I’m getting bolder in Boulder!

I did it!  The Bolder Boulder!  Yay me!

This is me basking for a moment.

What?  Oh, yeah, I forgot.  You’re dying to hear all about it, right?

Well, my BB day started at about 4:30.  That’s when I woke up but couldn’t get back to sleep.  Stubbornly stayed in bed until 6:30, though.  But as soon as I got up, I felt a splitting headache.  So I did what I had sworn not to do: took pain relievers.  I had said I wouldn’t do it because I didn’t want to re-injure myself.  Oh well.

Rode my bike a mile to my favorite cheering spot on the course at the 7.5km marker.  Cheered on the wheelchair wave, which starts at 6:55AM.

Then came the A wave.  I gotta say, if being the lead runner means you need to run behind a pace truck and breath exhaust fumes, count me out!

Thirty seconds later and it was a solid mass of people.  And they just kept coming.  I get motion burns on my retinas from watching.  (You know how when you look at something with high contrast for a while then look at a solid-colored thing how you can see outlines?  Watch the BB for an hour, then look up at the sky and it looks like the sky is rolling.  Eerie.)

Saw a Luigi, Superman, Elmo, Jesus, guys in suits, a zombie, and a dude running barefoot.  Yes, barefoot.  It’s the latest trendy thing in running, and I was sure I’d see it at the BB.

My plan was to cheer until Lynn passed, then head to the starting line for my wave – which was taking off at 8:55, btw.  And I waited.  And waited.  Not because she was slow, but I hadn’t really given much thought to when she might pass by me.  I said, “Okay, at 8:10, I HAVE to go.”  Cheered for Kyle as he passed, then the alarm on my phone rang telling me to go.  And who should come up at that second?  Lynn!  We said yay, hugged, then she ran on while I hopped back on my bike.

Rode home.  Threw on my costume, bib, and sprayed sunscreen all over.  Back on the bike and off to the starting line.  I made the mistake of getting off the creek path at Folsom, which was crammed with finished runners leaving the stadium.  Biking to 30th and Valmont was quite the adventure.  Road construction didn’t help at all.  Plus the fact that there were so many people I had to push my bike a lot of the way.

So far, I was up to four miles of cycling and the race hadn’t even started.

Finally found a spot to chain my bike and walked around the fences to find… my wave!  Right there!  Excellent.  And with eight whole minutes to spare.  Cutting it close, I know.  Some ladies asked me to take a picture of them.  Then they took a picture of me as Dorothy with my phone.

Spot reserved for if my phone one day decides to cooperate and send that picture to my e-mail…  

Made our way to the starting line, everyone’s really excited, bang, and we’re off!  And I’m RUNNING!  I had thought about this a lot, knowing that it would probably be safest for me to walk the route after my injury but also feeling, hey, I trained to RUN this.  I want to run!  So I had decided to run the first and last kilometers.

The first two kilometers were not fun as 30th and Pearl have no trees for shade, and by 9:00 the sun is blazing nicely.  Was actually thankful to pass the 1K flag and start walking.  And I tweeted.  Yes, I was one of those dorks pulling out my phone on the race route.  I must be addicted to blogging…

Approaching the first mile marker, I heard a guy with microphone on the side of the road.  “Dorothy!  Hey, Dorothy!”  (See, if you dress in costume, everyone cheers for you because they know your name!)  “Give us a handstand here at the one mile marker.”  So I did.  And everyone cheered for me.  Awesome.

It was somewhere past the 2nd kilometer mark (when we started reaching areas with trees and shade) that I was fed up with people passing me – even though I was in a jog/walk wave.  So I started to run.  And from then on I alternated walking with running.  Never pushed myself to the point I started to feel tired or out of breath, because I knew that would be way past my ankle’s limit.

