I knew that it was going to be cold on Sunday while I was attempting to PR at the Colder Bolder 5K, but I had no idea that it was going to be so windy. I HATE wind. It was 34 degrees outside and the average wind speed was 13mph with gusts registering speeds upwards of 28mph.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Colder Bolder it consists of 13 separate races. Each of the first 12 races are invitational races where runners are invited to participate based on their Bolder Boulder 10K time from earlier in the year. The 13th race is an open race for runners who didn’t run the Bolder Boulder. I guess that’s how an open race works. I was invited to the 10th race which was for runners who finished the Bolder Boulder between 56:00 and 57:59. The idea is that everyone can be competitive in each of the races, but looking at past results it seemed that there were always a few runners in each race that were somewhat ahead of the curve.
I stood at the line with 65 other runners, none of whom had run the Bolder Boulder any faster than me (56:00) 6 months earlier. I had set myself a goal of running an 8:00 minute mile pace and I felt like I should be able to stay with the front runners. When the air horn sounded it was evident that all 65 runners felt the same way and we all started out faster than Thanksgiving shoppers bursting in to Target at 6am. After a quarter mile I checked my Garmin to reveal that we were running at a 6:24 minute mile pace! To be quite honest I didn’t even think I was capable of running at that speed. I slowed down and watched droves of runners overtake me. At that point I was probably in 40th place and I decided to focus on beating my PR instead of beating all the other speedsters out there.
At the half mile mark we turned a corner and were met head on with a gusting wind and slight hill. All of a sudden we were back to being the slower runners that we were supposed to be. Somewhere in Antarctica Heinz ketchup was flowing out of a bottle at a faster pace than we were moving. We ran into a headwind for most of mile 2 and even though I didn’t feel like I was moving very fast I found myself passing a lot of seemingly winded runners.
I ended up finishing 15th in my race with a time of 25:56 which is a new PR. My splits were reflective of the headwind we faced: 8:11 – 9:02 – 8:11. I was hoping for something a little better, but I’ll take it given the circumstances.
When we got home from the race I got up on the roof and put up our Christmas lights, we’re going with blue this year. (Just like the last 5 years.) Once the lights were up I was starting to feel pretty chilled and I knew that it was time for an ice bath, Half-Fast style.