This year’s Pikes Peak Marathon was good to me. Although standing at the starting line on Sunday morning I had no idea what to expect—what the day would bring, except that it would be a long day. After all, Pikes Peak is a very challenging race—it routinely makes many of the “toughest marathon” lists. The altitude and elevation gain alone certainly provide bragging rights for anyone willing to take on this race.
I went into this race with the same feelings of doubt that haunt me at the start of every race—did I train enough, will my body hold up, will that little tweak turn into something significant? It’s usually here that I wish that I trained more, gotten in a few more long runs, did a few more hill repeats. Casting aside any doubts, I was determined to make it a good race. I wanted a PR and I wanted redemption for last month’s DNF at Speedgoat 50k. DNF’s have a tendency to play with your mind and I needed to shake this one out. I needed my confidence restored.
Having run Pikes Peak Marathon the last three years, I knew what to expect. I knew when my body (and mind) tends to give out. So, I devised a plan for the day—run as often as I could and run when I wanted to walk; this alone could subtract minutes from my overall time. This would require pushing myself at times when walking would seem like a welcomed gift. I also wanted to enjoy myself and be present throughout the day. In essence, I made a secret pact with myself to push hard and have fun. And with that, the gun went off and my race began. [Continue Reading]