It was Memorial Day. I'd been tagged, marked, stamped, and branded. A tiny little RFID chip was attached to my shoe to record my every movement. No, I had not been placed under house arrest. I was running a race.
It didn't matter that I was not going to win, or that I had a random elbow injury that made it impossible to bend my arm or lift more than a pound and a half with my left hand. It didn't matter that I had my doubts about making it to the finish line at a pace any faster than a brisk walk.
What mattered was that I was wearing incredibly tacky clothing in public, had a slightly upset stomach which lead to a conviction that I was going to shit myself in the middle of the race, and had a huge grin on my face.
At 8:37AM the gun went off.
We moved at a reasonable crawl to the start line, behind the other 700 people in our wave, somewhere around the 500th such group that morning. There are so many people at the beginning, so tightly packed together, all bouncing and getting ready to run that it felt a little bit like being inside an air-pop popcorn maker. I was jostled by a man in lederhosen and tripped over by a woman in a tutu. It was the starting point for the Bolder-Boulder 10K.
For anyone who doesn't know, a 10K is 10 kilometers, which is 10,000 meters, or 6.2 miles. By no means comparable to a marathon, it is still a pretty sweet event... the Bolder Boulder is surrounded by bands, fans, guys with waterguns, hoses, sprinklers, slip-'n-slides, banjos, belly dancers, people handing out cupcakes, marshmallows, and radio stations blasting music. The competitors range from the ridiculous gorilla suits to the ultra-thonner elite runners of the world. While it claims to be 6.2 miles, it comes in closer to 7 with the constant zig zagging across the street while darting in and out of the crowd.
I don't usually enjoy people, let alone crowds, but for some reason, this one day, I kind of love the flood of humanity.
So here it is... the race report you have been dying to read.
Mile 1: 11 minutes and 57 seconds. Yeah, yeah, I know this SEEMS slow... something around 5 miles per hour, or a really fast walking pace, but I assure you I was JOGGING. Seriously, y'all, don't judge.
Mile 2: 12 minutes, 7 seconds: There was a hill! I swear! I am not this huge a wimp! I'll have you know I was impressed that I was still jogging, and not clutching my chest as I died of a heart attack on the side of the course! And there were people! In the way!
Mile 3: 14 minutes, 19 seconds: OK, seriously. I stopped to use the bathroom. I was convinced that even though I didn't need to go, I was going to somehow shit my pants at an inopportune moment, and I wanted to avoid it. But there was a line at the port-o-potty, and... well, these things take time.
Mile 4: 11 minutes and 35 seconds: Around mile 4 I suddenly realized that I was 2/3rds of the way through the race. My knees didn't hurt, and I felt pretty good. I also passed the "summit" of the course, and the entire thing would lean generally downhill the rest of the way... except for that one huge hill at the end.
Mile 5: 11 minutes and 18 seconds: Don't laugh! This is pretty fast for me, considering I couldn't run a mile back in March. Or even more than a minute in a row.
Mile 6: 12 minutes and 44 seconds. I know, I know, I should have finished with a bang and just taken off, but... meh. The sun came out. It was hot. The friend that I was running with had sprained her ankle two days before and couldn't take it anymore (what a badass for getting that far, really and also a bit humbling for me that she was as fast injured as I was healthy).
We walked together for a few minutes before I decided I wanted to run the last bit into the stadium, and I took off and a really, really slow jog again. I had to walk a minute later because there's this hill at the end to get into the stadium, but I ran that last lap like I had wings on my feet.
Total Time: 01:16:32.13
Pace: 12:19 miles
Overall Place: 30,256
Gender Place: 14,253 out of 26,860 women who ran the race.
Division: Of the 627 35 year old women who ran, I was in 416th place.
Yep. I'm a champion.
But seriously, better than LAST YEAR, and much more fun. And this year, we all stuck around longer and watched the elite runners, which is always a joy. Sure, I feel a bit like a slug compared to them, but there is something incredibly beautiful about those graceful people who can run well.
|View of the stadium from my seat. I actually took this picture myself with the panorama setting on my FRICKIN' AWESOME CAMERA.|