Ran into my running club buddy Massud as I was lining up in the corrals, which was a nice surprise. There are a couple race pictures here, but as they are copyrighted, I am not savvy enough to snatch them with the right-click function disabled, and am too cheap to actually purchase them, you have to be stalkerishly interested enough to click through the link to see them. For those only mildly interested, I'll summarize: ignoring the camera X 3; waving to the camera X 1 (because the girls in front of me did); and my clothes look about two sizes too big.
Ran with Massud. Since this was his first-ever race and he'd been training for this half for over a year, I went out a little faster than I'd planned, in an attempt to keep him from going out even faster, so that he'd have a good first race. Though it was a beautiful morning, it was warm out already was a little worried that this faster-than-planned start might not bode well for me. But by that point, I'd already decided I'd just roll with it and see what happened...so much for my race plan/strategy.
Was already sweating like a mutha at this point, so made sure to have my water at the aid stations. And, as a result of vigilant hydrating, had to make a porta-pottie stop about mile 5. Damn...but I was NOT going to try and hold it (been there, done that, and not by choice). Had a Gu at mile 6 as I jog/walked up the big hill by Bronco Stadim.
A lovely loop around Sloan's Lake, which was nice and flat and beautiful. Picked up my pace a little more after the nasty hill up, and was feeling better.
Enjoyed the return trip back down the hill by the stadium. Had another Gu about mile 11.5 and more water as it the sun was hot.
Another little downhill and then short uphill going up 20th Street to the finish. I won't lie, the hills wore me out but overally I enjoyed this race and I'll do it again. As for my assessment of the race? It was well-run, there were plenty of aid stations, parking was fairly easy and the corral was more organized that the one at Colfax (this was also a smaller race, though). There were plenty of snacks afterward and I didn't have to wait in any lines to get water, bananas, goldfish crackers or bagels. This race is run run by the same crew as the Denver Marathon, and shares part of the same beautiful course with it, so it seems like they have their stuff together and I am looking forward to that race in October. Though cotton, the shirts at least look good, as do the finisher medals: I highly recommend this one!
FINAL RACE RESULTS
Place: 881/1497 overall
So, I didn't get the sub-2 hour finish that I was shooting for...heck, I didn't even beat my time from the Colfax Half last month, but I think I am actually ok with that. My running is strong, I feel good, and most important, I had fun. I enjoy pushing myself and running hard, but the whole point of why I run is because I simply love it and enjoy it and it's fun for me. So as much as I want to achieve some better race times, I'll know I'll never push so hard that it becomes "not fun" for me. This race was fun.
That said, I will be doing some more targeted speed training (like 1600 interval repeats) this summer and I'll be signing up for another half in the near future to see about that sub-2 hour race. It's in there, and I'll pull it out eventually. Also, I think the Recovery Socks post-race definitely helped. I am a fan.