Hello, this is Adelaide’s sister, Lydia. I basically moved to Boulder because of Adelaide, but that was over six years ago, and is probably a story for a different time. I used to do ultra running and cycling, but last year we welcomed our lovely daughter, Charlee, into the world and schedules have been different. In between taking care of her and fitting in the usual 40 or so hours of work, I tend to focus on getting out for about an hour at a time. I make those hours count though, and have been focusing more on strength and speed.
Last weekend, Adelaide asked if I wanted to run the Beat the Heat 1/2 marathon. I am bad at looking at stuff on my computer on the weekends, so waited until Monday. Adelaide asked me to do a race a few weeks ago, and I didn’t bite. If you don’t do something with someone on occasion, they stop asking, and I didn’t want that to happen. When I finally looked at my emails and the details on Monday, I also noticed that Adelaide hadn’t actually signed up for the race yet. She was apparently on the fence. We talked and finally made plans on Tuesday. My husband, Jeff, offered to bring Charlee to the race so that she could see the action and cheer us on.
Last week, I had a chance to do a short run with Adelaide and we talked about nutrition. She told me that many people – women especially – don’t eat enough when they are working out. After this conversation, and since Adelaide has greatly improved her own races, and since she is coaching now, I asked her for details on how to prepare and what to do on race day. Then I followed everything that she told me to do. Exactly. (You must note that for me to follow these types of instructions to the letter is perhaps a little rare.) Here are some highlights:
- Pancake with almond butter and honey for breakfast before the race, check.
- Sunblock on face, arms, and legs, check.
- Silly looking dynamic stretches and a mini jog before the gun, check.
- Final bathroom stop right before the gun, check.
- Take three GUs and eat two, maybe three during the race, check.
- Start out at a pace that feels slow and then build, check.
- Pick up the second half, check.
- Track diligently throughout with a Garmin, check. (thanks Kennett for lending me yours!)
I joke, but this is the best half marathon I’ve ever run. It might even be my best time. (Note that I borrowed a Garmin – I am bad at keeping track of my times over the years.) I actually felt great throughout the race and got to really enjoy a few points of competition and strategy throughout the run. I managed to hold back and start off gently. Around three miles, Jeff and Charlee were waiting. Since there were a few switchbacks going up to Stanley Lake, I got to see Jeff and Charlee four times.
The course had two out and backs. I saw Adelaide ahead of me on each one. At the first sighting, I just waved and gave a cheer as I didn’t want to mess her up with some silly high five. I pondered the etiquette on cheering if someone is really racing for a time but is also your sister. By the second sighting, I held out my hand for a low five as it just felt right.
I continued to feel strong along the lake and picked up the pace running back down from the reservoir embankment and onto Dry Creek path. I had a little bit of competition with another woman for most of the race. We alternated who took the lead. Coming back down the embankment, I was in the lead, but could hear her just behind me.
Finally, around mile 11, the legs started to complain. At that point, I had another squeeze of GU, and focused on holding pace for the last two miles. Although my running companion took off just in front of me, I was happy to have had a little competition with her for most of the race.
Adelaide finished ahead of me as second female. She surprised me by coming back up the course and pushing me along to a strong finish. My first race post-baby was a big success. My mile splits were fairly even, which I am really proud of, especially since the course had some 700 feet of net gain with one decent climb and several rollies. I learned a lot from Adelaide and we had quite a bit of fun too.