Ft. Collins-What a great town. I could see myself living there. Everyone was out riding bikes and/or walking their dogs. They would ride their bikes to the breweries...they would take their dogs to the ice cream shops. It was so fun, so laid back and so beautiful. The weather was perfect. It was sunny in the high 60's to the low 70's with no rain!
Doug and I took a trip up through the Poudre Canyon to get a feel of the course Saturday. Strawberry Hill Runner-you were right...amazing. When we got up to the start line, we ran into two bikers that had biked UP the canyon. One of them was the race director that makes an annual bike trip up the canyon the day before the marathon.
After we drove the marathon course we met up with Steff and Steve at New Belgium Brewery and then hopped over to Odell Brewery. One of my co-workers who lives in Denver and went to school at Colordo State was advising of places to visit while in Ft. Collins. Of course, he mentioned the micro-breweries, and then he mentioned the Anheuser-Busch brewery. I was like, you have GOT to be kidding me. First, to get me to drink that crap at home, I would have to run out of water and be on my death bed, and two, being in Colorado, that is the last place I would visit with their great micro-breweries. Needless to say-we didn't visit. So after the two micro-brew stops, we headed to a great little Italian joint and then it was time for the sack as buses would leave for the start at 4:00 am Sunday morning.
It was an early morning as we jumped on a bus and headed to the start. It was a long, dark trip up the canyon so Doug and I decided to catch some zzz's. Once we arrived, the sun was up and we hung out with Steve until the race started-or at least I did, Doug was in the crazy ass porta potty line. As the gun sounded, I took advantage of the no lines at the porta potty and then made my way down the canyon. I had a great 11 miles. I did all of my first 13 miles except for one under a 12 minute per mile pace. Once I hit 11 miles, some demon somewhere strapped 2 fifty pound weights onto my legs. My legs were lead. It was at the snap of your fingers-it was almost instant. I was out of gas. Sidenote: I had a rough time when I did the Ogden, UT half marathon because of the altitude and I think that's what did it this time too. With the altitude, the dry air, maybe being a little dehydrated, sweating like a stuffed pig and picking dried blood boogers out of my nose(because it was so dry) I knew the last half was going to be tough-and boy was it. I also over dressed as I thought the canyon would have been cooler then it was. Once the sun came up-it warmed up and warmed up fast.
The run through the canyon was spectacular. And we ran next to the river the entire way. It was amazing to see and hear the water rushing across the rocks for nearly 26 miles. It was nice coming around the bend when Steff met up with me about a quarter mile out and ran me in. Doug was at the finish line cheering me on and ready with a salty smooch. I finished in 5:39. I'm sore and can't remember the last marathon I felt this sore after. I think it was a combo of everything (mostly altitude) that kicked my butt-but...will soon recover and am looking forward to our next trip already.
We received handmade ceramic medals. The half marathoners didn't receive a medal which I thought was interesting as this is the first race I had been to that did not have medals for the half marathons.
We stopped off in Denver for some shopping at REI (a stop I have to make everytime I head to CO) and then ate at the best little burger joint around the corner. On the plane ride back, Steff pulled out some Christoper Elbow Chocolates for us to celebrate our great weekend. Leave it to Steff!
A tough course. Great company. Fabulous weather. A fun trip!
And...it was so great to walk in the house and see Ms. Mols so excited to see us. I think she was afraid after Game Plan left her, we had done the same. She has never been so happy to see the two of us. And now, she will not leave our side.
I would post pictures, but the computer is not cooperating so I'll post when I can. Til then...happy trails.