Happy Fourth of July!! Fourth of July is really special in this town in Colorado where we go. A parade, fireworks over the mountain, and just aq general air of community and friendliness. Just perfect here. And today's weather is picture perfect. Sunny and 75.
I started the morning, as I have for several years, with the Boogie's Diner 5 mile race. I have run this race for years, and usually come here out of shape, and not adjusted to the altitude. Plus, because we are on vacation, I usually am coming off a big dinner, lots of wine and a late night from the night before. This year, I still am not adjusted to the altitude (8,000 feet) and had like 15 drinks last night. But I am in better shape than ever before. A note about this course. It starts close to the base of the mountain and then runs downhill, down river for about 2.5 miles; then, it turns around and makes up all that elevation over the next 1.5 miles; and mile 4-5 is relatively flat, with an uphill finish. The key is not to run too fast at the start and then hold on for dear life on the hill in miles 2.5-4. In fact, I have never made it up that hill without walking. The altitude, the grade, the wine, my weight and condition, whatever, have all conspired to make me walk at least part of the way up it.
I set my Garmin race partner at 7:40, and honestly had no idea if that was going to hold or not. I ran 6 miles yesterday at this altitude at 8:01 pace. My legs are really shot after all the recent racing and the half marathon last weekend. Before we came out, I decided not to run this race, but nostalgia and the general feeling of fitness in the mountains overcame my sense of closure from last week.
The long and short of is that I came out super fast, as could be expected. First mile was 7:07; second mile was 7:25. Both of these miles are really downhill, losing about 200 feet.
The turn comes at about mile 2.4, with the next half mile being a crusher. My split was 4:25 (gaining 131 feet); mile 3 to 4 was 8:18, with a gain of another 130 feet. And I felt so spent. But I didn't stop and walk. Mile 4-5 was run through town with a slight uphill finish, ran it in 7:10 or so, for a finish time of 38:22 or so
I have no idea what my age grade time was, and at this elevation it is kind of meaningless. Running at 8,000 feet is much, much different than running at sea level. Last year's race was the first race in which I wore my Garmin 405 and heart rate monitor. This year my time was over 6 minutes better, and my heart rate about 10% lower. (Last year I hit 191 on the HRM running to the finish; that is kind of scary that my heart was pumping that fast. This year, my finishing HR was 176.)
Now off to the parade!!
Distance Split time Pace vs avg. Elev. chg.
0.50 3:19 -01:01.59 -50
1.00 3:48 -00:04.19 +6
1.50 3:45 -00:10.62 -43
2.00 3:42 -00:16.75 -27
2.50 3:46 -00:08.37 -63
3.00 4:25 01:09.04 +131
3.50 4:09 00:37.63 +65
4.00 4:09 00:36.83 +62
4.50 3:41 -00:18.14 -49
4.97 3:25 -00:25.33 +30