Editor's Note: This is a pretty long post. I had a lot I wanted to say. Sue me. Sometime around dark-thirty yesterday morning my wife rolled over and started pushing me out of bed, it was time to get up and go run the Bolder Boulder Memorial Day 10K. Our kids stayed at their grandparents house last night which means that this is a prime opportunity to sleep in! If you don't have kids then you have no idea how cruel this is. It's kind of like when your favorite charity needs a big screen TV so you go out and buy them a state of the art flat screen. Yeah it's a great TV, better than yours even, but you don't get to use it and you're the one who's out 6 grand. I'm told that I'm supposed to feel good about helping others or something. Whatever. Being munificent isn't making my picture look any sharper. OK so it's not at all like that, but there's apparently some kind of irony thing going on. Eh, maybe I'm just in a bad mood because, who gets up this early on Memorial Day? To go running? I'm beginning to question my sanity.
First thing I notice is that it's hot. I'm going to estimate that it was around 97 degrees in the shade despite the fact that all credible sources are saying it was 84 degrees at the start of the race.
Mile 1 - 8:34. I’m off to a quick start, out in front of my wave. I’m feeling good, feeling strong. There's a guy in a giant hot dog suit, emphasis on the word 'hot' and I'm guessing that he didn't try it on prior to running in it this morning because it comes down so low that with every step the foam suit bounces up off his calves until the armholes jam up into his armpits. As I pass him I notice that as the suit bounces his face disappears from the face hole too. I'm just about to tell him "man, that must suck," but he knows that. He doesn't need me to tell him.
Mile 2 - 9:07. I’m trying now to temper my enthusiasm and settle into my pace. Still feeling good, I pass a group of obese belly dancers standing outside a house 'entertaining' the runners. My eyes take a second before the horror sets in and I quickly move from one belly dancer to the next hoping to find something that looks a little less like cottage cheese and more like a flat stomach or a six pack. No, no, no, no, yes! There it is, a six pack of Coors Light tucked covertly under the lawn chair where one of the dancers is taking a cigarette break. Poor thing. She must be all tuckered out from shakin' what her mama gave her, or more aptly what McDonald's gave her.
Mile 3 - 9:15. We’re headed up hill and my quads are starting to burn. I try to keep pushing on at this pace. Some college students are trying to recruit runners to do the slip-n-slide in their yard. I gave it a thought, but chances are pretty good that once I got to the end of it I'd just lie in the cool puddle of not-running-bliss until someone rolled me out of the way.
Mile 4 - 9:07. I try to rest my legs on the short down hill portions and push myself on the up hills, but I can feel my pace slowing. Another group of chubby belly dancers are cheering runners on. What is going on? Did I get lost and run this street twice? Is it possible that there are two separate groups of "big-boned" belly dancers tormenting runners today? Answer: yes.
Mile 5 - 8:55. I start making my way over to the left side of the street in anticipation of the upcoming turn. Here it comes, it's a right turn! I have no idea where I am despite being pretty familiar with the area and having run this event the past 2 years. My mind can't put a coherent thought together right now. The heat is really getting to me. Don't think, just run.
Mile 6 - 9:20. My mantra has become "how bad do you want this" and my head is willing me to push on and to run faster. As we come up the final hill to the finish I feel a surge of energy return to my legs, I’m yelling a new mantra in my head “I DON’T FEEL NO HILL!” One of the runners next to me smiles as I pass her and says “great job, go get it,” it was at this point that I realized I wasn’t just saying my mantra in my head. I don’t care anymore, I’m feeling good again. I push myself up the hill and into the stadium where my 4 year old is waiting. I wave to him as I expend every ounce of energy to cross the finish line as fast as I can. A quick glance at my watch shows me 56:01 which is a personal record (PR) for me despite being a little higher than both my goal and my prediction. This is an unofficial time as the Bolder Boulder has yet to give out official times and splits. It might be time to call the new timing technology a massive failure since I was supposed to get my time and splits 20 minutes after finishing.
I'll try to write something about the post race expo and activities at some point in the next few days, but I think I've rambled on long enough for now. Also, my official time, splits and race pictures will be posted as they become available to me.
UPDATED: Official Time of 56:00. Splits added above.