Colfax Half Marathon

My goal is to complete a full Ironman triathlon before I’m 40. To accomplish this, I’ve got a lot of work to do. Before I complete a full Ironman, I need to work towards a half. And before I can do a half I need to actually do a triathlon. Then there are the individual disciplines. Sure I’ve got cycling in the bag, but running and swimming need a lot of work. So I figured I would try for the Colfax Half Marathon.

2015-05-17 06.08.02I made the decision to run the Colfax Half Marathon only a few months out. I had been running, but I needed to get my milage up. I made a training plan and stuck with it. I surprised myself with how well I did, better than expected.

I had run a couple of 5K’s with my sister and enjoyed them. But they were short and not that much of a challenge. I knew achieving longer distances would be work. I probably could have moved to a 10K next, but there was a draw to the half marathon. And if I was going to try to do a half Ironman next year, I would need to be comfortable with this distance. So the Colfax Half Marathon it was.

I structured my training on MAF. I’ve talked about it here before, and now swear by it. The basics are you take 180 minus your age. The result is the max your heart rate should hit while training, and you should keep it within a range of 10 beats below. So for me, 146 to 136 is my MAF range. I did all my runs in this range, and increased my milage a mile every week, maxing out at 14 miles. I also completed a week long taper, which was hard. But it all paid off.

My fastest half marathon time while training was 2:20. Now it was all at MAF, and I only made that distance twice, but I didn’t expect to do much better than that. I had 2 hours in my head, so that was kind of a goal, but wasn’t going to expect it.

I got a good night of sleep before the Colfax Half Marathon. I wanted to be at my best for the race. I woke up at 4am so I could prepare and find a parking space before 5:30am. Parking was a challenge and after driving around for nearly 20 minutes I finally found a very tight spot on the street. I parked and walked to the start. It was quite a walk actually, I was completely on the other side of City Park. I got to the starting line just as the full marathon was starting, which was 6am. It was really cool to see it start.

2015-05-17 06.42.47The half marathon was supposed to start at 6:45, but in waves based on the letter of your corral. I was in corral Q. WTF! I waited in the cold for almost a half hour before it was time to start. But finally we got going, and I felt great. It was crowded. Very crowded. There were 5840 people running the half. Yeah that’s a lot.

The race started out and we went through the Denver Zoo. It was kind of cool to see, but the pace was a little slow because everyone was looking at the animals. Yeah I kind of wanted to check them out too, but I wanted to run. I only saw a few animals, there were some kangaroos, a rhino and flamingos. Once we got out of the zoo, it was time to open up and go for it.

I was feeling great, and was passing people left and right. It was a little annoying to be honest, I really should have started in a faster corral. I kept looking at my watch and was surprised by my pace. I actually thought it wasn’t accurate. My heart rate was up there, and it concerned me a little, but I felt good so I just went with it. When I hit the halfway mark I was surprised, it was going by so fast.

There were supposed to be water stops every two miles. There were, but they were out of water, or didn’t have it ready as I ran by. This was a little disappointing. They had plenty of gatorade, but I didn’t want to put that sugar filled shit in my body. I was running on Bulletproof coffee, and it was working! There were a two water stops that I was able to get a quick sip at.

2015-05-17 09.53.53As I passed the 10 mile mark, I was still feeling great, like really good. I stepped it up and was running hard. I got to about mile 12.5 and started to feel it. I couldn’t keep that pace, but I was so close to the end. I held back a little and figured I’d sprint to the end. I was still clipping along at a good rate, and started to question if I had it in me to sprint. The end of the course narrowed, and there were a lot of people. I wasn’t really able to sprint, and everyone just stopped right at the finish, so it was a good thing I didn’t go for it.

I ran so much harder than I’m used to. I felt almost sick when I stopped. They were handing out the medals, which of course was a priority and also bottles of water. I drank some and felt better.

I didn’t really notice my time when I finished. I checked my GPS and realized I finished in 1 hour 53 minutes. I wasn’t expecting that. I wanted to break two hours, but hadn’t thought it was a possibility.

It was barely 9am, but we got a free, beer so I grabbed one and rested. It was supper light, but it actually tasted good, and I felt like I earned it. When I finished drinking it I figured I’d take off. Well turns out I had parked on the marathon course, so I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I waited for about an hour and everyone left was walking. I asked the officers that were blocking the road if I could get out. They told me to be careful and just not hit anyone. They moved the barricade and let me through.

It was a great experience, and the results were way better than I expected. A full marathon is definitely next, and the training starts now!

Official Results:
Congratulations #4745 JARED PICUNE!
Here are your results for the Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon:

Your final time is 01:53:05 at a 00:08:37 pace.
You finished 788 out of 5840 in the HALF MARATHON.
You finished 196 out of 685 in your class M30-39.


Growing up in Colorado you can't help but love the outdoors. Something magical happens with 300 days of sunshine and the Rocky Mountains in your back yard. My athletic endeavors started on the bike, I would get out and ride whenever I could. In 2011 I moved to Oxford, England for work. I missed the sunshine and mountains, but discovered my passion for running. When I moved back to Colorado I started combining cycling and running, so it was only natural that I started competing in triathlons. I took second place at my first sprint, and caught the bug. Today I'm training for my fourth Ironman.

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