I can't believe another Bolder Boulder has already come and gone and that it was my fourth one. It feels like I moved to Colorado just yesterday but it has actually been 3.5 years!
This year was the same and different than the others. I wasn't coming off of a major race or a major training cycle. I had been focused on shorter distance speed since the beginning of the year which I was hoping would help me out. Since I had moved to an area with more hills I was also better prepared to tackle the inclines in the Bolder Boulder course. All these things I was hoping would set me up for success!
Since I had moved out of Boulder last fall, I opted to pick up my race packet at a local running store. Bolder Boulder allows for you to get your race bib in 3 different ways:
- Pick up at the main expo on Pearl St in Boulder race weekend
- Pick up your packet at a local running store (I think there were pick up locations as far away as Cheyenne, WY so they use "local" pretty broadly and locations are across Colorado)
- Have your race packet mailed to you
I opted to pick it up at the Lakewood Runner's Roost since that is closest to me and it was a really great option. I also picked up some socks too since my collection was starting to see better days!
Since this was the 40th year of the Bolder Boulder I decided to wear my red sparkle skirt since the 40th anniversary is traditionally the ruby anniversary. From there I decided to go with a classic red, white, and blue outfit for Memorial Day. While the race gets a lot of attention, this is actually one of the largest Memorial Day ceremonies in the nation with multiple flyovers and parachuters coming into Folsom field. It's really fun to watch the parachuters gracefully descend into the stadium from across Boulder.
Race morning came fast. Since I was in BB, my start time was at 7:00:20 AM (yes it gets this specific and they stick to it) which meant I needed to be up early to get ready and make the drive up to Boulder. 4:30 AM came fast!
I arrived around 6:10 AM which gave me time to get my stuff sorted and do some quick warm ups. I had pre-paid for the bag check but ended up not using it since the weather was pretty nice and my boyfriend could bring me stuff post-race if I needed.
Some quick warm-ups later I headed to my corral and just tried to enjoy the morning. I was feeling pretty good, my hamstring was feeling a little weird but other than that I was feeling loose and relaxed. I was hopeful that this was going to be a great run for me.
Since I had run a 5k in April, I had a pretty good idea of what I could do this morning but for some reason the Bolder Boulder always kind of kills me a little bit. Even if I feel rested and ready the course kind of messes me up so the plan was to try to keep the early miles conservative, enjoy the run, and set a new PR. Putting my 5k time into the McMillan running calculator, it predicted a mid-46 min 10k time so my goal was just to beat 47 min which meant laying down miles that were at about a 7:27 pace.
There was a flyover of the Rocky Mountain Renegades and then the pushrim race was under way. Then they started releasing the runners and at exactly 7:00:20 BB corral was off!
The goal was to just stay under control in the first few miles and see how I felt. The first mile I stuck to the goal of a 7:30-ish pace and was feeling good so I just pushed it a little and kept running by feel. Even at 7am there were already a lot of people cheering along the course. This included 2 slip and slides, 2 unofficial beer stops, innumerable bands, bacon stop, dorito stop, and just lots of people out on their lawns cheering and enjoying their Memorial Day.
I just kept cruising through and feeling good. To keep myself from pushing too much and bonking I was really just trying to take it all in and make sure I kept a smile on my face. I danced a little to the bands and just kept running my feel. Miles kept peeling off and I was still feeling good. When we got to the half way point I decided to ratchet up the effort a bit, still keeping it pretty conservative but just giving it a little more oomph. Once we passed the firehouse, the highest point on the course, I knew I had a new PR locked down. I enjoyed the run down Pearl St and then Walnut and the final mile (and climb) down Folsom to Folsom Field for the finish.
My clocked time from Bolder Boulder 2018 - 45:23
I didn't just set a new PR, I CRUSHED IT!
I felt great during the race too and I can't even believe I was running on average sub-7:20. Who is this runner??? It felt like a fluke but I knew I had put in the work and was seeing the results of 5 months of training in a smarter way for this particular race including track days and lots of hills work. I still can't quite believe it though, it's a like a weird kind of imposter syndrome.
I finished grabbed my goodie bag of snacks and my free beer and headed to the stadium to chill for a bit before checking out the expo. The post-race expo is always buzzing with lots of freebies and things to try out. Being Boulder, there are a lot of different companies that like to come show off their stuff! You could grab some chocolate and other snacks, then grab a popsicle, and then go try out those air compression massage boots before heading out to your Memorial Day festiviites!
Anyways, as in years past I went to my friends apartment and spectated right around the 5.2 miles mark which is super fun. The runners and walkers continued until about 11:15 when the final sweepers came through and then it was time for the elite international competition. The day was pretty cool and the clouds were still blocking the sun so it was a great day for running.
The women came flying through first with the Ethiopians leading and then the men came after, also Ethiopians leading the way. It's always so cool to watch these runners perform. They make it look so effortless to lay down 5-ish minute miles. We were also across the street from a pro-runner cheer group which was pretty cool. I just privately fangirled to myself but it was awesome to see them cheer on their fellow teammates (Noah Droddy and a girl that looked really familiar but was having trouble placing, it might have been Allie Kieffer).
After the elites passed, the fun was done. We grabbed some lunch with a friend before making the trek back to Lakewood. Bolder Boulder day is just the best and if you travel for a 10k this one is top-notch and highly recommended. The race is so well organized and is just the best from top to bottom.
Until next year Bolder Boulder!