At $35 bucks, Half Marry's don't get much cheaper, so I signed up a long time ago to get a tempo test in before Steamboat in order get a better feel where I can expect turnover to be coming in and going out of Dumont. To be honest I kind of forgot for a while that I had signed up for this race, but it came up quick and I didn't have any time to do any real training for it, which is fine since it was never really a goal.
Having not run the course before, I knew it was downhill, that there was an occasional dirt section, and that it was supposed to be fast. All this is true. There are a few "hills" but nothing to break your heart, and if you're a trail runner you probably won't realize you're on one until someone around you comments on it.
So, I caught a ride to the race with Heather Utrata (2009 and 2010 Colfax Marathon winner) of the Runner's Roost Race Team along with some other team members, and got some insider knowledge on the course and a good warm up. Got to Idaho Springs, sat in a gigantic line for the bus, then started a short 2 mile warm up with some strides and short faster than race pace bursts to get my heart rate up and walked into the chute right as the starter was getting going (so far, I had a good warm up *check* and right on time).
I ran with my watch to make sure I held and even pace and after mentally challenging myself and then realizing to stick to the plan I backed off my 6:15 pace about .75 mi in and let some folks pass (not here to win, just here to work). Settling in with about 4 others we evened out and then settled right around 6:59's, a pace I found conversational, things were going well, not really and effort and the downhill course was working it's magic.
Halfway through I managed to take water at an aid station and drink pretty well without spilling (win) and noticed I'd picked up a few more seconds and cut the average down to 6:57's. I made a mental note, felt great, not sure what my heart rate was, but I felt like I was out on a normal weekday easy run, good stuff. Mile 9 came and I decided to pick the pace up a touch to see if I could hold it, not much, just a touch and I settled in dropping the average to 6:55's and then did some poor math in my head figuring I could sneak under 1:30 while just maintaining pace. My math was a bit off and I came across 1:30:34 while feeling solid, like I could run another 13.1 at that pace. Perhaps I'll start shooting for BQs when child 2 comes ;)
Overall, good workout, nice test to the tempo and I think my training is starting to turn fruitful which is nice because for the last 2 weeks I've just felt sluggish, including Jon handing me my ass at White Ranch last Wednesday! Brutal! Looking forward to 25 miles and 2x Hope Pass tomorrow, that should get the heart rate up!