hacker emblem
Search | Tags | Photos | Flights | Gas Mileage | Log in

Cold, Colder, Coldest

Started: 2009-12-10 18:33:54

Submitted: 2009-12-10 18:54:31

Visibility: World-readable

I started getting a cold the weekend after Thanksgiving. On Friday night, I first noticed a sore throat, which developed into a full rhinovirus infection by Saturday. My cold peaked while I was at work on Monday and subsided through the week. Almost two weeks later, it's down to a dull sniffle every once and a while.

Last Saturday, I ran in the 52-minute invite of the Colder Boulder 5k. The race was segregated by the spring's Bolder Boulder finish times in two-minute increments, so I had a chance to run with people who were roughly my own speed. I spent the last six weeks training for the race, after abandoning my original half-marathon running plans. As promised, Saturday morning was cold. I picked up my race packet in the CU fieldhouse, applied my bib to my vest, and worked on my warmup for the race as other racers from earlier invites finished. I headed outside, into the bright but chilly morning, and waited for the start. I joined my cohort, clustered at the starting line, and waited for the gun.

I started fast, down a gentle downhill, and tried to keep up with the front of the pack. This proved to be a bad idea; I ran the first mile in 06:45 but struggled to maintain my pace for the second two miles. I ran the second mile in 08:00 (which is closer to the lactate-threshold pace I can maintain for longer distances) and wasn't sure I could go on as the course looped back on itself; I could see the starting line a hundred meters north as I turned west, out to Broadway. Somehow I found the energy to maintain my pace as the course wound its way through the western part of campus and ran the third mile, past Norlin, in 08:00, then sprinted the last hundred meters to the finish to finish fourteenth in my race with a time of 23:26. I was hoping I could do better than my best-ever 5k this spring (22:49) but it was still my second-best 5k time.

(During the race, my key mistake was starting too fast. My training established a good aerobic base but didn't train me to run at race pace for at least as long as I needed. I need to pay careful attention to tempo runs for my next race.)

After the race, I got a pot of loose-leaf green tea at Atlas Cafe on Pearl Street, between 15th and 16th. The tea was excellent and the picture of Varanasi on the wall was perfect. I have a new favorite tea shop.

On Sunday, the weather turned from cool to downright frigid. It snowed modestly for several days and stayed well below freezing, with nighttime lows below zero and daytime "highs" in single digits. I had to bundle up to make the long trek from my office door to my car, and it took most of the drive home to warm up. The forecast suggests the weather will finally reach above freezing tomorrow, just in time for the weekend.