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Polar Dash 1-1-11 Recap!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I can't believe I did it! The air temp was a chilly 7 degrees with windchills supposedly around 10 below. While most people were hibernating, Mike, Amber and I jumped in my car and trekked over to Eastern Minneapolis/Western St. Paul to partake in a crazy New Years tradition for a crowd of 2000+ people, the Team Ortho Foundation Polar Dash 5K.

Winter running has been a bit of a challenge trying to figure out what to wear in order to tread that fine line between comfortable and overheating. Today it involved 2 layers of running pants topped with wind pants; smartwool socks; underlayer shirt, official polar dash fleece, jacket, neck gaitor, hat, hood and mittens. That's ALOT of stuff to wear! But I wasn't not willing to take chances with the windchills!

We had about an hour til race start, so we hung out in the warming tent and I have to admit, we stayed pretty comfortable -- except for my feet. I lost feeling in my toes and it took til about a mile into the race for me to once again feel them. That was the hardest part. The rest of me was fine, but the toes were numb and quite painful. I found myself asking, "What would Bear Grylls do in this situation?" but decided he'd probably pee on them or something so moved my thoughts to other ideas like jumping in place, curling and un-curling them, etc.

Race time was about to start so we hurried out to the start area and aligned ourselves with the 10.5 minute mile pace. The excitement grew. The enthusiasm of the crowd was great. We were getting a lot of attention as we were still in our Happy New Years blinking hats and bound and determined to stay in them the whole race.

The race went by much faster than I expected. Usually that first mile is pretty grueling. I was definitely happy when the feeling returned to my toes. Although for a brief moment the feeling had only returned to about half my toes which was quite surreal. My running buddy, Amber was definitely the pace setter this time and at many times I felt her pulling me. What a change from earlier this fall. Its inspiring to see how far she's come in this process! The only thing is I was completely out of juice to sprint that last 0.1 miles so I merely jogged my way in. I usually can muster up a sprint so that was a bit disappointing. But I still finished running and crossed the finish line at 35:20. I knew my official time had to be less than that as I was pretty far back in the crowd.

Official time: 31:23!!!!! This is a personal record for the distance.

to review:
Time to Fly 5K 2009: 35:36
Autism 5K 2010: Not timed but it was somewhere around 40 minutes
Time to Fly 5K 2010: 39 something?
Autumn woods classic 10K: 69:58
Diva Dash 5 miler: 53:14
I finished about 8-9 minutes FASTER than my first 5K's this year!

I do accept, though, that this may be the fastest my body will go unless I step up the other parts of the equation: strength training, flexibility work, speed work. If I am in fact serious about doing a half marathon there is definitely more hard work ahead of me. I embrace it though because in the end it's all worth it! The post run high and accompanying sense of accomplishment can't be beat! I'm addicted.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    We Will have to keep in contact about our next races! I think I'm going to do the Get Lucky 7k, definitely the Time to Fly event again (probably the 10K this year). Hoping to make that leap to half marathon August-October sometime.
    2725 days ago
    emoticon for your personal record and getting out there and racing in the cold!

    That is a great way to start the new year!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I looked over your list and we both ran The Time to Fly (I ran the 10k though) and the Diva Dash. Very neat to have a fellow Sparker at the same race as me. Too bad we didn't know it then.... we could have tried to meet up.
    2725 days ago
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