Last year on Sunday morning, December 2nd I ran the Colder Boulder 5K and set my stubble time for the Shave Your 5K Challenge. Later in the evening, I found out that about the same time that I was running that race I had lost a good friend, if you were reading Half-Fast back then you may remember my post paying tribute to Jason Wenger. It seemed only fitting that I should remember him this year when I ran the race. So, this past Sunday morning Candis and I went and picked up Carl (Jason’s Brother-In-Law) and the three of us ran the Colder Bolder 5K wearing our softball jerseys. (Jason used to play on our softball team and the team has since been renamed JWengs in his honor, likewise the new jerseys have ‘JWengs’ emblazoned across the front, which is why we chose to wear them for this race.)
I don’t mean to bring down the usually jovial mood here at Half-Fast because I know you don’t come here for heart-wrenching, tear-jerking posts but this is my Colder Bolder 5K race report and I can’t talk about it without mentioning Jason. Now without further ado, onto the actual race report and some much needed juvenile humor.
The Colder Bolder is a series of invitational races based on your finish time from the Bolder Boulder 10K race in May. I was running my race at 9:10am, and Candis and Carl were running their race at 10:10am, giving me an hour to finish the 5K loop and take over kid watching duty from Candis and Carl.
The gun sounded and I was out of the gate at a 6:00 minute mile pace. This was due to the small field, the downhill start, and the fact that I knew Candis was around the first bend taking pictures. After a good solid minute I dropped back to a 7:45 minute pace which was my goal pace for this particular 5K, but like all goals I decided that it needed to be changed mid race. Actually I didn’t decide it needed to be changed, my lungs did. Entering the second mile I could not catch my breath, I felt like my lungs were the size of testicles at a Polar Plunge meeting.
Also slowing me down was the cotton softball jersey I was wearing. The temperature was in the 50s, and I was burning up. I was struggling to breathe and my jersey wasn’t breathing at all so somewhere in the midst of mile 2 I removed the jersey hoping that it would cool me down and improve my speed. (Note: I was not topless, I had a long-sleeved compression shirt on under the jersey.) Alas, taking off the jersey did not magically make me faster. I still found myself struggling to stay below 9:00 minute miles and my teeny, tiny lung-sticles were on fire.
I gave up on trying to PR and put the jersey back on, finishing in 25:26 (8:21 pace) and shaving exactly 30 seconds off my time from last year. None of us PR’d in this race, Candis came in at 30:13 and Carl finished in 32:22. I think that my apparent lack of lung capacity and inability to hold the pace I wanted was due to having taken a couple of weeks off from running to rest my injured knee. The race showed me that if I still plan on running the marathon in January then I had better get myself back into running shape quickly. I’ll be hitting the treadmill for some speedwork tonight (it’s snowy and icy outside today) and I’m back on the full training schedule effective immediately.