Ashlie and I arrived in Denver, CO yesterday in order to spend a week acclimating to the altitude before the Colfax Marathon. For those of you who have somehow missed my spam posts on Facebook, I am running this marathon in honor of my good friend Steve Rettke, who passed away on February 11th from desmoplastic small round cell tumor, and raising money for the Wilmot Cancer Center, where he received the majority of his care. So far, Dave Rappleyea and I have raised over $1,500, so I would like to thank each and every person who has donated so far!
I am going to try something new in this marathon, specifically negative splitting. Even in my most consistent marathon, Grandma’s, I still slowed down by roughly one minute from the first half to the second. Since I have missed some training this spring, my goal is to run the first 10 miles around 6:30 pace, then run the next 10 at 6:15 pace. If I am still feeling good at mile 20, I will try to ratchet down the pace to 6:00 or so. Ideally, I’d like to run the first half of the race at a relaxed pace, and feel good enough to really hammer home the last 10K. Steve always had a ferocious kick at the end of races, even if he was exhausted, so I’d like to make him proud by doing something similar here.
Ashlie is hoping to run another 3:50 at this marathon, and I think she has a very good shot at it. In addition to her weekly track workouts with the Brockport Distance Project girls, I have also been pacing her for marathon pace and tempo runs, which she has been running very well. As long as the weather isn’t too bad, I think we both have the potential to run great races here in Colorado!
Even though the weather for Denver is usually pretty warm this time of year, we were treated to a wonderful mix of rain, snow, and wind today! I ran 14 miles earlier and was very glad that I just happened to pack a jacket and a pair of gloves. I felt good despite the wintry mix and the altitude, and the weather did make me feel like I was right back home in Rochester. Of course, since Mother Nature is a jerk, the temperature is supposed to climb right back into the mid-80s by race day. I suppose that’s more incentive to run fast, but I really hope that high temperature drops down by Sunday.