This past weekend I traveled to Keystone, Colorado at an elevation of about 9,300ft. There are shirts and stickers around Boulder that say, “Sea Level is for Sissies” …well Keystone, Colorado’s lack of oxygen is certainly not for the weak! To close out my third consecutive 100 mile week, I ran in the Keystone Half-Marathon on Sunday the 22nd. The Keystone Half-Marathon is part of the Endurance Race Series in Colorado. These races are part trail and all fun – put on by a fantastic group of people at Endurance Sports Marketing. When I came to Colorado, my first race was at the Denver Half-Marathon that is also part of this series. I came away with a win in my Mizuno singlet for the first time on that day in September of 2010.
I decided to do the race in Keystone as a fun way to get in a harder marathon effort training run and a little test of fitness. Track workouts with recovery intervals can hide your fitness. A long hard effort at 9,300ft on hilly trails and bike paths – will certainly show how aerobically strong you are! After a long day on Friday that included a 3 hour long run in the mountains (see slideshow!) I was a bit fatigued going into the Keystone Half.
The race ended up being a blast! The fatigue in my legs didn’t stop me from averaging 6:06 pace (1:20:05) for the half-marathon. My goal on the tough course was in the 6:00-6:20 range and I did that feeling smooth. It was a lot of fun coming across the finish line with some friends (thank you Rosens for the incredible weekend!!) cheering for me. After a cool-down I came back to help cheer on the runners, pace the ‘kid’s race around the block, and congratulate other finishers. My favorite part of the whole day was watching the last two people finish. They came in together in the middle of a thunderstorm with pouring rain pelting them. Not only were they wet from the rain, they were wet from crying. The two ladies had lost an incredible amount of weight…one about 150lbs and the other about 250lbs!! Running teaches you motivation, goal setting, and the reward of working hard. Congratulations ladies and all of the other runners!
Until your next finish line,