I've been so slammed since getting back from the race that I haven't much felt like blogging when down time finally materializes...until now. Aaaaaaaaaah. Friday. I've been in a state of omphaloskepsis (I just learned the word...had to throw it in there :P ) most of the morning and now am motivated to post-so, here's my little race report thingy.
The weather on Memorial Day in Boulder was 50 degrees or so, overcast, perfect for racing. I did not have really specific goals for this race as it's a bit of a different course and race. It takes you out fast in the first mile and then starts climbing through the streets of Boulder. Despite the 54,000 people who run, it's one of THE most organized events you'll ever see due to the wave start system and proof of time required for those first 22 qualifying waves, and a total of 88 or so waves for everybody from the sub-38:00 A wavers all the way back to 2+ hour walkers, middle schoolers, military and other assorted waves. You are essentially participating in a race-within-a-race scenario, with tightly scheduled "wave launches" every 60-90 seconds. No waiting for fifteen or twenty minutes to start-you can get immediately off on your pace.
I was running in the BA wave with a 7:04 a.m. start, last of the first five out, and we actually had a wall of black-shirted security, shoulder-to-shoulder, not letting ANYBODY pass through without a BA or faster bib. I even saw a guy or two try to slink through claiming they were in the A wave, and the security would immediately bounce them back and say no dice, buddy.
It's known as a course that can clobber people who take those first two miles too fast, can be a negative split course for those who run the tangents and keep their pace in check early on, and not exactly a PR-friendly course.
Conservatively I wanted to beat my first my 2007 Winter Sun 10K time as it was the first one after feeling I'd really moved my fitness level up a notch from where it had been when I first started training seriously. My aggressive goal was a top 15 finish for my age (that's the AG award system...top 15 for each individual year).
Splits (per the official timing):
Mile 1: 7:31 (I vowed to NOT get sucked out too fast so I wouldn't be spent and running huge positive splits to the finish-and decided on no faster than 7:30 for a first mile)
Mile 2: 7:42
Mile 3: 7:56 (boy, we're climbing! Tuck the head down and charge those hills, lady!)
That's me on the left at the bottom of the shot, and Forrest Gump on the right. We ran most of the race together. I do not know this from watching him or following him-it was the never-ending "Run Forrest!" I heard during the race. I also paced with a Forrest at MCM last fall...I'm not sure what's up with me, and the guy who just felt like running.
Mile 4: 7:40 (hanging on, not crashing and burning)
Mile 5: 7:28 (getting tired but still fighting as hard as I can, concentrating on fast leg turnover)
Mile 6: 7:35 (oh, we're climbing again! There's Folsom Field!)
They don't have a split for the last .2 on the results page but this was a total time of 47:30. Much faster than that "gimme" standard I wanted to achieve. About 1:24 slower than my PR. So, kind of smack in the middle of the range where I'd hoped to run.
Oh, and the results and wanting to crack into the top-15 awards? I was 496 out of 26182 women, and 16 out of 594 35-year-olds. Yes, my streak of one off placing, or a few seconds off qualifying for something continues. Overall, I was finisher number 2954 out of the roughly 54000 participants.
On one hand I'm wondering if I should have taken the first mile or two a little faster-I think I missed 15th by about 15-20 seconds. On the other hand, I was really nearly spent in the final 1.2 and was fighting to stay on pace, so maybe I would have imploded if I'd pushed any more. I don't know. I ran this last year with my oldest daughter at her pace, so this was really my "first running" of the course. I guess my only way to figure out if I was too conservative is to come back again next year and run it again with more of a push in the beginning!
I also had a very deep-seated urge to take a trip down the slip-and-slide on the course-if my family comes next year instead of this year's solo trip, I'm doing it as long as I can have them hold some dry clothes for me at the end. Think that would give me a faster result?
I had some fun standing on a corner near my friend Liz's condo, watching the end of the citizen race, people watching, taking photos of aliens and polar bears, and finally watching the professional race as it came through. I'll make this a two-fer and share some of those photos in the next day or two.