"Run When You Can. Walk If You Must. No Matter What- Just Keep Going" ~ Day 6 mantra
Miles 143-169 ; US 40 East -> Colfax Avenue -> Lakewood
The heat was expected to get really hot after 11am in Denver, so that was my cut-off time. I had no idea how far I'd get (ideally less than 7 miles as the remainder for Sunday), but knew I had a time limit today. We awoke at 4:15am and left before 5am. We were around an hour from where I left off the day before, so with a long drive I brought along my pillows & pop tart in the car. Rob was in the jeep and I rode with my mom in the rental car. We did one pit stop in Idaho Springs at a gas station because I really had to pee and arrived at my starting point at 5:45. I didn't sleep well the night before and was pretty exhausted, but knew I just had to power through the morning and I would have a nice and comfy bed awaiting me that night. Alex was planning to drive down in the afternoon and mom had booked a room at the Sheraton Downtown for all of us to stay at. It's definitely one of my favorite hotels to stay at downtown (great location/ comfy beds/ fantastic shower), so I was pretty pumped.
I began with my 5 miles on US 40 and maybe met 2 cars, but I turned the corner as I got into my groove and music only to find that a fellow past relay Alum runner, Kaitlyn, and her friend, Nancy were there to surprise me/ run with me! Kaitlyn and I had been messaging via Facebook for a few months about running a part with me, but this was a total surprise! She had previously ran my segment twice, so I genuinely looked up to her (and she's also a total badass ultra runner). We took off and luckily she was pretty familiar with the route, so I didn't have to spend extra energy wondering where we were going next. They ran with me for the next 9 miles and it seriously flew by. Around mile 13, we parted ways and I was off on my own heading towards Golden!
It was starting to get really warm (especially with all the concrete) as I ran along Colfax Ave for a bit then started to get onto more side streets (much preferred from a pretty busy road like Colfax). I ran by Stevinson Toyota, where Alex & I had spent several hours at several various times over the years, and stopped every 2-3 miles to keep up with my hydration/ s-tabs / pickle intake / sunscreen application. I came across another hill *ugh* and definitely thought to myself I would be happy to not see any more hills for a bit!
Most of this section was pretty residential and I hit mile 21 before my energy really started to fade. I asked to go another 2 miles, then my mom would join me for a 3 mile walking cool-down. I passed by Moe's Barbecue (we have one here in Steamboat) and was somewhere in the heart of Lakewood (I think). I ran a mile on a bike path, then mom was dropped off and we began our cool down before 11am. I was so excited that this would leave me with less than 5.75 miles tomorrow! I had basically done it! Surreal.
I had been dreaming of a Jimmy Johns' sub since early that morning and let me tell you- it did NOT disappoint! Ha. It's funny when something not so great for you tastes like the best thing in the world. Rob left shortly after that to return to the RV Park (less than 10 minutes from where I finished) and my mom and I headed off to do some errands (I badly needed allergy meds at Target) before we came to the RV to meet the MS Run The US founder, Ashley (who is just as sweet and genuine as I imagined), and grab my clothes.
After chatting for a while, we left to check in at the hotel and had the most fantastic shower ever. Alex arrived shortly afterwards and we headed to the Woods Boss Brewery (where I'd finish tomorrow!) for the joint-fundraiser of MS4MS & MS Run The US. We hung out for a bit then headed to dinner at Grimaldi's (I was craving a giant pizza). It was so crazy to feel like this was basically "it", but I didn't want to accept it yet because I still had 5.75 miles left to cover before I could really celebrate.
We were all in bed by 8:30pm (apparently my bedtime the trip) and planned to get up at 6am. My mom and I planned to meet the road crew at where I left off in Lakewood (15 minutes from the hotel) at 7am to run 4.75 miles and leave the remaining for later in the morning for my finish line mile. ONE DAY LEFT!