Saturday, October 25, 2014

Duke City Revisted

I needed one last long run with a chunk of miles at goal marathon pace. I could've gotten up very early before our flight to get this in. It would've been dark and possibly cold, by myself and a route I've been running a lot (too much). Instead, I was able to sign up for the Duke City Half Marathon. I'd last attempted the marathon in Albuquerque but a combo of altitude, heat and who knows what else meant I bailed at 14 miles.

This time I was set for whatever race day. If I ended up just running the half at an easy long run pace, that was going to be ok. In fact it was better than ok because I really did not want to push hard during my taper for the marathon in 3 weeks. K's parents live just a couple miles from the race start so I got up a bit early, had breakfast and cruised over to the start. I had just enough time to find a bathroom (indoor!) and drop my warm up shirt and gloves and line up.

It was perfect weather at 50 degrees and no wind. Of course it was going to be brilliantly sunny so i knew it would start to feel warm by the time i finished in a couple hours. I opted not to carry any water and was happy to see that out on course the race had replaced those itty bitty cups they'd had two years ago with regular sized water cups.

I'd lined up a fair bit back but soon i was right on the pace i wanted which was no faster than 9:30 for the first three miles (I'd run just over 2 miles slower over to the race start).  Then I sped up.

These races (5k, 10k, half and full marathon) did not sell out. Each race had a separate start time which was good. AS it was it was almost too crowded on the course in the half. It's a narrow paved pathway that the course gets onto after 2 miles on roads. Once I sped up to marathon pace, I was continually passing people and once the people ahead of me reached the turn around and headed back on this out and back course, I really had to monitor staying tucked in and not interfering with other runners.

It did give me something to focus on but this time marathon pace was enjoyable. The miles ticked off quickly. I walked through water stops but had no problems getting back on pace. The last two miles I just ran easily back to the finish. Done and I was happy to be under 2 hours too.

What a difference! I had a fabulous time running this race and was very pleased this worked out so well. They had a Blake Lottaburger breakfast burrito truck parked at the finish. I had come prepared hopeful that i could get my desired breakfast burrito. I came away with a fabulous bacon, egg and hashbrown burrito with green chile sauce. yes, this is New Mexico!

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