05-02 10:00 AM
in reply to: #3476370

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Colorado Half Marathon
Great job - looks like you really kicked it in at the end there!! Congrats

I've been thinking about doing this race sometime although I'm not thrilled about the whole bus ride and standing around waiting for the start - sounds like it was worth it though? Is the course pretty?
2011-05-02 11:24 AM
in reply to: #3476370

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Colorado Half Marathon

Nice job!  Way to negative split!  Looks like have that guy on your tail got you under 8mm. 

I did the marathon a few years ago and would like to do it again sometime.  It's a great course!

2011-05-02 11:56 AM
in reply to: #3476370

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Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Colorado Half Marathon
Congrats Kelly! I would take your run splits in a NY minute. You are now on your way to a nice run at IMWI. Nice call on dropping your tag along.

2011-05-03 10:53 PM
in reply to: #3476370

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Straight outta Compton
Subject: RE: Colorado Half Marathon
You're truly impressive- you'd probably make a really good running coach if you wanted to be one.  So glad you and your Mom got to have great days together, too!
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