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Running Background:

I consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for hobby. I decided to run the Colfax Marathon as a training run for Grandma's Marathon in June. I really like running marathons and the sense of accomplishment when you complete one...so, on to marathon #5!

Training:

I trained for 3 months following the intermediate training plan that I found on the Grandma's Marathon website. I usually ran 5-6 miles five days a week and then did whatever the long run was according to my training plan.

The best advice I received while training was to practice consuming water and/or gels during long runs. I didn't really do this, and paid for it in the marathon.

Race Day:

The 2007 Colorado Colfax Marathon was worse than expected. Wow...what a difficult marathon!! I came into this race thinking that the altitude wouldn't be a big deal. And from miles 1-13 it wasn't.

The course began in Aurora, Colorado right off Colfax street. There was no runner drop off at the start, so I got up at 4am, left the hotel at 4:15, and arrived at a high school to be bussed to the starting line. I didn't fall asleep that night until maybe 3:30am, so I was already a little tired.

The Colorado Colfax Marathon, in addition to the full and half, puts on a marathon relay consisting of a 2 10k legs, 2 5k legs, and a 12k leg. Most of the people waiting at the starting line were relay members. The half started at mile 13, so I never saw any of those runners.

The race started promptly at 6am. The first 13 miles flew by, almost effortlessly. I came through the half in an easy 2:04. Even though I thought I was adequately trained, I started to feel really taxed by mile 14. It is sort of a demoralizing feeling when you know you still have 12 miles to go. However, I kept shuffling on.

Mile 17 on was downright ugly...and uphill! There is a 700 ft elevation gain between mile 17 and the finish. By mile 20, I was having a difficult time convincing myself to keep running. I started walking up the hills and jogging/shuffling (I just love that term!) if I had a flat or downhill portion. I wanted to beat 5 hours, but that goal changed to just finishing the "death march" (as one lady called the marathon as she passed me by). I could really feel a difference as far as altitude goes on the second half of the marathon.

The last mile was pretty tough. Not only was it over 80 degrees, but there were two giant hills before the mile 26 marker, and another one the last .2. I ran the last mile with a girl who was doing the marathon relay. She was not happy with the fact that she volunteered to run the final 12k of the race. All in all, I am glad I did this marathon, but I am not sure if I will run it again.

Recovery:

My recovery wasn't bad. I had given up on gels and water during the race by mile 17 because my stomach was getting so upset, so I drank a bottled water, a bottle of orange juice, and 2 fruit smoothies after I finished the race and felt good. I didn't even feel like I had run a marathon by that evening. The next day, however, my quads were VERY sore, so I took a bunch of Advil and tried to push the fluids.

Running Gear Recommendations:

iPod
I borrowed my sister's iPod for the marathon, which I have never done before. Very glad I did, especially for this race!
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Running a marathon is an incredible accomplishment no matter what your finish time is. Most people have no idea what a good finish time is, they just know that 26.2 miles is a looooong way to run!

Plans to Run Another:

I am running Grandma's Marathon in a few weeks with a friend from college.

For my next marathon, I need to figure out how to eat and drink successfully during a marathon. I also would like to muster up the motivation to do more 18-20 milers.

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