Posted by: jawsome | May 10, 2010

Colorado Marathon Race Report

Now I can say it (although I’m STILL not sure I believe it): I am a marathoner!

tl;dr: I ran the Colorado Marathon yesterday in 4:42 and had a great race

Ok, this will be a long one…

This weekend has been intense with my birthday, family in town, the marathon and mother’s day. Saturday Matt and I went out with my dad for my “last meal” (yum! Mexican!). I got to bed fairly early at 10:00 and actually slept pretty well (which is a good thing because the alarm went off at 3:30). I got up, got everything together and drove the mile to the bus station (original plan was to walk or bike, but the 32 degree temp changed my mind on that pretty fast). We loaded up into nice charter buses (with bathrooms!) and headed up the windy narrow road. I sat next to a nice, chatty older woman who was running her 26th marathon, and she gave me some pointers (don’t go out too fast, enjoy every moment, finish strong).

Soon enough we were at the start line!…50 minutes before the start of the race… 😦 Normally this would have been fine, but it was FREEZING. I know you hardcore racers are used to this freezing before races, but this socal girl was having a rough time. I was wearing a throwaway pair of sweats and a sweatshirt, but I was still freezing. You people who walked around in tank tops and shorts the whole time are CRAZY.

We started right on time at 6:00. I swear to you, the first 12 miles went by like butter (is that even a phrase?). I was feeling so good I didn’t even walk every two miles like I did in training – the first 20 second walk was to take a Gu at mile six (I have not yet mastered Gu on the go) then I didn’t stop again until mile 10 (oof, uphill) and then mile 12 (Gu). I made it in this fashion until about mile 16 and was feeling really good and strong. The weather was FABULOUS. About 55 degrees and flawlessly sunny with no wind. Ahhh, so beautiful. Oh, yeah, and I PR’d my half marathon time AGAIN. 2:06 baby (and it felt easy! Soon, my little half marathon, you will be sub 2:00)

Mile 17

At mile 17 I saw my dad and Matt and switched water bottles. They were encouraging and I got a much needed boost. I trundled along and took another Gu at mile 18 – then came “goat head hill.” (I have no idea what the name of the hill actually is, but Matt and I have been calling it goat head hill for months…and I don’t know why…). Anyway, that hill is kind of a beast at mile 19, and I walked part (but not all!) of it. Hit the port-a-potty at the top, feeling strong and thinking: I’ve got this. my running form had deteriorated, but my mood was still good. Matt got a video of me talking about my REAL A goal: (you can’t really hear it, but I say something about just wanting to finish with my legs still attached)

and then came my nemesis: the downhill. Every SINGLE time I’ve run this downhill I’ve been plagued with side cramps, and this time was no exception. UGH! So that 1/2 mile was punctuated with Matt trying to encourage me from his bike, and me telling him to “go away.”

I finally got the cramp under control, and managed fairly well until about mile 22. Then I started getting moody. There was no crowd support on the bike path, and although I wasn’t having any particular difficulties (other than, you know, having run 22 miles) I really just wanted to stop running. I don’t think I did enough mental training during my training, because my whiny self won over for the rest of the marathon. I was well on my way to a 4:30 finish (my secret A goal) but the last 4.2 miles got me. When I would look down at my watch and see my shuffling had slowed down to 12:00 pace I thought, “hell, I can WALK at 13:00…so I’ll just do that.” I’m kind of annoyed with myself in retrospect, but at the same time it was my first race. So I ran/walked the last 4 miles. Looking back, I wish I had run more of mile 25 because when I kicked it in for the last .2 I still had some gas in the tank. Note to self: don’t be such a whiny baby. πŸ™‚

Garmin time was 4:42, chip time 4:44 (I guess I didn’t run the tangents, Garmin beeped at 26.2 about .2 before the finish). 10:45 overall pace (no negative splits there, friends), which at least is still in the 10th minute (lol).

As I said, a little disappointed with my slow-poke at miles 22-25, but overall happy with the results. I didn’t have any major problems, my family and friends were out in force to celebrate with me, and the weather was great. I definitely recommend this course, it was so beautiful. I did make a point to look around myself and smile at how cool it was. I remember at mile 22 thinking, “I’m running a MARATHON!” It’s funny, because it has always seemed like such a crazy goal that I still have trouble believing I did it…

So am I going to run another one?Β  I’m not sure…I feel like 4:30 is well within my reach so I may need to re-address that one day. For now though, it’s half marathons and 10ks – this not being able to walk the day after a marathon nonsense is a little much for me! πŸ™‚

Time to sign up for my next race! I’m thinking the Blue Sky Half marathon in October (definitely no PRs on THAT one – it’s a super hilly trail race) but I may start looking for one in July…

EDIT: I re-read my post here, and looked again at my time. 4:42. That is almost FIVE HOURS OF RUNNING. That just struck me for some reason – even more than the distance? Nope, nope, 26 miles is FAR. Suddenly I’m feeling less bad about my performance! I get so caught up reading Runner’s World and all your blogs I think my perspective gets skewed. I talked to a couple of “lay” people today who were just totally awed/appalled that people run that far or for that long. Pride re-engaged. πŸ™‚



  1. Congratulations, Marathoner!! (that’s my first marathon time too!)

    I hate standing around in the cold for the start…. impossible to relax, nothing but nerves and being cold!

    Anyway, you did GREAT! You’ll get that sub-4:30 next time.

  2. Congratulations!!!! You’re a marathoner!!
    Sounds like you ran a great race, and it’s fantastic that you had such great family support through it!

    I bet if you did another one in the future, with more crowds around for the last few miles, you’d get a PR πŸ™‚

  3. Congratulations marathoner!!! You ran a great race! Don’t be too tough on yourself about the last few miles.

  4. It sounds like your race was similar to mine–miles 22-26.2 were killer for me also and I walk/ran them, too. I was 9:30-10:00 min pace for the whole time before that, and then 12-ish min pace for those last killer 4! I kind of wish I had run a little more and walked a little less at the end, too, but now I know for next time. (oh yes, there will be a next time… πŸ™‚ GREAT JOB, MARATHONER!

  5. You rock, Jawsome!!

  6. Oh Joselyne you crack me up! Congratulations girl!!!!! Awesome job!!!

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