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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
Another race done and another medal.
Thanks to Athlinks for the reminder that this was my 70th half marathon and that I have now completed 162 races.
Linking up with Marcia, Patti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.
Congrats! Yep, the altitude really can mess with your pace. But you persevered and finished. The medal is nice. I hope you had fun!
Thanks Wendy! Honestly I had no idea how much it would affect me. Don’t want to run there again. 🙂
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
I have never done a high altitude run or race….certainly sounds like a tough endeavor! Good job on crossing another finish line. Nice medal 😉
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!!
wow, that is a really pretty medal. That is so cool that they were selling a shirt with the finisher names on it. I have not seen that before and wonder if it is something new RnR is doing? -M
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.
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!