And just after 7:24:30 AM, we were off. My group was the just over an hour group or 10 minute miles. My goal was under 9 min/mi and I knew I had to keep ahead of them. After seeing the out of the gate too fast go, I was in the next wave and quickly caught up to the group ahead of us around the mile mark. Unfortunately, there were so many people that I went from running at a really good pace to applying the breaks so often throughout the run. With all the turns, that did not help. I could tell I was running above my typical pace but not quite my 5k tempo quick pace and had a really solid first two miles with the very slight incline. Then the next two miles there were some steep hills and the streets narrowed. Unfortunately the areas where I could make up time downhill and charging up those, a slight side stitch hit at the 5k point and my race bib ripping off one side and causing me to stop to put it back on so it wouldn't bother me the rest of the way. I slowed down slightly and knew I had wasted a chance at making time up down the hill at that halfway point but I kept chugging along. Reading this guys blog (http://thoughtsontherun.com/wordpress/) I read something that he said about yelling out hill crusher as he ran the Colfax and thought the same thing as I approached Casey Hill and the highest point of the Bolder Boulder. That hill really helped me move past some of the others I had been trying to catch after my bib and side stitch issue. Unfortunately as Pearl Street approached, I felt like I was going to be lucky to keep that pace. Then The Boss, Bruce Springstein, made his way into my ear.
In October, my family lost my father-in-law, Zane, to a work accident. He was the rock of my in-law side of the family and the reason his 3 kids (my brothers/best friends and my wife) and his wife are very strong people but part of that strength left with him. It is a subject that is
Back to the Boss, it was Born to Run (Very fitting as it was the Bolder Boulder) by a very good cover band. I heard that and picked up the pace as I barely kept tears away. I was thinking that I probably would look pretty silly to others crying and look like I was in pain or I had something wrong with me, but the pain of knowing he's not here with us really speaks to me in certain music I hear and just out of the blue thinking of experiences we had with him and this definitely was one of those times and if they had come I wouldn't have been ashamed, but my body was keeping water in and also telling me keep running. Though I am not a huge Boss fan and sang like Adam Sandler mocking Springstein to ruffle my father-in-laws feathers, I have found a much bigger respect and love for Springstein and embrace when I hear a song come on of his. I ran with that goose bump feeling I get when I really feel something spiritual like that happen. I ran through Pearl Street with thoughts of Zane and... hunger. The restaraunts smells were starting to hit the street and slow cooking barbeque smelled so good. My mind was still filled with my father-in-law though as I finally hit Folsom at Walnut. Then it was, wow you only have a mile and thank you Zane for helping me run a faster mile 5 after the previous 2 were not so good. I powered to where we have been parking for years tailgating and had to weave around some runners that just didn't have the juice for that slight incline up Folsom until you get to that nice tough climb after crossing the Creek. From there, there was no room to run anywhere and I was caught in the pace of everyone else. Entering Folsom, I wish I had found my spots earlier because so many people didn't have that last 150 yards of wind and I got caught every time trying to pass someone until the last 15 yards. My finishing time was 55:48, which gave me 8:59/mi. I had wanted a 55:00 but really to finish that well having to pass over a 1000 people to get there and finding spots when I had them and that experience was enough. I finished in the Top 10k of my first 10k and realize more today that I have come a long way in a couple months.
I met my Uncle Tim in the stands and we talked a little before heading to grab my lunch and going to join my family to walk/jog. He was like, dude you are not even winded and I know he was saying I left time out there and I knew I had too. Yeah, true. I didn't look it and I probably could have given more but weaving and getting caught in airport security type lines at times were part of the reason. He knew that too and said this event isn't set up to PR unless you are in the front to start. Here are my positives and negatives about the Bolder Boulder as a runner before I get on with the rest of the day.
- Beautiful town and place. I love going to Boulder for CU games.
- The history of it and the organization is quite amazing.
- Plenty of water stations on the course and if you timed them well, you didn't waste much time.
- Plenty of bands to keep you going.
