Denver Half Marathon Recap

This weekend was my first half marathon in Denver. It was also my second Rock n Roll Marathon Series event of the year! The first was the New Orleans Marathon in March (which I rocked with a 20 minute PR), this weekend was the Denver Half Marathon.

Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon

I knew going into this race that it was going to be a supportive training run, instead of a race for time. As I mentioned last week, my training hasn’t been going as well as I’d like and this run was going to need to be 16 miles, instead of the race distance of 13.1. You never know, so I gave myself permission to run by feel, in case a miracle happened on race day.

No miracles here. But at least I looked good on race morning!

Race Day Clothing

After putting out the question on Friday night on twitter and facebook, I decided it was a tutu race. I went with a mostly pink theme and rocked my tutu like a pro:

Pre-race Smiles

Before the race, I ran a few laps around the downtown area to cover 2 miles before the start. I still had time to grab a kind stranger in the porta-potty line to snap my pre-race photo (above).

When the race started, I knew immediately it wasn’t a miracle day, but thought maybe it was a good time to try to run my ideal marathon pace. It was harder than it should have been if I was really ready to race that pace, but thought maybe it was something I could hold onto. That lasted until around mile 7 (which was mile 9 including my warmup). I managed one more mile before I gave up on my pace goal and admitted that this was no longer realistic.

Honestly, I struggled with the remaining miles and the tutu made it so much more tolerable. As always, the kiddos cheering from the sidelines, excited to see my colorful tutu, helped to pull me along.

Denver Half Marathon Finishers

After the finish line, I got my awesome medal and then ran the rest of the final mile.

I definitely had some not-so-positive thoughts along the way and seriously questioned my ability to run a marathon in 5 weeks. I’m still questioning it a bit, but I learned a while ago not to make decisions when you’re tired in the middle of a race.

Denver Half Marathon Medal

Did I mention I met my tutu twin after the race? That’s JT (I think that was his name), my twin from LA who was also running his third race in the tutu. Pretty awesome, right?!

Tutu Twins

So what does this mean for the marathon? Nothing yet. I’ve got a few more weeks to try to pull things together and I’ll do everything I can to set myself up for success until then. As long as I’m healthy and able to complete the distance, I plan on running the marathon. Time will tell!

As part of my prep, I’ve created a little challenge for myself over the next 4 weeks. I’m still working to drop a few extra pounds that won’t seem to budge and I’d rather not have extra weight to carry through the marathon. With that said, here’s my challenge:

  1. Journal all food
  2. Only 1 drink from Monday – Thursday each week
  3. No more than one missed or shortened workout per week
  4. 3 strength training sessions each week
  5. 2 focused stretching/foam rolling sessions each week
  6. Daily bible study, including journaling

Nothing too drastic here, more about being deliberate about my nutritional choices and staying focused on my training. The final item on that challenge list is the key to the rest of the list – giving control of this to God to help me through.


Questions for you:

  1. Did you race this weekend? How did it go?
  2. Any personal challenges you are going after?
  3. Do you run every race for time or do you like to use them for training too?

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    • says

      It happens and at least I knew it was going to be rough going into the race. I’m really hoping this weekend’s long run is back to normal, we’ll see!

    • says

      I wish you were coming to cheer me on too, but believe me I understand. :) Kirk has been good about not taunting me too much with fun drinks while I sip on warm tea – I will make it!

    • says

      I think tutus should be something every runner should try – it’s just too much fun. I’m going to have a good long run this weekend, I’ve decided, which will help my confidence for sure. Oh yea, and lots of praying. :)

      • says

        It’s about 450 miles that goes from Denver to Durango. My husband only gets three weeks of vacation so we’re planning on doing a 70 mile section next summer, and then the summer after that taking his entire three weeks and completely the rest. Doing 380 in 3 weeks is hard enough, but for us flatlanders the altitude and elevation gains are killer so I’m definitely going to have to get in amazing shape!

  1. says

    I found your page through Lena from Fitness on the Rocks once I saw your post title. I did the Rock ‘n Roll Denver half last year and it was really awesome! I had been living in Denver at that point for several months but it was so cool to see different areas. I skipped out this year but am training for the San Antonion 1/2 in November. Love the tutu!
    Chelsea @ Cardio and Cocktails recently posted…Pumping the IronMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Chelsea – glad to hear from another Colorado blogger! It really was a beautiful course, I plan to do it again next year. How is your training for San Antonio going?

      • says

        The training is going well so far… I actually ended up registering on a whim because we had a free flight and already knew a couple people who had signed up. My fiance is considering making this his first half so my training and goals will vary based on if he is running or not. Luckily, I’ve been keeping my mileage up in general so training shouldn’t be too bad!
        I’m always so pumped to find a fellow CO blogger, I haven’t found too many so far!
        Chelsea @ Cardio and Cocktails recently posted…Baking Up a StormMy Profile

  2. says

    gotta tell you again i love the tutu! sometimes it is nice to do a race just by feel without super high expectations or being upset with the outcome. and really, sometimes you just need the race atmosphere to get through a run you aren’t feeling otherwise.

    also, that medal is great! it beats the rock n’roll nashville out of the water. :)
    Traci @yellowWISHBONE recently posted…ATC Singleton 10 milerMy Profile

    • says

      Yay, I’m so glad the tutu makes people smile. And yes, racing by feel is usually my preference now too!

      I’ve been really lucky with the RnR medals this year – the New Orleans one was on mardi gras beads. I can’t wait to get the medal for completing two this year!

  3. says

    I know that you and I are very similar in our thoughts about counting calories/tracking food- and I just find that it helps to write it down – but not necessarily add up the calories. Like, just on a little notepad. I really hate using websites and apps to look up every single food and track it.. but I know that some people LOVE it.
    Um… you will be AWESOME at MCM- really- just think about it: you’ve been running at high altitude for a while now, so when you come here to sea level, it will feel SO easy. I know that whenever I come home from Colorado and go for my first run or hike, I feel like a rockstar! Trust me- you have got this in the bag.
    And I REALLY hope you wear the tutu for the race!! I love the photo of you and your twin :)
    Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning recently posted…WIAW 7: Getting Back On Track [+ Perfect Oatmeal]My Profile

  4. says

    Hi! I just moved to Los Alamos, NM, up at 7300 ft, and I’m training for the MCM, too. :) I found your blog by googling “high altitude running marine corps marathon,” because I’m really struggling up here still (it’s been barely over 3 months, so I’m hopefully about to acclimate). God bless the rest of your training!

    • says

      I didn’t realize NM was so high – you’re actually 1300 ft above me! The more people I’ve talked too, the more I’ve learned it can take some people a WHILE to really adapt to the altitude. I’m trying to remind myself how much easier it will be to run at MCM after all this altitude training, it’s going to help us both (you even more!). Good luck with your training!!


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