Friday, February 15, 2019

Throwback (should've been) Thursday

I wanted to run this post yesterday as a "Throwback Thursday" since I'm recapping an old race from last season.  But I have come down with a nasty chest cold and last night I was too sick to focus on writing.  I was in bed at about 8:00, which is just crazy talk.

Last spring I attempted to get my Boston Qualifier running the Revel Rockies Marathon in Colorado.  I chose this race because of the total elevation loss and the proximity to home. 

Denver is about a 9 hour drive from here.  I love Denver and I'll take any opportunity to go back.  It is such a cool city (I wish I had more pictures of places we went downtown like the brewery and the 16th Street Mall).

While we were visiting there was a street fair.  We walked around the capital which was next to the park where they held the street fair.  It might be one of the worst areas for druggies.  It's not a place you would typically want to sit down in the grass because you don't know what you might get poked with.

We hung out and listened to some music.  Mitch has a habit of making faces at me when I try to take his picture.  I reward him by posting it on my blog.

Denver is loaded with running trails.  I thought it was cool that one we went on the day before the race went right next to Six Flags.  I really should've gone to the amusement park while I was there.

Voodoo Doughnuts... solely a good reason to visit Denver or Portland in itself!!

The Revel Rockies race had a decent size expo.  I'm sure it is small in comparison to places like Chicago or Boston, but it was the biggest one I've been to.  We had fun taking pictures.

The race started so early.  Gun time was 6am which meant that buses were loading at 3am.  It was super chilly on the mountain where we started.  Mitch and I found a spot next to the generator to stay warm and inhale exhaust fumes.  The race gave throw-away gloves in our packets which came in handy (pun intended).

Mitch and I both ran this race, but separately since I was looking for a specific goal time.  I stepped in with the 3:40 pace group, which gave me a little buffer time for my BQ.  I ran on pace easily for the first 13 miles.  But my pace group took off well ahead of me and even the 3:45 and 3:50 pace groups passed me long before the 13.1 mile mark.  I thought I had fallen off pace.  This got in to my head and I let it take over.  Looking at my splits later, I was well on track to hit my BQ with room to spare if I had kept that pace.  Stupid head games.  And what pace group takes their people out at a 10 minute fast pace in the first half??  Add that to the fact that there was a significant uphill at the half-way point and my race took a nose-dive.  I couldn't keep pace any longer.  I walked a lot in the last half and finished with a 4:30 time.  It was a great time and a huge PR, but way off my goal for a BQ.

The weather was perfect for the whole race and the scenery was amazing.  It's a beautiful course for a road race.  I could handle this one again, but my strategy would be much different if I were aiming for a certain goal.

Revel races have photographers all along the course.  They took pretty good pictures and they are free, which I think is awesome.

Once I was finished, I knew I would have some time to kill before Mitch would come in.  I sat on the ground in the beer garden and enjoyed my free beer.  I skipped the food tents at the finish line.  They had a couple of food trucks and a tent with free pizza and I think a couple of other things.  I wasn't really interested in eating yet.  My biggest complaint about this race was that they were taking all of the food stations down at the finish line before the finish cut-off, which meant that back of the pack racers didn't get the option to eat (and took away my option to eat after waiting a little while).  This is a HUGE no-no in my book.  If someone comes in to the finish within the advertised end time of the race, they should get all the perks that the first finishers get.

I was so proud watching Mitch cross the finish line!  This was his second Marathon and the first one he had done without me to encourage him. 

I wish I could remember other details such as what the aid stations were like, but I really only recall the one at the half-way mark and I don't remember it very well.  That's what happens when you wait 8 months to write a race recap.
This race wrecked me.  That much downhill running is rough even for someone that trains on down hills all the time.  The next couple of days were painful.  I remember when we got to our hotel after the race, we laid down in bed and took a 2 hour nap.  We were both spent.
However, that didn't stop us from taking in some beautiful trails in Colorado the next day for "recovery."

There was just  a little bit of vertical gain on this trail.  That's how you counteract a down hill marathon, right?  Climb steep hills?  However, what goes up, must come down.  That was the hard part!

Where this monument stands is crazy.  Its on an outcrop of the mountainside.

It was also my birthday weekend while we were there so I got to eat at Joe's Crab Shack and drink margaritas.  Life is good and I am so spoiled.

This year, the Boston Marathon upped the qualifying times to get in which means I now have to finish in 3:40 with a little cushion just in case.  I'm making my attempt at another Revel race, but not this one.  The Revel Mt. Charleston has faster finishing times overall.  It's still a long shot to get there, but I'm going to give it everything I've got.  Too bad the race isn't after my birthday in June.  I go into another age bracket and would get five extra minutes.

If you could go anywhere for your birthday dinner, where would you pick?

Favorite place to get donuts?

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