At this point I've officially caught the half bug. It's the perfect distance that lets you have a life outside of running and am enjoying the challenge. Most recently I ran Denver's Rock 'n' Roll half marathon and it was absolutely amazing. I must admit I love Denver, it's truly a beautiful city and the people were very welcoming and encouraging to the 15,000 runners that took over the streets on October 19th.
The course started and looped around to end in the heart of the city, Civic Park. It was a perfect morning to be out there, about 54 degrees, slight cloud cover and did I mention beautiful! There was also something magical in the air, I was stoked that my bestie, an avid runner was going to finish her first marathon!
It's kinda funny but we tend to be a late to these larger events so it was crazy we were actually there and started on time. The race started at 7:15 and our wave probably started at around 8, sorry there was so much going on I kinda lost track of time and was caught up in the moment. I guess you could say it was an excited, anxious, happy vibe that filled the air as does at most races.
Shortly after the start I found myself settling into a comfortable pace, keeping in mind I still had about 13 flippin' miles to go. The awe of running on streets that are normally packed and I had driven on so much going to concerts and enjoying the city was bliss. I have a lot of love for Denver and was always roadtrippin there before I set out to get a degree. While the views and memories were awesome, before I knew it, I was thirsty and slowed down around that second mile water station.
Running in the altitude can be intense! I enjoy the scenery, so the challenge is totally worth it. Running along, I came across some cool graffiti that had an inspiring message: "If you don't take a chance you don't stand a chance" I wish I would've caught that one on my iphone.
As humans, we always tend to be scared to leave our comfort zone. However leaving the comfort zone can be the best place for things to happen. For many this half was definitely uncomfortable, but we all took the chance and there's no words for the feeling you get when you cross that finish line.
It's crazy to think, I ran my last half about two weeks ago at about 2800 feet high with a fairly light and easy effort until the last couple of miles. I walked a lot, and was really just taking it easy because I'm kind a novice runner since I've been away from the sport for about 4 years. I was saving everything I had for running at 5280. Let me tell ya, I pushed my self a lot more for the run in Denver and was definitely working harder than I did back home.
Oddly enough, I ended up finishing just few seconds slower with final times for both races of 2:39. My friend crossed the finish line about 22 minutes before me, I'm so happy she took the chance and ran a half!
Over the weekend I set out on the open road for a half marathon. It was a great turnout, especially for the brisk conditions. My training routine served me well and was able to finish this race like a champ! Does that mean I earned a medal for top finisher, heck no! My small community of twenty thousand some people has made huge strides in creating fast, competitive runners while still holding on to an extremely welcoming environment. Way to go Platte River Fitness Series!
Back to why I finished like a champ goes to a quote I seen on the back of a fellow athlete's shirt on the course "It's You vs. You" That's the thing about running long distances or committing to any exercise routine, it's all about you! No one else can do the work for you or you can't blame anyone else for when the results you expected don't happen.
It's easy to mess up a training routine. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of a training run, skipping the gym or cramming in last minute training in an attempt to make up lost time. Typically, if you've been pretty consistent with some sort of a training plan you'll meet or exceed your goals on race day. Essentially this race in a rural setting was conquered at a pace I was pleased with. Plus I wasn't overly sore or injured which is a good thing since I'll be running 13.1 again in about two weeks. This time the scenery will be skyscrapers and mountains.
This half marathon leaves me feeling a deep sense of gratitude for the body I was given. It may not be the fastest, but what it can accomplish always amazes me. Stay tuned for update on how my next race goes!