HuHot Half: A Flatlander Races At Altitude

Hey, friends!  Happy Monday!  I’m off on yet another short trip (trying to soak up all the adventure I can before reality starts in a few weeks!), but I wanted to pop in quickly to give you a brief recap of July’s half-marathon.  I’ve got several posts coming your way in the next little bit all about our trip (look at that-I’m actually going to get to talk about backpacking around here!).

Because our annual vacation to the mountains started with our July race, that’s where I’m going to kick off the recaps as well.  This particular race recap will be short and sweet for one specific reason-it was three weeks ago and my memory is hazy!  That definitely means that I’ve had plenty of time to completely forget any bad parts, and just focus on the good stuff.  Isn’t that always how races go?

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When I first started looking for July races, I knew that scheduling would be tricky since we always take our two-week vacation that time of year.  That’s why I was really excited when I found a 4th of July race in Colorado Springs.  It was easy to fit into our trip, and I thought it was a really cool way to celebrate Independence Day.

This was the HuHot Half On The 4th in Colorado Springs, and we pulled into town the night before.  We just missed the window for packet pick-up that night, but Dad, John, and I were able to scope out the race site and eat a carbtastic pizza dinner.

The next morning we were at the start line about an hour early to get our packets and bibs, and take all of our usual pre-race photos.  We’re making sure our adventure this year is well-documented.

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Just before seven, Dad and I handed over our race swag to John, and towed the start line.  The race started in Monument Valley Park, and the whole thing was on the Greenway Trail.  It was really nice to not have to worry about traffic, but the start line was a bit congested.  Hundreds of people starting on a path made for maybe two is a bit much!

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I have to be honest-I was a little bit worried about how I was going to handle running at altitude.  As much I consider myself a mountain girl at heart, my lungs spend 11.5 months a year at sea level.  There’s no way I wasn’t going to notice.

Sure enough, I felt the difference immediately.  I run enough now that I can usually cruise through seven or eight miles before I feel the burning need to make.my.legs.stop.moving.  This time around I got to the mile 1 marker and thought, “Oh my gosh, that was only mile 1?!?!”.

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I could tell Dad wasn’t feeling 100% either, and, when I looked over at him, he quickly indicated that his legs were completely dead.  I settled in for a long race.

Luckily, it was never horrific.  Sure, it wasn’t the best run, but I never felt miserable.  It was an out and back course, and, when we made the turn at the halfway point, it seemed like my body magically adjusted.  That made for really pleasant second part of the race.  I was able to concentrate on my surroundings, and really enjoy the views all around.  It was easily the prettiest course we’ve raced on, and I could feel my Colorado euphoria threatening to take over with each passing mile.

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When all was said and done, we finished in 2:13:14.  That’s definitely all the slow end for me, but, overall, I was completely happy with the race.  Dad and I were able to hold a consistent pace throughout, and we were definitely working against some factors were not used to.  It was a solidly good effort on our parts, and I’m proud of it.

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Quickly, I’d like to say how much I really enjoyed the course.  Yes, it was a bit congested at the beginning, but it was actually better than a lot of other races I’ve been a part of, and you just can’t beat the scenery.  Not to mention it was a fairly fast course with no significant ups or downs.  Perhaps it doesn’t make me as hard-core as others, but that’s always a positive in my book!

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So that was #7 Colorado!  In case you’re wondering, we’ve now covered Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Colorado.  Next up we’re heading to Albuquerque for #8, and I can’t believe we’re already that far along!  We just might actually do this crazy thing 😉

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5 thoughts on “HuHot Half: A Flatlander Races At Altitude

  1. di @ life of di.

    Awesome! I really hope to run another race soon. I keep trying to run and I just haven’t been able to push through my pain threshold. I’m so surprised how much more difficult it is to run after baby. I guess it makes sense – it usually only takes me a few weeks or so to loose my running endurance. My goal is to run a half this fall or in the spring.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: I Am Apparently NOT Invincible | Free Range Human

    1. Natalie @ Free Range Human Post author

      Oh wow! That looks awesome! Unfortunately, my spring break is a few weeks earlier. Oklahoma always does it the third week of March. However, there is talk of us coming to ski during spring break this year so maybe we can meet up then!

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