Sunday, October 14, 2007

DENVER MARATHON 10-14-07

It finially arrived, race day. My uncle Steve and I signed up for this marathon almost 10 months ago when they were running a special of when you signed up you got a free entry. I never thought it would get here and at the same time I was hoping that it wouldn't. I have had nothing but bad experences with marathons the last 2 years and have not been able to figure them out. I always seem to crash around mile 22 but at least I finished every one. This year on my third attempt it is different, I have been running a lot more and even got a 33 mile run under my belt to prove to myself that it was not the distance but a mental block that I put on myself. All week I have been ready until I saw the weather forecast, rain, rain, and more rain. I hate running in the rain. Don't really know why but I do. Maybe it is because I can not get warm or that I can not hear since I can't wear my hearing aid. Either way I just plain hate the rain.

So Sunday morning everyone gets up around 6am, we get all the kids loaded up into the van and on the way to the race downtown around 6:45 for the 8am start. Having already gotten our chips and race number all we had to do was show up and run. It was a cold and wet morning when we got there, I am guessing around 40 degrees and a constant drizzle of rain. I do not think it got above 50 all day long and it never stopped raining.

As the 8am start got closer Steve and I got into the chute for the mass start. They had different sections marked off based on what pace you were expecting to run. We lined up between the 7 and 8 mins per mile signs. Knowing that people always line up in a faster group than they usually run we worked our way up closer to the 7 min sign. Shortly after 8am we were off to a quick start. About 1-2 miles into the run Steve and I caught up with the 3:20 pace group. I told Steve at this point that my goal was to try and stay in front of this pacer. At that point Steve must have decided to back off a bit because I looked to my side and he was not there, that was the last time I saw him until the race was over. I passed the 3 mile mark at 21 mins, right on pace and feeling good. From mile 3-13 I do not really remember anything. I just went on auto pilot and chugged along. I pasted the 10K mark in 43 mins and the 13 mile mark in 1:31.

At the halfway point I realized that maybe I can qualify for Boston, I had 1:39 to get the finish. The qualifing time for my age group is 3:10. It is possible. From mile 13-22 the course has you running through houses south of downtown and through Wash park which I hate. Since I could not really hear anything or see anything due to not wearing my hearing aid and glasses I basically just looked at the 6 feet of pavement in front of me and tried to hang on as much as possible. Around mile 16 I think it was I did finally see Ashley and my uncle's family though!!! That was a huge mental boost for me. I knew that they were on the course cheering me on but I could not pick them out due to not being able to hear or see well. I was very relieved when I saw Ashley and picked up my pace.

As we were heading back downtown for the finish I pasted mile 21 at 2:30. That gave me 40 mins to run 5.2 miles, just under 8 min miles. I tried with everything that I had but the cramping in my legs hurt to bad and I was so cold from being wet. I finished in 3:13, 3 mins off from qualifing for Boston. Crap, so close! I ran the second 13 miles in 1:42. As I crossed the finish line I almost fell, my joints hurt so bad and one of the volunteers caught me. Finally I saw Ashley again, she was so happy for me and that is what I needed to hear. I was bummed about falling 3 mins short but like she said, I took off 1:15 from my best marathon time in only 1 year, not bad. If I keep this kind of improvement up I will be under 3 hours before to long. I am so lucky to have her to help me keep things in persective.

After the race we all went back to the condo to warm up. Steve and family took off back to Nebraska. Ashley and I on the other had some friends over for food and drinks to celebrate an end to a great summer and to cheer on the Rockies as they beat the Diamond Backs. What a great day!!!

My results.
Overall Rank Class Rank Pace Sex Rank Age Final
61 of 1563 16 of 159 00:07:23 53 31 03:13:45

Steve's Results
Overall Rank Class Rank Pace Sex Rank Age Final
542 of 1563 65 of 125 00:09:17 405 43 04:03:37