Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Denver trip recap

I am feeling pretty caught up here at home now. The kids are all great (albeit busy!) and the fall weather is my very favorite. I have been keeping all of my runs short and very easy paced and have been running with friends which I really enjoy, and I am taking a few more days off of my core and strength training. I pigged out for a day or two and ate some stuff I normally don't (although I did not touch anything with gluten. NOT worth it).  My body still feels slightly fatigued overall, but no tightness, soreness, stiffness or any of that. The mental and physical break from intense training is nice and recharging.

I am of course disappointed with how I ran in Denver (especially after I saw that a 3:16 or better would have placed me in the top 10 women overall) but I have accepted that trying to be competitive and to be the best I can be is just going to come with ups and downs, good races and bad, leaps forwards and steps back. I know that marathoning is unpredictable and there is a learning curve and lots of trial and error. I also know in my heart that these tough races will make me tougher overall and will make the next victory feel that much better. I am not defeated and am definitely going to keep moving forward.

Despite the disappointing race, my time in Denver was wonderful. I got to see lots of great people, and I had my first ever mother-daughter weekend. (Pam married my Dad four years ago but is very much a mom to me). There were a few people I was hoping to see (Jill and Marcia and others!) that I never connected with, but I am grateful for the friends we got to spend time with.

Here are lots of pictures to tell the story of the weekend.

Shortly after landing in Denver,  Pam and I got to the Sheraton Downtown and connected with the super awesome Shannon Price. Shannon is an inspiring and talented runner, the nicest guy, and an extreme eater. :) He has been a great friend and encouragement to me in my running and it was wonderful to get to spend some time with him. He picked the BEST place for dinner - Beau Jo's!! The menu was crazy, but the best thing was that they had gluten free pizza with dairy free cheese and it was DELICIOUS. You order the pizza in this place by the pound. It was insanely yummy and we had a great dinner with Shannon and with Katy, another Brooks runner.
Pam made me make "happy face" under the sign :)
This is the gluten free personal pizza. Yes, I ate the whole thing.
The next morning Pam and I went to the gym together where I ran a very easy-paced three miles and she walked on the treadmill and did some exercises. She has been working out and I am so proud of how hard she is working and how amazing she looks!!!

After we showered we headed to the expo, which we really enjoyed. It was not super crowded and there were tons of freebies and fun people.

Yay! It's Lesley!!!!

This is my Brooks teammate, Katy, who was working at the expo for the CIM Marathon, and Shannon's sweet wife, Megan.
After the expo we headed to lunch, where we met up with my friend Terzah and her friend (my new friend!) Kathy. Terzah picked a great restaurant called Watercourse and it was way yummy and had lots of gluten free options (this was a really nice thing about eating in Denver - lots of gluten free).
Kathy, Terzah and I

After lunch we did a little shopping and picked out some food for dinner at Whole Foods and then Pam and I went back to our hotel for an early, relaxing night. It was just what I wanted and needed and we snacked, chatted, and rested.

 The race start and finish was just outside of our hotel so Pam walked me over to the start.

I LOVE this picture of Pam and I.
And here are some pics that Pam took of me running. Trust me, there was some walking in between all this running.
Don't let the smile fool you. This was pretty early on.

It was a beautiful day!

Coming in to the finish line

Pam was amazing! She ran all over the place and cheered for me. I always heard her and saw her and she gave me such a boost. Here we were sitting and relaxing on the grass in the sun after the race. While we sat I talked to Josh and my Dad, two of my biggest supporters in all that I do.
This pic shows how close the Sheraton was to the start line
A beautiful pic Pam got the night before the race

This was carved into the stairs of the state capitol building. 
Pretty soon after I finished Pam and I sat in the sun for a little bit we went back to the hotel where we showered and then we went out and had some lunch. After some walking around and some resting, we went out to dinner with my friend and fellow adoptive-mama, Katie! She treated us to a very nice dinner and we had a fun night with her.
Pam had to leave for the airport super early the next morning, and after a quiet morning I was on the way to the airport too, and on my way home sweet home.

