Athletics Magazine

Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon 2012 Race Report

By Brisdon @shutuprun


I’m not sure why I was feeling so “off” the night before this race. I was tired, irritable, even nervous. If I were a guy I wouldn’t overanalyze. I’d say, “Hell, I’m tired, ” and go to bed. But, I am girl so I have to obsess and rationalize the possible reasons:

  1. Slept crappy all week
  2. On the verge of that womanly thing that happens every 28 days or so. (For some reason this time of the month makes me tired and achy and stupid – you?)
  3. Realized at the last minute I didn’t train much for this race. I only signed up a month ago and kind of ignored race specific training.
  4. Had no one to go to the race with

I actually think #4 was the main problem. While I knew a ton of people doing this race, I didn’t have a buddy to actually go to the race with at 5:00 a.m. I like the buddy system. I realized that I always have someone to navigate the driving, the parking, the nerves with. But, I was solo yesterday and it bothered me more than I expected. Wah. I’m such a baby.

So, I got stuck in major traffic at 5:30 a..m going into Denver. Then I forgot things like road closures and ended up totally stressing out as I scrambled to find parking, the minutes ticking down until the race start. Good news was I parked right by the Grand Hyatt and was able to use their sparkly and fancy bathrooms for a pre-race dump.

I was smiley and settled down by the time I hopped in my corral at 7:15 a.m. We were off and I forgot all sense about holding back a bit in the beginning and spit out some faster miles.

Mile 1: 7:37
Mile 2: 7:58
Mile 3: 8:07

By mile 3 I was already tired, which is a nasty feeling to have at mile 3 of a half marathon.

My heart rate was going crazy. It was up around 177. I kept telling myself that this was not the heart rate I was supposed to be at for this race. I was supposed to stick around 165-170, but my damn ego knew if I did that I would be way off my PR. It was a total head game and so stupid. I spent most of this race battling between what I should be doing (keeping heart rate lower) and what I wanted to do (push, be uncomfortable and see what I could do). My life story.

Turns out I felt like crap the entire race. My splits show the slow deterioration of SUAR as the miles piled on:

Mile 4: 8:27
Mile 5: 8:38
Mile 6: 8:18
Mile 7: 8:21
Mile 8: 8:25
Mile 9: 8:35
Mile 10: 8:46
Mile 11: 9:02 (This is where that pleasant feeling of I might vomit settled upon me)
Mile 12: 8:37
Mile 13 (.1): 7:58

Final time: 1:50. 24th/417 in age group. <-Better than I thought!

I was bummed to be 3 minutes off my PR, but then Ken said, “Umm..did you even have a goal for this race? I thought you were just running for fun.” Oh yeah. Hate it when he’s right. That’s why I’m walking away from him.


By far the best part of the day was waiting for my best  friend Erika to finish. This was her first half marathon. I had been “coaching” her for a few months now. I knew how nervous she was about the race and how much she was underestimating herself. By the time she crossed the finish line, I was sobbing. I am not kidding you. In fact, I’m crying now jus thinking about it.


I’m an emotional wreck


Don’t be jealous of my hair. Birds love living in there.



Another awesome woman who I coached, Brooke, finished her first half marathon as well!


We headed over to the VIP tent, which was such a nice perk of running with Team Refuel. They were nice enough to give wrist bands to the whole family to get in. Private bathrooms, pre and post race buffet, coffee, chocolate milk (but, of course) and even an open bar so I did a beer bong (just kidding).



Mama loves her babies

Overall, I great morning and a reminder that:

  • Starting out too fast is for idiots
  • I don’t have to put so much pressure on myself – it makes me unhappy
  • Not every race is a PR
  • Sharing experiences wit the people you love is the whole point of everything
  • Lots of people throw up during races
  • I love the Hyatt

Thanks so much to Team Refuel for the race entry (if you want to apply to be on Team Refuel, go HERE).

Did you race this weekend?

Ever go out too fast in a race and pay for it?

How emotional was your first marathon or half marathon for you? I did a marathon before a half marathon. I had never run more than a 10k race before that. The emotion for me at the end of that race was overwhelming. It made me know I could do anything I set my mind to. It actually changed who I was.


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