|Number of Runners||1332|
My 2 big races of the season are upon me. Today was the first — the Boulder Marathon. This used to be known as the Boulder Backroads but no longer. And I didn’t run the marathon, just the half-marathon. I have run this race the past 2 years so its a good benchmark to see how I have progressed with my running. Year 1 to year 2, I cut 9 minutes. How would I do this year?
The pre-race was pretty uneventful. I even showed up later than usual and had plenty of time. The field was smaller. The race was more of a “back to basics” deal. I don’t think they got a lead sponsor for the race this year so the budget was slim. Lots of the frills were gone. Same course so oh well. It was windy at the start. That seemed bad, but it subsided quickly.
I had in my head that I wanted to best my time and preferably pace a sub 8 minute mile the whole way. That’s not a hard pace for me in training but its hard to hold for 13 miles. My big worry was blowing up. I have done that the 2 prior years — cramping up on the same section and having to walk it out. That and port-o-pot breaks — I hate them. I desperately wanted to avoid those. So I ate nothing but Gu that AM and kept my fluid intake much lower than normal. It was a cold morning so I would be sweating less anyway. I ended up not cramping at all and not visiting the port-o-potty. That should make for a good time.
I did find myself drifting a few times and my pace started slowing to 8:15-ish. When I would notice this, I tried to kick it back down and keep it going. My legs were good but my gut was tight and my lungs were so-so. I just zoned out and kept on going. I was hoping my crew would be there to greet me in the finish chute. They were! However, moments before they were having some disagreements out by the reservoir apparently.
I ended up finishing strong. My GPS showed 1:44 but officially I was 1:45. Bummer. Within seconds of my goal but I felt like I hit it anyway. So I was only 3 minutes faster officially than last year. What’s with that? Seems like after all the training there would be a bigger speed gain. But running pal Glenn tells me that marathon training plans rarely seem to translate to faster times in the half-marathon. They are different animals. 2 years ago after the race, I had to lie down. Today I took my kids shopping and walked all over. No big deal. These legs are trained for distance now I guess. I need to work on speed though next. I finally understand that and how to do it. I just have to put it together.
The bright side was that I finished 192 of 1332. That’s like 14% through the pack. That’s pretty sweet. I have fought for top 1/2 in some races. Well, on to the Denver Marathon in 2 weeks. The big daddy of the season! Its what I have really been working towards. Let’s see how this time translates!