Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A BOLDER Boulder run

The Bolder Boulder is an annual 10k (or 6.2 miles) road race in Boulder.  The most recent race featured over 54,000 runners or walkers, making it the largest race in the US in which all participants are timed, and the fifth largest road race in the world.

I ran it for the first time in May of 2008, the first year I was in Boulder.  It was a great experience.  I had never seen anything like it and was amazed by the entertainment on the course, by the amount of people willing to go 10k sprinting, running or walking.  I was amazed by the finish line.  WHEN do you EVER get to run into a stadium full of people cheering for each and every one of us.

But what makes Boulder bolder?  I have never seen an official definition of why the name BolderBoulder came to be.  But according to me, the Boulder 10k race, which always takes place on Memorial Day, is a race to remember those men and women who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces.  The bold heroes.

And what made ME bolder?  Well, when you are training for Ironman, a 6 mile run becomes part of your everyday routine.  I run 6 miles twice a week (on a weekday) and easily double that mileage during the weekend.  The closer we get to Ironman day (read T-minus 3 weeks), the more you gotta run.  6 miles seems like a joke.  I WISH I only had to run 6 miles, but the training plan this weekend called for a much longer run.

Race bib

My Ironbuddies (Jo-Jo and "LayLay") and I met at the parking lot at 4:30am (on a holiday... yep, this is my lame boring life).  We got ready and headed out at 4:48 am.  We ran 3 miles east on the bike path and turned around to head back to our starting point.  Saw some deer and coyotes as the sun was rising (beautiful sunrise, by the way).  Got back to the car to grab some GU and re-fill water bottles and headed back out.  Another 3 miles, but this time, we headed up... or west (it seems flat, but it is not).  We saw some ducks and geese... with baby geese in the pond.  Turned around and headed back to the car.

On this "second loop" we started seeing people walking or jogging to the start line.  Everyone was excited to run this race.  I mentioned to Jo how crazy it was that some people actually train for this 10k.  It seems like such a weird concept... Since 5 years ago, a 6 mile run has been part of my training, not my race.  Do people run up to 5 miles to train??  Crazy!  That's not even an hour!!!  This is my dorky self who ENJOYS long, painful runs.

Anyway, back to my bolder run... we got back to the car and re-fueled.  Some Mix1, GU and water and jogged to the start line.  We got there right on time, since it took approximately 3 minutes for us to get started and off we go.  People were excited, and as always, started off fast.  Me?  Not so much.  Unlike the other 54,000 people running it, my Ironteam and I had just run 12.5 miles and were about to start another 6. Well, THAT's bold.

15 miles into my run (or 3 miles into the race), my feet started hurting, well... you can always expect that, right?  I had been pounding on them for almost 3 hours!  Regardless I kept going and had the chance to grab some water from the water stations.  17 miles into the run or 5 into the race, I found the best gift an Ironman-in-training athlete can ever find.  BACON.  Yes, bacon.  One word: AMAZING. Had two pieces of bacon and the taste lasted until the last stride.

The last mile is not easy.  You gotta go up Folsom St. towards the stadium, and once you think the hill is over, there's another one, but at the top of that last hill you get to turn left and enter the stadium.  A stadium full of people... I smile and relax.

As I cross the finish line, I want to cry.  WHO cries at the finish of a 10k.  Not me.  I held on to my tears and hugged my friend.  That, my friends, was my bolder Boulder run.  Bolder than the BolderBoulder.

We just ran 18.6 miles... so what? 

Kept a steady comfortable pace

Two out-and-back's and BolderBoulder run = Bolder BolderBoulder

1 comment:

  1. What a great morning. Love your recap of it!