Polar Dash 2014 Recap

I finished the 2014 Polar Dash! I even got the medal to prove it:

The temperature on race day was a “balmy” -7F with a wind. I read up on Runners World how to adequately layer for the conditions and had prepared to wear for the race three layers top and bottom, two pairs of Smartwool socks (one ultralight running and one light ski sock), my Buff to use as a neck gaiter, and my Smartwool headband. The two top layers on top had built-in hoods, so I used those and the headband to keep my head warm, but allow me to regulate my body temperature so I didn’t get too hot (and too sweaty). I also utilized some of those chemical toe warmers in my duct-taped1 shoes to further keep my tootsies warm.

My husband went with me, because the race said that there would be a “warming tent” and would give him a warm place to wait for me (while holding all my crap so I didn’t have to do a bag check) while I run my insanity off outside. Also would give me a place to not freeze prior to the race.

Apparently “warming tent” was secret code for “parking ramp with kerosene heaters” and by “warm” it was “barely skirting zero.” Not only that, the race started a half hour AFTER the posted start time. That meant I stood around way longer than planned before the race – I think I was turning into a popsicle! Here I am huddled around one of the kerosene heaters – which was being blocked approximately 95% by some jerk who was hogging all the heat:

Do I look cold? Because I am cold!
Do I look cold? Because I am cold!

Finally, we started the race. The course was an out-and-back that was slightly uphill out and slightly downhill back. I finished in 34:00 on the nose (10:56/mi pace) and by the end of the race, I very much looked like this:


No, really! I could see the icicles on eyelashes and my Buff was frozen solid from breathing through it. I also was starting to freeze solid once I stopped running.

I hightailed it to grab my finisher medal, skipped the after race food, and made a beeline to find my husband and the rest of the clothes I was wearing prior to the race.

The rest of the day I was wiped out. A hot shower and relaxing on the couch was my remedy for the brutal morning. The weirdest thing was the next morning my muscles were so sore from the race! It’s not like an 11 min/mi is fast – it’s actually right around my non-race running pace (I tend to go faster in a group). I wonder if the fact that it was so cold taxed my muscles more than if I was working out in normal, humane temperatures? Last time I was this sore was when I had my PR for the 10k two years ago (a sub-10 min/mi) and that was an effort!

Needless to say, I will not be running this race again – unless it’s above 20F. 🙂

1 – Seriously! One of the recommendations is to put duct tape over the vents in your running shoes. The mesh at the front of your shoe is there to release heat during normal runs. But in the winter, you want to keep that heat in, so duct taping over the vents will keep heat from escaping and prevent the winter chill from getting in. It worked amazingly well!


I finally figured out the name of my inner Drunk Frat Boy: Moose.

Every frat has that guy who’s a little too loud and a little too crazy. That’s my inner DFB and his name is Moose.

Hello, Moose!
Hello, Moose!

Yes, that’s John Belushi as Bluto in Animal House*. Bluto is the perfect personification of Moose.


Today’s New Year’s Eve – and you would think, “wow, Moose is going to wreck your shit tonight!”

You’d be wrong! Thanks to the Polar Dash tomorrow morning, I’m not going out for NYE nor am I drinking anything tonight. In fact, I will probably be in bed by 10pm surfing Pinterest on my iPad. I’m just that crazy!

As I’ve gotten older, my preference is to stay home on NYE. Too many people out getting drunk and most likely driving their asses around while drunk. No thank you. This race just gave me a fantastic reason to not go to any of the three parties I was invited to. Brilliant!

New Year’s also brings about the annual “New Year’s Resolutions” lists that people make. Those kind of lists give me hives. While I agree having a goal is good, most resolutions are unattainable because they’re not specific enough:

  • Lose weight!
  • Read more!
  • Exercise more!

Being that vague is not a recipe for success. Well, I’m going to make my short list of specific things I want to rock in 2014.

  • Lose 20lbs by May 1.
  • Go alcohol-free from Jan 1 until my birthday (~3 weeks).
  • Run a half marathon in June.

Each of these things is measurable and can be done within that period of time. I got my new issue of Cooking Light yesterday and they an article about the “Social Diet” members of staff took throughout 2013. They used a variety of tools and technology to help make those goals happen, which I’ll go over what I use in a upcoming post.

The editor mentioned that losing the weight was something that you could “solve for X” rather than rely on willpower to make it happen. Was a fresh perspective on the whole diet and exercise issue and it inspired me to do my own equation solving!

The biggest hurdle will be getting through the first week of the goals. I’ve heard that it takes three weeks to make a new habit stick, and that held true when I started running after I turned 30.

The losing weight thing, that will be me not eating so much and making sure I have healthy choices in the house. The alcohol thing, I’ll just need to make sure there’s no wine or beer in the house. If it’s not here, then I can’t drink it. It’s the same strategy I use for Oreo cookies** and it’s worked well over all these years. The half marathon is very doable – I’ve trained for one before and I already have the mindset of running. The other two goals will just make the third easier to achieve.

Do you have your own specific, measurable goals for 2014? Please share in the comments!

Happy New Year!
_ _ _ _ _

* – Animal House is in my top 5 list of favorite movies. Funny enough, Belushi is in two of the top 5 movies (The Blues Brothers is #1 on the list)

** – Moose loves Oreos. Alot.

Frigid? You Ain’t Kidding!

Ok, so the Polar Dash is on Wednesday.

Remember how I was hoping for temps to be above zero?

I should’ve kept my big, fat, frat boy mouth shut. A tweet from earlier today:


Also, WUT?!?

The forecast is saying it’s not going to be much warmer all week. Thus, today was spent researching how to properly attire oneself for running in below OMFGITISCOLDOMG!!!!11!!11!one!!! temperatures.

“Why don’t you just skip the race? Those temps are fucking insane!” you might say.

Well, the bitch is for this race series is that there’s a finisher’s stained glass medal for each race – if you don’t finish five of the six races in the series, you don’t get to complete the trophy for doing the series.

I know, it’s a dumb fucking reason to do it. But it’s 3.1 miles and if I end up wearing my snow boots, skiing outerwear, and walking the damn thing, I’ll do it. I need to save my mulligan for the half marathon in June.

If I turn into a popsicle, you’ll know why. 😀