Memorial Day Weekend

I had such a fun Memorial Day weekend!  Training was on the menu, of course, but so was some relaxing, some getting up into the beauuuutiful Colorado mountains with a friend, and participating in the infamous Bolder Boulder 10k race that is held every year on Memorial Day here in Boulder (did you guess that location by the name??)  Saturday was a fairly standard long ride out of Boulder up north to and past Carter Lake…a great route that every cyclist and triathlete around here probably knows like the back of their hand.  Sunday I headed up to Estes Park with my friend/neighbor/website guru/other Lucas McCain (he currently wears many hats), where it was a perfect spring Colorado day in the mountains.  Sun, slight breeze, blue sky, a few aesthetic clouds.  My training schedule called for a short run but I couldn’t help myself, and together we headed out on a trail that ended up being slightly longer than uh, short, but the running was combined with jumping off rocks (yes, I know, a perfect pre 10k race thing to do), hiking through some snow, and taking photos.  We smiled at the beauty and laughed at ourselves the whole way, and personally I do think that’s a perfect pre-race way to be:  happy and not stressed.

Monday morning dawned bright and sunny, but with some dark ominous clouds over the Flatirons.  This was my 7th Bolder Boulder race, and they’ve all been fun.  Some years I tried to run my best, others I ran more casually for fun.  I do believe this was my first year in the A-wave, the very first wave, and I was excited to run hard.  My coach had reminded me that pacing is key – it is so easy to go out too fast in the fist mile.  Everyone is psyched up and raring to go and it’s funny but amazing how fast you can go out and it doesn’t feel hard at all – you check your watch and realize you’d better reign it in or you’ll be toast in another mile!  I paced myself pretty well, though, and ran a consistent race, which is kind of challenging considering the hilly course.  Not mountainous hilly, but certainly not flat.  The course winds through a few main streets, some nice older Boulder neighborhoods, and through the downtown Pearl Street area, finishing on Folsom St which heads right into the University of Colorado (CU) football stadium.  It’s a thrilling way to finish.  There are thousands of people in the bleachers, big screens showing the race and the finishers, and the scent of success everywhere.  I love how the Bolder Boulder celebrates everyone.  Their motto, or at least one of them (besides “Sea Level is for Sissies”), is “Oh Yes You Can”.  And one of the things I enjoy so much about this huge race is all the different types of people who participate in it.  All ages, all levels, all body types, people from all over the country and even other parts of the world.  After the “Citizens’ Race”, there is a very impressive Professional Race on the same 10k course that draws elite runners from all over the world.  This year was the first year I went back into the stadium, hours after my race finished, to watch the finish of the Pro Race.  It was SO exciting, so inspiring.  They are incredible athletes – their ability to run with untouchable speed and grace is thrilling to me!

I ended up 3rd in my age group (By the way, “Age Group” in the Bolder Boulder is simply your age, not an age range.  Another way they make everyone feel more celebrated…more places/prizes!), and 35th woman overall. (This does not include the pro runners).  My final time was 39:51, which is a PR for me on this course.  WooHoo!  The best part is, I really had fun.  Another Bolder Boulder for the books!

 

Part of the fun of trail running

Sitting in ice-cold water: Lucas is tougher than I!

Can't quite get in all the way...

My 7th Bolder Boulder: Ready to rock it!

Spectating the Bolder Boulder Pro Race

 

One Response to “Memorial Day Weekend”

  1. aunt Lynnie says:

    Hey Whit,
    I’m enjoying your blogging. It’s fun reading about your races. will I get to meet Lucas when I see you on the 23rd??? Keep up the good work. I’ve been kinda off the last few weeks with school stuff, but with only one week left, I’m looking forward to working out more regularly!
    Love you and see you soon!!