Colfax Marathon Goals

It is time to talk goals.

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The Colfax Marathon is this Sunday. I do not know what wave I am in, but the marathon is not too big and the race starts at 6:00 am, so I should be on the course pretty early. The weather is supposed to be ideal for a marathon. Hopefully it stays that way.

The race is split into 5 sections. The first and last sections are largely the same and include a run through the Denver Broncos stadium where you get to see your picture on the jumbotron (not sure how much I’ll care about that in the first go through, but I’m sure at mile 20, it’ll certainly be helpful). From miles 1-16, it is a very mild uphill gaining about 500 feet of elevation. I figure I won’t really notice it too much, since 500 feet over 16 miles isn’t all that much. However, from miles 16-20 is a section called the “Screaming Downhill”. Running downhill has always been my strength and I will be looking forward to that section.

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Not a terrible elevation profile. 

My plan for the race is to run at 4:00:00 pace with the pacer until the Screaming Downhill. If the pacer goes out too fast, I’ll keep it chill and find them later. I trained for a 9:00/mi race, so 9:06 should feel rather comfortable. I want every mile before 16 to have a “9” in the front… not an “8”. I know it will be a problem if I start punching out 8:50’s and stuff. If I am feeling good at the top of the hill, I will let the pace go down a little and ride the downhill. The bottom of the hill is right into the Broncos Stadium for the second time at mile 20, I’ll probably be excited and once I exit out, I’ll be seeing Frank and our friends at mile 22. My goal from that point is to finish with the 4:00:00 pacer behind me.

So… that brings us to my goals. My main goal is to just have fun, so if any of the other goals (except the C goal) are in the way of that, I will abandon it.

A: 3:59:59

B: Under 4:10:00

C: Finish the damn race!

Since this is my first marathon, anything that gets me to that finish line is okay. If I end up walking, I’m sure that will be accompanied with tears, but Frank and my friends will put it in perspective that I will have finished a marathon. Any time is a PR for me and I will have another opportunity to crush it in Chicago come October. I do feel attached to going under the big 4:00:00 barrier, but it really is okay even if I don’t.

I have my outfit picked out (I’ll post it later), and my food and gels are ready. I have some laundry and a little packing to do, but I am basically done. The preparation was as good as it was going to get and I am ready to do this.

I’ll be getting my bib number on Thursday and will give you all that information then. You can search me on athlete tracking by my name (Kerry Regan). They have a funny system where you get email updates (my parents are already signed up, so if you take one of the other email slots, that is fine). My Twitter account will post splits, so you should see those on the sidebar on my blog or you can just go on twitter and search @thisyogiruns. They may have a system come race day in the results, but Run Colfax has not indicated how that will work. Either way, if you want to track me and see splits, I’m sure it can be done and it will definitely be here on the sidebar of my blog and on Twitter.

I really need to say thanks to all of you for your advice, encouragement, and overall kind words throughout the marathon training process. It seriously takes a village to get me to a starting line feeling confident and all of you have played a huge part in that. During those last 6 miles, when it is tough and I want to quit, I will think of all of the things you all have said throughout my training. It has really been a journey getting to this start line and I will not forget how much that journey meant.

I’ll be heading out to Denver on Thursday (It is a 7-hour ride, so that will be fun…). I will post again before I leave with the bib number, race outfit pics, and a little surprise about a race in the UK. 🙂

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Hey Denver!! I’m coming for ya!

What is your favorite race playlist song? I am putting together my marathon day music and I need some good ones!

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23 thoughts on “Colfax Marathon Goals

  1. Awww good luck Kerry! You have trained so hard and I have no doubt you will crush your goal and come in well under 4:00. I think your pacing plan is really smart and solid. Go with the flow and if there are a few 8:50s and 9:10s, don’t freak out, it’ll all even out! Do you set your Garmin to display average pace? That’s what I do and it helps tremendously to make sure I’m on track.

    Also, something that doesn’t get brought up enough but should – remember to run good tangents. Keep in mind that you’ll inevitably run a little longer than 26.22, just due to tangents and weaving and the way courses are measured. Pacers take this into account so if you stick with them I’m sure you’ll be fine, but still make sure you are running tight corners and minimizing the amount of weaving you do. It’s always hard when your watch hits 26.2 and you’re STILL not done 🙂

    I’m really excited to track you on Sunday, I know you’ll do awesome!! You got this!! Enjoy Denver for me 🙂

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    • Yeah, this is a race where you could run some pretty bad tangents. Haha! I’m definitely going to be careful about that. I figure it is going to give me something to think about. I do display my avg pace on my Garmin and it does help me a lot when I am doing a race pace run.

