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.|
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.|
|Kathy, Terzah and I|
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.|
|Don't let the smile fool you. This was pretty early on.|
|It was a beautiful day!|
|Coming in to the finish line|
|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.|
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. :)