What a week it’s been! Last week was such a whirlwind. It’s my favorite week every year because it starts with the Bolder Boulder 10k and ends with the Rock ‘n Roll San Diego races. It’s been our tradition for 3 years now to run the Bolder Boulder 10k in Boulder, CO and then, the following weekend, fly to San Diego to run either a half marathon or marathon. It’s a crazy time, and I never get much sleep, but it’s so exciting, I don’t care ha!
If you don’t know about this race, you should. Possibly the best race I’ve ever run. It’s a 10k around Boulder, CO and there is never a dull moment throughout the day. The race takes you through neighborhoods, downtown, and ends up in the CU Boulder stadium where thousands of people are cheering as you cross the finish line. You feel like an Olympian! And speaking of Olympians…look who made an appearance this year…MEB!!!
I’ve run races before where there are 3-4 miles where the crowds are slim to none…not in this race. Maybe because it’s a shorter race, or because it’s a college town, or because 50,000 people run this race (yes 50,000 people!) but this race has so many spectators that are cheering for you! People in the neighborhoods hand out Doritos, watermelon, beer, have a slip-n-slide, have a keg stand (again, college town), and so much more.
Andrew and I love running this race each year just to see what new handouts there are along the way. The first year, I ran this race alone (Andrew hadn’t caught the running bug yet) and did better than I thought. This was the race that lit the fire within me to continue to run races. The second year we both ran it at Andrew’s pace, which was a bit slower than mine, but it was so fun to run with a buddy! Last year, I was expecting another slow, leisurely run with Andrew, but his running had improved immensely and he took off like a bullet! I was rushing to keeping up with him! So this year we decided to race it for real. The winner buys the loser dinner 😉 Friendly competition is always healthy, right? So we both started off strong and I pulled ahead and ultimately won, but we both got PR’s (personal record/best) this year! What an amazing way to start our week of running that would turn out to be one of the fastest yet!
Another reason I love this race so much is that it’s on Memorial Day, and they do a fantastic job of honoring those who have fought for our rights. They honored 3 veterans and had parachuters from each branch of military carry a flag onto the stadium field, along with a POW and an American flag. It’s such a fantastic way to remember how blessed we are for our freedoms and opportunities…thank you veterans.
Just 4 days after the Bolder Boulder we flew out to San Diego to run the 5k on Saturday and the half marathon relay on Sunday. Last year Andrew ran the half marathon and I did the full marathon, so we were a little tired this year and decided to do the shorter race. This was the first year this race had included a 5k on Saturday so Andrew and I had to be a part of it.
The morning was a cool 60 degrees with overcast, perfect conditions for a fast race. We both decided to go all out and run our fastest to see what we could do. We both PR’d again! Andrew averaged 9:36/mi and I averaged 8:05/mile! We both felt strong and so excited that we could pull those numbers off. I felt even more excited after I looked online at the results and I realized I got 10th place in my division! WHAT?! I’ve never ranked that high in any race or division ever! Really shows what consistent strength training along with healthy eating can really do to help my running.
If that wasn’t enough, at the finish line I saw two elite runners and became the crazy fan-girl who had to get a picture with both of them! Even if they were sweaty, post-race selfies. 🙂
And of course a great morning race called for a free breakfast beer, right?
With such a great race under our belts, we were ready to head into another strong race the next morning. Again, another cool, overcast morning made for great racing conditions. Andrew ran the first leg of the race (6 miles), and I ran the second (7.1 miles). While waiting at the transition zone, we got to watch the elites, who were running the half marathon, race by…and who was leading the pack…MEB!
Andrew made it to the transition zone in under an hour which meant another PR for him! I took off and was instantly worried…my calves were cramping already! No! Had I run too hard in the 5k?! I kept telling myself that my legs had just gotten cold from waiting at the transition zone and that they’d warm up quickly. After 2 miles (which felt like forever) I finally got into a groove. I was running faster than I had gone in any of my training runs. A little worried that it was too fast for the distance, I kept pushing; I really wanted to get these 7 miles in an hour. I knew if I got my mind on board for a PR, my legs would follow…and they did. I came in at 1 hr and 36 seconds!! Way faster than any of my training runs, and way faster than I thought I’d ever be able to run it. Team ‘Run for Beer’ had averaged 9:01/mile…way better than we thought we’d do, and so excited to celebrate with our free beer. 🙂
This was a week of PR’s and excitement for us. It’s a great reminder that the hard work we’ve been putting into our training is paying off in big ways. The consistent improvement just drives me more to continue this journey. Even through the sore and tired days (of which I’ve had many this week after last weekend), I know to celebrate the victories, and take the failures in stride.