Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

This past Sunday I ran my 70th half marathon and my 39th in my goal to run a half marathon in each state.  I was supposed to go last year but had to cancel a few weeks prior to race day.  I cannot remember why I didn’t go but let’s continue with my recap for this year.

My flight to Denver left at 8:35am and I arrived after 10:30am.  While waiting at the airport in Chicago, I did some research on transportation to/from the airport and hotel.  SuperShuttle was $30 each way and the Denver Airport Trail was $9 each way.  Once I landed, I quickly walked to the platform and purchased my ticket.  As soon I got inside the train, the doors closed and I was on my way downtown.  

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Once downtown I walked a mile to my hotel.  Luckily it was ready and I left my stuff in the room and went out to get something to eat.  I ate a burger and drank a beer and felt so much better afterwards.  Then I took a Lyft to the expo.  It was OK.  I haven’t run a RnR race in years so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I did buy some shoes and socks.

There was a poster and a shirt being sold at the expo with the finishers names.

I like the color of the shirt that was in the goody bag.  Still not impressed with the rest of the stuff.

Sunday morning I got up at 6am.  The race began at 7 and the start line was about 10 minutes away.  I got ready and drank coffee while eating a Clif Bar.  It was in the low 40s and I had debated on whether to wear shorts or tights.  I went with the shorts and compression socks.  I also wore a Oiselle Wazzie Wool layer underneath my BibRave shirt and never got too hot nor cold.

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I had specific instructions from my coach on the paces for this race.  I wrote it down in a piece of paper and also on my hand.  I was determined to stick to the plan since this race was supposed to be a long workout.  I’ve been doing really good in my training and figured that it would be an “easy” run.  Spoiler alert:  It was HARD!  I didn’t realize that the altitude was going to affect me that much.

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The first 2 miles were supposed to be at warm up pace.  I started off faster than I wanted to so I took some walking breaks.  After mile 2, I was supposed to run 4 miles at an 11:50 pace.  I couldn’t do it.  I began to feel very tired and could not pick up the pace.  At one point I accidentally hit the lap button.  I really struggled the rest of the race.  I was basically counting down each mile.  I also felt lightheaded.  

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At one point a spectator told me that I was doing good and that I had 2 miles to go.  I started to cry because I wanted to be done.  I was still feeling tired and struggling.   🙁  I don’t think I’ve ever struggled so much during a half marathon.

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I thought the course was OK.  The weather was perfect for running but it was so sunny and the sun was in my eyes for most of the race.  I was squinting so much and I think that and the altitude are the reasons I got a headache.  It was a bit better when I got to City Park.  It was so pretty there but that got boring after a while.  <<I think I was just in a bad mood.  🙂

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For most of the course there were no spectators.  It was quiet.  There was plenty of water and Gatorade at the water stops.  The course was mostly flat with 2 or 3 uphills.  The best part was getting to the finish line because it was downhill.  As soon as I knew I was close, I took off.  I was so happy to be done!

The medal is pretty cool and I am happy to have earned it.

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Another race done and another medal.

  Athlinks Logo-1

Thanks to Athlinks for the reminder that this was my 70th half marathon and that I have now completed 162 races.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

18 Comments on Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon Recap

    • Thanks Wendy! Honestly I had no idea how much it would affect me. Don’t want to run there again. 🙂

  1. Altitude can definitely get to you. You finished & earned that medal!

    I am struggling with the whole skirt vs tights thing for this weekend — supposed to be 40s, rainy AND windy, but I’m hoping it’s not that bad.

    • Thanks Judy! I remember you talking about it in one of your posts. I forgot to get back to you but those pills.

      Hmm, I think in those conditions I would wear tights. Just my two cents.

  2. Congrats! Yup, I’ve heard from other runners about the altitude. Although I’d love to run in Denver, I do worry about that!

    So glad that you were able to pick up those sneakers – aren’t they fun?!

    • Thanks Kim! Haha, yes I thought of you when I saw the gym shoes. Looking forward to wearing them.

      I guess the way to go about it is know beforehand that it will definitely affect me and just go with the flow.

  3. Sounds like it was a lot cooler this year than when I ran this race a few years ago. Is this your first race at altitude? No wait you ran Utah, although Denver is higher. Sorry it took such a toll on you but way to persevere.

    • The weather was perfect. Yeah, Utah was my first one and I remember feeling it when running. I remember feeling like I was out of breath. I didn’t feel any of that in Denver so that is why I wasn’t sure if it was indeed the altitude. Oh well, done with that state. 🙂

  4. Yup, altitude can be a doozy. Even when i live at 5400 feet, I go up in altitude to visit my parents and can barely run! I had been thinking of doing a 10k in the mountains, and I’m not sure right now.

    • It was definitely tough but breathing wise I was fine so I wasn’t sure if it was the altitude. Last year I did a race in Utah and there I did feel it a lot more while running.

  5. I remember feeling light headed the first day Holly and I were in Denver as well. Altitude is a game changer for those of us not accustomed to it. I think you did great considering! Congratulations on your 70th!!

    • That was the first time seeing those shirts. Not sure when they started but for me it is something new. I am going to run RnR Savannah next Saturday so I’ll see if they sell similar shirts.

  6. Congrats! The altitude is really tough. I was in Denver in September and even just walking around was a challenge. One thing I like about it there though is the weather! While I would love to do a race in Denver one day I do really worry about the altitude. Great job!

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