Monday, January 27, 2014

The not-so Polar Dash

The 14mile Polar Dash. 
Race Recap.
The race was about an hour and a half away from my house and it didn't start until 9am, so that meant that I actually slept in on a race day! Woohoo!
When I started out the morning, it was cold. In fact, about 45 minutes into the drive the thermometer on my car read 25 degrees. By the time the race started it was about 38 or so. It was beautiful race weather. However, it ended up being not-so polar!! I think by the time I finished running it was close to 70 degrees. I was burning up in my winter gear!
Here we are before the race.
Don't you love my skirt! :) I made skirts for me and Courtney. Then Courtney found us winter tshirts (from the children's section...) and fun socks. Yes, we were "adorable."
So how was the race? Well, it was hard. I am learning that for every "easy" race, you have a dozen hard ones! I'm still so new at this that I thought every race would get easier and I'd get faster. Not the case. There are so many intangibles that go into racing.
Back to the race...
Here we are about a 1/2 mile into the race. There were a LOT of people running. They started the 10k and 14mile people at the same time. On the divided road it was fine. But by mile 2 we were on a sidewalk on a bridge close to a turnaround, so we were all crammed on the same section of side walk! It was very frustrating.

The route was a 6 mile loop that covered a number of small ups and downs, a couple of bridges and lots of winding trail.
No spectators.
I didn't realize how much Cowtown ruined me for other races! I need crowd energy! There were NO spectators on this course. For 14 miles the only cheers you got were the people at the water stations.
The volunteers were nice and we got some great comments about our skirts. But running the same section of the route three times was hard. Passing mile marker 4 and seeing the 10 and 13 markers was demoralizing. It was a tough section (at least for me) and knowing that I had to do it two more times, then one more time was hard mentally.
I am also learning that I need to plan better for the road conditions. Wearing my older running shoes was probably not the best choice. I was great till mile 5. Then my foot started hurting a little. By mile 7 my hip was hurting. I wore my older shoes because my newer shoes had hurt my foot the week before on a long run.  I think I'm going to have to upgrade to some Hoka's for long concrete races!
In the end, I did the 14 miles in 2:31 (that includes a 3 minute stop at mile 8 for pottying and a gel). I had hoped for a better time, but I am reminding myself that I am still learning. I took gels and chews and then only at one gel at mile 8 and bummed a chew off of Courtney at mile 11. That's not enough food. And I totally skipped the water stop at mile 6. One of these days I am going to learn. My best races I eat a jelly bean or a chew at every mile marker. It gives me something to do, and that little calorie jolt is important.  I forget this. Then later when I process the race and wonder why I went from feeling strong and great at mile 9 to hurting and tired at mile 11 I remember the lack of food and water and that at that point I had been running for two hours!
But I made it to the end. Here I am coming in to the park.
And here we are with our medals!
And because running 14 miles wasn't enough....
Yes, this was AFTER the race.
(and it took multiple jumps to get a picture!)
And what will I take with me from this race? The knowledge that I am not good at a looped course and that I need spectators.
hmm.... this might change up some of my race plans for this year....

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