Thursday, January 22, 2015

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Polar Dash Race Recap

I feel as if my 15-mile Polar Dash race was months ago. It was actually just two weeks ago, but with work and parenthood, the days zoom on by. I signed up for this race back in the fall thinking it would be a great race to push me into getting those miles in as I train for the Miami Marathon. What I didn't realize back then was that I wouldn't really start training for the marathon until the winter and this race would be my long run as I work my way up to 22 miles, instead of it being a "low" mileage run between two longer runs. Oops!

Anyway, come race day it is COLD outside. As in the temperature was in the teens and it felt like it was in the negative. I knew I needed to get the run in because my motivation would be very low to do 15 miles on the treadmill, so I layered up like I have never layered up before. I barely made it to the start line on time because my taxi left me and I ended up having to drive to the race. This was probably a blessing because it meant I was warmed up from having to rush!

The race itself was almost a straight shot along the lake and the miles passed by comfortably. My only complaint was that it was so cold my butt hurt for the first 5 miles of the race. All I could think about was my butt and the numbing feeling that wouldn't go away. It eventually went away and I was able to finish the race without feeling like my butt froze over.

While it was cold, I'm so happy I did the race and was able to push myself out of my comfort zone to get my miles in and stick to my modified training schedule. I felt so awesome and unstoppable after running this race. I also questioned my sanity a bit! It takes a little bit of madness to go out there and run in those cold conditions.

What I liked:
  • The course was right along the lake. 
  • The yeti at mile 7.5 was a fun break to the race. 
  • The medal for this race was gorgeous. 
  • Mile markers at every .5 mile mark, which I found helpful because the miles feel eternal for me when it's cold. 
  • Having my packet ahead of time because I registered early.

What I Didn't Like:
  • Not the race's issue, obviously, but it was cold! I was happy when I finished because I was able to go to my car to heat up. I felt bad for those running the challenges and having to stay outside between challenges. 
Running in the cold is a very humbling experience. Having ran in the extreme heat, I would say that running in the extreme cold is just as hard. It takes a lot of mental grit to get through runs in the cold and the heat.

I get to test that grit again this weekend with the Miami Marathon! I can't believe race weekend is finally here.  My goal for this race is to enjoy it with all my friends that I haven't seen since I left Miami in July and finish with a smile. Wish me luck!

For more on my marathon weekend, follow along on Instagram @thecookierunner. I promise there will be fun stuff on there!