Saturday, June 28, 2014

2014 Slacker Half Marathon
13.1 – 1:33:28
46th/1100 and 4th in age group

In 2009 I ran the slacker half marathon as my first race back to the sport. I weighed about 220lbs and finished in 2:15:30. I was pretty happy with that time because a few years earlier and I couldn’t run faster than 12:00 pace for 3 miles. 2002 was the last time I was a competitive runner but even by then I had gained a fair amount of weight and lost a lot of speed. 
The slacker HM is an interesting race it starts up at 10,800ft and drops 2,300ft over 13.1 miles to Georgetown CO at 8,500ft hence the name Slacker. But that name is a little deceiving because the race also has some uphills and on any flat or uphill section you quickly remember that you are at high elevation. 

Miles 1 – 10 1:11:55 (7:11 pace) 
It was freezing at the start 28F and the roads were wet from snow that had fallen over night. During the week and the on the way to the race I decided to scrap my plans of running a 1:40. I still had some sore muscles and I was a little worried about pulling something but after a few successful workouts this week I felt confident in running 1:35. That would be a 7:15 pace but that’s not what happened when the race started I had no problem running 7:00-7:10 except on the hills. I got into this rhythm of attacking the hills and then recovering on the downhill. With every mile I felt stronger and stronger. I kept getting flashbacks of how I felt at that exact same location on the course. Each flashback ended with a tingle in my spine, my body telling me “let’s go faster” (probably adrenaline). My emotions kept growing as the race continued as well. I found my getting choked up thinking about all the battles I have overcome to get to this spot in my life. At this exact spot (mile 10) 5 years ago I was melting in the heat, my quads couldn’t handle any more downhill and I wishing for it all to end. Today I was running 3:00/mi faster and holding back, I was attacking the hills up and down and enjoying every bit of the race. I wiped away a few tears (of perhaps just sweat) and decided it was time I showed this race what I was made of, I wasn’t holding back anymore. 

Miles 11 – 13.1, last 3.1 in 21:14 (6:51 pace) 
-Mile 11 started with a portion of uphill but I was so fired that I went for broke. This would be my first sub 7 mile of the day. 
- Mile 12 had an amazing downhill with nothing uphill or even flat. If your quads survived this long then you could really crush this mile. My quads hurt a but I didn’t hold back and ran this downhill mile in 6:33 
- Mile 13 was mostly flat and this is when I remembered that I was still at 8500 ft. I was in the zone but the best I could manage was 6:57 pace. The last 0.1 was uphill and at the pace I was running it was a real lung burner. 

Post Race 
I had been feeling burned out the last few months and this race was exactly what I needed. I needed a reminder of how far I have come and why can’t stop now. I feel like I am right where I need to be to kick of my training for my goal half marathon in September. The goal is to final break the 1:30 mark. 

Elevation profile. Crazy Downhill

Here is my picture from the 2009 race at 220lbs. Race report

Uphill to the finish

It was so cold I had to wear my finisher shirt after the race around town

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