I do have to say that the Denver Rock n Roll was a really awesome event. The expo, race morning, start line, finish line, course, course support, and everything else were all great. I thought it was all very well organized, and there were none of the issues that I have heard in regards to other Rock n Roll races (like Vegas). The course was great (mostly flat) and despite my race result, I can definitely recommend this race, especially if you are used to running at altitude, or like the added challenge of minimal oxygen. :)

More soon!


Suz and Allan said...

Great pictures! You met up with a lot of people over the weekend.

Jill said...

The course is REALLY pretty...especially the first half. This is only the 2nd year the marathon has been an RnR and I, too, have heard horror stories of other RnRs, but I've never experienced any (I've done San Diego and Denver) and this is one of my favorite courses. And you couldn't have asked for a better day - it was heavenly, yes??

I was waiting to hear from you about getting together but when I didn't, I figured you were busy. Hopefully you can make it back to my gorgeous state again soon...Thelma and Louise will take you up to the mountains where we may, or may not, run out of gas :).

You are absolutely correct - not every race is going to be spectacular - I tell my clients this often and all the xc kiddos I work with. There are just factors that are beyond our control and I can tell you that the altitude had to play a big part in your heavy legs. I just read an article about how you can lose up to 10% efficiency for every 1000' you climb above where you live. Just a thought. You have the determination and I know you will shine bright soon! Stay strong and hope to see you one day soon.

Mark Matthews said...

Denver is a great city. Lots of neat areas with busy foot traffic, the best skiing in the world to the west and the Republic of Boulder to the North.

Terzah said...

Hopefully next time you can get up north of Denver! Maybe once you qualify for the Trials you'll feel like some fun running at shorter distances and come do the Bolder Boulder.

I borrowed the pic of us for my blog. Hope that OK. :^)

Beth @ Miles and Trials said...

What great pictures and amazing support system that you have. Looks like you had a wonderful weekend despite the challenging race. Enjoy getting some rest and relaxation time in (if that's even possible with a house full of kids!), I know you will be back to full force soon.

Christina said...

First off, congrats on finishing and getting through it. I know at the point where you weren't happy with the time, there was probably some mental part that we runners sometimes have to grapple with. Take time to rest and relax and maybe view Denver as just miles on the legs, as Coach said, it will do you well for later :) I myself just had a really good Half for me and I have another one coming up here shortly and am sort of thinking the same thing will happen, I'll not be able to re-create a good race so quickly so soon. Enjoy the Fall weather changes and I know the next Marathon of yours will be one you'll be happy with! :)

Raina said...

Erin, you have the BRIGHTEST smile!!! When I saw the inscription, at first I read "one SMILE above sea level" :)

I am so happy you got to meet Shannon and Katy, and that despite the race turning out not as you wanted, you got to cement these friendships in Denver.
That is something to treasure from this trip.

coach dion said...

Yes my marathon this weekend went well, but last year I ran my slowest Marathon (4h50, yes that slow) I had to walk and couldn't run like that at the finish, so to be able to come back from the dead and finish like that... Good For you Girl...

Enjoyed your recap

Yolanda said...

You are feeding the itch I have to try a full!

I think your doing awesome!

robinbb said...

Loved seeing all the pictures. You met so many amazing people, what a fun social weekend. :)

Laura said...

Aren't Terzah and Kathy awesome? I met them both at the Houston marathon in January. And, wow, that gluten pizza sounds phenomenal! Glad you have so many good memories, even if the race wasn't what you hoped for...

Laura @ Mommy run fast said...

Oops, I don't think it tagged me, but that was this Laura. :)

L.A. Runner said...

Hope you are recovering well, sweetie. And I agree with Raina- those friendships and non-racing Denver memories will be cherished! Onward, girl!

Kathy said...

It was such a treat to meet you! I'll be the first to admit how spoiled we are living in beautiful, diverse Denver. Push on, super mama, can't wait to hear about your next race!

Teamarcia said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Denver. In the end, that's what matters most. There will be other races to rock, and I'm hopeful I'll finally meet you at one of them. Bummed I missed you though!

Kim said...

This is an interesting article, check it out:

Darin Loertscher said...

Running is the bomb! Glad you're so into it.

Jim Kennedy said...

Wow, I just started running last year. I had been working with a trainer and once I lost 100 lbs (took 2 years) I started running in races. I got up to half marathons. This year I have been running relay races. (Ragnar Vegas is next) I love the long night runs.