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Denver Marathon: Base Building 101

I know I am a week late, but I ran the Denver Marathon last weekend. :) The day before, a friends told me to "try to win it". I laughed and said, "I'm going to try to finish it."

Going into this race, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Since signing up in August, I had kept up with my running. So, I was prepared for the race (ie, could do the distance), but not really trained for it-- let alone prepared to do extremely well in it. To complicate things, we had hired our new coach and he had me running a 24 mile training run earlier in the week. (Generally you taper/rest-up prior to the race.) This confused me a it, but I rolled with it, thinking there must be some methodology in it.

As the race neared, I did get more excited about it. The expo was fun and I was going to be Trakked on the new Trakkers system. I went to dinner Friday night with a friend and we talked about the race. More talk and encouragement were given to me at a baby shower on Saturday. The morning of, we were up bright and early at 4:45 (actually, it was really dark at this time). We had a sitter arrive and Ross and I were off to downtown.
We took a disposable camera with us (more on poor camera quality later) and took a few shots and enjoyed the hubbub that surrounds the start. Our friend, Sonja, found us and helped us hop the fence (literally) into the corral and there we waited for the race to start, which is where this was taken.
The race was the race. I am sorry that I don't have more insight for you on that. The course was in a city that I know pretty well, so I wasn't enthralled by the scenery or the architecture. But it was flat, well supported and organized-- all signs of a good race. (It will be interesting to see how it is run next year when Rock'n Roll takes it over.)

At one point along the way, I was walking through a water stop with a guy who was obviously hurting, so I asked him if he needed anything. He said he didn't and went on to gripe about not training properly, his body, etc. I told him about my 24-mile run earlier in the week and he asked why I did it. I said "I dunno. My coach told me too." Then he asked "First marathon?". To which I replied "twelfth" and kept running. But it made me think more about my race and my training and why I was doing this. It obviously wasn't for a pr. I didn't need any more race t-shirts or medals. What was going through Steve's head when he had me train so hard earlier in the week? And I thought of the Ironman.

I finished the race strong. Slower than the start, but not in survival mode. Sonja was at the end smiling and waiting for me. She asked how I thought I did and I told her about my week and that I felt good that I could do that much mileage without compromising my body. She confirmed that this was probably Steve's way of building my base. A very, very wide base. Which is what I will need with my goals I have set out for myself for the next year.

Over all, pleased with my experience and my recovery, in particular. This race was an experience and it taught me many things, including that sometimes races aren't meant to be the prize, but the ticket to a bigger one. This next year, I am expecting to have a lot of races that aren't going to be pr's. They aren't going to be highlights. But they ARE going to prepare me to have one AWESOME Ironman!

OH! And I promised more on the picture quality of the camera. Here is another picture that came off of the camera:Recognize him? That's ROSS. With HAIR! Which means this camera is 9+ years old. No wonder the quality of the film was so horrible!


goSonja said...

Great race for you, and yes, you will do many races this year with no taper, or just a two day taper. If your base is so wide that you can complete your IM goals on any average training day, then image how solid you will feel stepping on the line at IM with a taper and rest.


Baby steps!