Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rock and Roll Denver

I ran the Denver Rock and Roll Marathon today along with about 14,999 of my closest friends. This was the largest marathon in Colorado history and despite a complete lack of any real marathon training, I was glad to be a part of it.
This was my first road marathon since Boston in April of 2006 and I signed up back in June as a marathon trial run before attempting to go sub 3 at next year's Colorado Marathon here in Fort Collins. I had planned to do some marathon training (tempo runs, track intervals, fast finish long runs, etc) in August and September, but with the late addition of the Lean Horse 100 to my race schedule and the continued troubles with plantar fasciitis, training never happened. I did go out for one easy long run 3 weeks ago and I ran the Crossroads Half a month ago, so I knew I had the fitness to complete the marathon, but no speed to run it fast.
My plan going in to the race was to go out easy at 7:45-8:00 min pace and see how I felt after 15 miles or so. I was prepared to be happy just enjoying the day and running anywhere close to 3:30.
I arrived at the start line by 6:00 am after a 4:15 departure from Fort Collins. I was too relaxed about getting in to the starting corral and missed the wave one start, but thank goodness for timing chips, I started with wave two and set off at a comfortable pace. My first couple of miles were in the 7:30 range and I worried a little about starting off too fast. I felt pretty relaxed and in control and I was really enjoying running through the early morning streets of Denver with the flow of so many runners.
I continued to run 7:25-7:45 miles as we wound through town and all of Denver's major parks. I knew that at mile 15 we would enter Washington Park and continue to run through and around the park until mile 20. I decided to try to just keep my current pace through the park and then I hoped to pick it up at mile 20 and push it in to the finish. I ran 7:30-7:40 all the way through the 5 miles in the park.
At mile 20 I was still feeling pretty good and 6 miles felt very doable. I ran mile 21 in 7:23 and mile 22 in 7:27. Going in to mile 23 I was losing my ability to keep pushing, but with less that 4 miles to go I was confident I could hold on. Mile 23 went off in 7:29. Mile 24 was painful as we went all the way up and over a long overpass and once we got almost down the other side, the course did a U-turn and went back up and over again. This was my slowest mile of the day 7:50. After this, I was ready to be done and pushed on. In the final mile, when I was really starting to drag, I caught up with Aaron Nelson from the trail runners and we pushed each other in to a much better finish than I would have had on my own. I ran hard all the way in for a 3:23:13 and my 4th fastest marathon.
After the race, I ran in to and caught up with several friends who had run the race as well. Kemp, my former neighbor and an all around good guy who unfortunately moved to Lakewood last spring ran a 3:29 which was fast enough to earn him a trip to Boston 2011. Mike Hinterberg ran a 3:03 for his fastest marathon ever by 4 minutes. Aaron held on after a tough run and finished just seconds behind me. Sarah Brown finished her first marathon accomplishing one of her life goals. There were many other Fort Collins friends who ran well in Denver and it was great that in a race of 15,000, I could look around and see so many familiar faces.

1 comment:

  1. Impressive! Training is so overrated. After all those ultras this summer, this was just like a 5K anyway.