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Colfax Half Marathon - Run

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Denver, Colorado
United States
Colfax Marathon
50F / 10C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 2632/5840
Age Group = 40-49
Age Group Rank = 271/744
Pre-race routine:

After an okay night sleep, I woke up at 4:15. Took a shower to really wake up and toasted a bagel with peanut butter to eat on the drive to the race. Because my husband wasn't running the marathon this year we didn't have to be at the race as early but that meant having to park about a mile away and walking. Due to all the rain we've had over the last month, by the time we got to the race area my shoes were soaked. I hate wet feet. Used the port-a-potty and noticed they had mirrors on the inside of the door. Ummm...okay...
Event warmup:

They wouldn't let us in the corrals until about 10 minutes before the half started so that meant I got to warm-up in the grass. The cold, wet grass. They finally let us in the corrals but the race was delayed a bit so I tried to stay warm by jumping up and down on one foot. I can't jump on my left foot so the right foot got the workout. By the time they pulled us up to the start line my left foot was ice cold and that's not a good thing.
  • 2h 14m 8s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 14s  min/mile

My goal was to go between 2:15-2:20. Last year my time was 2:24:55 and, while it was a PR by 15 minutes, I wasn't happy because I didn't follow my coach’s race plan. I spent all year wondering what would have happened if I had actually followed those plans. First plan of this race became to actually follow the plan. ;)

This year the plan was think in km instead of miles to give me something to occupy my mind as I run. If I don't have something to think about I fidget. First 17 km my average was to be between 6:20-6:30 min/km. Last 4km I was to gradually work my time down to a 5:50min/km or faster for the finally 800 meters. A negative split was also in the plan. Most important, the plan was to run for my friend John, who was in a horrible bike accident at the beginning of the month. Many of us have dedicated our season to him and we know no matter how hard it’s going to be on the course, we will have it much easier than the battle John is facing right now.

I placed myself in the middle of my wave in the corral. I noticed the 2:15 pacers up in the front so I decided to either tag along with them or at least keep them in my sight.

The start was really congested but I felt very comfortable but slow. I was shocked to see my pace at the half mile at 6:00 min/km so I held it back. Last year I didn't hold back for the first half of the race and by the end I was toast. As I held back I noticed the pacers getting farther and farther away from me and it started make me worry. But I was sticking to my race plan and run my race, not theirs!

The first 6km I held a 6:23 min/km pace. At the first aid station I grabbed a cup of water to just wet my mouth and take a few sips. The next 6kms I picked up my pace to 6:20 and noticed I could barely see the pacers at this point. It was also during these km that the aid stations had very few volunteers and you had to wait for water or Gatorade. I felt bad for the volunteers because they were working their butts off. As always, I thanked them as I took the cup.

I finally spotted the pacers at about 12km. My first 10k was a PR time so I was happy with my pace but ready to negative split. Those pacers now had targets on their sign, hehe!

The next 5 km were mostly uphill as we ran up Colfax. It was during this time that my left foot and ankle, which my coach and I refer to as "The Limb", decided to make its self be known. Usually my Hokas cushion the blow of each strike but not now. I felt like a sledge hammer was hitting my foot with each strike. I decided I had two choices: walk and lessen the blows; or keep running so that I could get the race over with sooner. I thought of John and his battle and it really wasn’t a decision. My average for these 5km was 6:17 and the gap between me and the pacers was almost closed.

As I moved into the final 4km I tried to increase my pace with each km. At one point I saw BTer laffinrock so I stopped and gave her a hug. The limb was really cranky at this point so the hug was much needed.

Going into the last 800m my pace was at 6:10 so I needed to step it up so I could get down to that 5:50. As I turned back into City Park for that final stretch I passed the pacers and tried to put as much distance between us as possible. I glanced at my watch to see my pace was now a 5:30min/km. I thought I could hold that pace for 5 minutes because you can do anything for 5 minutes, right? Ha! A few minutes later I glanced back down at my watch and it said “20.08” for the distance but the finish line was nowhere in sight. Argh! Keep on swimming. Keep on swimming. Finally I saw the finish line, glanced down at my watch to see the time, and I just went all out with a huge smile on my face. Crossed the line and hit stop and saw 2:14:12 (official time was 2:14:08) and wanted to jump up and down but knew better so I just kept moving. Got my medal, water, ½ of a banana, a cup of Gatorade and looked for my husband.

First 10kms my time was a 1:07:20. Last 10, which were mostly uphill, were a 1:06:58 so that negative split. Finally, a race to be proud of!

After the race I tweeted to John: I thought about you during the Colfax ½ today. As my foot was screaming I thought about your fight & spirit. Thanks 4 the PR.

