Archive for October 7, 2011

The last two days have been rest days and after picking up my packet at the expo this afternoon all that stands between me and the starting line here in Denver is Saturday morning’s 2-mile shakeout.

My sister in-law Kim and I are going to take a ride in the morning to run the part of the course that will take us to the highest point of the race at mile 11.5 and then start the descent down to the finish line.

After driving the majority of the course yesterday all I can say is that I think it sets up as a very fair race course.

When you think of racing in Denver, CO most would expect large hills and a lot of topographical challenges.   That does not seem to be the case as the course is much, MUCH flatter than the Decker Challenge half-marathon course back home in Austin.

Now, if you’ve run Decker you are probably saying, “Big deal, everything is flatter than Decker …”

O.K., maybe that is true, but the hills the elevation profile of the Denver half-marathon course shows some areas where climbing is required, but there are also some nice long gradual descents that will allow the runners to pick up time, but not worry about “braking” to slow themselves down, and in turn, stress those quad muscles.

It remains to be seen just how much the altitude affects my ability to hold half-marathon pace on Sunday, but right now, with very cool race temperatures forecasted (38-40 at the start) and very little wind, I think it is shaping up to be a fast day for the runners on Sunday.

I will be running on Saturday morning at 6:55 a.m. locally, the same time as the race start on Sunday to dial-in and “dress rehearse” for race day.  The top of the park tomorrow is going to be the point in the race where I start to click the turnover just a bit faster and really try to let it all hang out over the final 1.5 miles.

After reviewing the course map again this afternoon and replaying the mental pictures I took yesterday I have arrived at my race plan.

Miles 1-3 – Relaxed/Controlled ~6:35

Miles 4-7 – Lock it in ~6:30

Miles 8-11.5 – Hang tough ~6:25

Miles 11.5 – Finish – Let it all hang out ~6:20?

So, we’re going to go for the negative split, hard charging strategy and see just how much we can push it down the stretch.

Regardless of my overall time, finishing this race with my hair on fire is what I am looking for in Denver.  It will be the perfect way to wrap up these last three weeks of racing and move into the final 4 weeks of preparations for New York.

I want to feel the wind in my face and my legs churning as my friend Steve Speirs likes to say, “closing like a freight train”.

If you’re on the side of the road over the final mile, be on the lookout for a bright yellow brooks singlet flashing by – it’s going to be quite a final mile on Sunday.