The Mr. and I made the trip to Fort Collins this past weekend to run the Colorado Marathon. Yeah! I was excited to cross another state off my 50 states list and having trained to just finish it without setting a PR or a certain goal, I knew I’d be able to enjoy the scenery of the Poudre Canyon and Colorado Mountains!
We got into Fort Collins a couple of days early to spend a little time with old friends and see the city. It was so nice to be able to bike every where we needed to go. There are days I long to live in a flat city where I could bike everywhere without sweating pounds of water as I bike up hills! Nonetheless, I love the hilly terrain of Fayetteville and don’t think I’d trade it for a flat city (…trading humid air for mountain air is a whole other story!). But over the weekend I enjoyed flat Ft. Collins for a few days, crisp mountain air, and the scenery of the Colorado mountains to my West!
We were able to shop and dine at their local places in Old Town and even took a tour of the New Belgium Brewery. I mean, who isn’t up for delicious vegan food and free beer before a race?! After a busy, but fun, couple days we were definately ready to get the run over with!
So, on Sunday morning our alarms sounded at 3:45 am and we gathered our gear and headed out to catch the bus that would take us the 26.2 miles into the canyon. I didn’t realize how much colder it was going to be at the start line than it was in town. We had about an hour to wait around for the race start and I spent most of that hour shivering! It was around 35 degrees at the start and I was longing for a sweat suit! At 6:15 the race was off!
The race runs down a ravine, so we start around 6000 ft and end in the city around 4000 ft (I think those are correct!). You run down hill the entire race except for a small uphill at mile 18. It was a beautiful, quiet course that followed the Cache La Poudre Riverdown the Poudre Canyon. We took it easy and just ran to enjoy the day! We made a pact to stay together the entire race, but the Mr. started to cramp up about mile 21. So, we did a bit of walking, stretching, trying not to get in a bad mood knowing there are about 5 miles left, and journeyed on. After about 3 miles of this it was hurting me more to walk/run than to just run and finish. So, I took off and ran a quick last 1.5 miles to stretch my legs and finished in 4:24. Brian came in at 4:31 and was done!
Now the fun part started – the journey back to the airport, a flight to Tulsa, and then a two-hour car ride home. Needless to say, we both felt like really old arthritic folks when we arrive home LATE Sunday night. Today we are both still sore (in fact, I can hear an Advil bottle being opened in the kitchen right now), but we are glad we did it and would recommend the course to anyone!
A few days break from running will do the trick and I’ll forget all about the pain and sign up for another marathon!