Race Report: Colorado Cofax Half Marathon
For the first time, I really had a solid race plan. I put forethought into what I wanted to do and how I wanted to race, rather than just going out and running it and seeing what happened. My plan for the race was to run a steady, consistent pace. Since I seem to have a bad habit of going out faster than I want, and then getting tired in the middle, I really wanted to focus on not doing that for this race. I'd start a bit slower than my goal pace for the first couple miles, then pick it up and keep it steady, and then pick it up a little bit again after the halfway point. I made sure to drink plenty of water all week, so unless I really felt I needed it, I decided I would skip the water stations until mile 7, and then would walk for about 10-15 seconds through the water stations in the second half. I had my Sharkies in case I wanted a couple of them at mile 10, as I'm used to on my long training runs.
For my first half marathon, the weather was perfect, the course was nice and flat, the crowd was good and I am happy to say that I was able to see my plan through. It's a beautiful thing when you are able to run the race that you want/plan to!
Mile 1 - 9:40
Marathoners and half marathoners started together for the first bit. It was fun to be in the middle of such a large pack...except for the major weaving around people. Just before the start of the race, hubs told me, "I think I'll just run with you the whole time instead of racing it." Ten seconds after getting past the starting gate, hubs was off like a bat outta hell! Darting and weaving through the crowd, he surged ahead and I knew he was gone for good and I was on my own. I didn't mind and was glad to be able to run my own race without feeling guilty knowing he could have run it faster. Plus, I was interested to see just how fast he'd finish--though a long-time runner, this was his first-ever race! I felt good, kept my pace, and enjoyed the lovely path through City Park.
Mile 2 - 9:17
Headed out onto Colfax, still feeling fine and doing a lot of darting and weaving, but the crowd started to spread out, so it was a little easier.
Mile 3 - 9:20
Still a pretty good crowd, I picked a guy ahead of me that seemed to be running the same pace, and figured that I'd use him as my pacer...until he stopped at the first water station, which I skipped. So, I just kept going on my own.
Mile 4 - 9:20
Crowd started to thin some more, but I really wasn't getting passed much. A couple people here or there, but most everybody was keeping pace, or I was gradually passing them.
Mile 5 - 9:16
Heard someone cheer for me; it really does make you feel good to hear your name called, even if it is just a kind stranger reading your bib!
Mile 6 - 9:27
Lady in a wheelchair yelling at all the racers, "You think that's hard? Try this! Keep running fools! You can do it!" Ok maybe she didn't call us fools, but I bet she was thinking it. Made me laugh, but also made me thankful to have the strong, healthy body that allows me to run and race. Mission accomplished.
Mile 7 - 9:43
Next to the Fitzsimmons Hospital campus, we made the turn to head back. Some awesome high school girls were out dancing and cheering for everyone at the turn, which was a nice pick-me-up. I think I paused to thighten my shoelaces somewhere during this mile, as I felt a blister coming on as my right foot was sliding around.
Mile 8 - 9:08
Just running steady; had some gatorade and water at the station.
Mile 9 - 9:27
Don't remember this mile; it went by quick and I was just keeping my pace and a little zoned out, I guess.
Mile 10 - 9:25
Still felt good, was keeping my pace and thinking, "Wow, I only have a 5K left!"
Mile 11 - 10:31
This was my longest aid station break; had 3 Sharkies chews here, then followed with water to rinse them down. Walked a little at this point as I have discovered I tend to gag if I keep running while trying to chew the Sharkies. Still felt good and didn't have a problem starting up again. Hubs told me how he got his first drink at this aid station, and didn't realize there was both gatorade and water...and dumped lemon-lime gatorade on his face, thinking it was water.
Mile 12 - 9:34
This was a really beautiful area of gorgeaus old brick tudors and lush lawns and I was just enjoying looking around and thinking how I would love to live in this area. There were more spectators here as lots of folks came out in their yards and were cheering or handing out water bottles.Hubs later told me how he dumped one of the bottles over his head here and immediately regretted it when all the salty sweat went into his eyes.
Mile 13-9:39 .1 - 7:19
My favorite song for keeping a good pace came on, so it helped me keep going strong. I think I listened to it three times in a row, all the way through the finish line!
The spectators started to increase and I knew my parents and the shorties would be there somewhere, so kept myself busy looking for them. Kept seeing ladies that looked just like my mom and getting excited...only to find it wasn't them. Finally saw my parents and the Shorties smiling faces in the last tenth of a mile, and made my way over for a couple of high fives. Was great to see them, especially since I was feeling good and felt the race had gone great! Picked it up through the finish to about a 7:19 pace. Still felt good (despite the lady that finished just before me throwing up right after she crossed the mats in front of me...blech) and looked over and found hubs at the finish. My first half marathon: success!
Overall place: 1023 out of 2294
Division place: 197 out of 513
Gender place: 486 out of 1448
Hubs finished in 1:45:10, which I think was awesome for his first race, and especially for only signing up to run it to give me moral support. Overall, I felt great and ran well, but I think I probably didn't run as fast as I could/should have, based on the fact that I really didn't feel tired afterward...and felt great all day afterward. Now that I know I can do 13.1, I'm ready to set some more challenging time goals for my next half! And on to the full marathon!!!