Monday, June 6, 2011

I Ran the Bolder-Boulder... Very... Very... Slowly...

I ran 6 miles and no one was chasing me.

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.

I realized later that I was the one with the camera and no one had taken a picture of my ridiculous outfit.  That's teal shoes with bright yellowish green edging, teal shorts with that same color strip on the side, and a matching tank top.  So sexy.  Also, I am chubbier than I imagined, now I'm embarrassed.

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.

So, without any home pictures, I thought I would wait for the website posted photos.  I thought, I would pay a few bucks for a picture taken by a professional of my race.  Except.  EXCEPT.  It wasn't a couple dollars.  It was $20.  For one crappy photo of me sweating.

Yeah.  I didn't pay.

Now I am crippled with guilt, and terrified of the copyright police.  I may have to perform seppuku now.  Crap.

Overal ranking:
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.
On the way home, I got lost on the way to the bus stop, and took of in the exact wrong direction.  After about 30 or 40 minutes of wandering the streets of Boulder, I did eventually find my way.  Thank goodness I didn't get lost while running the race (a very real fear of mine).


Anonymous said...

You shoulda gone ahead and shat your pants, then the people behind you would be all grossed out and have to quit! Then they could never pass you and you would WIN. That's STRATEGY. But congrats on toughin' it out!

Julia said...

Way to go! I kinda lost you at mile 1! I had to go sit down and take a cold drink... phew that was a hard work out!!

Okay so the question you didn't answer is...did you end up shitting your pants...because really that would be less tramatic then running in a tutu... just saying.

Anonymous said...

Nice job! I can only run about a mile, so this is really impressive! Is that your hair braided behind you? Wow, that's long!

Leauxra said...

hoodyhoo: I will TOTALLY shit my pants in a race one day, but it is not as uncommon as you might think. I feel like I have to be doing WELL in order to get away with that sort of behavior, and I would need to eat some Taco Bell first for the proper smell.

Julia: I did NOT actually shit my pants. My stomach just does that to me for no apparent reason if I'm up before 7AM. My stomach is kind of an ass. (Also, sorry to you out so early this morning).

thoughsappear: Thanks! I couldn't run a mile two months ago, so this race was a definite improvement over what I thought I could do. And I am the Olympic Champion of growing hair. It just comes naturally...

Daniel said...

Hey, sorry I missed it this year! I was checking the flights to Denver for about six weeks before the race and was waiting of them to come down in price -- they got down to $89 each way, and I thought, "I'll just wait one more day and see if they get cheaper." The next day they were $225 each way. I almost paid it but couldn't get over the fact that I could've gotten the tickets so much cheaper!

It turns out it was good I didn't go -- Sydney got stomach flu on Thursday and Friday and I had it on Saturday and Sunday, so I would've been traveling sick and running after barfing for two days.
Anyway, good job! I'll be sure to get out there next year. Any races you want to enter before then?


Leauxra said...

Actually... I think I want to enter the Warrior Dash this year. It's up in Copper Mountain, 3.27 miles, but it has obstacles. YOU JUMP THROUGH FIRE!!! It's in August.

MJ Morgan, Writer said...

So glad you did so WELL! It is an awesome accomplishment. Good for you. ~Mj

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Congratulations! And I think all your mile times seem pretty impressive. You can fast-walk at 5mph? That's like a jog for me. My legs are like 2 feet long.

Leauxra said...

Steam me up: *I* can't fast walk that fast, but some of the fast walkers during the race may have passed me, those frickin' show offs. I didn't trip them, but I thought about it.

I need to stop reading running blogs because they're all "I only ran 9 miles an hour for 26 miles, I FAIL I'm so slow!!!" and I'm thinking REALLY? No I WON'T go after them with a baseball bat or anything.

Martinezster said...

I don't care what anyone says, completing that race is a challenge and it is awesome that we did it again this year! (especially without any shitting of pants, haha)

I am pumped for the Warrior Dash! I am glad you came to your senses and decided you wanted to do it, because we are going to rock it!!! :D