It’s always good to have options. ~ Ned Braden
BB10K: 40:07.18, 480th OA, 13th in AG
I like to look at every race as a learning opportunity. Two weeks ago, I would have thought it far-fetched to expect to break 41-minutes on the difficult Bolder Boulder course given how my speed was coming around following Boston (read: it wasn’t) but as race day drew nearer, my turnover improved and I actually thought I had a shot at a sub-39 at today’s race.
As you can see, that was not to be but the overall experience of my very first BB10K was very positive. I got some more “big race” experience, I got to race against some fast gents (and ladies) and I got in a great tempo effort without breaking myself. What may outweigh all of these, however, is that I got to fully appreciate the benefits of setting intermediate goals.
Big race: One would think that running with 54,000 of your closest friends would result in a fair amount of cluster fuckery, particularly in the early stages of the event. I have to give the BB10K crew props on this one for sure as their seeding system and overall organization proved to take a bit of the “big” out of my “big race” strategy. I was expecting to have to battle my way to my corral and then work through the frustration of crowds throughout the event (and much more so in the first couple of miles). The event start system was structured in such a way, however, that I was able to stroll up 8-minutes before my wave started, find my teammates running in the same wave and genuinely enjoy the early going of what I expected to be a chaotic start. Sure, there were some spazzy maneuvers and occasional crowds with which to contend, but nothing near what I was expecting. Kudos.
Speedy: The BB10K is a world-class race that draws fast runners from around the world and getting the opportunity to run among some of the world’s best is a treat. Throughout the week leading up to the race, Boulder streets were filled with world-class talent and it was terrific to get to see their prowess up close and personal. It was also quite nice to be able to run with others throughout an event vs. starting too fast, trying to hang with the front group, deciding that you are being an idiot and going out too fast, then dropping back into no-man’s land between groups for the remainder of the event. Not like that has happened to me or anything. *cough*
Effort: My race strategy was to stay in control and glide the first four miles then try to punch the last 2.2. I was able to accommodate these goals for the most part though I went a wee bit hard on the Casey hill just after mile 4 and had to recover on the following downhill and my punch lacked much… well… punch in the final 1/2 mile but I felt fine immediately following the race and am confident I will not miss any training volume due to the effort. Which probably really means I didn’t go hard enough but I certainly didn’t want this training race to get in the way of my training so I suppose I’ll chalk that up in the “mission accomplished” column. Or something.
Goals: The biggest takeaway from the BB10K is that I neglected to set intermediate goals and my motivation suffered toward the end of the race. I left 7 seconds on the table for a sub-40 race and that is just lame. My only time-goal for the event was my ambitious sub-39 and once that became a statistical improbability, I had no other goals targeted and my focus waned. Poor planning on my part for sure but certainly something to take into consideration for future events. It is always a good plan to have something for which to strive even if your primary goal slips. Lesson learned.
All in all, I had a great day and am excited to give it another whirl next year. Hopefully by then I’ll have a faster qualifying time so I can race with the big dogs in the A wave. Since I am not really a 10K kind of runner, I suspect I will have to remain happy to finish 3+ hours in front of the elites.