Drumstick Dash 2014 Edition

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Drumstick Dash Tradition year 3!

Drumstick Dash (4.65M)

Indianapolis, IN

November 27, 2014

Time: 37:07.03   Pace: 7:59

Overall: 913/4451

Gender: 189/2101

Age Group: F30-34, 26/330

Our family tradition (meaning Bryan and I) continued with this being our third year in a row participating in this event. This was my second run post marathon – almost 4 weeks since my big PR. I had hoped to only take a week or two off of running to let me body heal, but I ended up taking 3 weeks off. I had a four mile easy run a few days prior, it was 50 degrees out in November in Indy so I had to take advantage. I was anxious to see how I would fare after so much time off. I wasn’t going to put too much pressure on myself, but I knew I would at least PR from my previous Drumstick Dash times. I was hoping to maybe run at a 7:45 to 7:50 pace.

The morning of it was 20 something degrees and with the wind chill it was 15 degrees! Yikes! Bryan left before me to get in 30 minutes on the bike at computrainer before the run. I got up when he left and had my new race breakfast of an uncrustables. It did the trick for the marathon so why not go with it again. I met Bryan at the fitness lab bundled up. Tank, long-sleeved shirt, running jacket, neck warmer that can pull up over my face, mittens, and long running tights. Too much? Probably so, but it didn’t feel like it at the time and it was starting to snow. My coldest run ever was the Monumental Marathon at twenty to thirty something degrees. This was colder so I wasn’t quite sure of what to wear. Per usual I decided to overdress. Even Bryan and our friend Whitney said “It’s not that cold” when they saw me. I played the game of should I leave the jacket with Bryan’s stuff or wear it. I decided to wear it. It’s only 4.65 miles so the extra warmth couldn’t hurt, especially for my first snow run. Bryan was only wearing a long sleeved shirt and shorts. Brrrrrr.

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My first snow run!

Bryan and I parted ways at the corrals, me in corral Swift Turkey and he in corral Fast Turkey. He’s such a speedy Gonzales. I tried to stay warm by jumping up and down and doing some high knees. I didn’t warm up nor stretch so this would be interesting. turkey2Whitney found me in the corral. We started next to each other, but she is a Ironman Kona Qualifier/Triathlete so she left me in the dust…or snow within the first 30 seconds. The first mile was more about feel for me. If I felt good, I would go for my 7:45 pace. If I felt rusty, I would settle in around 8:15. For these short races, the first mile is key for me. My body let’s me know what I should be aiming for unlike marathons and half marathons where I’m glued to a specific pace from the beginning. The first mile was around 7:53. Looks like I’ll probably be around 7:50 to 8:00 pace. A touch slower than I’d like but still damn good for taking almost a month off and this being my second run back.

After a mile I had to pull the face mask down around my neck because it was difficult to breath since I was starting to get hot. Not a big deal, it’s a short race I told myself. But with every mile I started to feel myself drag. My body was hot, I had on too many layers. Great job Melissa, you overdressed… again. But breathing in the cold air was hard on the lungs. It was like I was hot and cold at the same time. I tried not to think about how I felt and told myself to just enjoy the run, it’s Thanksgiving after all. Think about what I’m thankful for.

I also thought about how much I have progressed as a runner. I used to be the biggest baby about running in the cold. This time last year you would find me on a treadmill if it were colder than 60 degrees. Now I was running in 20 degrees temperatures and snow. I’ve learned to embrace the cold because it’s easier to run faster in the cold. And plus running in the flurries was somewhat exhilarating, almost like running in the rain….almost. I still prefer the rain.

As I neared the finish, other runners started sprinting for their finish, but I just kept my even pace and took it all in. The snow, the cold, and the realization that my next marathon training plan starts December 1st, so enjoy the easy running now because next week it will start to get brutal.

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There’s me in the bottom left corner with my red coat and face mask!

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