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Bloomsday Run Recap – Geek Turned Athlete

Bloomsday Run Recap

For those of you who enjoyed the rawness of my race recaps last year, you will be happy about this one. For those of you who are new to the blog, I keep it real…and/or maybe share too much information. Here we go!!


This Bloomsday 12K Run is a BIG deal in Spokane. I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until the day before the race when I had 3 different strangers ask me if I was running Bloomsday. I guess a lot of people run/walk it: 55,000 to be exact. Crazy, huh? They have weird color groups that you have to qualify to be placed in with different races held in 2010 and the beginning of 2011, and they are VERY strict about NOT starting in a color group that is ahead of where you qualified for. You can be banned from running/walking the race for 5 years if you try to move up when you didn’t qualify for a certain corral. You can move back though. And that is just what I did since Steve hadn’t run any races this year yet. We just moved to Spokane last summer so we missed last year’s race as well.So, we started in the green group, and let me just say that if you are a runner the green group may not be for you. There were LOTS of walkers in this group. There is nothing wrong with walkers if they are near the back of the starting groups, but there is no point in being in the front if you are going to walk, right?

Screen shot 2011-05-03 at 7.59.29 PM.png

After scanning and assessing our starting group, we soon realized that there was going to be some massive weaving going on for the race. I started to curse the fact that I didn’t run that 5K two weeks ago to qualify for second seeding (the brown area behind the white numbers). Oh well. We were there, and although this wasn’t going to be the “fastest” run because of the massive amount of people, we were going to have a good time.


The time grew nearer and nearer to starting. People started throwing their sweatpants, etc. up into the trees around the start area.


I started to feel like I had to pee, but I thought that I could just hold it for the race. My goal was to run this thing in about an hour, and I tried to convince myself I could hold it for that long.


People were tossing big bouncy balls around. I got hit in the head with one. There was so much energy in the crowd. I kinda felt like I was at a block party.


The crowd inched towards the Start as each group in front of us started.


They had someone holding a WALK/STOP sign to tell each color group what to do. It was crazy!




After having to pee and waiting in our corral for 50 min and not starting yet, my bladder felt like it was going to burst. I kept teasing Steve that I was going to pee on his leg. The race started at 9 and our color group didn’t end up crossing the Start line until 9:25. It is a good thing we had timing chips on. After we crossed the Start line, I knew that I would have to find a porta-potty fast. Two miles in, I spotted some porta-potties without long lines, and I ran like the wind towards them.


I didn’t want to take time to line the toilet seat with toilet paper so I hiked my sweatshirt that was around my waist along with my tank top way up to my boobs and got to squatting. I was staring at my stream to make sure I was getting it in the toilet instead of all over my shoes, and thinking: Good job, Nicole! You are hydrated! Very light yellow. Go me, go me, go me… All of the sudden, my door swings open and I hear a guy say, “Oh god!” I let out a scream too.

There I was mid-stream and freshly waxed with not even a hair to hide behind exposed for all the world (well, this guy and maybe two people behind him). He shut the door to hard, it swung back open for more people to see me with my shirt up around my boobs, and my shorts around my ankles. I was still peeing at this point. I was very well hydrated, okay? After finishing up my pee, and quickly pulled my shorts back up and ran to my husband waiting for me. I told him we needed to get out of there because some guy saw my cooch. So embarrassing. I guess I didn’t lock the door all the way???

Oh well, gotta keep running… The hills on this course were heinous. I looked like I was dying while running up them. The hubs would run ahead to get these shots. The hills were nothing to him. I hated him.


Here is the course profile if you don’t believe me:

Screen shot 2011-05-03 at 7.59.06 PM.png

Crappy, eh? Oh yes, I wanted to die here.


The individual hills weren’t that bad, but the fact that they were back to back sucked. In several downhill sections, I got boxed behind walkers. I was pissed. Downhills are when you should be monopolizing on gravity. Why walk??? Ack.

The last mile and a half should have been faster, but my legs were smoked from weaving in and out of the walkers and the HILLS!! I was pushing as hard as I could push it. I felt like I was running in slow motion.

As we rounded the last corner, the Rocky theme song came on the loud speakers, and I could feel the energy come back into my legs. We sprinted down the hill towards the finishline weaving our way through.