The back half of the race is definitely the fun half.  People aren’t so concerned with times and more with enjoying themselves.  (Think anyone in the A wave did hand stands for the cheering fans?  I think not.)  Saw five guys dressed up like race cars zooming in and out and around yelling, “Vroom!”  Saw another five people covered head-to-toe in blue body paint dressed like the Navi from Avatar.  Oh, and you know how I said that running is bananas?  Guess who was in my wave…

Spot reserved for photo of Jamba Juice people dressed like bananas if my phone one day decides to cooperate and e-mail me the picture… 

Just before the halfway point, found my parents!  They had come to cheer me on.  Yay!  My mom snapped my picture as I made my I’m-excited-and-goofy-so-I-smile-big-and-pull-my-head-back-and-give-myself-a-triple-chin face.

Ugh.  Can someone photoshop that out for me?  I don’t really have a triple chin (as evidenced by the photo in this post).

Anyway, hugs, walked and talked with them for a short bit, then couldn’t help myself – I had to run again.

Running through that neighborhood area was fun.  People sitting on their front lawns or spraying hoses over the runners, while holding a beer of course.  Every time they made a comment about my costume, I asked then which way to Kansas.  Runners would pass on my left side and ask where Toto was before seeing him pinned to my right.

I reached the 6km mark, which is the biggest hill in the course.  And I forgot that there’s a huge banner at the top saying course summit!  All downhill from here, and I was still feeling awesome!

The best part of the race was to come as I made it to downtown, which I really feel is my territory.  During the summer I’m hanging out on Pearl at least once a week.  I know this place like the back of my hand.  I walk here all the time.  So saying that I still have two miles to go to the finish means nothing; I know how close it is.

Can’t explain how awesome I felt to pass the point where I had sat just two hours earlier, cheering for people.

Turned the home stretch on Folsom and got a text from Lynn that she was waiting for me at Arapahoe.  I ran up and gave her a sweaty hug.  We walked a few blocks together, then I ran again when she had to leave me at the fences.  Running into the stadium was sweet.  Twenty thousand people already there to cheer me on, and the springy plastic floor covering the turf made it easy to bounce to the finish line.

My final time: 90 minutes, 48 seconds – a 14:36/mi average pace.  Not bad when I was supposed to be WALKING this race, eh?

Got my free lunch but passed on the free beer.  Did grab a strawberry ice bar from the expo though – I wanted something cold!  Met up with Lynn again in a shady part of the stadium to watch the pro races.  They run so fast!

Most awesome thing: the men’s finish on the pro race.  There’s three racers representing each country’s team. The individual finish doesn’t count for prizes, only the team.  So if country A places 1-3-9 and country B places 2-4-6 then B wins.  Well, the Ethiopian men’s team dominated and not only crossed the finish line 1-2-3 but all at the same time, holding hands as they ran through the stadium together.  Talk about true teamwork!

(Photo from the Daily Camera.)

Lynn and I left as the parachuters jumped into the stadium with the flags, then took our picture at my place while waiting for the sweet F15 flyover.

(No triple chins here!)

Lynn drove me to go pick up my bike, I rode another two miles home (that makes six miles on the bike in addition to the six in the race – if you’re keeping track), then walked back downtown to get some more fun time in at the Boulder Creek Festival.  I got a gorgeous painted silk scarf, limboed for free candy, and devoured a very delicious corndog.  The best part though was that we got to watch the Face concert, which was awesome.  I love me some a capella!

One song they sang was Short Skirt Long Jacket – except changed one line to say they wanted a girl who runs the Bolder Boulder.  Oh yeah, that’s me…  :o)

I knew that if I could actually do the BB I would probably have fun.  But I had no idea how much fun I’d have.  I was scared it would be too long or I’d be so nervous that I’d make myself sick.  But the adrenaline got me me through.  And it was an amazing experience.

I just wish I didn’t have to wait a WHOLE YEAR to do it again!
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2 Responses to I’m getting bolder in Boulder!

  1. Amy Hadley says:

    Mmmm, corn dog.
    Congrats!!!! I kept waiting for you to say you got an injury from running. Glad that plot twist wasn't for real life. I know you've worked hard to don that Dorothy costume!
    See the part on the map where the route almost touches? That's where I'd have cut over.

  2. Alissa says:

    Nope, no re-injuring! I even went for a run again yesterday!

    Sadly course-cutting's impossible these days 'cause they put a little tag on your shoe and a computer scans it at each mile marker. So no backing down! You're in it for the long haul.

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