      Thanks for the positive thoughts!!!

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      • Pittsburgh was a race with tons of turns and I was really worried about tangents…but I only ended up running about .15 extra. I really had to be on top of tangent-running the whole 26 miles though. But like you said, it did give me something to occupy my mind, and every time I ran a tight corner or my Garmin wasn’t that far off a mile marker I got to celebrate a little mini victory! Hehe.

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  2. Yay Kerry! I’m so excited to follow you on Sunday!

    I had the same sub 4 goal for my first marathon. Don’t panic if you feel like you need to walk for a minute or two. I took two early walk breaks around mile 9 due to a side stitch and another at mile 20 I was just DONE running. I was so tired and just wanted to quit. I walked for three minutes and said goodbye to sub 4. I wanted to cry but I knew if I started crying I would not be able to pull myself together. So I told myself 4:05 would be just as awesome as sub4 and I started running again. After a few miles I got a second wind and picked up the pace. I ended up finishing in 3:59.

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    • I generally walk through waterstops since I end up spilling water everywhere if I dont… and really those 3-5 seconds are not going to matter to my life. A little walking here or there wont bother me. I hope my first marathon goes that well. I can see how a 3 minute walking break could make me really upset, so I’ll keep your story in mind and try not to cry. Haha! I’m a crier though. Even if it’s going well, I could totally see me being an emotional mess.

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  3. YEAHHHH!!!! Time to go!

    I think you should add “Fight Song” by Meghan Trainor to your playlist! This always gets me:

    My power’s turned on
    Starting right now I’ll be strong
    I’ll play my fight song
    And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
    ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

    Great one to listen to towards the end if/when you need a self-encouragement! Sing it out loud! 🙂

    It’s really true, I bet you will think about the blog during the marathon. I know in Portland I thought about our blog friends a lot during the final six miles!

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    • Oh I already have that song on there!! I’ll probably get all teary eyed when that one comes on. I also have Map of the Problematique by Muse multiple times (I PRed my mile while listening to that song on repeat).

      I am definitely going to be thinking about our blog friends a lot on Sunday. All of you will be my inspiration to keep going when I am thinking about walking. Haha!

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  4. I;ll be watching my emails. It’s fun that I can get the notifications. So proud of you Peewee. Just so proud. ❤

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  5. I don’t run with music anymore, but “Don’t Stop Believein’ ” is always good. 🙂

    Good luck! 7 hrs; wow! it’s only a 5 hr drive for us, but with Lola it could turn into 7 hrs . . . thankfully it’s supposed to be a really lovely day. She loves that moon roof.

    Oh, I am so not ready right now . . .

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  6. You know, because your training has gone so well and been so consistent, I forget that this is your first marathon! I think your goals and race plan sound really smart; no matter how good you feel early on, stick with those 9:xx miles in the beginning!! I’m really excited to follow the race and see your success – I know you’ll be great. One thing – remember that walking isn’t failure. Marathons are LONG races and there’s plenty of time for unexpected things to arise that might require a brief walk break here and there. Keep your goals in mind but don’t be hard on yourself if you need to readjust on race day!

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    • I haven’t forgotten that it’s my first one. Haha! 26.2 miles sounds like impossibly far, but I trust that with all of this training, I’ll manage it. I’ll try to remember that walking is ok, if it does come to that. I tend to get a bit emotional at races and I really don’t want that to get in the way of my race. Thanks so much for all of your great advice!