Screen shot 2011-05-03 at 8.03.36 PM.png

I was SO happy it was over. Even though this was one of the shortest races that I have done, it was one of the hardest courses I have raced. The hills KILLED.

(looking back at the finishline after crossing…)



I didn’t get to run with my Swift team since they were all up in second seeding, but you can bet that next year I definitely will be there. I can guarantee it. πŸ˜‰


I ended up missing my goal of 1 hr by 2 minutes according to the official time. Not too bad with a revealing potty break and being surrounded by walkers!

The aftermath captured as we were walking back to our car…


Thanks to my beautiful badass husband who ran the race with me. He could have run it in under 45 min if he wanted to but he stayed behind for me. πŸ˜‰

Also, thanks to the Swifts for kicking my butt EVERY single practice I attend. :)

{ 26 comments… add one }

  • Leila May 3, 2011, 10:42 pm

    Arg, my comment was swallowed.
    Omg to your potty story! At least you could run away!
    Love the pic of you crossing the finish line!
    The walkers totally drove me bananas. What part of walk on the right, run on the left did people not understand? I mean, there were signs everywhere!
    The hills killed me too. I psyched myself out for doomsday hill and didn’t realize the rest of the course was hilly as well! Sigh. Fun race though!
    Leila recently posted..It’s kind of a long story

    • Nicole May 4, 2011, 8:34 pm

      Oh yes. We ran the course last weekend just so we knew what we were getting into. I think I would have had a nervous breakdown if I ran up all those hills, then hit Doomsday!

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama May 3, 2011, 10:42 pm

    Awesome!! I have always wanted to run Bloomsday – maybe next year πŸ˜‰
    Tasha – The Clean Eating Mama recently posted..Well Helloooooooo!

  • lindsay May 4, 2011, 4:15 am

    LOL! i am laughing my arse off right now because I have TOTALLY been in that spot at the porta potty. I mean, it happends to the best of us, right?
    Nice race girl, next time you’ll shave off those 2 minutes easy!
    lindsay recently posted..Fresh Friday

    • Nicole May 4, 2011, 8:31 pm

      I plan on shaving off more than that! Maybe 58 or 56 next year. Plus, I will be starting near the front next year. That will help a lot!

      • Kimberly May 7, 2011, 7:11 am

        Don’t you mean waxing. . .?

  • Erica May 4, 2011, 4:29 am

    I love that you ran this with your husband :) I’m trying to get Josh to do a race with me after I have the baby. The pee story is hilarious. I would have screamed too! And cute pic with the swifts.

  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate May 4, 2011, 5:01 am

    Great race dude!
    Matt @ The Athlete’s Plate recently posted..Benefits Of Self-Hosting Your Blog

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 4, 2011, 6:30 am

    hahah omg so embarrassing! One time I was out on a booze cruise and I must’ve drank a little much because I didn’t lock the door when I went into the bathroom. So I’m squatting there (I never sit on public toilets) and some chick full-on whips open the door and I’m exposed out to the world. AWESOME. :-/ I was feeling pretty drunk by that point so I was just like hahah no worries! The embarrassment feeling came later haha.

    BTW awesome race! :)
    Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me recently posted..Threshold Training

  • Theresa May 4, 2011, 6:46 am

    Bloomsday sounds like so much fun! My husband is from Spokane & he always talks about how big of a deal it was, even back when he was in gradeschool! The whole thing sounds a lot like the Peachtree Roadrace (10k) held every 4th of July in Atlanta. 55,000 runners and 20+ start corrals! (Seriously, there’s one for almost every letter of the alphabet.) Races like that are so much fun, but I don’t think they’re meant for “racing” unless you’re lucky enough to get into one of the first start waves – just because of the sheer number of people & because they’re advertised as being so walker friendly. (Although I will say, when I walk during Peachtree I do my best to stay to the right & let the runners pass…but unfortunately not everyone knows that “rule” about running!)

    One of these years Ryan and I really want to get up to Spokane so we can run Bloomsday – we just missed it this year though – we’ll be there next week!
    Theresa recently posted..Old Flame v New Love

    • Nicole May 4, 2011, 8:30 pm

      Yeah, people were not following the rules pretty well with the whole walking on the right. Email me if you have time to meet up!

