August 26, 2013

Inaugural Rocky Mountain Half Marathon Recap


Around the 13th, I searched online to just see if there were any half marathons happening on Saturday (17th) to match up with the 13 miles I was scheduled to know....because racing is so much "easier" than forcing yourself to trudge through 13 miles alone.  I was surprised when I found a half marathon in Estes Park, which is an hour and a half away. I seem to know about most races that are in the area, but this one I hadn't even heard a little tiny detail about. After thinking about it for..oh..two seconds, I signed up.

Then I realized it was at 6am and that I would have to wake up at 3:30am. Ugh.

Instead of trying to pick up my packet Saturday morning before the race, because the organization advised against it (even though there was no line and no real hassle to doing it that morning) I decided to pay $10 in addition to my very high race fee just to get my bib in downtown Denver. Where they already had a packet pickup anyway. If you have to have people stand there just in case people pick it up early, don't be a dick and charge $10 when I already paid you $100. That's just rude. On top of that, don't let me pay that much money, get all the way to the packet pick up and then say you are sold out of the race shirt size I need. No no. I paid $100 to get the right size shirt. Jerks.

Anyway...(this whole recap will be a rant)...The shirt was decent enough, and so I spent my night doing the normal race prep stuff. Filling my water bottle, practicing using the hydrapouch because the race was cup free (btw I hate that thing. No matter how hard I tried to close the opening, I still managed to spill it on me), grab my nutrition, ipod, gps watch, etc. I laid out my clothes and went to bed early. And woke up promptly at 3:25.

I was suprised at how quickly I made it out the door and I was on my way in the pitch darkness of the wee morning to Estes Park...praying the wildlife stayed off the road. I made it to the Stanley without much problem and had enough time to gather my things, find the potty john, layer up my clothes because it was 40 degrees...etc. I popped some tylenol for my shoulder (long story short, my shoulder got mildy separated and was still pretty fatigued and sore on race day) and lined up with just enough time for the start.

It was pretty uneventful. Until we ran about a tenth of a mile and saw a whole bunch of elk just chillin at the gas station. It was THE highlight of my day. For real.

I had on my long capris, a short sleeve and long sleeve shirt, gloves, and ear warmers, and I was still pretty dang cold for most of the race. The course begins by going around Estes Lake and then up this hill, and then up this other hill for M.I.L.E.S. I'm not even exaggerating. It sucked. So I'm trudging up this awful, long hill, chatting with a few of the people around me about how awful it was, admiring the view every once in a while, and mainly just suffering. Walking and suffering. My legs were burning from GTIS Half and I had nothing in the tank to push me up that four mile long hill.

Eventually there was a downhill, and that helped but for the most part the damage had been done. I was sick of passing 'aid stations' with only one volunteer (if that, some had nobody), sick of being pushed off the road by passing cars because the race didn't allow hardly any room on the road...sick of freezing...

When I finally came around to the finish line, I was over it all. The runners have to run up this stupid dirt path, a short steep bump with rocks and whatnot, and over to the finishers shoot. It just seemed very poorly thought out. And rounding the corner there was extremely dangerous with traffic. I'm honestly surprised someone didn't get hurt.

Finally, after finishing, I walked over to the tent for some water and food and the selection was grim. I grabbed a piece of string cheese that was hot (gross!), filled up my water bottle with the jug they had (because again, even at the finish line, no water bottles or cups or anything...unless you wanted warm chocolate milk). I was underwhelmed, so I walked back to the car and headed back to my area. Where I stopped at Costco. Because going into a warehouse store after running a half marathon is a blast! Truthfully, I had to pee and Costco was on the I got to kill two birds with one stone :) Then I went to the big liquor store by Costco to buy wine bottles in an attempt to fill up our always empty wine cabinet. I don't know how that keeps happening...honestly...I don't.

After I got home I took a cold epsom salt bath, a hot shower, and crawled into bed. You might remember that last time I mentioned I wouldn't be able to nap until 4, but sadly and luckily, the krav maga thing got canceled so I got to try and rest.

Which wasn't very successful. My muscles always make me too uncomfortable to sleep after a race.

So that's the recap. I won't do that race again. But at least I got a medal, which is more than I can say for the Mountain Chile Cha Cha I did this past weekend. Recap on that bad boy to come.

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