|Rank||262 of 1719|
I have never run a good Denver Marathon. In its inaugural year, I got sick and just finished a 1/2 marathon and proceed to puke. In year 2, it rained the entire race and that wasn’t fun. So this year had to be better! I was in it for the PR. I hadn’t PR’d a marathon since Napa in March so I was ready. Tons of miles under my belt since last year.
I spent the last 2 weeks on a good taper. 3 days off beforehand as well. Wanted to play with that break time. Felt like my body really could use the rest. So I did. I never spent time on recovery all year.
I woke up at 4:45 and had some cereal. At about 5 AM, Kim came down and said it would be best if the whole family went downtown together since it can be a bit crazy. Awesome! But we were pressed for time. I flew into the kid’s room. Get up! They were in a daze but quickly turned to a odd state of glee. Laughing hysterically. Why is it night time? It was still dark. Very odd to them. But that didn’t last long.
We got downtown in no time and parked in my usual secret lot where I get in and out really quick. From there, we packed up the jog stroller and headed over to the starting line in the dark. I wanted to hit the port-o-pots but the line was enormous so I figured I would just hit it on the course. We walked to the start and bundled up. The temp was about 48 degrees at that point. Going to be great for a run but not so great for standing around waiting for the sun to rise.
The race got off on schedule and I felt really rested and relaxed. At every mile on the course, I recalled how in prior years things sucked and this year everything felt great. Especially because I knew I had warm wishes from the family at the start and I would see them again at mile 4 and then at the end of the race. As we wound back near the start line, I saw the family on the curb so I cut over and ran up and gave everyone a kiss. I was getting yelled at by them “Go, Daddy!”…as in leave and run. But when you get your own cheering crew you need to stop and pay homage to them. It was 30 seconds well spent. Here I come in this photo on the right side in red with my bozo white gloves on drinking water.
From there we go out to City Park. Caught the leaders coming back from there. Always fun to see the effortless glide. Saw my friend Simon in the middle of City Park. Gave him a big shout-out as we passed. As we left the park, I could see one of the Cliff Pace Team guys with balloons ahead. Which one was it? At the start of the race, I was way back in the back so I wasn’t lined up with my pace folks. The race is chipped so I didn’t worry much but then later realized I hadn’t been utilizing the pace guys because they were up ahead somewhere. Took a few miles to reel the guy in but finally caught up to him. Was it the 3:30 or 3:40 guy? What if it is the 3:30? I am flying! Oh, its the 3:40 guy. Oh well, this is where I wanted to be anyway. So I hung with that crew through Cheesman Park and to about mile 11 or so. Then I decided I was braking a bit for them so I took off and let my legs dictate the pace. I put some distance on them. Felt good about it. Safety.
On the way to Washington Park by the Governor’s Mansion, I spotted the 3:30 pace team. They had already made the u-turn and were headed back. Within reach? I got antsy and started putting down more speed. Running down into the 7:30s. Felt good. But felt fast. I shouldn’t have. Got more distance on the 3:40 crew and then started feeling the pain as we got into Wash Park. I wasn’t going to catch those guys. So I backed off and reserved. Felt like I was in a good safe spot for now.
The final miles got harder and harder because I had spent that energy. The last 2 were hard but not brutal. I wanted to be done. I had some happiness about that because I knew I didn’t leave much on the table. So as we neared the end, I got a little speed back and was able to bring the pace back in line. With not too far to go, I saw a course clock that had 3:26 on the board. Man! This is sweet. That energized me and I was able to keep it up as we made all the final turns to get back to the final chute. I saw my family on the side cheering and gave them a wave and did the final dash to turn in at 3:35 and change. I was shooting for 3:39 and I thought that might be hard given some of my training runs but the race conditions, crowd, rest, and family support, gave me the energy to shave off those extra minutes. I see that sub 3:30 is easily within range for next season now. But a 24 minute improvement over last year and a 14 minute improvement over my spring PR is nothing shabby. If only that could continue!
I caught up with my family just outside of the finish area. We took a few photos and then headed for the car. Needed to keep walking. Pretty tough few minutes after I stopped running. But feeling great now later in the day. Hips are sore.
I was very happy with the outcome and the weather. And having my crew there at the start and finish and along the way gave me huge motivation to keep it on the whole time. That was my last scheduled race for the season and it is bittersweet. I will probably do a 10k in a few weeks because I know I am due for a PR there too. But it feels good to know that I don’t have to run tomorrow if I don’t want to. The training schedule is blank for now. It hasn’t been that way since January 1st. I am sure I will be running again in a few days but I won’t have a time or a distance for each run. I will just go as I please — which was how I got started in this sport in the first place.
The crazy map. This course isn’t the fastest with all the turns.
Decent pace I think.
View all photos from this event.
View brightroom’s photos of me from this event.