After a hectic couple of months it's nice to return for a blog entry. Although I'm pretty sure this is pretty obscure, so far under the radar that mosquito would make a bigger blip on the screen. Makes Northern Lights seem like the big time.
The Platte River Half has been a race that I've wanted to do for more than a decade. I was injured when it first started and then moved to Alaska for 10 great years and more or less (excluding the injured year of 2010) a solid comeback.
So training the past two months has been solid, going about 50 a week with some okay workouts and just one race, an 18:18 5K (2nd masters and 1st in age) last month in my old hometown of Fort Collins. But the past two weeks of work, and life in many respects, have been wracked by deadlines and stress--hate it when work gets in the way of fun! But running has been my release, and I've enjoyed runs on up on North and South Table Mountain, Mesa Trail, Deer Creek Canyon, Waterton Canyon etc.
So I didn't know what to expect on Sunday. I did the proper cut back and looked at the calculators, which rather incredulously indicated that I was in 1:24 shape. But but, I ran 1:19 last year at sea level I whine to myself.
New year new altitude. I still thought a 1:21 or 1:22 was possible.
Hey they put on a great race for the Platte River Half Marathon. Something everyone, fast course, it's certified, a good field, great post-race block party. Can't say enough good things about this event.
The day dawned warm with a bit of a breeze from the south, it was noticeable on that half mile stretch in Littleton before we headed onto the bike path. I'd planned to run 6:20-6:30 for the first 2 miles and then drop into the 6:15 range once we got the downstream running path for nearly 10 miles. However, my mind kept pushing me to want to go 6:10, which I'd do but feel myself breathing hard so I backed off.
Had a good age group battle going from about 4 to 8 miles with Dan from Runners Roost. He reeled me in and we ran together for another mile or so, and then he surged but I held back with the group until just before 8. This time I surged and one other guy went with me, and we were off toward the finish.
I felt solid through 10 (1:02:26), but just let up a bit to get a drink and that guy had 30-40 meters. Mike, another masters runner from the Roost came up from behind so I just focused on those ahead. I picked off a couple more, but one or two went by. The stretch from 10 to 12 was tough. The wind had shifted into our face and it was flat/straight on a detour through the streets rather than on the bike path. I was hurting through there and had to concentrate to keep going. The stretch on the 8th Avenue viaduct was slow on the climb and I was feeling it bot didn't lose much ground. It was a relief to get to the crest of that long bridge. I started surging off and on to the finish. Hit 13 on my watch in 1:21:15, but that was almost a quarter mile from the finish.
Crossed in 1:22:37, 19th overall and an age graded 86.2, an altitude PR. That felt good, but then again 50 yr Colleen De Reuck up ahead by 80 seconds took the age grade award with a 92%. That was fast!
And did I say the party was great! I had fun for a couple hours--after tracking down my bag which had inadvertently been picked up by someone else--and then rode back on the Light Rail to Littleton with the Runners Roost crew.
Did it. Had some fun. Met my goal and beat the calculator. So what's not to like about all that? Hope to be back in the future.