Monday, May 16, 2011

Colfax Half Marathon

I'm in the blue PowerBar top and white visor.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate being cold? I am the type of person who shivers and turns purple when it is sunny and 60 degrees. My nemesis is cold and wet. I have no ability to stay warm in those conditions. The forecast for the Colfax half marathon was less than desirable, but I optimistically figured that running the LA marathon in similar conditions had given me some resiliency, a shield of armor if you will. Alas, it did not.

Given the 6 am start time and 45 minute drive to Denver, my alarm was set for 3:45. I was worried about being able to crawl out of bed at such an ungodly hour, that I would be weary and tired. My apprehension about oversleeping was unwarranted.  I lay in bed wide awake at 2:45 listening to the rain pelt the window, the gutters, and the roof. Ugh. I was not psyched about running another race in cold and wet conditions.

I finally got out of bed at 3. I had to check to find out if the rain would continue or abate. It seemed that the rain would stop around the time the race was over.

I played online Scrabble and drank coffee. Evidently, the mind does not work as well that early, because I could not find a word out of these letters: ogd. My body was definitely in race mode, as I was able to complete my “business” at 3:15. At least that was a relief!

We set off for the race venue at 4:30. The thermometer in the car read a chilly 36 and there was no promise of it getting any warmer. I had a very hard time deciding what to wear. I packed my bag with all manner of options. My optimistic self packed shorts, a short sleeve shirt and sunglasses. My realistic self packed heavy gloves, tights, a long sleeved shirt and a jacket. All of the clothing was very confusing, as I now had endless combinations from which to choose.

Ultimately, I decided to race in the heavy gloves, tights and two shirts. I wore the jacket for my warm up and shed it before the start. Standing around in the corral waiting for the race to begin, my feet turned into bricks. Yep, it was going to be a cold one.

My race strategy was to start very conservatively. My ribs had been bothering me all week and the cold air really affects my breathing. I knew my best chance for a good race would be to build the first half, which was uphill and then open it up on the downhill of the second half.

I stuck to my plan and found myself in second place, not too far behind the lead female. By mile 3, I knew my pace was way off. I took over the lead around mile 9 and crossed the line first. My time was about 2 minutes off of my goal.

The first half of the race course itself was not terribly scenic; it was a concrete jungle. Colfax Ave. boasts pawn shops, convenience stores and shady characters. The second half was much nicer as the course traversed some upscale neighborhoods and took us right through a fire station (which was temptingly heated). At mile 11, the finish line was visible, which is torture when you are cold and have to use the bathroom.
Runners going through the fire station
Here is a good tip. I have a history of getting blisters in wet conditions. I got a pedicure before this race and before the LA marathon. Even though my feet were soaked through, I avoided all foot problems.  Coincidence? I think not.

Next up, the Bolder Boulder 10k. I am hoping for a nicer day. Has anyone seen the long range forecast?


  1. The Bolder Boulder is a lot of fun. The finish in the stadium is fantastic.

  2. You omitted the key part about how Diesel, the ultimate race dog, braved the cold and rain to cheer his momma to victory!

  3. Lara-

    I also should have mentioned how you rocked it in your first race after having Paige.

    And, how Brandon promised to run with me, but took off in the first minute and dropped me.


  4. Congratulations on a great race in yucky conditions!