A Bevy Of Bling – The Polar Dash 2015 Race Recap

“It’s just another New Year’s Eve…another night like all the rest…”-Barry Manilow

OK, who remembers that old chestnut? For me, New Year’s Eve is just another ‘night like all the rest’. My husband and I pretty much agree that staying up late just to witness the clock strike midnight, and, in return, paying for the lack of sleep the next day, just isn’t worth it. So, in recent years, I figured, if I’m going to go to bed at regular time, I may as well subject myself to the Team Ortho Polar Dash 10k. I mean, why not? I’d run anyway, regardless. Right?

Well, the previous two years were the coldest on record for running. The first it was -1° at race time. Last year it was -10° at race time. Yeah…therefore you can guess that this year, the crowd wasn’t nearly as strong as it had been in the past.

The Yeti Challenge Bling

The Yeti Challenge Bling

Yep, this would be my third year running the Polar Dash 10K. This time, however, there was an added twist. Team Ortho lured us in with 4 medals! 4 PIECES OF BLING if we agreed to run 3 races on the same morning! Ahhh, The Yeti Challenge! That would include the 10K, the 5K and the 1500m run. And for those brave enough to try it…the SUPER Yeti, which included the 15 mile, the 5K, and the 1500m. Me? I’m crazy…but not that crazy. I opted for the Yeti Challenge. I was going to be there anyway…why not just keep running?

New Year's Morning Temperature

New Year’s Morning Temperature

This year would be rather different, however, as my videographer, head cheerleader, chauffeur, and coat rack could not attend. He had to accompany my daughter to church that morning instead. I was sad, but in a way, happy for him that he didn’t have to stand around with me and wait in the cold. Although, by comparasin, this year’s weather was drastically different. The temperatures were actually above zero! I KNOW! I was shocked, too. That made it easier to run the 3 races back to back…but not easy by any stretch of the imagination. I was happy the 10K race was first, as that is the one I run every year and I put forth my best effort. This year was no different, except for the fact that I was still recovering from that respiratory thing I came down with before Christmas. I could feel it as I ran. It was hard to get to a pace and maintain it for the 6 miles.

Me and Jim!

Me and Jim!

And, I had the amazing opportunity to meet up with a fellow runner from Facebook…my VFF Jim! He messaged me the night before to let me know he was going to be running so we got to meet in person prior to the runs! I just love meeting up with fellow runners that I have befriended on social media. It just adds one more positive spark to getting up and attending these events.

Polar Dash 10K Start Line

Polar Dash 10K Start Line

Jim and I chatted for a bit, and took our selfie. Then I suggested he come up to the front with me, but he chose to stay back. I went ahead and weaved my way to the front of the pack. Taking a look around, I was beginning to think I overdressed. And that point was made at about mile 2. Plus, the heated gloves were a bit to heavy to handle for a fast run. Live and learn.

I went out too fast, and paid for it the entire 6 miles. It was a struggle. And despite the fact that I didn’t have any music or podcasts tuned in, I didn’t pay much attention to Runmeter, either, so I had no idea how I was running. I just ran. And when I hit the downhill portion of the race at mile 4, I took off and made up as much time as I could. So, I was rather surprised that despite my obvious huffing and puffing, and rather weak, defiant legs, that I finished as well as I did. In the end, I finished faster than I did the previous year! But I wouldn’t learn that until after I got home and looked it up on the internet. It came as a shock to me, plus, even placing second in my age group on top of that was a genuine surprise!

Polar Dash 10K Finish

Polar Dash 10K Finish

I went back to my car afterwards to exchange my gloves and change my shirt. I was already sweaty and knowing the next race would be at least an hour away, I didn’t want to take the chance of getting super chilled in the cold air. I also brought along my medal that I had just won so I could take my selfie with it along with the other medals. I’m glad I did…but it sure got in the way while I ran the next two races.

Medal #1

Medal #1

I met up with Jim again prior to the 1500m. We got a little more time to chat this go around as the race start was delayed. We ended up toeing the line around 11:30am which was about 15 minutes later than we had hoped. I had already decided to just wing it because I was quite exhausted from the 10K. Jim took off without hestitation at the start, but I fumbled with my medal and my phone, and just kind of sauntered off the start line. I lost Jim immediately. And I immediatley got held up by many, many children. But I was OK with it. I anticipated it would be a family type run. I just ran as I would if I were running the roads by my home. So, no one was more surprised as me to find out I finished first in my age group for this run! Not only that, but it was supposed to be a 1500m run, which by my calculations is close to a mile…but Runmeter said I ran 1.3 miles. I probably made up for that run in the final .3 miles because by then, I had my second wind.

Medal #2

Medal #2

Afterwards, I texted Jim to let him know I was headed back to my car again…but I came to realize that the 5K started at 12:00pm…not 12:30pm as I previously thought. There would be no time to make it back to drop off the medals, so I double backed to the start line and got there just minutes before the starting gun. At this point, I just wanted a cup of coffee…desperately…so getting this over with was all I was thinking. I gave it all I had…which wasn’t much…but was glad we just had to run up the one big hill before turning and running back down it. This made it much easier that I thought it would be…and I crossed the finish line, medals clanging away at my belly, and collected my third before heading to the warming area to grab my packet for the next run, and my Yeti Challenge medal.

Medals #3 and #4

Medal #3

I didn’t see Jim afterward, but I knew he had plans to get out of there, too. So I texted him, grabbed the last of my belongings and headed back to my car, briskly. I was beat…whooped…wiped out…and hungry. I had a little bit of a Quest Bar left which I gobbled down with the remainder of my now cold coffee. But it was worth it.

Upon arriving home, my husband asked how I did and I had to confess that I hadn’t even checked yet. I just wanted to shower, warm up, and eat. So I did just that. After the shower, however, I got the ever familiar twinkling in my left eye…damn…migraine? Ugh. But, luckily, my husband quashed it with a Sumatriptan tab before I even got to the pain. I therefore enjoyed my Kishka and eggs, and then sat down to see how I fared.

Polar Dash 10K Result

Polar Dash 10K Result

Polar Dash 5K Result

Polar Dash 5K Result

Polar Dash 1500m Result

Polar Dash 1500m Result

Polar Dash Yeti Challenge

Polar Dash Yeti Challenge

Seriously surprised! And stoked. It was a good day afterall.

Later, I suggested to my husband that we go out for a drink and celebrate the New Year’s the right way. So after dinner, we got ourselves a little cocktail. I got my post race Manhattan…and sometimes, it makes it all worth the run!

Looking ahead, I’m signed up for the Team Ortho Get Lucky Half Marathon in March, but I’m almost certain there will be something that comes up sooner. May as well keep on running!

Did you run New Year’s Day? Which race and how far? How did you do?

One Response to A Bevy Of Bling – The Polar Dash 2015 Race Recap

  1. Jenn says:

    Amazing! I can’t imagine running 3 races in a short period of time like that! What a cool challenge! I also can’t wrap my head around that kind of cold. I fall apart in the 30s! Congratulations on your Yeti Challenge 🙂

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