Rocky Mountain High
|My foam roller ready to assist|
One of the many comic moments on Friday night was the waitress at the "Drunken Monkey" who'd overheard that I was running the marathon on Sunday and asked, "have you been training for it?" Normally, my quick wit and smartass nature would have had some clever retort, but I'd never heard that one before. "Yes, I have," I politely responded. Thinking to myself..."just sixteen weeks and over 500 miles if you'd call that training."
Saturday morning, we loaded up the "Griswold wagon" and headed up Poudre Valley to scout the course. The Colorado Mary is essentially all downhill as it mirrors the Poudre River winding back towards Ft. Collins. (Catch my video describing the course at the first aid station mark below.)
Saturday afternoon, the rest of the family clan started to roll into the city and we caught lunch at Avogadro's Number before heading to the expo. Avo's was a regular weekend stop when I attended school so it was fun to share my frequent college hideaway with my family.
The Colorado Marathon is definitely a small town affair that sells out quickly with less than 2000 runners in the race. Having run the Steamboat Marathon which is comparable in size, I knew to expect small crowds along the course and a smaller expo. The expo was quite cool as Brooks had an old british double-decker bus peddling their kicks and giving some swag away. I was surprised to find jackets and I "caved" and added another cool running jacket to the run wardrobe.
The bonus at the expo was a DailyMile and twitter meetup with some runners I've met (Jon,) and others I felt like I knew well from the virtually run relationships online (Ellen and Lara.)
Post expo, I started to get into my race eve "zone." I'd joked with my family members that were seeing me race for the very first time that apparently, I'm not much fun to be around as I start mentally preparing for the race in the morning. Surprisingly, I was quite relaxed as we took in the traditional pasta dinner at Bisetti's a short walk away from the hotel.
The second comical question of the week came from my brother's wife over dinner. "How often do you change out your tennis shoes?" I giggled and said, that, "first off, we don't call them tennis shoes." "Normally 500 miles or six months." Laughter ensued and good times were had over good food.
Sleep on Saturday night was crap, but I'm kind of used to that. Having to catch the bus at 4AM, I got up early to dress and get some food into my system. Auto-pilot kicked in and I headed out into the morning darkness with a banana, bagel and oatmeal into my belly after my first bathroom stop at the hotel. First grumblings of a not so happy tummy.
The bus ride was non-eventful as it weaved up the valley towards the point-to-point course start 26.2 miles outside of town. It was still dark as I hit the porto-potty for the second time that morning. Shit. Not good. Why today? Telling myself, "happy thoughts, happy thoughts" as I tried to convince myself all was okay. After peeing in the bushes a couple more times, the hour went by quickly. After sharing "good luck" with my local running club, the race was off.
|Captured my niece Maya around mile 18|
|After mile 20 at Cache La Poudre|
|Cooling off at the finish|