Race Recap 2015: Bolder Boulder 10k

This is going to be a short one because literally everyone has run this race. And if you haven’t run it, you should. It is fun, slightly chaotic, well-managed, and just generally a good time. This was my first year running it, and while I had to miss part of Denver Comic Con, it was totally worth it. There was live music all along the course, the waves were well-marked, and there were plenty of portajohns. Packet pickup was the easiest ever since there were locations all over the city. The t-shirts are fantastic and I’m regretting not getting some kind of Sea Level is for Sissies merch (a hat or new sweatband would have been good).

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My mom and I got my dad to drop us off so we wouldn’t have to fight parking, and we walked about a half mile to the starting line to meet up with our wave (PF). They sent us off pretty much right on the dot of when they said they would. The course is mildly hilly and goes through a lot of suburban areas, but because it is Boulder the views are awesome and tons of people were out bbqing and cheering and hollering, since it was also Memorial day.

Two things were a bit disappointing: Buffs stadium is under construction right now so that was less than thrilling as we climbed to the finish line, and they ran out of beer for the later racers! But other than that not bad, and the sample bags had plenty of food. The photos were free, but they weren’t individual ones, just big group shots, which is fine. They are decent quality so they’re easy to crop down. I didn’t set a PR since we had to stop to pee and the course was crowded, but who cares we had a great time.

My time: 1:40

Recipe: Spaghetti Carbonara with Mushrooms

This is a recipe that does not photograph well. I’ve tried dozens of times and it always looks terrible. However anyone who’s ever eaten spaghetti carbonara will tell you it is delicious, quick, and will appeal to almost anyone. I eat it the night before most races because it tends to sit well for me. And I REALLY love mushrooms.

Ingredients:
6 or more thick cut slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cloves of garlic, minced very finely
1 box of mushrooms, sliced (I prefer baby bellas, but buttons work too)
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 2 tbsp milk
1 and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 box of spaghetti, cooked al dente

Instructions:

  1. Cook spaghetti in lightly salted water according to package directions until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium/large bowl, stir together milk, eggs, salt, and cheese until well combined. Add more milk if needed to ensure all the cheese is combined with the eggs. You can also add a little sour cream or plain yogurt if you like your carbonara to be creamier.
  3. Using a large dutch oven heated to medium high heat, cook the bacon until desired crispiness. Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel, leaving the bacon grease in the pan.
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook them in the bacon grease. It may be necessary to add olive oil (or more bacon grease from your jar o’ bacon grease) to keep the mushrooms from sticking. Cook them until they are giving off their juices.
  5. Lower the heat to medium low and add the garlic, and stir with mushrooms for about 2 minutes. DO NOT LET THE GARLIC BURN. It may be necessary (depending on your stove) to take your dutch oven off the heat for a minute to let it cool before you add the garlic. If in doubt, let it cool more than you think it needs to before adding your garlic.
  6. Once the garlic is cooked, add your spaghetti to the dutch oven and stir until incorporated.
  7. Slowly increase heat to medium and pour cheese/egg/milk mixture over the top. Stir continuously until well-combined, and continue stirring for between 4 and 10 minutes, depending on your stove and how thoroughly cook you want the egg mixture. Some people really like a creamy carbonara (aim for less time) while I prefer mine a bit “dry” with little eggy bits in it (more time). Add more salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Serve topped with more Parmesan.

Once you cook this dish once, you’ll have a better idea of how you prefer it. No matter how it comes out it is delicious, and it all comes down to your preferred customization methods. (I SWEAR I WILL GET A GOOD PHOTO SOME DAY.)

2014 Race Recap: Color Run Denver and Blacklight Run

This is what I looked at after the Color Run, including the mosh pit o’ color.

I’m adding quick blurbs about these two races just in case someone is wondering whether or not they are worth doing. My take is that they are both fun, both decently organized (neither stood out as great) and both worth doing once. The Color Run was in the morning, the Blacklight Run was at night. The Color Run was a bit more expensive so if you are on a budget, sign up early for the Blacklight Run and do that one instead. Parking at both was kind of a mess, though less so at Bandimere for the Blacklight Run. Apparently, the Blacklight run won’t be at the speedway this year, so it is anyone’s guess what the situation will be at the new location. Use the lightrail for the Color Run if you possibly can.

There were enough portapoties at both, and the water stops were fine. Color Run gives you way more STUFF, but since I didn’t need a trucker hat, wrist sweat band, or either pair of socks… meh. I will say the Color Run t-shirt is MUCH better quality than the Blacklight Run shirt. Apparently the Shine Tour Color Run is giving out finisher’s medals, but I don’t know much more than that. There’s also supposed to be a bunch of shiny powder at the end (hence the name).

All in all, they are different enough that I would suggest doing both of them once, and then maybe picking which one you like better if you want to repeat the experience. The music at both was fun, the people were fun, and my mother and I enjoyed ourselves at both races. (Yes, my 60+ year old mother likes to do themed 5ks).

I’m doing Color Me Rad on July 11th, so I’ll report on that one as well. I’m told the overall “color” experience is better, but we will see. I’m also doing the Foam Glow Run in September, which is run by the same people who do the Blacklight run and uses the same course, so I’ll get to see if they’ve upped their game at all.

This picture makes me look pregnant for whatever reason, but it gives you a good idea of what you’ll look like at the end of the Blacklight run. 

Race Recap: Colfax Half Marathon 2015

So this race was the second ever half marathon for me, and I have to say Disney is a tough act to follow. This was the 10th Anniversary of the race and while the medals were lovely, the race areas were well-marked and organized, and the portable toilets were plenty and fairly clean, I’m not sure I’d do this race again. For one thing, the parking was a nightmare, for another, while I loved going through the Denver Zoo, it wasn’t worth the hills you had to climb to get there. Not to mention they ran out of Gatorade at the last few stops by the time I made it out there (I’m slow, okay? REALLY slow). The packet pickup was at Wings over the Rockies, which was cool, but REALLY inconvenient, and I never would have made it there if I hadn’t gotten off work early on Friday.

I can’t compare it to any of the other Colfax races (5k, 10 miler, marathon, and relay) but as a stand alone for what it was worth, I’m not sorry I did it. Bonus that this year all the race photos were free!

Pros:
Trip through the zoo and the firehouse
Well organized
Nice part of Denver
Interesting Packet Pickup Location
Free race photos (PROBABLY ONLY 2015 BECAUSE OF THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY)

Cons:
Parking
No Gatorade
So. Many. Hills.
Lots of running through uninteresting parts of the neighborhoods
Not very many spectators

 Here’s a link to the Colfax Race Series.

The medal in question is pretty awesome and came with a tiny medal baby for my purse.

Time: 1:30:29