|Rank||199 of 488|
Here is the short story: I bonked hard.
The Colorado Colfax Marathon underwent a lot of changes this year including a new course. I had never run it before so I thought it would be a good May marathon. After I had already signed up, I subsquently signed up for 3 more events that all took place in 6 week span. Thought to myself -- Its just like doing races for training runs. Oops. The other night I read in one of my running rags that you can only expect 2 peak performances a year. Surely not. I would be proved wrong.
After hitting a PR at Napa, I thought i would be able to shave a few more minutes off here at this race. So I set my alarm for 4:30 AM and went to bed early. I was awoken about 50 times but heat, dogs, sick kids, wife and everything in between. Then I finally got some deep sleep when the alarm blasted. Ok ok...I am getting up.
I got to the start in City Park about 30 minutes early. Did my usual pre-race deal. All was well. When we started, I took it easy and kept my eye on the pace. I figured I would just manage my splits this time. Try that. I wasn't bad. I could dial it as the mile counted down and was hitting about 8:34-ish. Right where I need to shave those minutes. However, this was at 6 AM and it was a nice 50 degrees out.
As we proceed to run the long path down Colfax from Denver to Lakewood, I still felt fine. Yes, I stopped around 11 to make a deposit. The sign on the port-a-pot said "Got runs?" Ha.
When we hit the turnaround on Colfax, it wasn't a hairpin and come back -- instead we weaved around a few hilly blocks. Up, then back down. Ugh. Hills are fine but these were like intentional and not needed as we hit 1/2 way. Found myself slowing.
As we got back to the straighter paths, we hit mile 17 and came to Sloan's Lake. As I stepped foot on the sidewalk path around the lake, my body felt like I ran out of gas. I had been taking gel as normal but the heat was rising steadily. At the end of the race, it was 85 degrees. I don't know what the curve was from 50 to 85 but I think it was steep. I got to an aid station and tried to get more water and gatorade down but it wasn't feeling like it wanted to stay down. So I tried to manage it. Probably just should have puked and moved on but too many people around. So I walked a good bit around the lake to try and get things sorted out.
Leaving the lake I tried to regain my pace but it was clearly gone. My PR dream vanished. Oh well. It wasn't that big of a deal anyway. More bobbing and weaving through neighborhoods and a few more hills. I wasn't feeling any better. So I walked some more. Finally it turned into more walking than running for a bit and my sights turned to just finishing this damn thing.
We came back into Downtown Denver and those last few miles seemed like they took forever. In Napa, I felt like I kept getting a bit stronger with each final mile. Here I felt like death was chasing me.
So I hobbled down the road because my quads were getting really sore and made it back into City Park where the finish line was. I walked a bit more as I entered the part of the course where Sydney ran so beautifully the day before. I had a big smile even though I felt like I was going to barf. I hobbled through the finish line and took pleasure that plenty of people were still behind me and many of those were marathon relay racers who had 4 fresh bodies to complete this thing and I still beat them.
I limped out to my truck and went to 7 Eleven and got a big Diet Pepsi and it made my stomach right instantly. There is something in soda that just calms. I drove back home slightly dejected but it was my own fault. Too much racing too soon and too high of expectations on a brand new course in big heat. Oh well. Glenn recently commented to me on a marathon mistake he made and said "that after 30+ marathons you'd think I would know that". Guess you keep learning at this one race at a time.
After reviewing the results, I finished in the top 40%. Doesn't seem horrible with such a bad performance. Makes me think the rest of the field struggled a bit too. So at this point, I am going to try to focus on my summer races which consist of mountain runs. Then I will get back to flatter racing when I attempt to reclaim my mojo at the Denver Marathon.