Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Platte River 1/2 (recap)

State #26 Platte River 1/2- Littleton Colorado

Leading up to the race
The only way this race even came across my radar is during my Livestrong race weekend Kim mentioned that her and husband S were scoping it out. Amongst all the talk of having another girl's weekend, Rebecca  mentioned I could crash at a spare room in her house since Kim & S were getting their own hotel room, so girls weekend + free stay = Lisa's on board!

I was super nervous about this race due to high altitude- I can deal with pain, but breathing issues are a whole different beast. Nashville's elevation is about 500ft... Littleton's... 5200ft, BIG difference. Since I had no idea how my breathing would go, coupled with the less than stellar projected weather forecast, I had zero time goals.

Friday night I was surfing good old facebook when I saw Kara show up in my newsfeed as writing a comment on the official race page. After confirming she was in fact doing the race as well, I asked her to join our bloggy dinner. Kara was on my original Colorado Ragnar Relay team (now disbanded due to Ragnar changing their dates) so I was excited that I was able to meet her after all. A few back and forth convos about race day expectations turned into her asking if I would run with her on race day--- sure, why not?!?!

Day before race
Race itself was on Sunday, so I flew into Denver and arrived late saturday morning just in time to hustle over to Kim's concourse / gate so I could greet Kim and the hubby IMMEDIATELY after they got off the plane (always trying to bring joy into other's lives haha) 

After a quick lunch at Qdoba, we head over to get our bib and the race "expo" 

The only big sign that denoted where we were 

able to get the entire 'packet pickup' with one photo, I'm awesome. 

As you can see, this is a smaller race, about 3,000. I actually don't mind small races, and my pocket book LOVES quick in and out packet pick ups :) 

We had a few hours to kill before our group dinner at Chillis, so whats there to do to pass time?!?! Why go to the Molly Brown house for their Titanic tour.. DUH

Unfortunately, all tours were sold out--- I think I saw S shed a few tears. We did get to check out the gift shop though, so not all was lost....

After goofing around, a beer a piece, we head to dinner to meet up with Becka, Laura, their children, 'R', and Kara. Lots of laughs,  stories, and memories shared. 

Although I agreed to help Kara with her race... its still important to carb load in all forms right??
Aside for allowing A and H (6 and 5 yrs old) to have a small bite, I ate the entire thing- all.by.myself. 

After I DOMINATED the lava cake, we had one more group picture, and then said our goodbyes. I just have to add that I LOVE how I've met fellow towers like myself :) 

I went back to B & L's house, chatted, watched some tv, and lights were out shortly before 9pm. In my defense for the early time... CO is one hour behind TN--- thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it. 

Race Day 

Although the race start wasn't till 9am (WAY too late in my opinion) we were up and out the door  by 7:30ish. I admit I have been known to forget things from time to time, so it was no surprise when we were in the car for a solid 5 min and I look down at B's shoe and notice the timing chip attached to her laces... oops, forgot mine back at the house. Luckily R was nice to not complain and turn the car around so I could "officially" run the race. 

We get to the community college where the race start took place, park, and do a quick easy round to the bathroom. Kara texts me shortly after and we meet up and discuss her goals. From what I gathered- A goal was sub 1:50, B goal was to break last years time 1:54 and change- easy peasy....

After some stretching, and dropping off our extra layers at the bag drop, we decide to cycle one more round at the port-o-potties. Amongst the huge sea of runners, Kim and S managed to find us in the crowd (the power of matchy matchy!)
Becka and Kim showing their game face 

We thought it was comical how we towered over B 

After we all had a quick cycle through the bathroom, the race pretty much started. Obviously you could tell where our priorities were considering we were still trying to get a group photo when the gun went off
Kara, Kim, Me, Becka

After the photo we parted ways and all just slowly assimilated into the large mass of slow moving people to cross the start line.  I remember from reading B's recap of the race from last year that there was a large amount of congestion and then when 1.5 miles hit we would be directed to a narrow bike path for the rest of the race---- NO EXAGGERATION there. 
CrAzY congestion

