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field houseBrrrr, -4°!  The car is parked in the garage, but I have a detached carriage house and have to walk a dozen steps outside.  It’s 6:30 am Saturday and I’m headed to the CU campus to run the aptly named Colder Bolder 5K.  I prepped for this event by running 3 miles Wednesday after work in 7°, which with an 8 mph wind and 85% humidity felt like -6°.  I ran another 4 miles on Eagle Trail Friday, again in 7°.

It warms up to -1° at 7:55 am when my wave starts.  I shouldn’t have to tell you I’m wearing tights, but underneath I’m wearing Under Armour running long johns and compression socks.  Lost count of how many shirts I’ve layered on.  I expect the campus streets and sidewalks to be clear of ice and snow, but prefer the traction of my trail shoes to that of my street racing flats just in case.  I also have on my North Face running mittens and the ski cap provided in the swag bag.  The race director announces a record cold temperature for this event and fires the starting gun.

Only my face is cold.  I couldn’t find my balaclava.  My cheeks become numb soon enough though.  The course leads down slope the first half mile and back up to the mile point.  The way this event works is you get an invite to run in a wave with others who had similar finish times in the 2013 Bolder Boulder 10K.  There are no age divisions and most of my wave appears to be college age.  Not surprising since this race is on campus.  There are only 23 runners in my wave.  I settle into a pace near the back and run a 7:04 mile.  About what I would expect to run in better weather.

I think I’m holding my pace but slow down 20 seconds for a 7:24 second mile.  The course is a series of up and down slopes.  I surge a bit on the downhills but feel the uphills.  Snow and ice cover sections of the course so my trail shoes are a good call.  I find myself in a bit of a race with a 5 foot tall girl with super long, shiny black hair.  I find out later in the results her name is Emily and only 13 years old.  She tells me nice job when I pass her but she passes me back before the 2 mile mark.  We pass a few runners and I gain on her in the kick but finish behind her in 22:59 with a 7:32 final mile and 7:24 overall pace.

I think the slow pace is more due to being weighed down with all the gear than the cold per se.  We finish in the field house so I take off some of my wet shirts and enjoy a Dale’s Pale Ale while watching the other runners kick in.  I beat one of the 50 year old guys on the Revolution Running Team who beat me a few weeks earlier in the 6K Cross Country race.  That’s all I need to call this race a success.  I eat breakfast at the Golden Buff where they have 99¢ bloody marys.  And I quaff a Coronita during my 11am haircut.  Winter drinking rules are in effect for Colorado.

Karen’s Aunt Sandy passed away the other day and it’s a somber weekend around here.  Karen bought last minute airfare to Austin for the funeral.  After waiting on hold for 45 minutes with Frontier, she discovered they don’t offer bereavement fares.  They still cost half of what United charges.  It will be good for her to spend time with her cousins.  Next up is the Jingle Bell 5K in Fort Collins next weekend.  Sign up if you want to raise money for Rheumatoid Arthritis.  The weather can’t help but be warmer.