We were with out internet for a really long time, but we are back to having it so I guess I should probably blog a little more often. I will make it part of my new years resolutions, and if it's successful, there will probably be a post about that.
In February my friend Kim signed up for the Rock N Roll Denver marathon. She mentioned that she signed up, and asked if anyone else wanted to do it too. I casually mentioned that if there was a half I would do it. I don't think I realized at the time that I wasn't just going to run 13.1 miles 9 months later, but I was going to complete several weeks of running 30-35 miles.
Training was a semi easy task for awhile. 6 or 7 mile runs were challenging, but not hard. As I increased my long runs to 8, 9, 10, 11 miles.. I was ready to back out of my commitment. But even though I dreaded my long run days, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment after I completed them.
And so race week came. I cried every day. Not really about running, but worried that I would over sleep, or eat the wrong things, or not have anywhere to put my keys. With the support of my friend Nick who dropped me off at 5:45 am, my trainer Joe who encouraged me, and countless "you can do its" from clients, I was ready to tackle the 13.1 miles.
I got to the race early, stretched, tried to keep warm (41 degrees), and tried to relax. I chatted with a few people hanging out, and waited in my corral to start. I was in the 13th corral so when the race started at 6:55, they released the first one, and then each one 1-2 minutes apart.
The first few miles were a breeze. It was cold, and felt good to run. I tried to soak it all in without dumping all of my adrenaline on the first couple of miles. We were 3 miles in before I even saw a sign of how far we'd come. I thought to myself, "Wow, that's almost a 5k" which was the first race I ever did last November. The first few miles were also through lower downtown (LODO), which was really cool to run through. Around mile 4 we headed up 17th which was a hill. Good thing it was only mile 4, because it was a pretty good incline. We ran down 17th, through city park, and even crossed my street. The familiarity of it was kind of cool.
The worst part of the race was around mile 9, when we arrived at Cheeseman Park. It was uphill, and had it been mile 6 or 7, I probably would have stopped to walk. But I had just eaten my GU and was ready to finish up. I trudged up the hill, and headed back toward downtown where the race ended. The last mile was downhill (same hill but different block at the uphill in mile 4), and you could see the finish line at the end. It was nice to be able to see the end in sight and rush to the end.
Since it was my first long race, I didn't really know what time I would finish in. I was hoping I would finish around 2:15, but would have been happy with anything under 2:30. I trained around a 10 minute mile but just wasn't sure. I ended up finishing in 2:01:09 which means I ran a 9:30 minute mile. I was absolutely thrilled with my time but of course wish I could have made it under 2 hours. It definitely gave me a time to beat. I felt great when I finished and definitely could have gone a little further. Not the whole race again, but that is something to work towards too.