We woke up at 4:30am and hit the road after grabbing a bite of bagel + almond butter + honey...my normal pre-race food. The race was down in Lakewood, CO--just south of Denver. We got to the race site in plenty of time. I had sweats on over my running tights and top, but I was FREEZING! We were right off this lake, so the breeze was particuarly cold to me. I really wished I had a pair of gloves!
The event also had a 50-miler and 50k, so those (crazy) runners started at 6:30am. It was fun to watch the little group go off.
Jesse and Maxwell came to cheer me on. It was fun to be with them before the race. Max was crazy. Jesse is patient and very brave to even consider the idea. :)
Half marathoners started at 7am sharp. We went out on this quick loop, back through the start then out into the trails. I started off feeling great. I positioned myself in the middle of the pack and I was passing people, while keeping a comfortable pace.
Then we hit the enormous hills. Bottomline: we climbed 1,000 ft of elevation and descended the same amount. It was brutal. On top of the highest point, I begin to have issues. I had an immediate headache and my calves started to cramp. I was really careful about taking in water and also started eating some CliffBar ShotBlocks, but my stomach was also churning. I was very frustrated at this point. The trails were really windy, so you couldn't really see many people...and I knew I was really slowing up. I've never had "issues" like this on a half marathon distance, so I was mentally negative.
Then we hit the "creek". Now when I think "creek", I think we'll kinda splash through and it'll be fun. Now, this water was up to my knees...we crossed it 4 times. Now my shoes feel like they weigh a ton! Squish, squish the rest of the way...
My new friend, Danielle (I think that's her name! ha :)) We are just around the corner to the finish. My calves were goin' crazy at this point!!