Partly Super Half

This was my third year racing in the Super Half Marathon here in Colorado Springs. While it's not the most scenic course - an out an back on the Santa Fe Trail - the race director Tim B puts his heart and soul into the event. It's his baby and after he's spent all year supporting us athletes, it's time for us to support him. I was a late sign up for the race because of my hamstring issues, but was looking forward to a nice hard and fast race. My race at the second winter series gave me high hopes for a solid race. I knew I had at least 8 miles of speed in my legs and was fairly confident that I would be able to maintain the pace. I was pretty sure I wouldn't be in the mix for the Golden Football, but I knew I could come close to 1:30.

Until Friday. Sneezing fits at work and feeling super tired all day. Saturday was just as bad, but added in congestion and the start of a deep, dry cough. Ugh. Not good at all. I went to bed thinking healthy thoughts. Sunday morning and I knew it would be a battle of wills. My tenacity with racing and the head cold brewing. I also knew racing wasn't the smartest plan at all. Smart would have been staying home and doing an easy run or throwing competitiveness to the wind and running with friends. Smart I am not... 

My warm up was running from home to the race start. Yep. I was tired and had no spunk in my legs. Not a good sign. I got my bib number and shirt, said hi to some friends and figured out my clothes. I had my Osprey Rev 6 with a few clothing options, so was able to do a quick change act into more appropriate clothes. The sun was warm. Very warm. Chatted with Amber for a while - she said I sounded horrible. I debated just running with her for a while, but didn't say anything. Then it was time to line up - or at least pretend to line up! The entire field was crammed into the sun beam between the buildings. No one wanted to be right on the line, in the shade. It took some cajoling, but finally we all moved forward. Tim sent us off into the frozen terrain with a whistle and the pep band.

I settled into a pace that felt okay - not great, but okay. After the first few miles, I knew that 7:00s would be about the fastest I would run and I was already wondering how long I would last that that pace. It wasn't so much that I was coughing, it was that my lungs hurt to breath and I was really congested and tired. Like I said, running the race wasn't the smartest thing I could have done... But it was a nice day and there were lots of people out and about, cheering for the racers. So I kept trotting along, ticking each mile off and refusing to think further then the mile ahead of me. It was a great strategy and one that I've relied on during marathons in the past. Just get to the next mile. Just get to the turn around. That kept me going until about mile 9. And then I was done. Mentally and physically done. I kept the fa├žade up for another mile, hoping to break out of the run. Didn't happen. The bad part about out and back courses? You still have to run the distance to finish even if you feel like quitting! So I jogged my way into the finish, slipping from 6th overall down the 12th. That's what happens when the pace slows from 7:00s to 8:00s in the matter of a mile!

Grabbed my pack and warm clothes and pondered what would be a slushy run home. Motivation wise, I was not ready for it. Lucky for me, I have awesome friends who took pity on me. Amber gave me a ride home after a very short cool down. I completely skipped the after party - both at Jack Quinns and a Fieldhouse in favor of a hot bath and a nap. After all, I would need all my energy for watching the easily excitable boys watching the football game later!

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