Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day and the Bolder Boulder 10K

So, we were supposed to have an extra-extra long weekend, but thanks to those bitterly cold days back in January and February, Friday found me in my classroom doing my teacher thing.  In truth, as the year winds down, I need all the time with my kiddos I can get, so I wasn't totally disappointed that I was in Waukesha instead of Boulder, where I planned to be.  By the time I was at the airport that evening, however, I was entirely on vacation and absolutely ready for a weekend in my second home.  

We planned to make the most of our time and pack in as much as we could without wearing ourselves out; after all, the main event of the weekend wasn't until Monday and involved a few miles of running.  We got started on that immediately; per our tradition, after making the drive from DIA to Boulder, we stopped for a drink at the West End.  It is one of our favorite places in town, so being that my in-laws were visiting and joined Brian on the jaunt to the airport, we had to stop for drinks.  

On Saturday, we went to Park (Rocky Mountain National Park). The snow that still blankets the park made for a slower pace than I'm used to, which, along with not carrying climbing gear or hiking for three miles, helped keep my legs fresh.  Thanks to the snow, there were a few snowball fights, and I also got to do a bit of Park 'sledding.'  I don't think Brian believed I was up for using my raincoat as a sled, and I didn't know that I was entirely up to it at first, but it turned out to be quite fun and entertaining for my spectators. The unusual all-day cloud cover made taking a drive along Trail Ridge Road a good alternative to an additional hike, so we decided to do that as well.  After our drive and a stop at the visitor's center, we headed back into Boulder to clean up and get dinner.  Then, wanting to be set for the next day, we made a little shopping loop, visiting both Target and Trader Joe's. A final stop was made to acquire beverages, which we enjoyed back at the condo.

Brian at Nymph Lake

Trail Ridge Road gloriousness 

Sunday was a day we didn't have many plans.  We found plenty to fill our time with, however.  We made breakfast and then headed to Creek Fest to check out the 'junk fair.' From there, we strolled down Pearl Street and stopped at the Bohemian Biergarten for afternoon drinks.  We decided to make a family feast (we had to carbo load for the next day's run) and whipped up a batch of baked ziti, when we got back to the condo.

Very close to our condo is an adventure park, which has batting cages, go-karts, inline skating, and mini golf.  We frequented it a few times last summer, and when we suggested a game, Bill and Sue were on board.  The four of us were quite the golfers, and one of us even tossed his club a time or two. Though the official results had Bill and me in a tie, I was victorious when it came to the one place where it really mattered, beating Brian.  Though we knew it would need to be a relatively early night, we headed back to the condo for just a bit and watched some basketball.  I'm not sure the whole of the audience was a captive one, but at least we still had some of the wine.

Monday, we were up and at 'em early.  It was the day of the BolderBoulder 10K, a run I wanted to do since hearing about it last summer.  Despite the fact that I was feeling rather sick thanks to allergies and a cold that set in Saturday evening (no sleep Saturday night, stuffy nose, sneezing and a coughing...ick!), I was extremely excited to knock a 10K off my to-do list, and it didn't hurt that I got to run it in with the Flatirons in the background and with Brian! We set a feasible goal for ourselves, wanting to take into account that Brian doesn't love running and I have been running at sea level all year.

Bright and early in BoCo - ready to get going

Runner ME 065, that's me! 

Starting Line - here go the adventure buddies

I was worried being sick would impact the experience, but the BolderBoulder was a lot of fun, even more than I had hoped for.  There are lots of people along the route cheering runners on and engaging in all sorts of antics (keg stands, dancing, spraying water at runners, slip 'n slides, passing out donuts and Doritos, you name it), which made the time go quickly.  The final stretch of the BolderBoulder takes runners into Folsom Fields, CU's football stadium.  The stands were full of spectators cheering, which, even for someone who doesn't love to do things for/because of a crowd, was exhilarating.  The atmosphere, and the beer you pick up post-race, sure added to the feeling of accomplishment.  I don't think either Brian or I would have guessed we would be running a 10K together when we made the 'move' to Boulder last year (not that we would have predicted the 'move' to Boulder either), but it was an affirmation that we really are good at being adventure buddies. To top it all off, we achieved our goal, and he may not know it, but Brian's jokes of a sub-60-minute finish make for a great 2015 BB10K goal.  


Folsom Field, CU - lots of runner and spectators, lots of fun!

Post-run, we picked up our goodies and met Bill and Sue.  Perks of the run, aside from the awesome views the whole time, included a snack bag and a beer.  There was a giant vendor area, and I saw people leaving with what I really wanted at the time; thus, we followed the crowd, the very massive crowd to get popsicles, which thanks to my poorly-timed cold, I needed, so much so that I was willing to weave my way through the crowd to get one, and it was good! After making the great escape from the pack of people who also wanted a cold treat, we wove through campus and then headed back to the condo to clean up and have a late lunch.

We ran 6.2 miles, and then they gave us beer

The Flatirons, the perfect backdrop for a run with my 'local' run buddy

We earned a drink, and seeing as how I don't like beer and only had a few sips of mine, I suggested margs, which meant we were going out for Mexican.  While I love Mexican food, with a passion only a Mexican girl can have, the options we have in Bolder aren't great, so we settled on the best place we have found.Then, wanting to check it out before it was time for me to depart, we headed to Bill and Sue's place.

After eating, Bill and Sue's plan was to take a short walk, and Brian suggested a loop around Wonderland Lake. Apparently we are gluttons for punishment, so we joined them for a mile-and-a-half walk -- call it a cool down for our 6.2 mile run with an uphill finish.  It was a gorgeous day, the first day of all-day sunshine since arriving in town, so I guess you could say we simply took advantage of that.  Soon though, it was back to Denver and the airport for me.

I had such a great weekend, and I'm really happy with the outcome of our run.  Perhaps Brian enjoyed it so much he'll take up daily running with me when I head out to Boulder in a few weeks....perhaps.

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