  • Spokane Al May 4, 2011, 8:32 am

    Good job. Bloomsday makes it official – welcome to Spokane!
    Spokane Al recently posted..Community

  • Sarah for Real May 4, 2011, 9:18 am

    LOL That was extremely entertaining! I made the same mistake you did, moving back a color group (not flashing some stranger in the porta-pottie). I was planning to walk the race… but not SLOW walking. Sheesh. I was weaving in and out the whole time! I cannot imagine trying to run it without being super frustrated. MOVE people!

    ps Am I the only one who noticed the guy in the “BOOBIES” shirt finishing next to you?

    • Nicole May 4, 2011, 8:26 pm

      haha. I didn’t even notice that until you brought it up!

  • genesis May 4, 2011, 9:51 am

    OMG you were in green too?! looking at your pictures of the starting line i think i was maybe 5-6 people/rows behind you because the people look vaguely familiar. i was pissed at the green section too. i expected more runners as opposed to walkers and i thought i wouldnt weave as much but when i look back on the garmin stats i didnt start to speed up until after mile 2 when the crowds thinned. i especially hated the first downhill where the road narrows from 4 lanes plus a median to just two lanes!!!

    this time around i actually enjoyed bloomsday because i conquered those bitchin back to back hills and did not start to walk until i got up doomsday hill when i got side stitches. im glad you got to experience the bloomsday pandemonium :)

    • Nicole May 4, 2011, 8:26 pm

      Um, yeah!!! I was getting pissed when they would be walking 5 wide. It took up the whole road. Too bad we missed you!

  • Lisa May 4, 2011, 10:38 am

    You look great! I’m glad you did it, even if you missed your goal. Sometimes goals are just elusive!

  • Little Miss Runshine May 4, 2011, 6:57 pm

    hahaha I had someone walk in on me on the porta potty too! Very embarrassing! I love all the photos with the trees covered in clothes!
    Little Miss Runshine recently posted..I caved-Facebook page

  • Samantha @ Bikini Birthday May 5, 2011, 7:05 am

    Awesome job! Sounds like a great race.
    That really sucks that so many people take part in it. I hate to get boxed in by people when I’m walking down the street as a pedestrian, I imagine I would be seriously pissed to get boxed in if I were trying to hit a time goal.

    Why is it such a popular race?

    • Nicole May 5, 2011, 6:10 pm

      I have no clue. It is just a tradition over here I guess. πŸ˜‰

  • Morgan @ Endorphaholic May 5, 2011, 4:46 pm

    Oh my gosh that is one of my biggest port-a-potty fears! I can’t believe how crowded that race looks the whole time. And, looks like you rocked the uniform!

    Just found your blog and love it!

    • Nicole May 5, 2011, 6:09 pm

      Thanks, and welcome!! πŸ˜‰

  • steena May 5, 2011, 8:25 pm

    Awesome race & GOOD PEEING!!! :)
    steena recently posted..Lookin’ on the bright side

  • Toronto Girl West May 6, 2011, 2:35 pm

    Ahahahahah – you have the craziest half naked stories!!!! πŸ˜€ Seriously cracked me up!!!!

    I thought about running Bloomsday when we first moved out here – and then I saw the elevation map and died. With my re-curring IT band issues I don’t like hills (ironically enough – especially not the down hill).

    But you’re awesome girly!!!!
    Toronto Girl West recently posted..Life Lessons the Portland Japanese Garden

  • Beth May 8, 2011, 12:22 pm

    hahaha, sorry you were caught with your pants down but that is pretty funny. Nice job in the race!!
    Beth recently posted..Eugene Marathon Race Pics

  • Ali @SeeAliEatSeeAliRun May 10, 2011, 1:36 pm

    I ran Bloomsday this year too! I was in Yellow but moved back to Green at the last second so I could run with my little sister who hadn’t run this year to qualify for second seeding. Not a good idea! I definitely had a difficult time weaving through all the walkers once I hit Doomsday Hill!

    I died at your porta potty story but I have to tell you something-close to the same thing happened to me at my half marathon last year (including the wonderfully gone bare aspect). So pretty much 20 people saw my cooch! Nice, right?
    Ali @SeeAliEatSeeAliRun recently posted..Happy Birthday Month


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