Running Quandry

I will be adventuring out to Colorado this Summer to run a race.  A big race, my BQ attempt.  Revel Rockies is a downhill course taking place outside of Denver in the mountains.  I’ve been looking forward to it for quite some time now, as I have never spent any time in Colorado at all except for a few times on the tarmac heading through to another destination.


I have gone back and forth at least 100 times trying to map out this adventure.  Everything from flights, rental cars, accommodations, to length of overall stay.  I would love to spend a few days there exploring, seeing some sights.  It would also give me the opportunity to adjust to the altitude change.  You see, I live pretty much at sea level, and well you know, Denver is considered the mile high city.  The elevation there is almost exactly one mile above sea level.  That’s over 5,100 ft. of elevation.  The air is thinner and dryer.  They say to drink more water prior to visiting, as it helps you adapt better.  They also say that if you run 10 miles a day at home, to go for six in Denver.  That scares me a bit.  I’m running 26.2.


The opportunity to “get my feet wet”, with running out there has fallen into my lap.  I have signed on to pace the Aspen Valley Half Marathon the day before my big race.  This gives me the chance to get a feel for the elevation.  I specifically chose a pace time well over my race pace (2:15 finish time), and it’s a net downhill elevation course, so it should allow a nice slow pace, and let me get a feel for the air and elevation.

I am trying to make all this work logistically, and am finding it very difficult.  The distance of Aspen from the airport, bib pickup, accommodations, everything about it is difficult to plan.  Well, if my pockets were much deeper, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I am trying to figure this out on a budget.  Aspen is not cheap!  Even looking at AirBnB is not cheap.

What would you suggest?  Should I take advantage to my time there by running two races at all?  Should I just concentrate on the BQ race?  I really am torn.  Your thoughts would be helpful, I’m sure.

11 thoughts on “Running Quandry

  1. Personally, I wouldn’t run a half prior to a marathon the next day, but I’m delicate – lol. Downhill doesn’t feel all that great after a while either.

  2. Just because it’s down hill doesn’t mean it’s easier. As we know, it can actually be slightly more difficult in the last miles. I wouldn’t run more than a few miles before a BQ attempt. “Just” running, yes, but 13 miles the day before is 13 miles, no matter what speed. You could always do both and go for BQ in Chicago! Anyway, sounds like you’ve got lots of adventure planned! Good luck!

    • I’ve thought the same thing. The adventurer in me says do it. The other part of me says to just focus on the BQ attempt. I’m torn. If I wait and try at Chicago, it would mean an attempt for the 2017 Boston. Who knows…but I do know I’m a bit crazy. I knew I could count on you for some great input!

      • Crazy is good. 🙂 I’m going to go for mine only 11-12 weeks out from my Ironman. A lot of people think that’s nuts but hey, I’ll be in shape, that’s for sure!! I would normally say go for it, but if you want Boston ’16, concentrate on that. If you don’t mind ’17, have some fun and do Chicago! Easier said than done, I know!

  3. I am so interested in this series. In my 50 state quest, I have yet to do Colorado and have my eye on a few races there, with this series being on my list.

    I am like you. I don’t shy away from running two races within a short amount of time. If your goal is just do finish and do it, then hell yeah do both of them!! But, if you are shooting for a BQ and if this is something that doesn’t come easy (I don’t know if that is the case – just throwing scenarios out there!), then I would probably not pace the half and just run a few shakeout miles.

    Either way, you rock. I would so do that.

  4. If you are trying to BQ, I would skip another race, unless it’s after the BQ attempt. If it were not a BQ I always say, run all the races!
    Also I was in Denver this past year, coming from Iowa I too was worried about the elevation. I ran 5 miles prior to the race and drank lots of water and had no problems on race day.
    Good luck with your decision.

  5. There definitely is a difference with elevation, so I would definitely encourage the half marathon to test yourself, assuming you are comfortable with that distance close to the marathon. I have hiked out west but not run, and can say there is a noticeable difference. You should definitely check out Aspen– it is a neat town and worth the drive, but it is a haul. I also like Breckenridge (a little less expensive) and used it as our base for exploring the area a couple summers ago. Enjoy the scenery and good luck.

  6. Nothing the others haven’t already said… If they’re all fun runs, or if you’re used to putting in over 50 miles on the weekends, or if you reckon you’ll make your qualifying time by a huge margin anyway, then by all means do them both. But if this is a last ditch attempt and is close to borderline I’d just focus on the BQ and just chill the day before. Good luck either way!

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