Monday, October 20, 2008

Denver Marathon Recap

I was hoping to title this post "Boston or Bust", but unfortunately, my attempt to qualify for Boston was the bust. I needed a 3:15:59 to qualify and I was on pace for about a 3:13...then "The Wall" came at mile 22. I knew I was so close and thought if I could just push it a few more miles I would make it in time. Every attempt to pick up the pace lasted seconds before I slowed way down. It just wasn't meant to be. I came across the finish at 3:19:39.

The race was great and I had a lot of fun. Almost 10,000 runners on a warm, sunny day. I love running through downtown Denver and the city parks. One of my favorite moments was seeing a woman sitting in a lawn chair holding a sign that read, "If Palin can run, so can you!". Not to get political here...but whether you like her or've got to admit that is pretty funny!

I had so much fun this year with the marathons and other races. I'm extremely happy (and a little sad) that it's over. I'm completely at peace with not qualifying for Boston this year. I know I'll get other chances in the future. My first thought after crossing the finish line was....REST! I'm looking forward to taking it easy for awhile. Who knows what 2009 will bring?? I'm pretty sure it won't be three marathons in 29 days.

A big congratulations goes out to my cousin Scott! He bested his previous 1/2 marathon time by about four minutes. He finished with a 1:33:41. We had planned to run together, but it got so crowded at the start, that we never found each other.

A big thanks goes out to Tanya & the girls for showing up at FIVE spots along the course and the finish line. I can't tell you how cool it is to see their cute faces when you're struggling to put one foot in front of the other.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Up Next...Denver!

This was a shot taken by one of the photographers out on the course of the Boulder Marathon back in September.

This Sunday is the Denver Marathon. I'm pretty excited about it because it's the closest I've come to running in a "big" marathon. They're expecting 8,500 runners this year. The atmosphere is electric and the course is really cool. The race director of the Boston Marathon is also the director of Denver, so needless to say, it's very well organized.

I've had two weeks now to dwell on the fact that I missed qualifying for Boston by 12 seconds. I'm going to give this one my all and try to qualify this time. That means I need to finish in 3:15:59. I'd like to say that I'm ready and going to do it, but I've learned you never really know what is going to happen out there, so you just hope for the best. So far the weather is looking great compared to last year.

My cousin Scott is running in the Denver 1/2 marathon on Sunday. My friend James is going to run in the San Diego Marathon (his first!) next May. The three of us are coming together tonight to get pumped up and watch "Spirit of the Marathon". It just came out on DVD. I saw this movie in the theater last May while it was on tour around the US. You probably haven't heard of it, so click on the link below and watch the trailer. Maybe it will inspire you to run one!

Spirit of the Marathon

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NH Marathon Recap

On Saturday morning, I ran in the New Hampshire Marathon. This race is small & cozy. So many aspects of the race make you feel like you're stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting. The weather was just right for running (cold & cloudy) and my family was once again an amazing support along the course. Here are some highlights...and one big lowlight:

- The local high school band was all setup at the start playing some rousing songs!

- The race director ascended a ladder to yell instructions to the runners lined up at the start. When he raised the pistol for the actual start, he pulled the trigger and we heard nothing but a faint "click". After a few mild grumblings, he adjusted the pistol and produced the desired "BANG"!

- The first water station was sponsored by the American Legion. There were eight veterans in their seventies & eighties...all dressed in military uniforms...standing in line with cups of water & Gatorade for the runners. To add to the scene was loud "bugle" music playing from a CD player.

- About 45 minutes in, I heard someone on a bike coming up behind me. It was a man in his seventies with a bright red jacket. The words "Marathon Coach" were printed on the back. He told me, "I'm out here to encouraged you all along. I've done 76 of these, so I know a little about what you're going through!" He rode by me several more times shouting things like "Great Form" and "You're looking strong". He rocked!

- All throughout the course I was treated to beautiful leaves, chimneys with smoke puffing out, and a cool crisp breeze...there was no mistaking Fall was all around.

- When I hit the critical miles around 18-22, I overcame some hills and realized I still had some gas (the good "energy" kind) in the tank! My family was stationed at mile 21 and gave me a HUGE, much needed boost.

- When I arrived at the finish, my nieces Lauren & Dana, ran the last tenth of mile with me! Little Zoe tried to join them, but couldn't keep up!

- When I crossed the finished line, the clock read 3:16:11. I was shooting for a 3:20, so I was ecstatic to come in below that and finish in the top ten.

Now for the big lowlight:

My brother informed me yesterday that I had my facts incorrect pertaining to qualifying times for the Boston Marathon. I "thought" I needed a 3:10:59 to qualify...and that next year I would gain an extra five minutes when I turn thirty-five. No, beginning at the end of September, they opened up qualifying for the 2010 Boston Marathon and even though I wasn't 35 on Saturday, my qualifying time would be 3:15:59 now since I'd be 35 by the time the 2010 BM came around. This all boils down to the fact that I missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 12 seconds. Ugh.