Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How 'bout that?!

Bolder Boulder participants - my 2 favorite quarterbacks (see

When I last posted, I pondered how I'd run the Bolder Boulder. It was a day of surprises.

First surprise: I was in the mood to race...and not so much to race the clock, but to just see how fast I could go while feeling good. Hopeful goal: break 60 minutes. Dream goal: run my age (56:xx).

Second surprise: I ran the first mile (a downhill mile, very tempting to go too fast) well in control and hit it in a comfortable 9:11. It just so happens that a 9:10 pace would get me across the finish line just under 57 minutes.

Third surprise: After running miles 2 and 3 (uphill miles) in the 9:20s, I started picking up both speed and energy, and mile times dropped for each mile from 4 on.

Shocking surprise: I checked my watch at 9K and discovered that, if I could hammer the last kilometer, I'd sneak in under 57 minutes. AND I DID IT!!!! I've always known that my brain/stubbornness has a whole lot to do with any running success I might have - and it came through again this time. Not only did I concentrate on picking the shortest line along the course from 9k on in, but when I got to the very rude uphill just before the 6 mile mark and my legs started screaming at me, I answered back with "if I can run 1400 miles I can run this friggin' hill" - and so I did. Mind over matter - a delightful phenomenon.

Lessons learned:
  • Bits of speed work add up. I did the occasional workout with the Boulder Road Runners, hill repeats on my own, tempo runs with running partners, and 1 minute pickups tossed into everyday runs. A little something at least once per week...apparently enough to jazz the legs up sufficiently for a 10k.
  • Attitude is everything. Arriving at the starting line in the mood to experiment with speed, combined with putting my ego on hold, opened the door wide - and I leapt right on through.
  • A little luck goes a long way. The weather was cool with occasional light drizzle. Hard on spectators but a perfect day for a run.

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