Last year when Brian raced a leg for the Colfax Marathon relay, I knew I had to run this year. At our company Christmas party I found 2 poor drunk suckers and convinced them that running a leg of a marathon in five months would be brilliant. I’m sure those folks were hoping I would forget but I was dead set on running this year. Lucky for me, those folks were awesome and kept their drunken agreements.
So on Sunday, bright and early, Nick kicked us off for what would be an awesome event. It started, however, with me at City Park in Denver at 6am to cheer for Brian at the start of his third half marathon. As I saw him off, I realized how proud I was of him to stick through and start this race. He hates running so this is a huge feat for him. I then made the trek across the golf course back to my car to head to my transition area.
The morning started with HORRIBLE stomach pain. I had incredibly painful stomach cramps that seared through my gut about every five minutes. I decided to try a banana and ended up eating about half before I couldn’t stomach anymore. I was terrified that I wasn’t going to be able to make the full six miles without having an accident. After all, I barely made it to the port-o-pottie at the transition area. Before I stepped into my transition gate, I had already pooped four times. It wasn’t going to be a fun event after all.
I sat at my transition area and waited for the text messages to come through. Handoff number one went off without a hitch. So did the next three. I had made estimates based on our times and each text message came in right on queue. Every member of this team killed it!
And then, right on queue, I see Alyson making her way to me in her bright summer gear. I grabbed the baton and was off. The first part of my leg was through Sports Authority Field. I got to run through the tunnel and pop out on the field where the Broncos play. First, I hate the Broncos. Second, despite my hatred of that team, this was really awesome. The view from the field is such a different perspective. The only thing that could have made it better was the Rocky theme song blaring through the stadium speakers. (Hint hint race coordinators)
I emerged through the other end of the stadium to run along Platte River trail before making my way onto Lawrence and 17th street. By this time, the heat index and sun were creeping a little high. Half of the water went in and half went down my neck and back to cool off. The run up 17th wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be considering the hill. I did walk up the big hill on 17th and used that opportunity to eat Shock Bloks and grab a drink. I’ve been running for a few years now and I still haven’t mastered the ability to drink and run at the same time…without choking.
Down 17th was completely open to the elements. People holding signs and cheering us on helped me to forget that there was no shade and the temps were nearing 80. I thanked all the officers handling traffic control and made sure to smile. That smile helps to trick the body into thinking you’re doing something fun! I made the final few turns into City Park and felt the excitement building as I neared the finish. My goal was to run 12:00 miles (I’m a turtle, I know!) and have the team finish around 11:15. I was so happy to see Brian cheering for me at the finish and then hear my friend’s chanting my name. It gave me the burst at the end that I needed.
I finished just under 12:00 mile pace and the final team time was 5:06:28 and we averaged an 11:41 per mile pace. I beat my goal and we exceeded our team goal. Good thing the Crohnie poops weren’t an omen! It turned out to be a beautiful day and a great race.
We finished with a few beers and great conversation before getting a ride back to our car. A nice cold shower. Some foam rolling. A huge juicy burger with sweet potato fries. And then yard work…because the joys of home ownership never cease.