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  7. Kerry!!!! You are so ready. i think you are one of the best prepared first time marathoners I have ever “met”. I love your race plan, you have definitely thought it out thoroughly. It’s going to be your day, I know it. My only advice (not that you asked for it) is to just soak it allllllll in! If it gets tough, remember, you GET to do this. You EARNED this. I can’t believe you get to run through the stadium not once but twice! We toured the stadium two years ago and it was fascinating. OMG guess what else, we just booked a CO trip for this June! I am so excited. I can’t believe you only live 7 hours away. 🙂 I just signed up and got one of the coveted text msg alert slots for you. I will be thinking about you the whole time and sending you speedy vibes. Have FUN and I wish you the very best for your FIRST FREAKING MARATHON. 🙂

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    • Haha! Advice is great! I’ll try to let it soak in. I am weirdly prepared for this because this is not the first marathon I have trained for!! I made it all the way to the taper for Chicago and then sprained my ankle on my f*cking bike. So… this is my redemption. I gotta say, I am pretty excited to run through the Broncos Stadium… Tim Tebow played there and I’m a little (a lot) in love with him (I’m a Gator alum!).

      When will you be in Colorado? Will you be driving out there? I go there often and might be there when you are!! Also, if you are driving, you should let me know when you are making it through the great prairie state of Kansas. I could meet ya for some food!!

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      • We are not driving, otherwise we would totally stop and see you! 🙂 I got a really good deal on plane tickets- $297 round trip per person- DIRECT FLIGHT. Can’t beat that. I am so scared of flying. I hate it so bad. 😦 Direct flights mean less anxiety for me, but they tend to be more expensive so we don’t normally get them. We will be there June 9-14. It is coming up really soon!! We are staying one night in Boulder, 3 nights in Estes, and then the last night we will end up at a hotel near the airport because out plane leaves at 5:25 am haha. Oh yeah, maybe that is why tickets were so cheap. 😉

        I didn’t read your blog when you trained for Chicago, I think I found it AFTER Chicago but I do remember this is not your first rodeo. I am going to creep on the Colfax course today…. Oh question, is KS high elevation? Because if not, how can you freaking run in CO??? When I go to CO I am huffing and puffing. In fact, my first time ever running in CO was in Boulder. I ran for 37 seconds and had to take a walking break. Then I bargained with myself that I would run 1/4 mile, then walk 1/4 mile. It was all I could do to run a 1/4 mile without stopping. 🙂 It was…. humbling. I will be in the middle of Hansons training while we are there in June and I am supposed to do a MP run while we are in Boulder. HAHAHAHAHA. That is NOT happening unless I find a treadmill. And you know what, there is no way in hell I am going to waste precious CO time cooped up on a treadmill. I will have to alter that wee somehow.

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      • That sounds like an awesome trip. I love Estes and RMNP. If you are up for a fun hike, Chasm Lake is beautiful. It shares the trailhead with Longs Peak, the largest peak in the park, and brings you above the tree line to a fantastic mountain lake. I think it was about 8 miles roundtrip, but you should check me on that. Also, since it goes above the tree line, do it early. Bad thunderstorms roll in during the afternoons and you don’t want to be above the treeline then.

        No, Kansas is not at elevation… well parts are, but Manhattan is not. It’s at about 1800 feet. I must have hit some genetic jackpot because elevation doesn’t bother me. My half PR is at 7000 feet and Denver is only at 5000, so I assume I should be ok. I’ve been fine on top of 14ers… I don’t know… I just got lucky. I’ve done a few long runs out there and felt normal…. so… I guess I’ll be ok. Everyone always brings that up when I tell them I’m doing that marathon! lol

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  8. I have been anxiously waiting for this post!!! Yayyyy!! I’m all signed up for runner tracking and got a text confirmation, YAY!!! I am so pumped for you. I LOVE your goals and I think you are going to really surprise yourself. You’ve trained hard and smart – the biggest thing to remember is to remember your own pacing strategy. You said it yourself: 9:06, and if the pacer goes out too fast you are going to just chill. KEEP REPEATING THAT TO YOURSELF!!! If you aren’t worried about running too slowly during the first half, you’re probably going too fast. Just hang on and when you get to that downhill, THEN let it fly. It feels so much better to run a marathon and feel powerful in the last miles of the race, rather than like you are holding on for dear life. You are well prepared and ready for this and are going to rock the sh%t out of this course!

    I know I share weekly songs, but a song that has been on my playlist since I ran my first race in 2007 is “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane. Something about those lyrics always fit. It actually came on this year as I ran down Boyleston in Boston and it made me tear up. Also check out “Get Higher” by Paper Tounges. I haven’t put that one in a music post but it needs to make an appearance. It’s so motivating!

    GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND! I’m cheering you on from PA – get it, lady!!!!!

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