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Started: 2008-05-20 21:32:46

Submitted: 2008-05-20 22:29:52

Visibility: World-readable

The weekend before last I ran my best 5k time and qualified for Bolder Boulder wave "D" with an estimated finish time of just under 52 minutes.

I got up early (for definitions of "early" that count for weekends, not necessarily for week days) and drove to Broomfield's Flatiron Crossing Mall for the Flat Out 5k, where I found race registration and got my bib number for the 0900 start. (The race had three separate starts at 0800, 0830, and 0900.) I stretched and warmed up and queued for the race start.

I forgot my heartrate monitor, so I didn't have a timer to help me set my pace through the race. I ran a bit harder than normal, encouraged by the crowd and my desire to get a good qualifying time. The course ran around the mall and up and over two Zip shuttle bridges. (The Daily Camera warned that "flat out" didn't refer to the terrain. It helps that my normal morning 5k route is fairly hilly, so I didn't really notice the hills.) I took advantage of the substantial downhill segment in the second mile to relax my pace and came back strong for the third and final mile. I found energy I didn't know I had to sprint across the finish line, visualizing the broad u-turn before the Bolder Boulder finish at Folsom Field. As I made my way through the chute, someone handed me a card saying I qualified for the D wave. I later learned that I finished in 24:48 -- six seconds faster than my best-ever 5k time while running cross country a decade ago in high school. (On 9 October 1997, I ran 5k in 24:54 in a cross country meet at Mullen.)

My finish time qualified me for a Bolder Boulder finishing time just under 52 minutes -- better than my best (unofficial) Bolder Boulder finish a decade ago. I've had some trouble matching that time in my training; I suspect I'd do better when well-hydrated, and it never hurts to not have to wait for traffic. By the time I got around to registering for the Bolder Boulder itself, the "D" wave was full, so I ended up in "DA".

It remains to be seen whether my weekly running regiment translates into better hiking performance, but I have managed to loose weight since starting my exercise routine; as of this morning, I'm (just barely) below 180 pounds. (That's 12.85 stones for the British, and 81.6 kilograms for everyone else.)

I biked to work again last Friday, which barely seems worth mentioning now that it's becoming something of a regular occurrence. It's not quite clear that I'm really saving money by not buying gas when I bike, since I tend to buy expensive coffee shop pastries to recover the calories I burned while biking. (I tend to burn about 600 calories in an hour to travel about 20 miles by bike; that's 30 calories (125 kJ) per mile.) I was pleased to see that the supplemental bike bridge over Lefthand Creek was open, removing the last tricky move from the ride into Boulder. Before the bridge opened, the bike shoulder essentially vanished, meaning I had to consider whether I should merge with traffic traveling upwards of 100 km/hr while I was traveling less than 40 km/hr without a comfortable steel shell protecting me from the pavement.

Megafest 7.0 starts tomorrow evening. I'm trying to get into the Megafesting mood, which might be slightly tricky given the renewed turmoil my employment situation is undergoing. I did manage to make the house safe for Festing over the weekend (that is, when I didn't get stuck buying five cubic feet of sand to redo the brick patio in my back yard). Kiesa and I have a few culinary surprises ready for the Festing world, and there should be a pair of new and exciting board games: Fury of Dracula (being shipped to my house on Yanthor's behalf) and the 2001 Spiel des Jahres, Carcassonne.