Skip to main content

2016 Colfax Marathon

Mile-High Salute to my Broncos, baby!
On May 15th I ran the Colfax Marathon. It was my first time running the entire course, having done the first leg of the marathon relay in 2015. You can view my specifics on Strava here.

I got to Denver City Park at about 4:45 AM to find parking. I'm glad I arrived as early as I did, because the lots were already starting to fill up. But with a starting line with thousands of participants, I suppose you have to expect some parking difficulties, right?

The weather was super agreeable; about 45 degrees at the start with no real wind to speak of. The entire morning never got above 55 degrees, which made for incredibly pleasant running. I had a cheap sweatshirt that I wore to stay warm before the start, but I tossed it before we even began.

I rant the first few miles at a comfortable 8:25/mi. Looking back, it may have been prudent to go a bit slower out of the gate, but that early race adrenaline had me pretty amped. By mile 9, a lingering glute strain began to bother me a little, but it wasn't anything painful, so I was able to work my way through it by the end of the Sloan's Lake leg of the course.

Miles 12-15 climbed about 200 ft, which looking back isn't that much, but it certainly felt like a challenge at the time. I remember thinking, "Dammit, go away hills!" Again, looking back, I probably should have gone up the hills a little bit slower to save some gas in the tank for the last few miles, but I knew that miles 17-20 were nicknamed the "Screaming Downhill" leg, so I figured I'd make up some time there.

But I was wrong. My body just didn't want to scream down the hill by that point. I managed to maintain an average pace of about 8:27/mile on the downhill, but if you adjust that based on the grade %, the numbers tell you what my body was saying: "Fuuuuugh..."

And then mile 21 hit and I experienced the sudden slow-down that I usually suffer at that point in marathons. It's like clockwork. I watched my pace drop off like a rock. 8:27 became 9:00. Then 9:05. Then 9:21. I watched the 3:45 pacer run past me near 23.5 miles and there wasn't much I could do about it. By the time I crossed the finish, I was struggling to run a 10:07/mi pace.

My final time was officially 03:46:14, which breaks down to a pace of 8:37/mi. It was slower than I had been hoping to run, but it was hard to be too disappointed. And my recovery time was quicker than it's ever been, so I'll take that as a huge victory.

Next up: Chicago Marathon in October. A pancake-flat course near sea-level.

Bring it on.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Last Call 50

As midnight approached on Saturday, July 11th, Alex and I pulled into the mountain town of Fairplay, CO for the 2020 edition of the Last Call 50 Mile Endurance Run. Less than 2 hours away from metro Denver,  Fairplay sits at about 9500 feet above sea level. The surrounding peaks are the perfect playground for trail runners, and this race would highlight that fact beautifully. With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc on the US, there was part of me that worried that Last Call 50 wouldn't even happen at all. But race director (and friend) John LaCroix made sure that there was a detailed protocol in place that would keep runners and volunteers safe and healthy. Part of that was implementing a wave start, with groups of about 20 people each starting the race at 11:40pm, 11:50pm, and then midnight. I was in the 11:50pm grouping. As we lined up to depart from the South Park School track, I told myself one last time, "You've got this." So many questi

2017 Bear Chase Trail 50k Race Report

  *NOTE: It's been a few months since I ran the Bear Chase Trail 50k, but I realized I haven't written up a race report for it yet, so I'm gonna do my best to remember the details. When I made the decision to register for the Bear Chase Trail 50k, I was sitting at a burger joint on a Friday afternoon with a colleague. We had just finished plowing through a pile of fries, and I was looking out the window at the late summer afternoon in Colorado. The final stretch of training had begun for the Indian Creek 50 Miler, and I needed to squeeze in a final long run before taper began. My laptop sat open in front of me on the restaurant table, and I returned my gaze to my internet browser window, which was open on UltraSignup.com . In my free time, I enjoy hunting for future events to run, and I couldn't help but notice that there was actually a nearby trail 50k the following morning. Yep, that's right. The following morning. As in... less than 24-hours later. Now,

2017 Indian Creek 50-Mile Race Report

Back in April, I wrote a brief post about my desire to move up from the marathon distance and begin exploring the world of ultra running. Shortly thereafter, I planned my 2017 race season, which would culminate in an attempt at my first 50 mile event: the Indian Creek Fifties, hosted by Human Potential Running series. Why I chose Indian Creek Fifties There's no shortage of fifty milers in Colorado, so why did I opt for Indian Creek? It came down to a number of factors that, when combined, actually made the decision pretty easy. The Timing Was Right - I had a few work obligations that prevented me from racing in September, and the weather in Colorado is actually pretty damn nice in October anyway. The Course Was Exciting - Coming from a road marathon background, I wanted to run a true mountain ultra. IC50 is a beautiful romp through Roxborough State Park and boasts nearly 9,500 ft of lung-busting vertical gain. Every step of that race is a climb or a descent. Nothing is