Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No. 45 (or 15337th place)

So I decided a little while ago that I should run the Bolder Boulder this year.  I had done it the first time back in 2004 with a couple friends of mine.  I had started running "for real" maybe in 2003 or 2002, and was enjoying doing local 5k's.  I was really enjoying being able to run, so I entered the BB10k and started training.  I ran 6 miles once, which was two laps around City Park, and felt ready for it.  And I was!  My friends and I ran the whole thing without stopping (which was our/my personal goal).  We kept a slow and steady pace, finishing at a reasonable, if not humble, 1:10:58.  I ran it again in 2005, finishing in 55:53.  In between these two races, I ran a half-marathon in Carlsbad, CA in January of 2005.  I trained in Denver through the winter, which meant that the actual race at sea level at a comfortable 60 degrees was pretty fantastic.  I can't remember my actual finish time for the half, but it was nearly dead-on 10:00 mile (I honestly think something like 131 minutes, 28 seconds).  And I haven't gone farther than a 10k since then. 
I was so glad that the same friend I ran with in 2004 wanted to run with me again this year.  We have always had fairly similar paces, so I felt good about being able to run the whole thing with her again (without stopping ha ha).  And we did!  She set a strong pace, and we finished in 1:00:53.  I came in 15337th place out of more than 50,000 people.  It's a HUGE race.  On the course, there were no fewer than 3 slip-n-slides in people's yards that a runner could choose to dive through (I chose no).  One appeared either filled with beer, or really dirty water.  At mile 2, there was the unofficial "marshmellow station", with a guy tossing marshmellows out into the runners.  I didn't get one, and I'm still a little sad about that.  There was an Elvis impersonator, whom my friend high-fived.  [To make it easier for future reference, I'll call her the Pie Girl, since that's how we became friends.  I am aware all my personal business is out there in
 this blog, but I don't see the need to bring any unwanted attention to the Pie Girl.  Also keeping in mind that being called the Pie Girl is not a reflection of her appearance in any stretch of the imagination.  She is quite petite and fit.  I will be mentioning her again in future blogs.  Back to the race.]  
Somewhere around mile 4 was an elusive donut stand.  I saw a girl running with a donut, and I told the Pie Girl with undisguised envy, "that girl has a donut".  She had seen the stand, but somehow, I missed it.  People come out to the neighborhoods and eat their breakfast in their pajamas, and at least once the smell of bacon was overwhelming.  Nearing mile 6 was a girl with a plate of cupcakes.  I applauded her (literally), but declined.  I wasn't feeling like eating a cupcake just then.  Weird, I know. 
The BB finishes with a run through the CU football stadium.  It's super fun (?) to sprint this last little part.  It's loud, there's music playing, the stands are full of people cheering you on, and you're almost done!  So I sprinted (read: accelerated from a jog to a run) to the end.
And as an aside, this race is always run on Memorial Day.  I had always thought of Memorial Day as a day to honor fallen soldiers.  However, the BB gives you a free bib to honor any and all people who have served/are currently serving.  And I was so excited to put two people of whom I am quite proud: my currently serving Sergeant First Class super secret squirrel brother-in-law, and friend from previous job who was apparently a major bad-ass in the Army at one time.

The Pie Girl and I had a great run.  On the drive back from Boulder, we talked about triathlons.  She's done one, I haven't.  It's something I kind of always wanted to do, but a) didn't have a decent bike and b) didn't have consistent pool access.  I now have a more than decent bike.  So, before I lost my nerve, feeling all super confident and mighty, we registered for the "Tri for the Cure" in Cherry Creek State Park on August 7th.  That gives me just over nine weeks to find a pool, and see if I can even swim 750 meters. 
I feel pretty confident I could do the whole race without training any harder than I ordinarily would do over a summer.  But all bravado and braggadocio aside, by "do" I mean “finish”.  Not heroically, not without a lot of discomfort, and likely not without feeling pretty miserable the whole time, and perhaps with a dramatic crawl to the finish line.  Soooo, I'll find a pool (I already found a couple at rec centers I can pay through the nose to use), and figure this thing out.  And perhaps, eat my words.
I'll admit that the swim part makes me nervous.  It's in a yucky reservoir (one year participants in this same tri all got some horrible skin rash from a parasitic snail or something godawful), it's in open water, there will be a bunch of other swimmers with their arms and legs all kicking out everywhere, and I've never done anything like that before.  And I have literally no concept of what it means to swim 750 meters.  It's like, half a mile.  Is that far?  I don't even know.  It sounds far.  I suppose I'll find out soon enough.
And just to see if I am over-confident or actually capable, this weekend I will attempt the entire bike/run portion.  So I'll ride my bike 11.4 miles (maybe 12 to call it good) and then run 3.1 miles.  My logic is that I can ride 30 miles and be OK, and I just ran 6.2 miles and was OK.  I can probably do half of each at the same time and be OK.  Right??  


  1. right!
    here's the logic that got me into running marathons:
    already knew i could run 5 miles, so i figured i could run 10. if i could run 10, i could run 20.
    then i could fake the last 6.2. see? marathon math.

  2. When I trained for an event about which I knew too little, I found a "bible" that got me through many nights. Besides a wealth of good advice about what shoes, what snacks, etc., I got something more. I immediately learned all the things that scared me most were (likely) silly and the things I should be scared about hadn't even entered my head. Both humbling and empowering!

    WV-gasha. Don't gasha leg or anything else on this endeavor.

  3. Any strollathons I can sign up for?

  4. Meant to say earlier that I like the picture of you with the (almost) disembodied hand upon your shoulder. "How'd she do that?"

  5. @rraine - I understand your marathon math. It makes sense.
    @LM - I am resisting looking at training bibles. I kind of don't want to know what I haven't already thought of.
    @Kirk - that made me LOL!
    @LM - I'm not quite that stretchy! That is a pic with the Pie Girl, who may or may not want to have her face up on my blog. That's her hand though. You caught me.

  6. Ha! I recognized her from the tiny slice of face that shows. I admire you giving her anonymity. If she wants to be on a blog, she'll let that be known. I HAD to read up on my event. I CAN'T not know. The fear of the unknown is a big trigger for me. I can go into something knowing it's going to be really terrible, and I'll do better if I just know what to expect. Besides, I was afraid I'd be asked the trick question at the half-way mark and I wouldn't know the answer to it.

  7. @LM - are you saying there will be a pop quiz somewhere maybe in the transition area? Is that what they mean by practicing my transitions?? Do I need to make flashcards???

  8. Well, I don't know for sure, but I was worried about just those manner of things which is why my enquiring mind wanted to know.