Bolder Boulder 2011 Race Report

Today I continued my string of PRs with the Bolder Boulder 10K.

I knew I wanted to kill this one: all week I’ve had my race result sheet from 2009 on my fridge. At the least, I wanted to beat my BB time from that year: 48:19, or a 7:46 pace. My 10K PR was 45:55, or a 7:23 pace. I felt fairly comfortable that I’d be able to surpass that, especially given how comfortable I felt doing half mile intervals at a 6:40 pace last week.

Loren, KJ and I decided to carpool from Denver, and left here at 5:30am to be sure we didn’t have troubles finding a spot. We lucked out and found a spot in a park very close to the start, complete with flush toilets – score! The weather when we left Denver was pretty nice, but it was colder as we arrived in Boulder, and threatened to rain. Still, we all decided to go with light running gear (I left behind my long-sleeved shirt, headband and gloves, and wore shorts, a t-shirt and arm-warmers). I realized as I was packing for the race that all my running shorts are either very short, or compression. I went with compression 🙂 We kept warm in the car for awhile, then headed towards the start. We stretched a bit and then soon enough it was time to get to our corrals.

I knew I wanted to run ideally a sub 7:24 pace, I’d told KJ I figured she could run 7:45s, and Loren had a goal to run 8:30s.

I felt pretty good right from the start, although looking at my watch initially I tried to dial it back a bit. A wave start as precise as the BB means you can get up to pace (or faster?) pretty quickly.

The distance markers are great: every mile, plus roughly every kilometer (the exceptions being they marked 3.5km and 7.5km. Why???) SO easy to keep mentally going “10% done… 40% done…”. I remembered that I hate wearing a t-shirt to run, as I kept trying to roll up my sleeves. I also actually kept my arm sleeves rolled all the way down around my wrists through the race. It was nice enough not to need them.

I will admit that mile 3 is a bit of a bear, and I didn’t like that my legs felt a bit heavy. But soon enough you hit the summit of the course (which they also mark, which is AWESOME) and then it’s literally downhill!

I knew about the hill at the end and was (somewhat) ready for it. Although I didn’t check my watch too often during the course, I was pretty comfortable I’d meet my goal. I passed quite a few people, although it was slightly too congested for my liking. One girl did an abrupt turn and nearly cut me off. Soon enough I was on the field, and honestly probably could have pushed harder but I really don’t like running on the plastic slats. I finished the run and glanced at my watch, and knew I’d set a very comfortable (~30sec) PR. Yes!!

The race has timing mats every mile, so I know exactly how I did 🙂

M1: 0:07:14.54
M2: 0:07:18.67
M3: 0:07:35.12
M4: 0:07:26.98
M5: 0:07:03.20
M6: 0:07:10.25
Final: 45:16:34 (7:18 pace)

Compare that to 2009, where my single fastest mile was 7:21!

M1: 7:21
M2: 7:47
M3: 8:08
M4: 7:59
M5: 7:38
M6: 7:46
Final: 48:16 (7:46 pace)

How did my friends do? KJ ran a 7:41 pace, and Loren got right on her target: 8:30!

There was one error I made that I should improve on: I drank tea en route to the race, and just assumed there would be water at the start. There wasn’t, in fact there wasn’t water until mile 2. I took water at miles 2 and 3, missed it at 4 (I thought they’d have gatorade at the end of the table, they didn’t), and gatorade at mile 5. I forgot I haven’t had gatorade for oh, three months, and it tasted way to sweet and yucky. I definitely should have handled hydration better. Thankfully, the race was short enough I don’t think it had a significant impact.

So all in all, a good day. I’m starting to like these shorter distances a bit more; getting used to pushing myself a bit more and of course recovery is much quicker. I look forward to seeing what the rest of the season holds! (I’m looking at you, half-marathon PR…)