Denver Marathon 2008

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  SBSpartan 9 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #10597

    SBSpartan
    Member

    This year for my “Marathon Trip” my buddy and I decided to head to Denver, CO.  Ok, it was his year to pick where we were going and it was his choice, not mine.  Having lived in Denver some time ago I was pretty excited about it.

    For a variety of reasons I decided that I was going to increase my training this summer.  The first reason is that even though I outwardly dismissed the elevation and thin air because, “I was going to run pretty slow so my heartrate wouldn't get high enough to make a big difference.” and because I am running a second marathon in November just two days before I am getting married.  (Nobody wants to limp through an hour long Greek Orthodox Ceremony)  So, for both reasons I wanted to make sure I was in better shape than I ever have been.  Mission accomplished, and it's a good thing too.

    First of all, I HIGHLY recommend this race.  If you have never been to Denver it is a fantastic city and a very active one as well.  That made for good crowds and high energy fans.  You always get the fans that are in awe of what you are doing (and there were those) but Denver seemed to have more people who looked fit and active who understood what you were doing on some level.  It's hard to explain but when an athletic looking person tells you that you can do it, well, that is better than a 200 lb. lady with a sign telling me.  Both are nice and hopefully you get my point.
    The course takes you not only through downtown but three parks around the city and some of the surrounding areas.  These are not small parks either.  You really spend 3-4 miles in a couple of them and they have great views and beatiful houses around them.  In the first park you end up on the top of a big hill with a direct view over the city to the west with the mountains in the skyline.  It's the kind of thing you see on postcards.  It's true too because in the airport I really did see that exact spot on both a magnet and a postcard.  You also start and finish right by the Capital building downtown and they put on a big beer garden afterwards.  It really was really cool.
    The aide stations were plenty and well staffed so that is a good thing because the sun in Denver is VERY hot.  When I say very hot, I mean crazy hot and extremely bright.  You really need to wear sun glasses out there all the time or your eyes hurt.  ING actually put some disposable glasses in every goody bag.  My buddy had to wear them because he didn't bring any.
    Back to the altitude. My theory sucked as it turned out.  It really was pretty hard to breathe.  Even in the first couple of miles we noticed it being difficult.  Not so much that you couldn't run pace at that time but you had trouble talking for sure.  After about 6-7 miles we settled in a bit and were able to talk a bit and still run at the pace we wanted to run.  But when it came time to push a little bit more around mile 19-20 and try to get to my goal I just knew it wasn't a good idea.  It's weird to know you have it in your legs and heart but you just can't get your lungs to cooperate.  At mile 19 or so, I was starting to feel my chest get tight and I really had to concentrate on my breathing from there on out.  It didn't make me slow up but I knew bad things could happen if I tried to speed up.  So, I just got in a comfortable groove and kept on going.  I ended up passing a lot of people in those miles and it was nice to give a few words of encouragement to those who needed it.  At one point I kept telling myself two things, “Don't look at anyone who is cramping.” and “Say good things to everyone else so you can have some good karma.”  Minorly selfish I know.  😉
    In the end I felt good about things.  Typically, when I go on a trip I run right at 3:55-4:00 and that is exactly what I ran this time.  If the race were at sea level I could have done about 10-15 minutes faster and probably talked more which is something I missed from this race.  But, all and all, this was a great race and I had a great time.  Everyone should put this on their list to run.  The altitude isn't the best to deal with and maybe it won't be the same for you.  One thing I know is it wouldn't stop me from going back.

    Sidenote about the altitude.  At one point I had a short talk with some girl and mentioned that I came to run from Atlanta, GA.  Almost everyone in earshot was amazed that I was running at altitude.  It was a pretty good feeling that a mid packer doesn't normally get to enjoy.

    Bottom line…head to Denver.  It is a really good race.

  • #26384

    cameron
    Member

    congrats!

    i haven't had the chance to run at altitude but hope to someday…but not likely in a marathon!  🙂

  • #26385

    r-at-work
    Member

    because I am running a second marathon in November just two days before I am getting married.  (Nobody wants to limp through an hour long Greek Orthodox Ceremony)  So, for both reasons I wanted to make sure I was in better shape than I ever have been.  Mission accomplished, and it's a good thing too.

    congrats on the accomplishment… so what marathon on you running in November and does your intended understand what kind of nut case you really are??  😉 must be true love… ::)
    -Rita

  • #26386

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Good job on the run. It's interesting for me, I've visited Colorado and, while I've never run a race there, the altitude never phased me. Maybe it has something to do with having been born just outside of Denver and living in the mountains for the first few years of my life. Anyway, I can only imagine how difficult dealing with that is. I don't envy you in that regard.

  • #26387

    rehammes
    Member

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed the Denver Marathon.  It is often much easier said than done to make adjustments during the race and recognize the need in time to make a difference.  Correct me if I'm wrong, the Denver Marathon isn't that old of a race, is it?  I think I remember seeing an ad for it a few years back.  At that time, the course ran from east to west, entirely on Colfax Avenue.  If you've never lived in Denver, this would take you through some really bad neighborhoods.  Anyways, sounds like today's course is much more appealing.  As far as altitude is concerned, I've heard that the sooner you engage in physical activity after being exposed to higher altitude, the less the effects will be.  That's just what I've heard.  I lived in Denver for two years and the altitude kicked my ass everytime.  I've been to the mountains several times since we moved to Cali and it's more of the same. 

  • #26388

    SBSpartan
    Member

    Thanks everyone.  Let's see if I can answer everything.

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed the Denver Marathon.  It is often much easier said than done to make adjustments during the race and recognize the need in time to make a difference.  Correct me if I'm wrong, the Denver Marathon isn't that old of a race, is it?  I think I remember seeing an ad for it a few years back.  At that time, the course ran from east to west, entirely on Colfax Avenue.  If you've never lived in Denver, this would take you through some really bad neighborhoods.  Anyways, sounds like today's course is much more appealing.  As far as altitude is concerned, I've heard that the sooner you engage in physical activity after being exposed to higher altitude, the less the effects will be.  That's just what I've heard.  I lived in Denver for two years and the altitude kicked my ass everytime.  I've been to the mountains several times since we moved to Cali and it's more of the same. 

    This version of the race is only three years old.  I am not sure about teh Colfax run but I did live in Denver for a while and you are right.  That isn't always the best place to be. 
    I got out there the day before banking on the same theory on altitude you mentioned.  It didn't work for me.  Or maybe it did and it would have been worse?

    because I am running a second marathon in November just two days before I am getting married.  (Nobody wants to limp through an hour long Greek Orthodox Ceremony)  So, for both reasons I wanted to make sure I was in better shape than I ever have been.  Mission accomplished, and it's a good thing too.

    congrats on the accomplishment… so what marathon on you running in November and does your intended understand what kind of nut case you really are??  😉 must be true love… ::)
    -Rita

    She is a half marathoner and is running the half that day too.  Actually, she told me I should run it because she knew I wanted to do it.  Not bad eh?

  • #26389

    GTF
    Member
  • #26390

    SBSpartan
    Member

    Sorry for not answering. 

    I am running the Atlanta Marathon on Thanksgiving morning.  The ATC puts it on.  It's a massive half marathon and a pretty small full that runs almost the same course as the 1996 Olympics.  I did it last year for the first time and had fun.

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