Sunday, April 22, 2012

Horsetooth Half, my favorite road race

photo by Eddie Metro
With the Collegiate Peaks 50 just 6 days away and all the hard running that I've been doing, I knew I shouldn't run the Horsetooth Half today, but it is my favorite local road race and I just didn't want to miss it.  It is always a perfect spring day (thanks Steve) and everybody is out to run, cheer and enjoy the day outside.  This was my 6th running.  I tried to convince myself that I could keep it relaxed and not do anything that would hurt my run in Buena Vista next weekend, but when the gun went off, I felt like running hard.  I felt good right from the start and went through the first two miles of climbing pretty smoothly (7:26, 7:40) without beating myself up too much.  All the down hill miles after that felt easy.  I just tried to relax, lean forward and let go.  I went through mile 3 in 6:18 feeling good and kept up sub 7 minute pace the rest of the way.  I was starting to feel a little tired when I hit Bingham Hill at mile 7, but pushed it to the top where I knew it would be all down hill to the finish.  Looking at my mile splits, I knew that if I could keep running 6:30-6:40 pace I could finish under 1:30.  My previous fastest time on this course was in 2010 when I ran 1:32:57.  I was still trying to keep the effort under control, but a 1:29:xx finish sounded really good. The final 4 miles on the bike path were tough.  Nick ran a short section with me at mile 10.5 and gave me a parting chant of "one twenty-nine, one twenty-nine, one twenty-nine"  When I got to the 12 mile marker with over eight minutes to go before the clock hit an hour and half, I knew I had the sub 1:30 in the bag.  I cruised the final section of the bike path and hit the final 100 meters on Linden at a sprint.  I crossed the line in 1:29:11 (a nearly 4 minute course PR) and proudly accepted my finishers medal and pint glass which I immediately took to the water station to get a drink and then took it to the beer garden for some more to drink.  The finish area and beer garden quickly filled with friends who had run the race or were out supporting racers.  The music started, the sun shone brightly and there was still a pleasant morning cool in the air.  I left before the awards, but found out later that I took 3rd in my age group behind Steve Folkerts and Pete Stevenson, pretty good company.  Another great day of running in Fort Collins.

results

8 comments:

  1. Very well done!!! That is impressive.

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  2. Thanks Kyle. We'll do even better next Saturday at CP. I can't wait.

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  3. Sounds like an 8:30 at CP is in the works.

    Nice race, Alex. I like that race too and missed it a little today, though I had fun on Crosier too.

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  4. These PR's/CR's are becoming a weekly occurrence!
    Somehow I missed you at the Centennial-Bingham turn, but you must have been a blur running by.

    Keep the streak alive at CP! Looking forward to learning about you and Kyle both having a great race!

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  5. Nice job "Mr. PR". Love that pic from the race. Have fun at CP!

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  6. Awesome job! Good luck this weekend!

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  7. Brian: My goal for CP was 9:30, but I am thinking 9:00 could be possible. 8:30 seems a bit over ambitious. I was sorry to miss Crosier. It sounds like it was a lot of fun.

    Mike, Rob and Steph: Thanks! I'm looking forward to the run this weekend. As long as I can shake off the bit of stiffness I have from Sunday, it should be a good day.

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  8. That sounds smart, Alex. A <30 minute split feels optimal (haven't been able to do it), so 4:15-4:20 in the first half, IF it feels easy. If not, focus on consistency and save the strong push and actual racing for the 2nd half! Have fun!

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