This weekend I ran the Denver Rock N Roll Half Marathon for the second time! I made a goal several years ago to run one sub 2 hour half marathon every year.. and I’m proud to say I hit my goal on Sunday morning at 1:56:33. Hallelujah!
Not only that, but this race I decided to change up my training plan. The whole premise was.. with my regular Crossfit routine of ~5 days/week, can I supplement it with just a bit of running and still be ready for race day? I did MAX 2 runs a week (one medium and one long) and roughly ~6 long runs total.
Let’s back it up. On Saturday night, I realized that I had left my running shoes in Texas at our hotel room! After having a mini panic attack, I decided I would just wear my Crossfit Reebok Nano’s and hope my recurring arch pain didn’t flare up.. I didn’t really have any other options!
I had wanted to get a good nights rest for the race, and I went to bed at…. EIGHT O CLOCK. Yep, I’m old. Not only did I go to bed earlier than my grandparents do, but I actually slept solid until 5:50am when my alarm woke me up for race day.
I love running local races that are close to home so that I can have my normal morning routine and get out the door with no stress. For breakfast I had a cup of coffee with collagen and oatmeal with protein powder – my go-to breakfast for long runs. I read some blogs and made sure to go to the bathroom 1392 times before I ordered an Uber to take me to Civic Center Park. The race start was only a couple of miles away from my house, but I didn’t want to deal with parking stress. Uber was a great choice and it dropped me off within a couple of blocks of the starting line.
Once I got to the race I immediately got in the ports-potty lines along with the other 14,000 people running the race that day. Even if I don’t have to go the bathroom, I always get in line. It’s almost a nervous habit at this point.
After hitting up the bathrooms, I met up with my girlfriend and got into our corral in time for the race start at 7:15AM. This was my first time running with someone and I had no clue how that would go. I am very used to tuning out during races and really feeling all of the feels, people watching the crowds, and vibing to my music.
For the first 4 miles, we ran together and kept up with the 1:55 pacer group. At that point, we split up and I turned on my jams to tear through the “worst” part of the race for me.. the middle. I always love the beginning and the end.. but feel slightly anxious about the middle miles. I was definitely pushing myself pretty hard and miles 6-10 were borderline uncomfortable. It was slightly faster than I wanted to be going.. but I always remind myself “This is a RACE. This is NOT just you’re chill Sunday morning run.” That always reminds me it’s ok to be uncomfortable and that it will be over before I know it.
Miles 11-13.1 were actually quite tough for me. I started feeling spent as the heat started to creep in and I could tell that I had been pushing myself a bit too hard for the last few miles. That being said, I kept trying to combat my physical pain with mental strength. I kept repeating positive thoughts such as “I can do hard things”, “I can do anything for 20 minutes”, and the tried and true “brunch/mimosas are right around the corner”.
When I turned the corner for the last .1, I was so incredibly stoked that it was downhill into the chute and I had fun sprinting through to the finish and was ECSTATIC to see I had finished just shy of 2 hours!!
The concluding thoughts about my training plan is that it definitely did the job. I was able to finish the race within my goal time. I also didn’t experience burn-out with running leading up to the race which was pretty awesome. That being said, it wasn’t the best I’ve felt DURING a race, which makes sense considering I didn’t spend nearly as much time running as I normally do during race prep.
Overall I am proud but also very happy that it’s over with for this year!