Monday, November 29, 2010

Race Report: Boulevard Bolt

Thanksgiving morning found me running in the local Boulevard Bolt for the fourth year in a row.

I love starting my food holiday with a quick race. It certainly makes it more fun to indulge in yummy things like sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce and fudge pie.

I had picked up packets for me and my sister earlier in the week. When I say packet, I really just mean the shirt and race number. To the race's credit, they did switch to disposable chip timing this year. This was smart. In previous year's, you came and got your shirt and number, but then you still had to stand in line on race morning to get a chip.

Upon getting my number, I discovered my age wasn't on it... even though I knew full well I had written it on the form. I headed to get my shirt and remembered that last year that drew a giant black line through the middle of the cute little turkey on it... which really ticked me off. So before I even handed them to the lady, I asked her to mark it on the bottom part that tears off.

I then headed to a solutions table to get my age into their system. A lady there noticed the number was marked in the "wrong" place, and she actually tried to pull it out of my hand. I told her I asked them to do it that way because I didn't want someone getting in trouble, and she insisted she had to redo it because that's how they keep people from getting another shirt on race day. I wanted to launch into a list of ways they could better control the system, but instead I told her that I had no desire to steal another shirt and that I like to put my numbers in my scrapbook. I know it's a silly little thing, but it matters to me. And there are just way better ways to handle such things.

My sister spent the night, and we headed over to Belle Meade in plenty of time to find good parking. Meredith needed to use the bathroom, so we hopped in line. The race had around 9000 people, but they only ordered 10 porta potties. FAIL. By the time we stood in line 30 minutes, I had already decided I wouldn't run this race again. It's a decent race for a good cause, but it's gotten so big and the planners just don't cater to runners. It's much more of a casual affair. I'll move on to the new Thanksgiving Day 4-Miler in Murfreesboro next year.

One interesting thing to note is that it was close to 70 degrees and humid. Most years when I've run it's been freezing! I was glad to be able to enjoy being outside this time around, although it got a little warm when I was actually running.

We worked our way to the front of the start just in time for them to say go.

I had been toying with the idea of going for a PR ever since the week before the Flying Monkey Marathon. I knew it was kind of nuts, but I've been on a roll this year with PRs in almost every distance... so I kind of felt like I needed to at least try. My strategy was to go out and keep it steady, and if I started to feel bad I'd back off and let the goal go.

The first mile was brutal. My legs felt like lead and were not happy with me, and I had to run in the grass a lot to get past all of the people who started in the front that should not have done so. Nonetheless, it was about 8:03 when I hit mile 1.

The next 2 miles continue to wear on me. I couldn't get my legs to loosen up, and I struggled to keep my breathing consistent. I still hit around 8:00 for both miles. I was kind of surprised that I was doing that well because my legs didn't feel the least bit fresh.

I started wondering if I could hang on to it, but I just kept focusing on moving forward and listening to my music. I slowed down a bit and saw 8:14 at mile 4.

I started trying to do the math in my head (which we know I struggle with) and quickly determined that I had the PR in the bag. I also realized that if I pushed it, I could go sub-40... something that has been my ultimate 5-mile goal. Since there aren't a lot of 5-milers and around and since I'd already decided I probably wouldn't do this one again, I decided I needed to just go for it.

My last mile was a 7:35, and I finished in 39:50. Sweet.

I caught my breath and wait a couple of minutes for my sister to finish. I ran into a few people I know, which is always fun, and we got some water and a doughnut. (Krisy Kreme immediately following a race is almost always a smart idea depending on how the race went.)

Another interesting thing to note about the race? The GIANT water cups. No. Really. Look.

HUGE. And these are the cups they had at the water stop on the course. I am not kidding in the least. It was nuts. They didn't have them filled up very far, but when they handed me one of those I almost didn't know what to do with it. Meredith and I agreed that it was insane.

All in all, it was a great race for me. I PRed. I went sub-40. The weather was great.

I just think I'm done with this race. There's nothing truly bad about it... I've just done it several times and am ready to move on and try something else.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!


Chris said...

I told ya!!! You are fit and looking good too. ;) Congrats on the PR.

I'm going to do the Boro run too, if I can recover from the Monkey next year. Wow, that is awesome you could get a great time just doing that Marathon on Sunday.

Sam Davidson said...

I was out there, too, as was my 10-month-old daughter.

And yes, the cups were gigantic.

Nicole said...

Woot for another rocking race report from miss melanie! keep it up gf!