What would you do differently?:

Carry a hand held bottle because the aid stations were a mess. The poor volunteers were over worked and getting mobbed. At some stations they were actually filling the water and Gatorade coolers from hoses run from people's houses. While stopping and waiting for water or Gatorade gave me a rest, it also slowed me down.
Post race
Warm down:

After catching up with my husband the first thing I did was untie The Limb's shoe. My foot was so swollen that the laces felt way too tight. I drank some water and we walked the mile back to the car.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The Limb and having to wait for water/Gatorade at the aid stations.

Last updated: 2014-12-31 12:00 AM
02:14:08 | 13.1 miles | 10m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 271/744
Overall: 2632/5840
Performance: Good
Course: Mile 2 takes you through the Denver Zoo. Around mile 8 you run through a fire station before heading back out to Colfax. Colfax is all up hill.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2015-05-23 10:15 PM

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Subject: Colfax Half Marathon

2015-05-24 6:55 AM
in reply to: #5117717

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Colfax Half Marathon

I really hope this is not what you meant by "too long" ...

I'm sorry, I was really laughing when you were talking about warming up by hopping on one foot. Great visual. Running with sodden feet is like having bricks on the ends--hate it too.

Lovely lovely to take time out for a HappyStoned {MELON PRESS} midway(ish). Also so lovely you use km.

Super job. Congrats. Hope the foot's better by now a week out!

2015-05-24 6:59 AM
in reply to: #5117717

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Caerphilly, Wales, uk.
Subject: RE: Colfax Half Marathon
Sounds like a well executed race. Congratulations on your PB. Now rest that Limb up.
2015-05-24 7:34 AM
in reply to: #5117717

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Colfax Half Marathon

Awesome job! Congrats on the PR, the well run race, working through the pain, and thinking of your friend. I hope that he heals up and gets back out there.

2015-05-24 6:03 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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Subject: RE: Colfax Half Marathon

 You worked the plan, ran through the pain and thought in km,  and ended up with a PB - congratulations!!

2015-05-26 10:02 AM
in reply to: #5117717

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Colfax Half Marathon

Wow!  Awesome race!  Way to negative split and multiple PR.  WOO HOO!!!!!

2015-05-26 10:28 AM
in reply to: #5117717

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Colfax Half Marathon

Great job staying with the plan! Great job on the PR!!! Sorry about The Limb and the aid station issues but you met your goal anyway!!!!

I know for a fact that a hug from Mary is good for helping one fly through the last few kilometers!


2015-05-26 3:36 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Colfax Half Marathon

Awesome stuff, Robin!  Racing for your friend and being motivated by him surely helped you PR, but so did your hard work and sticking to the plan.  Oh, and of course Mary's hug helped, too.  Neg split?!  Yeah!!  Congrats on a very good race!

Edited by melbo55 2015-05-26 3:37 PM
2015-06-08 1:42 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Colfax Half Marathon

Sorry I'm so late reading this.  I'm so proud of you and your awesome race!! Sodden feet, inadequate aid stations, and the cranky Limb didn't keep you from flawlessly executing your plan.  Way to go!!

I'm glad my hug helped - I was a bit worried that you'd be annoyed at me for slowing you down.   Your dedicating your race and sending that tweet to your friend brought tears to my eyes.  Hope The Limb is behaving itself now and doesn't pitch a fit during the Boulder HIM!

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2007-05-21 6:04 PM AlexB
date : April 28, 2015
author : hadleyusa
comments : 1
Training for a specific running event is not as easy as it might seem. Here are some tips and a weekly plan to avoid overtraining and to improve your performance.
date : May 24, 2010
author : Coach AJ
comments : 0
My question is am I playing with fire entering the half marathon this close to my primary goal for this season which is the HIM?
date : November 17, 2008
author : mat steinmetz
comments : 7
I just started doing tris this summer and I have two under my belt, both sprints. Is it reasonable to build up for a Oly in early ‘09, with a HIM in Oct of ‘09
date : June 10, 2008
author : kns57
comments : 0
Steady is our walk. Ignoring the pain that is radiating from my feet, I continue to place one foot in front of the other. Again I wonder, “Why am I doing this?”
date : July 10, 2007
author : Ontherun
comments : 0
Having three seasons under my belt I thought I knew what I was doing. That all changed with a few new challenges and a bunch of new friends.
date : October 24, 2005
author : mikericci
comments : 0
This program should be used for an athlete whose goal is to run a marathon in the 1:30-2:30 range and has a good running base in the past 8-12 weeks.
date : October 2, 2005
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I will assume you have not run consistently more than 6 miles and have never completed a half-marathon. I believe running your first half-marathon is a big task which requires dedication and work.
date : January 10, 2005
author : ewkfit
comments : 0
My training was taking off. I had never felt stronger. I was making bigger strides than I ever had. I was stronger and faster than I had imagined myself ever being.