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(C & P'd from CR)<br>
I went to Denver last week to visit my youngest daughter and decided, since I was there, it might be fun to run the Boulder Backroads Marathon. My father, who's a full time RVer, was making his way south for the winter and rearragned his schedule to meet up with us.<br><br>
L-R Big Daddy, D2, Johnny<br><img alt="" src="http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee117/johnvoorheis/Dadsvisit005.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
The race starts at the Boulder Reservoir, a few miles northeast of Boulder, and goes north, west, and east in a loop through an area that's pretty much out in the country. Of the 26 miles, maybe 4 or 5 are on paved roads, the rest are dirt with a lot of washboard areas from farm equipment. Definately not a labduck friendly course, but since most of my miles are on trails, I didn't think this would be a problem.<br><br>
Due to the logistics of this race, crowd support is non-existent. They charge big city prices to run this and the aid stations are well manned with enthusiastic volunteers, water, and sports drink, but that's about it. The day before the race I went to the packet pickup. The pickup / expo consisted of:<br><br>
1) A 20' x 20' canopy with 4 or 5 people handing out packets<br>
2) A table with someone handing out free packets of something called "Bear Naked" granola. It was pretty good<br>
3) A table with a lady selling her book.<br><br>
WHOA!!! Hold on here, it's Pam Reed at this hokey little expo. I buy her book and we talk for at least 10 minutes about ultras and other stuff. She is just so cool, and so tiny!! What an awesome runner she is and so friendly and easy to talk to. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy">This was definately the highlight of the day.<br><br>
Anyway, I got to the race an hour before the start, parked a half mile away, and sat in the rental car for a few minutes before walking to the start. The night before, I'd laid awake most of the night (as usual) listening to at least a 60MPH wind howling, however by race time it had calmed down to around 15-20 MPH. It was a little cold and I just walked around trying to stay warm before the start. The course starts at 5200 feet, climbs to 5600 around mile 8, drops to 5000 around mile 10, climbs to 5400 around 12, drops again to 5000 around 17, climbs again to 5400 around 22, before finishing near the start at 5200 feet. But it's not consistent. You go up 100 feet, down 75, up another 100, down 50, etc.<br><br>
My plan was to shoot for 4:15 to 4:20, doing 9:30-9:45 miles (a concession to the altitude, which turned out not to be a problem) and do the 1st half in 2:05-2:07, the second in 2:10 to 2:13. We started in the usual pack, doing the first mile in 10:20, by the 2nd mile the pack had thinned and I did that mile a little fast at 8:30. By the 3rd mile, I'd found my pace and managed to do miles 3-19 between 9:20 and 9:50 with the exception of mile 12, where I stopped at the blue room for a minute. My split at the half marathon distance was 2:07:05 my 3rd fastest half marathon (out of 11) so I was where I wanted to be. By the time I got to the hills at miles 20-22 or thereabouts, it had warmed up to maybe 70°F and my running pace slowed enough that it was faster to walk for a minute or two. Miles 20-22 were between 12:10 and 12:32, but I managed to still have enough left to run 23-25 at a 10:20 pace. The 2nd half split was around 2:19, a few minutes slower than I'd hoped for, but considering how the hills at the end kicked my butt, I'll take it.<br><br>
Finish Line shot<br><img alt="" src="http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee117/johnvoorheis/Dadsvisit030.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
As of now (9AM PDT) the web page doesn't have the official results posted, but my watch time was 4:26:25, which is a PR for me by 26 minutes. I didn't train that well for this, doing only 2 long runs of 18 & 24 miles, the only runs over 12 miles in the 2 months prior to this race. I now think with some decent training and running on a flat course at sea level, I could get close to 4 hours. I'm going to start trying to incorporate more of the progressive runs and tempo or hills at the end of long runs as suggested by millbot and others.<br><br>
Previous years results show only 3-15 runners doing sub 3 hours on this course (out of 450-600). It also shows that a 4:26 would get me anywhere from 7-12 out of 25-30 in M55-59 AG, but I'll edit this when the official results come in.<br><br>
FR: Grey shorts, yellow singlet, white "Rogue Valley Runners" cap, Brooks Adreneline GT7S.<br><br>
Oh, I almost forgot, the weirdest thing happened. This woman and I had been passing each other over the first 15 miles or so. Around mile 15 we were running together and talking a little, when we see this half grown kitten at the side of the road. I make that little noise that cats like, and the thing starts running with us and follow us for something like 3 or 4 minutes before running off into a field. So, I guess you can herd cats if you put your mind to it.<br><br>
Johnny<br><br>
Edited because evidently when you C & P, you lose paragraph identation
 

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ahhhh, the long anticipated report is finally here!! John - you did a great job - slicing 26 min off your PR is a huge huge accomplishment. and to do that at a higher elevation than you typically run and have a few hills that kicked your bootay at the end makes it all the more phenomenal. Wow - I'm so impressed. Your running keeps getting mo' betta mo' betta!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy">
 

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Cat-whisperer Marathon Johnny, congratulations on your PR! I didn't realize you had done so little marathon-specific training leading up to this race. That and the challenging course make your PR even more impressive. And you were looking good at the finish!<br><br>
Given this result and your recent 5K, there is no question that you can run sub-4:00.<br><br>
Cool that you were able to spend some time with family too!<br><br>
Oh yeah, you forgot to tell us about your date with Pam.
 

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Well, I responded in that other place. However, not being the type to pass up an opportunity to fawn over you, Johnny ... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><br><br>
You are One Hot Ticket in your grey and yellow ensemble. That finish line shot should be in your profile. Your posture is impeccable.
 

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That IS a hot picture, would make a nice avatar. It sounds like a fantastic weekend, hanging with family, hugh PR and meeting a super boomer goddess.<br>
She is a boomer right? If not she will be.<br><br>
Greta report John!
 

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Way to go, Johnny! That's an impressive marathon, especially considering the altitude and terrain. Who'd a thunk you'd have the opportunity to chat with Pam Reed, to boot.
 

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Awesome job Johnny!! Great pics of the family & shaving off 26 minutes? did I read that right? Wow - you rock!!
 
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