|Photo from the Daily Camera: This is the wave I started in|
In the eight years I have lived in Boulder, I have avoided the annual spectacle that is the Bolder Boulder 10K. Various reasons have kept me away from the start line. Conflicting races. Injuries. Apathy. But, mostly, I have stayed away from this legendary race because of the enormity of the number of racers.
This year, I decided that I had run out of excuses. I signed up for the race. In doing so, I embraced all that the Bolder Boulder weekend had to offer. Mark and I went to the Boulder Creek festival on Saturday and the race expo on Pearl Street on Sunday. Adding race day on Monday, I had three very full days of crowd control.
|The happy group race morning: Mark, JZ, Krista, Lara, Billy|
My race was over right from the start. I had trouble breathing almost immediately. When I reached the 2k banner, I was contemplating just running home since it was much closer than the finish line. I forged on though, mostly because Mark was running as well and we had planned to meet at the finish area. I backed off the pace in hopes of feeling better. Just after the 4 mile marker, I was stooped over on the side of the road wheezing like a pack a day smoker who just climbed a flight of stairs. After about 10 minutes, I stepped back onto the course and finished the race.
Fortunately, my asthma has been under fairly good control lately, so this episode was unexpected. Despite all of the years of experience with asthma, and despite all of the counseling I have given to other athletes with asthma, I was still incredibly disappointed that this happened. Later in the day, I commiserated with a fellow asthma sufferer who dropped out of the race at the very spot I stood on the side of the road. It turns out that misery truly loves company.
When I was discussing the race with Mark, I was lamenting about my frustration. He asked if I would have been happier if I had just run poorly and turned in a bad time. I replied, “of course, not,” to which he responded, “There is no such thing as a “good” bad day.” His words, which made me chuckle, are so true. I never jump for joy over a bad race, no matter the circumstances.
Despite the less than awesome outcome of this race, I had the opportunity to make some interesting observations.
Triathletes really stand out in running races. Runners pin their race number onto their shirt. Triathletes use a number belt. Runners either wear a full hat or no hat. Triathletes use a visor. Finally, runners wear their Boston marathon gear. Triathletes sport their Ironman gear. The wearing of the race shirt during the race seems to be a universal faux pas. Compression socks have made the jump from obscure triathlon fad to being respected apparel during run races. Today, I pinned my number on my top, but I wore a visor; apparently I am still a triathlete at heart.
Just in case you men out there were wondering, us ladies are well aware when our “headlights” are showing. No, we do not like it; it just happens to be a side effect of racing in scanty clothing. I have been caught on numerous occasions in photographs with this embarrassing affliction. I have tried different sports bras to no avail. I was grousing about this to my friend Kim recently when an indecent photo surfaced after a recent race. She owns a specialty bra shop called Boulder Fields (I liked the name The Knocker Locker, but she thought it was too crass). She recommended a product called DIMRS (you know, “dimmers”; such a cute name), a silicon protector which smoothes things out in the chest area. They worked fantastically and will now become a part of my race kit.
Racing at altitude is hard. I can’t wait to head to sea level this week to tackle the Rock ‘n Roll San Diego half marathon.