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Polar Bear Series~10K

polar bear running2Last Sunday the temperature was close to 60°F and it was sunny during my long run. The weather predicted for today was 21°F, winds up to 20-30 mph and 80% chance of snow. Perfect weather to run a 10K, or NOT! All morning I was fretting about how cold and snowy and windy it was outside. I could hear the wind rattling the windows in my house all night and all morning. I did NOT want to go run 6.2 miles, not one bit. But I had registered for the race so I tried to mentally prepare myself as I packed my bag.

I made a last minute run to the store to pick up some Hot Hands and a fleece jacket for an extra layer.

Before the race I fueled up with some Endurance Crackers¹ and a Beet & Sweet Potato “Roots” Juice² as well as a banana. About 15 minutes prior to the race starting I took a slow jog around the block to warm up and did some minor stretching. I got my phone all set up with the GPS and music and timer, and I actually remembered to push “start” this time!

The first mile was brutal; we were running into the wind and the snow was coming right at my face. I felt like my face was frozen and it hurt! I looked at the woman next to me and her face was covered in snow! My husband was just ahead of me and my goal was to pass him by mile 2.

The second mile we were finally running with the wind at our backs and I passed the hubby. I was feeling pretty good about my pace and no parts of my body felt like they were going to fall off from the cold anymore.

Polar Bear 10K

The app on my phone would chirp in and tell me my time, miles and pace every mile which helped keep me on track. At about 2.5 miles or so people started coming back towards me so I knew that the turnaround/halfway point wasn’t too far off. I was still feeling good and keeping a steady pace.

The third mile was a steady incline and I know I slowed down a bit, but it didn’t feel too significant. There was a woman and 3 men that I kept passing and then they would pass me, back and forth until about mile 5. I reached the turnaround point feeling good and knowing I could finish the 10K in less than an hour, which was my goal.

Miles 4 & 5 were on a gradual slope downhill and I was able to pick up some speed. I had wanted to run the second half faster than the first half and was feeling good about my pace. At mile 5 I dropped one of my hot hands while trying to fix my earphones. One had fallen out of my ear! I slowed for a split second to pick it up but changed my mind and kept going. I saw the 5 mile marker and picked up the pace a bit more.

During the final mile several runners who had already finished were cooling down and running back towards me. I knew I was almost done and my app informed me that I had run 6 miles in 54:06, I pushed myself to run faster to the finish line.

I finished my first 10K in 55:33 minutes, meeting my goal of under one hour. Not too shabby I think, especially with the weather conditions and considering it was my first 10K race. I walked back to cool down and also to cheer my husband on to his own finish of 56:49 minutes.

Check out my other races!
Previous Race:
Polar Bear Series 5K
Next Race: Polar Bear Series 10 miles
Herbivore Triathlete Race Results Page

¹ Read the Top 10 Benefits of Chia Seeds; Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds; Benefits of Sunflower Seeds; and Benefits of Sesame Seeds.
² Sweet potatoes and carrots are high in beta-carotene, vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Beets are rich in phytonutrients and have blood pressure lowering properties.  Read more about the benefits of beet juice for endurance athletes here.

Polar Bear Series 5K

polar bear running2

The local YMCA holds a series of runs from January to March, each race increasing in distance. Today was the first race, lovingly called, “New Year’s Resolution” 5K. All the races start at 1:00 pm, which seems late to me, but whatever.

My husband and I both signed up to run the whole series; 5K (today), 10K, 10 miles and ending with a half marathon on March 10, 2013. We arrived at registration about 30 minutes prior to the race starting and picked up our bibs and race shirts; really nice dri fit long sleeved shirts. The course was the same one I ran for the Turkey Trot back on Thanksgiving, so I knew what to expect as far as hills, turns, etc.

I’m not sure exactly how many people ran today, but saw bib numbers in the 100s. As an alternative to running, you also have the option to do walks, each one increasing in distance, the last one being 6 miles.

Today’s race was chilly, only 21° F, windy and we recently had 12 inches of snow. The conditions were icy and slushy. Lucky me, I had received a pair of Yaktrax for Christmas as well as cold-weather running gear. I was still cold while waiting for the race to start, but as always, warmed up quickly.

I managed to get my music started in time for the gun to go off, this is a first for me! I got a new watch/HRM for Christmas and had intentions of using it to time myself. I thought I had pushed “start” when the race began, but once I crossed the finish line and checked my time, it still said 00:00:00, oops!

I didn’t feel very fast today and my lungs/chest felt tight and I felt out of breath. I used my husband to set the pace and ran about 20-30 feet behind him for the majority of the race. When there was about 1/4 mile left, I made my move and increased my pace to pass him. I saw the finish and put my legs into high gear. My unofficial time was 27 minutes, I will post the accurate time once the results are available online.

I’m not exactly happy about my time, but there’s always room for improvement, right? My goal for 2013 is to run a sub-25 minutes 5K.

**Updated: 27:09 minutes is the official time**

Check out my other races!
Next race: Polar Bear Series 10K
Herbivore Triathlete Race Results Page