Sometimes you just have races that are a blur- this is one of those races for me. My whole focus was just on Kara and matching her pace, that I mentally checked out of the race itself- here are what I do remember. 
Better recaps can be found from everyone else since I'm the last to post: Kara's, Becka's, Kim's
  • I told Kara that she set the pace and I would adjust my pace to hers, one condition was I had to take it easy first mile to allow for lungs to adjust- first mile clocked in at 8:30s which I was surprisingly fine with, but felt it might be fast to help her hit goals. 
  • The going out too fast did catch up w/ Kara and a few times we had to slow down or walk... during this time we were able to chat a bit since we both prefer to just listen to music vs. having a conversation the entire run
  • The congestion NEVER let up the entire race--- I realized how incredibly hard it is to bob and weave between people while TRYING to make sure you stay with the same person.
  • All the aide stations had blue powerade... this was my magic drink in New York- no cramps and had energy the whole time- so decided that I would just stick to this and didn't do any water the whole race. 
  • Anytime I accidently bumped into someone (which was often) their response was always so nice "good morning" "sorry about that" or "hey there" were my faves. 
  • forecast originally said it would potentially snow / rain, 30s, and windy. actual forecast was 40s, sunny, and only slight sprinkles around mile 11. Some of the other ladies I ran with complained about the wind, but maybe I was just off in la la land because I only noticed it 10 and after. 
  • course was pretty boring, lot of tunnels, bridges (although they had a little spring to them when running), and dirty water-- i've seen worse, but i've also seen a lot better. 
  • I NEVER had a breathing issue- amazing that for whatever reason that the altitude didn't get to me. (thank goodness!)
  • about 1/2 way through race we slowed down our pace significantly, eventually it caught up to me and the shortening of my stride = extremely sore calves and hips- although I wasn't tired, afterward I had difficulty walking
  • aside from a few times when I just went slightly ahead of Kara due to congest, we stuck together

  • I thought about being super cheesy (as if the above photo isn't cheesy enough) and asked if she wanted to cross the finish line holding hands, but side by side ended up doing just fine. 
  • after race food was amazing. you had to walk quite a bit and get in line for the good stuff, but they had tacos, garlic bread, rice and beans, hot dogs, hamburgers, chilli, cookies- YUM
  • they handed everyone free rail passes to take us back to start line to retrieve cars (point to point race)

being silly on the rail back to cars 

To reiterate what was said at the beginning of this post, I had zero goals for this race. If Kara hadn't asked me to run with her I would have been so lost on how to run this race. This is not a race you actually want to RACE due to large numbers on such a short trail. Unlike Kim, I would eventually like to come back to Colorado to do a MUCH better race. For those that are in the area, its a great 'no frill' race--- would not recommend if you're traveling from afar. 

State #26, complete- time 2:04:51ish 
So unfortunately, not my greatest recap, so I'm hoping that my upcoming adventures will be better documented: 

Reunion with Becka and Laura in 2 weeks, this time in MY area- RnR Country Music Marathon
3 weeks out will be double weekend in ID and OR with Kim
Although the race sucked, blogging friends make it all worth it sometimes :) 


  1. It really was a no frills race, huh...I agree. I'm just glad to be done with Colorado, although the company was fantastic.

  2. Are you running the great potato in Idaho? I am training for that race as well though a stupid co-worker and his stupid anniversary are threatening to not give me the day off.

  3. Glad the altitude didn't have any affect you! Or the wind. I dislike wind.
    Can't wait to meet you and Kim in a few weeks!!

  4. Happy to hear you will be back!!!

  5. so fun that you ran with Kara!!! love it. i got so distracted by the food of this recap. haha. the lava cake. AND qdoba! some of my faves :) congrats on #26!

  6. hmm, i will need to come up with a different colorado race then. the post race sounds pretty sweet though. and glad yall had fun. :):) another one in the books!

  7. I love that you girls keep meeting up and have such a blast together! It definitely sounds like the right race to have no goals for, with the congestion and wind. I'd love to do a CO race sometime, it's such a beautiful state.

  8. Sounds like a fun time. Great job getting in #26! I always think it's funny when they serve chili after a race. That's the last thing that I want after running a long distance. My stomach would totally rebel.

  9. I heard the best way to run a race in high altitude is the very next day of arriving. If you wait 3-6 days, that's the worse time to race. So you did good!!