Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Race Report: Garden of the Gods 10 Miler

I'm writing this because life goes on, but so you know. I've written letters to all my members of Congress twice (once with the content of my previous post, once to support Senator Chris Murphy's filibuster), and this evening, called my House of Representatives member to ask him to support Rep. John Lewis's sit-in to force a vote on preventing those on terror watch lists from purchasing firearms. I do not expect him to support this, given the letter he wrote me back from an earlier contact, but I believe it is important to remind him that in his constituency, there are people that support these efforts. I stand (or sit) with John Lewis. Now, on with your regularly scheduled post.

A week ago Sunday, I did the Garden of the Gods 10 miler. I had registered for this race long before I had any idea where I would be living - something like December. As it turned out, we are staying with our wonderful, generous friends Tim and Susan at the moment. Tim is a seasoned runner (see Greenland Race Report), has run GOG several times, and he decided to run with me. However, Tim and Susan had our mutual friend Jen's girls over that weekend. On Saturday, Jen's oldest daughter caught wind that Time and I were planning to do this race. She's a naturally athletic kid, and she asked if she could run as well.

Well, natural athlete or not, you don't just go run 10 miles. Or at least we, as the adults (Tim, Susan, Eric and I), didn't think that was a good idea. However, Tim agreed to drop down to the 10K, and we cleared the run by Jen. Then there were three!

We were up and out of the house by 5:15am Sunday morning (which is pretty impressive, considering we had a teenager with us). We registered the late-comer easily (no one even batted an eye when we didn't know her birthday...) and when the volunteer working the booth couldn't switch Tim's registration from 10M to 10K, he brought us to the race director, who in 30 seconds, had Tim's registration up and changed, just like that. Nice!

At the start line, it was clear skies and sunny. Pike's Peak loomed behind us, and it felt like it was going to be a hot one. However! As the gun went off, cloud cover came through, and provided just enough overcast through the rest of the race to make it amazingly pleasant! What luck!

When I registered for the race, I didn't have anything specific in mind, other than running it. However, in the intervening months, I qualified for and was able to register in the Ascent, and agreed to run Ragnar again, which was the weekend before, along with entering a number of other races. So, I decided that this would be more of a training run than a race. With that in mind, I decided that since the 10M and the 10K started on the same route, I would run for a while with my friends. My original plan was to stay with them until they turned at mile 3, and then I would run on. We started together, and ran the first mile in under 10 minutes. After that, we walk-ran. However, a little before the 2 mile mark, Tim insisted that I take off. So, I did.

The rest of the course was challenging. Long uphill slogs, with some nice downhill recoveries. The course runs through the Garden of the Gods, which is one of the prettiest places in the country. While I can't say I loved every minute of it, I walked less than I thought I would have to on the uphills, and, while overall slow, I really enjoyed this race. There were a lot of people, but because the park was closed to everyone but us, it didn't feel overcrowded. I had thought about bringing my fuel belt, but Tim (again, the seasoned professional) told me I didn't need it, and I didn't. The water stations were well planned and I never felt thirsty.

That might also have been that I had been so worried about the heat that I overhydrated. For the first time EVER, in the hundreds of races I have run, I had to stop and pee. Son of a!

Oh well.

I finished the race, in what I estimate was close to 10 minutes slower than if I had chosen to race it. The finish was well put together, with vendors and food. This race was so incredibly well organized, so beautiful to run, I could totally see this being MY chosen race in the future.

Yay Colorado Springs running!

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