Sunday, April 13, 2014
2014 Horsetooth Half Marathon: Hell Freezes Over
But it was fun anyway. I ran my slowest time ever at this race, I'm pretty sure of that. Even two years ago when I was slow and heavy I ran faster. But that wasn't at the end of a 100 mile week.
I actually didn't do so bad, considering I powerwalked up all the hills and averaged faster and faster average splits for each segment of the race. The course does get faster as you go along, but if you're tired, that doesn't matter. I didn't slow down, and I ran my last 5K at a faster pace than I was able to run some of those mile repeats the other day!
It's not your average half-marathon. You start near Hughes stadium and immediately start going uphill, climbing 500 feet in about the first 1.8 miles. Then you go up and down big rolling screaming hills until 5 miles, slightly downhill to flat until mile 7, then you climb two more hills, a big long hill and a small hill, on Bingham Hill road. Then you turn down Overland Trail briefly and get on the Poudre Trail bike path going east toward Old Town, for a flat to ever so slightly downhill last 4 miles. It finishes by New Belgium brewing.
First thing this morning I was texting with my friend Jen, who needed a ride to the start. She already had her number, so she was happy to get there at the last minute. I stopped by and picked her up and we made it to the start just in time. The gun went off and I was happy to not be standing around in the cold.
Today was not the kind of day people wanted to stand around and drink beer. When I got done all I wanted to do was find Dennis and go home to take a hot shower. All those volunteers who stood out there in the cold and wet conditions should get beer for life.
It wasn't too bad in the first 5 hilly miles, it wasn't until we turned east onto Bingham Hill Road that I started to notice the cold wind.
I have no idea how I did relative to other people, I really wasn't concerned about that, since this was one of those survival training runs. Hearing everyone else, it sounds like a lot of people had slower times this year. All I know is that when I run ultras, I never want the race to end. In these shorter races, I can't wait for it to end. Those last 4 miles took forever....
So now it's taper time. I will do a fairly high mileage week coming up, something between 70 and 80, and then really taper for the two weeks leading up to Cornbelt. I've been hitting it hard and I want to get some good rest.