Overall, I have been trying to get life lined up to be fit for Western States, trying to find a new place (and town) to live in California, taking care of Ava, finishing the last class for school, etc. (Ava in the pool is a way cuter opening than my ugly mug shot.)
I ran the Bolder Boulder yesterday. I came in with little expectation of a fast time as my training in May has been all about volume with little speedwork. For the last month, I have been running about 1.5 hours on easy days, and between 2-4 hours on longer days, usually on 2 runs per day. I took it somewhat easy after American River 50 for 2 weeks, ran the Earthday 5 k in Boulder 2 weeks later with a time of 16:47. This 2 weeks was keys to laddering into the bulk of my WS training mileage in May.
Like most runners, I use races as stepping stones for the harder A races, so to run the Red Hot 50k, then American River, and then do longer mileage recently has set me up to peak at WS in June. I topped off my higher volume monthwith 4 hours of running on this past Saturday (1 hour early am, 2+ hours in the peaks with Jeff Valliere midday, then about 45 minutes plus some biking with Ava and the kiddie Chariot). I ran easy on Sunday for 1:40 on flat stuff with Bryan Dayton for very short taper to the Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day.
Back to the BB, I had low expectations as leg speed hadn't been a priority in training, so I picked a rough, easily attainable time of 36 minutes as a goal, as I suspected the BB would be a tempo workout rather than a race for me. 36 minutes would mean I wouldn't get beat up too badly and still have a quality training week this week.
As it turned out, I got to the start on time and planned on entering the start gate from the front where the race goes off, but they had it blocked off this year so I had to follow the other A wave runners, including Matt Reed the ex-pat Olympic triathlon athlete and George Zack, through the AB, AC, etc etc waves to make it to the A section. After this mad shuffle and after stealing one of GZ's safety pins for my bib, through all the nervous energy that pervades the A wave, like a nervous teenager, the gun finally went off prematurely by 30 seconds, but we were off..
Being stuck in the middle of the A waves pack actually worked in my favor this time, unlike past years when I usually could pick hair off the guy in the gorilla suit behind the front row. Most every A waver goes off too fast, except for the %5 who are smart. Having made this mistake in the past and not having an ambitious goal this year I settled into the first K at whatever the guys near me were running. This led to a slow 5:46 first mile. This first mile had several eager beaver A wavers try to squeeze past each other, leading to two bike race style wipe outs in front of me. Luckily I didnt get clipped and pulled free of the nervous ninnies and settled in. I didnt record my splits after that as my watch battery died the night before, so I didn't wear a watch anyway, and this turned out to be a blessing.
I ran easy and comfortable after that, and like always, I was only passed by about 10 runners after the first mile, and I end up passing about 50 of them by the end. By chance,the first citizen's woman was near me last year and the same again this year (and in retrospect this has happened to me several other years at the BB as well.)I really don't care if I get beat by a woman at this race as I try to run my own race no matter who's around me. But last year the woman made a comment in the local paper about how she gets satisfaction from kicking guys butts at the end, so since I found the women's leader near me this year I thought I wouldn't let this happen. Plus last year I was in the local terrible newspaper; a photo of me running next to the women;s winner made it look like I was trying to race her. Another reason to race ahead or far behind, so I chose to finish ahead this year
So, after a mildly uncomfortable race pace, I found myself able to kick the last hill in good style given the recent high training mileage, and crossed the line in 34:13. A respectable time at this race, and 30 seconds faster than last year.