- The atmosphere. This is Boulder so you saw the things you'd expect. I saw two groups of Belly Dancers, a Zumba group, college kids that probably hadn't been up that early on a weekend/holiday in quite some time drinking early or continuing what they hard started that night, old people and hippies.
- The start area was easy to get to and find your group. Trash cans were not plentiful but got rid of my empty bottle right before taking off cause I spotted the one lady with a trash bag.
- Clocks! Come on, this is a huge event and I didn't see the time until I got into Folsom and that still only had the time of day. There wasn't even a timer on the finish line. There should have been a timer at every mile mark at least. I like to run and enjoy what is around me instead of what some GPS or watch is telling me. I think some GPS apps are definitely off (just ask my brother the crap I have given him on that. LOL. Love you bro) and I like to run my pace but in a race, knowing my time would be nice. I don't want to have a watch when I don't run with one typically and think people miss the things around them by checking theirs so often.
- The "Lunch". Granola, energy chews, nuts and hard chips. I needed something, besides water, that was soft and could be handled in my stomach and not dry out my mouth and that had substance. I know I could have paid more to have a sandwich but I run with only a little pocket and didn't feel like having to take a card and ID and worry about those as well. I also feel $46 pays for more at any other race, so something besides what a bird or hippy would eat would be nice. I ate an orange and drank some water after. My stomach was pissed since I had not put into it what my body had taken out of it.
- This will be touched on more below because I like this part when not trying to run but the Teletubbies and people that run in the qualified group should truly shoot to run in that time frame. You are great to have on the course, but when I am running and get stopped because people are stuck behind what you are doing, it made it tough to meet my goal. This is so minor because at times having some funny people out pick up your spirits helps running. Maybe there will be some marathon runners that can help with that.
So after a second go of the course, my positives and negatives:
- Enjoying the course with my family.
- Getting to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the race and the people dressed up and everything else going on and being relaxed about it.
- You already saw my others, so I won't hit on them too much.
- The "Expo". After reading 10k, 10 mile, 1/2 and Full Marathon blogs, I can not wait to experience those. I understand there are over 50k people and another 15k or more of spectators that enjoy this event so free stuff is not as plentiful but I was hungry and still had my wallet in the car a mile and a half away.
So, after the race, I grabbed a beer and tossed it after a sip. If I want beer, I want something that enriches my taste buds, piss beer doesn't. Myrtle Beach sounds like they have microbrews to enjoy and sandwiches and foods I will totally need after. We walked around to see everything had a price to it and thus my Expo issue. Put another few tags where you get one free thing from all the different vendors there. A mini pizza, sandwich or smoothie all would have been perfect but again, not carrying a credit card or paying for a FedEx locker I have to walk all the way to the other side of the stadium to get to in order to enjoy it. I am a cheap ass, what can I say?! Anyhow, after taking a 10 minute break we needed to get to the cars and go get something to eat. Only problem was once I got to the car, my stomach started hurting and I was in need of food but was worried it'd hurt more if I did eat. I toughed it out and we went to get a couple things done before heading back to my mother-in-laws to finally see our little Sophie and get a shower. I am glad Memorial Day is on a Monday because Chick-fil-A is open!!! It was much needed soft, tasty and not too fatting of a grilled chicken sandwich after trying to ease my stomach pain when we got home. Sophie was super excited to see us and it was great to be back. After a long shower and more stomach issues, it was good to see everyone had come over for the family BBQ. We were exhausted but still awake and enjoying being with each other.
The day seems like it was 2 days into one since it feels like I ran 2 days ago, other than the sore feet from putting over 17 miles on them yesterday. I don't have a race until the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon in August but have a long training ramp-up and time with family and parties and my 31st coming up. June is busy as could be. My best part of the whole weekend was seeing my 3 year old daughter continue to bug us about getting her ears pierced and worrying it'd be a tramautizing experience due to her crying. Instead she sat in my lap and didn't make a sound as Grandma and mommy watched with me more nervous and worried about having to console her than Sophie was. I was shocked. She is tough like Grandpa and mommy.