Saturday, June 4, 2011

Race #1 of the Season: BolderBoulder Recap

The BolderBoulder wasn't even really on my racing calendar this year. The race that I really wanted to do in May, the Rockies Home Run for the Homeless 5K I was unable to get off for, so after bribing a friend of mine, we switched schedules so I could get off Memorial Day and instead do the BolderBoulder. Last year, I enjoyed this race, but didn't necessarily care about doing it again anytime soon. However, circumstances being what they are, I decided since I really wanted to race, it was going to be my first race of the season.

T and I woke up very early, and like we do every time we wake up that early, wanted to go back to bed. She forced herself up and prodded me for awhile to drag my haggard carcass out. Finally, I did. We ate breakfast and because of the time issues we had last year, left the house early to make sure we got to Boulder in plenty of time.

This year, instead of parking at the finish line, we parked closer to the start due to the fact we were going to be attending a Geocaching event after the race. We went to a Starbucks to grab some warm drinks as it was an overcast day and nearly drizzly, then made our first bathroom trip of the morning. I give Starbucks a lot of credit; they had lots of water available.

After Starbucks, we decided to work our way over to the start of the course so we could find the FedEx locker and not have to wait in line for like 14 hours like we did last year. We got turned around though and had to ask some race dude for directions to it. A lesson: always thank your race volunteers cause they have to deal with goobers like us that don't know stuff.

After stashing our stuff at the FedEx line, we hit the porta-potties, about 20 minutes before our wave was scheduled to go. We were there a lot longer then we should have been, but thankfully got to our wave in time.

We waited for a little bit then off we went! Our first race was underway.

The first mile was very fast, about 9:01. T was setting the pace for us on this day, and I was ok with this, because I knew if she could get us through the first couple miles, I could get us through the last couple miles. I asked her if she was ok with the pace she was setting, and she said yep. The 2nd mile, we walked for a bit, but still were moving very quickly, holding a 9:28 pace through the 2nd mile.

I should note a couple things at this point. We had a couple goals for this race. One was to beat our time from last year. The 2nd was to come in under a 10:00 per mile pace. The final one, our "stretch" goal was to crack 60:00. At this point, I was very confident about beating goal one, about 70% on goal 2, and about 10% on goal 3. Still, felt great thus far.

Mile 3 was slow. In fact, it was slow for EVERYONE! Again, another point to note. The course was slightly altered this year, to allow for a more "technical race". Mile 3 was very winding, as well as pretty uphill. So naturally, we were a little slower in mile 3. Plus, our pace from the earlier two miles might have been starting to affect us a bit.

Mile 4 was a grind. The meat and potatoes of this run, as far as I'm concerned. You start noticing the beer people are drinking on the side of the course and have to stay focused. It's time to dig in and remember your training.

In Mile 5, I got a 2nd wind and was feeling awesome. T, on the other hand, was struggling. I kept my eye on our time, and by this point, knew that beating last years time was in the bag. Under10:00 per mile wasn't a lock, but would most likely happen, about 90% confident. However, I knew under 60:00 would take a miracle, so instead of pushing it to risk injury, I allowed T to walk when she needed to. Fully supporting her, we made it up that stupid hill that everyone whines about and made the final turn into Folsom Field.

For those of you who don't remember, when you turn into the field, you have to run a bit around the stadium to the finish line. I told T that once we hit the stadium, it was every man/woman for themselves and I held to it. Since T has a fascination with sprinting across the finish line and me, I do my little pointy-thing at the finish sign, we had no problem splitting up. I steadily increased my speed, feeling really good, and slowed just before the mat, doing my little pointy-thing and stepped on the mat. I turned around and saw a sprinting blue streak coming towards the line. T crossed, found me, high fived, and we enjoyed our accomplishment. 1:00:48. Two of 3 goals reached. Not too bad.

After the race, we signed up for the Denver 1/2 Marathon, enjoyed a caching event, and later ate like pigs at a BBQ. Overall, a great day, very impressive, and yet still can build. :-)

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