Polar Bear Doubler

Survived my first outdoor run in two months.

Polar Bear Doubler (5K/5M)

Indianapolis, IN

February 22, 2014

Doubler Time: 1:11:31   Pace: 8:50

Overall: 84/146

Gender: 23/58

Age Group: F30-34, 5/11

5K Time: 27:06   Pace: 8:45

5K Overall: 150/434   Gender: 37/207

5K Age Group: F30-34, 9/32

5M Time: 44:25   Pace: 8:53   Overall: 179/425, Gender: 54/200  Age Group: F30-34,11/33

I really don’t know how I got talked into doing this given that I was absolutely miserable during the 5 mile Polar Bear Run February of last year and the temperature wasn’t near to as cold as it is this year. Ok well actually I do. My nugget Justine is also training for the Carmel Marathon which is her first 26.2 and we have been talking about getting together for a long run. She suggested doing the Polar Bear Doubler so we could get some miles outside instead of being chained to the treadmill like we have all winter. When I  mentioned it to Bryan he agreed. He suggested running to the start from our apartment which is about a mile away, running the 8 mile doubler, then running the 1 mile home, which would give us 10 miles outside and if I’m still freezing I can finish the last 8 miles of my 18 mile run on the treadmill. Makes sense. At least I would be running part or all of my 18 miler outside.

Two days before the run, it reached 50 degrees outside! What a heat wave for the polar vortex. I was hoping this would carry over to the weekend for my run. Friday night I was starting to dread my run the next day. I just wanted to snooze in my warm bed. But I tried to be positive – at least it would get me out of bed early and run my 18 miles instead of procrastinating and pushing it off to Sunday afternoon.

Saturday morning it was 32 degrees but with the windchill 23. I wore my long running tights and lulu long sleeve run shirt with a tank underneath, a hat, mittens, and my run jacket. I debated on the jacket. I definitely wanted it for the start, but thought maybe I would get too hot. I’d rather be a little warm than cold so I brought the jacket – I’m happy with my decision. Bryan would have said it was too much.

On my run from my apartment to meet up with Justine who was parked near the start, I actually started to get hot. So my plan was to through my jacket in her car but she had already gone to the War Memorial. Oh well. I couldn’t find Justine at the Memorial so we tried to find each other at the start. She said she was in the back of the pack and I was at the start line so when the 5K portion of the doubler started, I waited at the start for her to run by so we could start the race together. But I never saw her so I guess I better start running. My goal long easy pace is 9:45 minute/mile so I was hoping to stay around that pace and enjoy the run. But of course my competitive nature kicked in and I want to start passing people and I want to go fast. The next thing I know I’m at an 8:24 pace. I was feeling surprisingly good so I thought I would just go with it and see what happened. According to my watch I ran around a 25:30ish 5K and I crossed the finish line at 26 and change. I would obviously have to take off a minute for not immediately starting when the 1-2-3 went off which matched up perfectly with my time on my watch. However when I looked at my results online it said 27 minutes and change! Wait a second, that’s not right. I asked Bryan about this because I definitely finished faster than what the results show. How could I cross the finish line at 26 minutes and my time be a minute slower? Doesn’t make sense. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter since it was a training run for me, but I still put down some effort so I want credit for it. Pick my battles Melissa.

Found my nugget Justine after the 5K.

There was about a 15 minute break between the 5K and 5 mile race so Justine and I finally found each other! She had worked her way up to the front when I told her I was in the front and we literally just missed each other. At least we would get to start the 5 miler together. I told myself to take it easy during the 5 miler since I still had 9 more miles to run afterwards. The first 2 miles I took it slow, but again my competitiveness started to kick in and I thought I would just go with it and I picked up the pace for the last 3 miles around 8:38 min/mile. I felt great, I just hoped I didn’t push myself too hard for the rest of my long run. After the 5 miler, we went inside for refreshments and I fueled up with a banana and half a bagel and talked to some fellow run friends. By the time we were to start on the second half of our long run, I was freezing from standing still and all the sweat drying on my body. So I made the executive decision for Justine to drive me back to my place since she had to go t o work and I finished my last 9 miles on the treadmill definitely taking it easy on my pace at my usual 9:45 long easy pace. Go figure it got up to 55 degrees that day after I was finished running.

Finished with our second Polar Run together.

So thank you Polar Bear Run for making me get up early and get my 18 miles in right away. It felt great the rest of my day yesterday and all day today knowing my long run was already completed and I could relax. Maybe I just need to sign up for a small race for my other long runs because it forces me to do it earlier in the weekend and it forces me to run outside. I was a little anxious as to how all my treadmill running the past two months would translate outside and it was fine. If anything I felt better. I felt speedier. Maybe this training on a treadmill isn’t so bad after all. I think it’s making me a stronger runner when I do get outside because instead of running slower the second half of my runs, I’m running negative splits.

On a side note, this was my first run with running mittens. I normally run with gloves but my fingers and hands are always still cold. During the Drumstick Dash in November I even had hand warmers in my gloves and still couldn’t feel my hands. I read online that mittens actually keep your hands warmer. I don’t know how that works nor the science behind it but thought I’d give it a try. During my run my fingers were sweaty and warm. It really does keep my fingers and hands warmer than gloves! Good to know.

I don’t know if The Polar Bear Run will be a regular part of my training for a spring marathon but it did serve its purpose to get me outside and to start my long runs earlier in the weekend. It was also a good way to gauge where I am in my training. My 8:50 ave pace is a few seconds faster that my marathon race pace so I feel good about reaching my goal of a sub 4 hour marathon in April. Finally, it was a great way to kickoff my 2014 running season. After The Polar Bear Doubler and my extra 9 miles, it was time to celebrate my parent-in-laws 40th Anniversary with a lot of wine!

Gary & Connie’s 40th Anniversary Party.

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