Polar Bear Run (5M)
February 23, 2013
Time: 48:17 Pace: 9:39
Age Group: F25-29, 15/35
For the first time I am following a half marathon training program. My four first half marathons were to prove to myself that I could run 13.1 miles. This time I want to run with a specific purpose…to run sub 2 hours. So for my training program, I wanted to incorporate some 5k’s and “fun runs” to keep my training fun so I wouldn’t get burnt out. The Polar Bear Run would be my first run outside since the Drumstick Dash three months prior.
I had some great interval and tempo runs the first two weeks of my training program, so I felt pretty good about my first training fun run outside. But when I woke up Saturday morning, I just wasn’t feeling it. The temperature outside was twenty something with a wind chill of 15. Yikes! I knew it would be cold, but I didn’t actually think it would be polar temperatures. I did my usual routine of shoveling down oatmeal, but this time it was different. I couldn’t eat it. I was only able to force down four gagging spoonfuls before giving up. I was nervous. I had to run a specific pace because my training program told me to and I must not stray from my designated pace. My anxiety was kicking in. What if I didn’t stay at my pace? No, I have to run this pace. I have to follow my training program. I had just turned my fun run into an anxious driven “if you don’t run at this pace you’ll fail run.”
I layered up to prepare for the cold. I had on my racerback tank, nike long-sleeved shirt, north face pull over, and Lululemon running jacket. My husband immediately told me to take off a layer. He is always telling me to dress as if it were twenty degrees warmer than it actually is for running. But it’s 20 degrees outside! And I’m supposed to dress as if it’s only 40 degrees. Uggghhh. I unwillingly took off my nike long-sleeved shirt, grabbed my water and drove the one mile down the street to the War Memorial for the start. Yes, we drove because I’m a pansy in the cold. Bryan was running “the doubler”, the three mile race and then the five mile race. So I sat in the warm car listening to music while he ran his first three miles.
I started to feel a little more confident when my nuggs and her hubs joined me in the car to warm up before the start of our race. It was our first nugget run of the season together. When we knew the 3 miler was finishing we walked over to the start of the 5 miler. Brrrrr…….was it cold, even with my hood up and gloves. I kept telling myself that the faster I ran, the quicker I would be out of the cold and back into my warm apartment. We were at the starting line when it hit me. I forgot to stretch this morning! Oops! I thought maybe the excitement of my first run outside of the season, using my new Garmin watch for the first time (actually Bryan’s old Garmin because he just got his multi-sport Garmin), and running with my new tiny iPod shuffle (instead of my bulky iPhone) would pump me up.
The gun went off. Go time! My shuffle was playing “I Love It” by Icona Pop, great song. Thirty seconds later, no sound, no music, no motivation. My shuffle died. Nooooooo! I forgot to charge my battery the night before. My heart stopped. This was going to be a long, silent run in the cold. Hell just froze over.
At this point my morale was gone. I didn’t care about my pace, I didn’t care about my training. I just wanted to run five miles and go home and forget about it. The course would have been enjoyable otherwise. The first mile was running to and around Mass Ave. From there we headed to Fountain Square and then on South St. towards Lucas Oil. At Meridian St. we ran North until we reached the War Memorial again. Instead of enjoying the short run in areas of the city that I haven’t ran before (Fountain Square), I was too concentrated on the cold and how I couldn’t feel my legs. For the last mile, I thought maybe I could convince myself to kick it up a notch. Nope, wasn’t happening. I was defeated. Mind over matter, but the matter was winning.
Despite my lackluster performance, I actually stayed somewhat on pace. This run really put it into perspective for me. I still have a long way to go before I reach my goal of a sub two hour half marathon. Running a few miles at an 8:00min/mile pace gave me confidence, but this easy five mile run broke me down quick. I’ve started second guessing myself. Is my goal achievable for me? Insert epiphany here. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of spending twelve weeks on a training program and not achieving my goal. Would I rather not run at all or train and possibly fail? I choose the latter. I choose to train my little heart out for the remaining of my training program and see what happens. I need to trust my training program and to most importantly trust myself. Enough seriousness, it was now time for me to cuddle with my baby polar bear, go to my Cubano’s baby shower and eat a cupcake.