Thursday, August 18, 2011

Half Marathon

Social Race. That is all I am saying outside of--no, we did not PR. And, Lindsay and I were both okay with it.

Since we met over two years ago, we have run five 1/2 marathons together. While running this race, I kept bringing up the next race. I am determined to run another race with her this year. I think the Phoenix 1/2 will be our next race or perhaps, Las Vegas. Yep, I am signed up for that one already.

We had a lovely evening prior to the race. I slept well and felt refreshed when I woke up. Her friends, Trina and Eric, met us at a prearranged spot with coffee and a bagel. They followed us to Idaho Springs and we found a parking spot. From here, Eric drove us to Georgetown to drop us off at the start. Excellent. In the past, we have taken the shuttle to the start line. Not a bad way to get there, but, requires less sleep to make it happen. Plus, there is standing around in the cold while waiting for the shuttle. This drop off was awesome. We arrived, checked in, used the "clean" porta potty and started the race. Yes, it was leisurely.

At the start, we discussed our approach to the event. Lindsay and I had already determined that it would be a social race. She said--my training has lacked and I feel that I will be walking some.

Trina also felt fine with walking. About a mile in, I discarded my throwaway jacket. Too hot already. I felt great and I was learning about Trina's friendship with Lindsay. We continued and at mile six, I opted to wait in line for a porta potty. It seemed like it wouldn't be too long of a wait since there were four porta potties and a few people in line. I handed Lindsay my camera and water bottle and told them I would catch them in a few.

Well, a few minutes extended into ten minutes of waiting. Irritated, sure. And, noticing that the line was not moving. Finally, this guy emerges from the potty and I am able to return to the race. I had considered squatting behind a car. Really.

I start running and know that Lindsay and Trina are quite aways from me in the race. I curse myself for not bringing my ipod. I figure from mile six on, I will be running solo. I keep going and thankfully, find them. Lindsay hands me my water bottle and camera. I feel everything is right in my world, again.

Continuing on, our pace slows. Trina's knee is acting up and Lindsay always runs for herself. I respect this about her. She knows what is good for her. And, I was fine with it. I wanted to feel healthy the next few days.

Finally, we approach the finish line. I crossed the line with Lindsay. Perfect way to end a social race. We walk around the expo and run into some of my other friends. I take an opportunity to take a photo with two of my favorite canadians--Brett and Pete--and attempt to convince them to sign up for the Las Vegas 1/2. We shall see. They ran that race last year while I attempted the full. Initially, I believed I would sign up for a full this year. Now, I know, I prefer the 1/2 Marathon this year. Know that four are signed up for and maybe, signing up for a fifth. It is between running the Denver Half or dining with my mentor from college. Leaning that way since it has been way too long between visits.

Anyways, very happy that I ran this race for the third consecutive year. Feel that I will sign up, again, next year. Beautiful course and well maintained event. Plus, know that Lindsay likes the event, too.

After saying goodbye to Trina and Eric, we met Lindsay's mom and sister for lunch. We wanted to enjoy a celebratory cocktail and refuel. Bloody mary's always seem appropriate. Great mix of rehydration from the tomato juice and the bonus is pickled asparagus that some restaurants garnish the cocktail with.

Lazy day ensued. The shower made me feel like a million bucks. I wasn't extremely spent, physically, but I could have used a nap. Instead, we headed out to the Beauty Bar hoping to have a manicure/cocktail combination only to find out that they did not open until 7 pm. Bummed and questioned why this establishment opened later. I mean, it's summer and if their concept is to provide beauty and drinks--wouldn't opening during the day during the summer make sense?

The day concluded with Lindsay and I making dinner for her boyfriend, his brother and parents. Pleasant day all around. I enjoyed spending time with her family and grilling he delicious vegetables from their garden. They were fantastic. We grilled eggplant and squash and I threw together a tomato based dip for the crostini. I think you can never go wrong with tomatoes, basil, garlic and a splash of olive oil.

Looking back, sure, we could have exerted more effort in the race. I know this. However, it was such a delightful experience--all of it--race, lunch, grilled veggie deliciousness. Very thankful for the Half Marathon to prompt a visit.

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