Saturday, October 24, 2009

Denver ½ Marathon Recap… 09's Officially a Wrap!


All smiles doing what I love!


Chicago Triathlon 1995


My sister Heidi and I before Mrs. T's Chicago Triathlon, 1995


This past weekend, I competed in my final race of the season, the Denver ½ Marathon. Although the race was at altitude, I figured it would be a good way to gauge my progress from last year, when I competed in a ½ at around the same time of year.

A 7AM race start meant a 4AM alarm, something I hadn’t experienced in quite awhile with all the late ITU race starts this year. Luckily (or unluckily), I’m always somewhat of an insomniac during taper weeks and would’ve been up and ready to go at 2AM if need be. Since this was the most populated road race I’ve ever competed in (close to 10,000 competitors in the half marathon, marathon, and marathon relay), I wanted to make sure I got to the course with plenty of time to warm up, change shoes, and secure a good spot on the starting line. Mission accomplished!

The race started promptly at 7AM, just after sunrise in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park. I knew it wouldn’t be very bright for the first half of the race or so, and decided to wear my rose-colored Rudy Project Rydon glasses. This was a perfect choice as my vision was never compromised during the race. My main goal for the first couple of miles was to keep a steady and comfortable pace, and make sure I had enough “ammunition” to get me through the last half of the race. In hindsight, I probably went out a little too conservatively as I slowed myself down a couple of times in the first 4 miles to keep right on 1:25:00 pace. I was able to hit 6 miles right at goal pace, and then dropped off a bit from my pace for the 2 uphill miles that came just after the halfway point in the race. Once the race flattened back out, I was back running 6:30 miles, just not feeling as peppy doing so as I had at the beginning of the race. I finished in 1:26:53, a PR from last year’s race at sea level! In addition, I was the winner of the 18-24 age group and the 7th woman overall.

I’m so glad I decided to do this race as my season ender – it was so much fun! Simply put, there is no better feeling than running stride for stride with hundreds of people surrounding you. Having the support of thousands who lined the street to cheer was just icing on the cake.

This bodes well for my upcoming season, as I plan to try out the 70.3 distance in addition to the Olympic distance races I already do. I can’t believe this is the end of the season – time has absolutely flown by this year. I’d like to send a great big THANK YOU to my: family, friends, training partners, coach, sponsors (Rudy Project, GU, Newton), homestays for the year, and you (for taking the time to read my posts!) for all the love and support shown throughout this year. Thanks for helping to make my 3rd year as a professional triathlete a memorable one!

I look forward to continuing my progression in the sport in 2010 and beyond. But more importantly, I hope to spread my love for the sport with those around me. If I can inspire at least one person to live a healthy lifestyle, it will be worth my time and efforts! 2010 will mark my 15th year in triathlon. I started the sport when I was 8 as a way to a) follow in my big sister’s footsteps because I thought she was the coolest and b) trade in Saturday morning swim practices for trips to the beach… never did I dream that it would lead to this… enjoy the pictures of triathlon yester-year above and check back for sporadic updates on my life and to see who I’ll be partnering with in 2010 and beyond!

Of course I have to end the year with a quote for you to ponder...
“I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret.”
~Anthony Robbins