Well, I've been procrastinating about posting my race report from last week. Colorado was fun. I came back with all my body parts this time and I've been kind of in a funk since I got back. The drive to Steamboat Springs was beautiful. I tried taking some photos out the windows of the car, but they don't do it justice. If you want to see them, they're in my Flickr album. We had to climb up and over the Continental Divide. At the highest point, we were over 11,000 feet. The route we took went by a number of the big ski resorts like Winter Park. Steamboat is a ski town. The vibe is a little like a college town but with more expensive stores. The day of the race dawned bright and sunny and cold. OK, we were actually up and out before the dawn, but it was cold - about 35 degrees fahrenheit at 5:30am. My sister needed caffeine before the race and that is what time the Starbucks in town opened. We were waiting when the employee unlocked the doors. In order to get to the start of the race, we had to be in downtown by 6:15 to board a bus. Miss the bus, miss the race. Not too much stress. The ride was back along the entire half-marathon course. Oh my. It was very pretty and very long. I was beginning to have some serious second thoughts. Because of the bus situation, we had to stand around the starting line for about an hour. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt and a jacket over my race top, but I didn't have any pants and I was freezing. The bags had to go on a bus in order to be transported back down to the finish line and no one wanted to give their stuff up too early. When the gun went off it was relief. The start was kind of congested, but nothing compared to Central Park races, so I wasn't worried. I couldn't feel my feet and was running slowly to keep from hurting myself. It took about 2 miles before my feet felt normal. The route was gorgeous. Fields with cattle and houses up on elevations that probably cost a fortune. I was entertaining myself with looking at everything as I went by. At mile 4 I warmed up enough to remove my long-sleeve shirt. The first waterstop was manned by the local high school graduating class. They had just finished the day before. Each of the waterstops had a theme. I was feeling pretty good for the first half of the race. I was just aiming to stay around 10:00 per mile and considering it a plus if I felt the urge to go faster. At about mile 7 the wheels started to come off. I don't know what it was, possibly the altitude getting to me. One minute I'm running along and the next I just had to stop. I picked it up again and continued along feeling OK. Around the 8 mile mark the course passed a fenceline. Suddenly, from the distance two horses come trotting down towards us. They then decide to pace the field. It was beautiful and provided a welcome distraction. At about mile 9 there was another waterstop. Theme - Rome, everyone in togas. I grab a cup of Gatorade and take a swig. Soon thereafter, I'm walking again. Not sure why, just felt the need to stop. Thought about quitting but bulled through it and picked up the pace again. I didn't realize it, but according to my Garmin, there was a significant uphill in mile 9 and 10. About 300 feet. Felt like I got a second wind going into mile 11 and 12 as we dropped back down to the lowest point on the course. Only 6695 feet above sea level. I think I stopped a few more times on the way to the finish. It just felt so hard and I was getting mad at myself. I trained much more for this one than for the last one. I had expected to go slower with the altitude, but not to feel like it was so difficult to just keep moving. Considering how bummed I was coming into the finish line, my time was not that bad. I finished in 2:12.17 - 10:06 overall pace. I finished 600th out of 967 total and 42nd in my age group. The winner in my age group was more than 30 minutes ahead of me. The hotel we had booked for the night before the race had changed the checkout to 1pm in regard to the runners, so we were able to go back and get a shower before heading back over the mountains to the Boulder area. I've been kind of depressed since the race was over. I've been allowing myself to wallow in it a bit, I haven't run at all since the race. But that will end on Monday. Back to work and back to running. I have another half-marathon to prepare for in August.