Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bolder Boulder Recap, Part 2

***This post was so long, I lost interest writing it halfway. If you missed part 1, you can find it just a few entries back.***

Since I'm starting at the back of the pack, I kind of jog in place until the crowd thins out enough for me to really get moving. The conditions are perfect. There's a slight breeze, and it's just cool enough to be glad for a chance to run. I find my pace and breathing pattern, and FINALLY begin to relax. This feels good, I feel normal. I zoom by the idiot who is hobbling around in his Moon Shoes. I see a group of college kids up on a balcony with a beer in one hand and a sign in the other that says, "YOU RUN, WE'LL DRINK." I spot a group of porta-potties, but I don't need them anymore. I make a mental note, though, in case disaster strikes in the next mile or so and I have to utilize the Tampax that's nestled safely in my bosom. I pass the first of many local bands. This one's named Air Dubai and is playing weirdo middle-eastern hippie music. I'm not into that kind of thing, but I sorta dig it. At least for today.

I catch my reflection in a storefront and see that I'm smiling. Like, a full-on toothy grin. And that's when it hits me- I am about to have THE TIME OF MY LIFE!

There are maybe 25 bands, mostly in the first and last two miles. They play everything from Pearl Jam to The Cars to the typical singer-songwriter crap that can be heard on any college campus in America. I sing along to everything I know. Loud. I dance a little jitterbug when I get to a house that's blasting big band music. They whistle and clap for me. The race is 6.2 miles, but I swear I run at least 8 from all the zig-zagging I do to high five every single supporter who sticks out their hand. I am pelted by marshmallows, showered with bubbles, squirted with hoses and sorely tempted to do the slip and slide, but think better of it at the last minute. The banana just ahead of me, however, jumps straight into the kiddie pool. I am offered a cupcake, consider it, but refuse. Because it IS Boulder after all, and you never know WHAT might be in the baked goods.

I discover something slightly alarming. Apparently, two separate groups of belly dancers are necessary in order to fully support the people running the Bolder Boulder. Not one, but two. TWO. The first group takes me off guard, but when I see the second group, I'm totally into it. I pass an older lady with magenta hair wearing a particularly bedazzled bra top and harem pants. She's not doing much in the way of dancing. I can't help myself. I yell out, "Shake it ladies, shake it!" She screams back, "WOOHOO! PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND IN THE MIDWEST, BABY!" I almost reply, "I'm a republican!" just to be controversial.

I reach the banner that says 5K and think, "Oh No! Halfway! I don't want this to be over!" My cheeks start hurting from all the smiling.

At about mile 4 I see a lady with a sign that says, "NO ONE MADE YOU DO THIS." I think she is commenting on all the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans, but for me it means something different. I think about myself 8 weeks ago. I think about the comment I made on that post of Alicia's, how I said something like, "Gee, sure wish I could do the Bolder Boulder this year." I think about how incapable I felt at the time. Running... it's been an escape for me, because life is hard right now and I don't know how to solve my problems. I feel completely overwhelmed in my personal life, totally incapable. But then again, just maybe....

The tiniest tear escapes the corner of my eye. I shake it off, chalk it up to hormones, thank my lucky stars that Aunt Flo hasn't turned out to "support" me yet, and pick up my pace. I run my best times in the last two miles.

I've been warned about the hill leading into the finish at CU's Folsom Stadium, but it doesn't phase me. I've been running up tough hills for a while now, and I'm totally prepared. Plus, with my adrenaline pumping I feel like I could run up Everest right now. I round the corner, get impatient with the slow pokes in front of me, and turn into the stadium. It's maybe half full. People are leaning over the barrier to high five each person that passes like we're the team that's about to play in the super bowl. I search the stands for my husband and girls, realize the search is futile, and decide to really enjoy this last half lap. The music is blaring, the crowd is roaring, I could lift off at any moment. I literally leap across the finish line. Like a dancer's leap. I realize this is the dorkiest thing I've done since show choir in high school, but I don't care. I'm so happy, so fulfilled, I can't help myself. I want to do a cartwheel, but I'm not confident that I still can. So I settle for a leap. Or two.

I keep walking, because that's what everyone else is doing. I find someone with a watch and ask the time. I've told everyone I think I can do this race in under 70 minutes, but secretly I'm shooting for 66. The girl with the watch tells me it's been 66 minutes since my gun went off. Later I discover my official time is 64:51.99.

I'm thrilled, proud, vindicated, even though I finished in 20, 621 place.

I find my husband, Matt. He is absolutely crestfallen when he realizes he somehow missed me crossing the finish line. He blames my shirt. Tye-Dye doesn't stick out in this crowd. I pose for a picture.

A full two hours later I get home and take a shower. I pull off my sports bra and out pops the tampon. I realize I've completely forgotten about it. I laugh at myself for taking this so seriously.

The race is over and I've done it. I wish I could do it again tomorrow. I'm sad I have to wait a whole year, but I'm comforted by the thought that next year I won't be doing it alone. You see, I've been planning a Healthy Wives weekend getaway, and let me tell you, it's gonna be gooooood!

So how 'bout it ladies? Memorial day 2011?


  1. Mindy,

    I'm grinning from ear to ear and also wondering why you don't have a blog....exceptional writing and running my dear. I could see everything in my minds eye as I read your delightful and eloquent description.

    You're a runner and writer and I'm bursting with pride......Beach or Boulder 10K now there is a choice.

  2. Mindy,

    Sounds like this race was a life changing event. I'm sorely tempted to hop on a plane right now so that I can run with you today. I'm going to plant the seed with the powers that be and see what happens. I'm so glad running has provided such an uplifting outlet in your life right now. I keep thinking about the scriptures that talk about running a good race and how that's exactly what you're doing!

    Truly it would be awesome to run a 10k with you and the Healthy Wives. What are your costume plans for next year?

  3. Really proud of you Min! You inspire me.

  4. What an amazing first race!! WAY TO GO girl!!! HOW FUN! I would love to meet up with everyone for a race. GREAT idea!

  5. You are a gifted writer! Felt like I was running right along with you, and what a great journey it was!! Makes me want to go lace up my running shoes right now...

  6. OOOhhh! I'm game if we can dress up.

  7. I'm thinking sponge curlers in our hair and baby dolls in slings. You know, play up the whole housewives thing. And then have something funny on our shirts like, "What do good little housewives do? THEY RUN."

  8. I think everyone else has said it all but wanted you to know my eyes were welling up reading this before you even got to the emotional part yourself. I'm so proud of you and setting your mind to do this for yourself.

    Love you.

  9. Wonderful post Mindy! You are a great writer and this post had me welling up. You are inspiring and I am willing to bet that you have the inner strength to get through what is going on in your life.

    On a side note I love your idea for dressing up. Very fun. :)

  10. Oh Mindy- I don't know if you'll still read this, but I had to post anyway. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I am always looking for words to describe how running can make a person feel, and you hit it dead on. I would love to race with everyone. So much fun. Ya know, I'm sure if you looked into it, there are other races you could run in the meantime. Maybe a half? May seem far fetched, but I know you could do it.