Normal routine, got up at 3:30, got to the bus by 5. It did not feel as cold as I had thought, getting to realize that the lack of humidty out here makes it feel significantly less cold than back home - so the 35 at the start line felt like mid-40s. Took the bus up to Estes - so cool to be in the dark driving up the canyon looking out on the still-sleeping world. Then to get to watch the sun come up over Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park was amazing -- snow was blowing off the top of Long's Peak. Didn't have a great warmup, not much time, bout 1 mile total, then it was time to go (race was about 10-12 minutes late getting started which helped add some prep time.
Knew the course was downhill, didn't realize it started with a significant uphill. Took me a long time to warm up and settle in during this one. My legs felt somewhat tired, and my stomach was not doing the greatest - had some side cramps and other issues. Don't know if drinking gatorade before the race like ive done recently is the best idea. Set my watch to KM splits and goal was to hang in around 3;46 with overall goal of sub-1:20. Got all alone from the gun and so it was just me and the sun coming up over the canyon for the whole race. Splits (in KM)
2- 4:17 (continuation of the uphill, I think my watch may have been a little wacky these first two)
5- 3:44 (19:22, 6:14 avg pace, little slow)
10- 3:52 (18:55, 6:05 pace) for the 10k - 38:17, 6:09 pace, still a little slow, but not bad, pretty gradual downhill at this point and I wasnt feeling the best
14 - 3:50
15- 4:00 (19:20, felt worse than it actually was)
16 - 3:51, 1:01:3X for 10 mile mark, felt like I was off sub 1:20 pace by too much to correct it (need to be no slower than 1:01 flat at 10 miles) Knew i needed a miraculous last 5k, calculated in my head to 18:20 needed for sub- 1:20) just so happened the course dropped off a ton the last 5k, plus I threw in a surge from hell. Popped a GU even tho my stomach was upset and it seemed to help a little
18 - 3:44
19 - 3:34
20 - 3:27 (18:05, 37:25 2nd 10k, 6:01 pace)
21- 3:25 (17:39 last 5k, 5:40 pace) Dont know what got into me, that is my best 5k since being at altitude)
Total was - 1:19:08, 6:03 avg pace, course was probably a touch short, but my watch was so wacky today that I'm not going to sweat it. Even with the additional, I would have been 1:19:30 or better. That last 5k was really cool, usually when the wheels start coming off it is irreversible, but I had another gear today. I have always hoped to be able to run an easier first 10 miles then throw down a decent last 5k and I finally did it today. 5th place overall, top 3 got free shoes, but they were also 7 minutes faster than me, so couldn't have got close. easy cooldown for 15.6 total today. Really happy with my effort and my ability to set a goal and hit it. Just 2 months into this cycle and my 3rd fastest half ever (even if aided).