I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again…it has been an amazing year for racing over here in the Land of Heidi. Even thought my training has not been rigorous by any means my body has been rocking at life and my mind is in the game! This past weekend was no different.
Short Version: My legs loved me this weekend and completely shocked me with 1:53:32 finish at the Georgetown to Idaho Springs half marathon! That’s an average pace of 8:39. That is not normal for me…but maybe is going to become the norm? I had fun racing, never hated myself or running and my fastest mile was my last mile.
Long Version: The Georgetown Half Marathon more than sold out earlier this year when there was a huge sale on entries. When someone offers you a half marathon for only $15 you buy that bib, even if you aren’t capable of planning 8 months in advance! Going into GTIS I honestly wasn’t sure what I’d be able to pull off. I did get in one 11.5 mile long run while in Wisconsin and I had the Wild West Relay that could be considered training or an excuse for a bad race.
Turns out I didn’t need any excuses. I had an awesome race day. The day started out a little chaotic with the shuttle buses from Idaho Springs to Georgetown. They were supposed to stop at 6:45 but there were so many people waiting for buses that they ran well past 7:15am.
We arrived at the start in Georgetown at about 7:20am. It was a complete cluster of people. I managed to find the registration table to grab by bib, stopped for a quick Boulder Running Company team photo and booked it over to the chaos that was the porta potty line.
The race started right one time and while the first mile was very crowded it didn’t feel chaotic. I started out extremely slow and spent my time dodging potholes and elbows. By the time we hit Mile 2 the sun had crested the mountains and I was finally glad to be wearing my shorty shorts and BRC tank! The arm sleeves and gloves got looped into my SPI belt shortly after we hit sunlight and I spent the rest of the race being warm, but not dying.
I honestly couldn’t write up a mile by mile recap, even if I wanted to, the entire race just flowed together. After the first two miles through Georgetown the entire course essentially followed a I-70 frontage road down the mountain with a short detour onto dirt trail. Ooh, the dirt trail. It was so much better than pounding pavement and pretty much solidified some crazy race plans for the coming months.
Once we got out onto the frontage road I made it my goal to keep the 1:55 pacer in my sights. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull off a 1:55 but I wanted to be close. Rather than watch the pacer fade into the distance I managed to creep up on them. I kept consciously checking my pace, making sure I wasn’t going to hate myself in the last three miles. By Mile 10 I knew I’d be able to survive the last 3 miles at a decent pace.
At the Mile 12 water stop I caught up with the 1:55 pacers and asked what average pace I’d need to pull off a 1:55. They told me 8:46. I checked my Garmin, it said 8:43. I totally had this! I booked it for the last mile and finished incredibly strong, dropping my average pace down to 8:39 by the time I hit the finish line. Once again I was the happy girl frolicking along to the finish line and loving life. In retrospect I probably should have ran faster earlier in the race but it sure felt good to really run out a race without wanting to keel over dead!
We didn’t hang around the finish area for very long, just long enough to feed our faces and grab our t-shirts. We all had Saturday afternoon plans and were soon headed back into Denver. This meant I missed seeing many fellow runner friends but thanks to the interwebz I can say it was a fairly successful day for everyone running GTIS.
It was a very good race for me and no part of me walked away disappointed. However, I’m not sure I’ll be racing again next year. Sure, if there is a $15 entry I’ll seriously consider it but nothing about the GTIS race screamed “please come run again!”. I think it was all the pavement…and the nonstop drone of cars on I-70!