Horsetooth Half Marathon – Pre Race Review

My first Racing the States race is in 5 days!! 5 DAYS!!!! AHHH!! Actually, I am a little nervous. I was debating back and forth in my head about how far/how many miles to take my training up to. With my bday being last week, I didn’t run very much, so I only got up to 10 miles, and it’s not a good idea to do any more high milage runs this close to race day. BUT, I remembered from my last half training program that 10 miles was all it took me up to. And I didn’t run 13.1 miles until actual race day. So, hopefully I’ll be ok.

Horsetooth Reservoir...this is the OTHER side of the lake from where the race is; up in the mountains

My pre race review: Since I’ve run this race before, I probably could give a pretty detailed review of this race, so I’ll only tell you a little bit about it and save the rest for a post race review.

The start of the race....right next to CSU's football stadium

The Horsetooth Half is in Fort Collins, Colorado. I love Foco! (yes, that’s was the “cool” people call it). I went to college in this city, so I lived there for 5 years….I have a special spot in my heart for this place. I go back to visit often, er, try to. From talking to fellow competitors last time I ran this race, I’ve heard this is one of the harder halfs they have done. I have not done any other halfs, but yes, I would call this one of the most difficult races I’ve done. It starts off on a hill. Literally on a hill. The start line is at the base and you run up. There’s a total of 3 major, HUGE, hills; as I think I’ve mentioned before that its not just the up hills that are hard about this race – the down hills are so steep they can just as easily kick your ass! I think the main reason I was so sore the first time was from catching my steps on the down hills. The Scenery of this race is BEAUTIFUL! The best race scenery I have ever seen! You follow the east edge of the Horsetooth Reservoir, down the Poudre River, and end at New Belgium Brewery (need I say more??).

Goals for this race:

1. FINISH – Without walking….yes, this is a serious goal! I’m nervous!

2. I think I am going to put a time goal on this one: 2:00 or under is my goal. Last time I ran the race in 2:12:26 and was 55/103 for my age/gender group (age 20-24) OMG! I’m not even in the same age group anymore!!!!! hahaha…quarter life crisis!

3. Now that I’m a more experienced runner than last time I did this race, I want to set a goal to “be less sore.” By this I mean that I want to concentrate on my running technique, especially on the down-hills and work on better footing.

This week, I’m keeping my runs shorter, not lifting at the gym (because I don’t want to risk being sore) and my favorite part of pre-race week…Carbo loading! lol


As my mom reminded me: I am doing the Mud Hen 5k on April 28th in Longmont, CO!! Its actually a pretty fun race. I’ve done the run once before, and my only complaint is that I wish it were MORE muddy!  HAHA!

First Run is set in stone!

Horsetooth Reservoir

I always get nervous about registering for races too far in advance… It usually freaks me out. For one, races cost a fair chunk of cash that I could definitely use on something else or save because most, if not all, are non-refundable. Also, I start thinking about the future, and the future freaks me out! What if I get injured? What if I can’t get that day off from work? What if I have a different job? What if I’m out of town? What if I’m sick? AHHH!! I don’t even know what I’m doing next week, let alone next month!

BUT, I did register for the Horsetooth half which is April 22nd. This will be my first run for my states series (even though I’ll probably do Colorado A LOT until I move).  I’ve done this race before, two years ago, but I chose it as my Colorado pick because I think it represents the state well. It’s located in Fort Collins which is where I went to school, so I have a small kind of fondness for the area. There are 3 HUGE hills to climb up, starting right in the beginning. The race starts at the stadium for CSU, and you literally go up! The scenery is beautiful, as you run along Horsetooth Reservoir. And, It ends at New Belgium Brewery, which has delicious local, Colorado beer!

When I last did this race, I trained for a half marathon, but I didn’t train hills. It wasn’t the up-hills that got me either (though, I was pretty slow climbing them) but rather the downhills from controlling my speed and catching my steps. This time, I think I’m good on the distance part, but really need to get some hill work in.  If anyone has tips on good hill drills, please let me know! I hope to beat my last time of 2 hours and 12 mins (which I feel is pretty decent for my first half), I think this is doable since I’m in a lot better shape that even two years ago.

Take a look at the race: