It has only been two months, but it seems like forever since I did a race recap! I am definitely glad that I took a little break from racing over the holidays. I ran an awful lot of them last year and my body needed a little bit of recovery time. Honestly I wasn’t really committed to anything until April, but right around New Years I started to get the racing itch again and knew that I would have to pick something to tide me over until New Jersey.
Unfortunately races are hard to come by around here in January. My run club has the 8 miler that I did last year, but it would have impacted my training plan long run too much so I decided to opt out this time. (Good thing too because it was supposed to be Sunday and ended up being cancelled.) Instead I found a nice little 5K that I had heard good things about from a couple sources.
The 2nd annual Freeze Your Buns Run is the sister event of the Maryland Polar Bear Plunge, which I would not be doing again if you paid me. The beneficiary is the same: The Maryland Special Olympics. I very much support the cause and am glad that I can run to support it rather than dunk my body in the icy Chesapeake. (I’ve plunged once and I think that was quite enough, thank you very much.)
It’s also a Charm City Run race which gets major points with me because Charm City Run is my favorite running store on the planet.
The race was on Saturday, January 17 at 10am. I was hoping the later start would mean warmer temps, but yeah…it didn’t make a difference. It was in the mid-20’s with windchill in the teens. Luckily everything was going down at a local college and the registration and packet pick up were in a nice, warm building with real bathrooms and even a Chick Fil A (not that it was open at 8:30 when I got there or I ever eat Chick Fil A or anything).
I paid my race day registration fee, was handed a shirt that is way too big for me (they were out of smalls, but hey at least I got a shirt…my fault for waiting until race day to register), and then hung around people watching and occasionally going to run around the parking lot in the hopes of acclimating myself to the temperature. I am fairly used to running in the cold, but not to pushing a 5K race pace in the cold and the air had the kind of chill to it that made my nose run immediately upon stepping outside. All in all I warmed up for about a mile and felt okay. I’ve been having some issues with my left glute and that was feeling a little sore, but nothing unmanageable.
This was a small, friendly race of about 400 people. At around 9:50 we were all instructed to line up at the start, which was conveniently located right outside the nice warm building. I found a spot near the front and got my music and Garmin queued up. Promptly at 10 the airhorn blared and we were off.
Mile 0 -.5: I felt fine.
Mile .5 – 3.1: OMG KILL ME. KILL. ME.
I’m not even kidding. I felt alright for the first half mile of this race and then all of a sudden it was like I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I had a yeti sitting on my chest. I almost stopped to walk within the first mile.
Honestly I thought I was going to DNF this 5K.
The course was rolling hills that looped drunkenly around the school and I just tried to get through it the best that I could. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the way we were running…like I found myself running diagonally through parking lots on more than one occasion. Or maybe the pain was making me see things diagonally. One of the weirdest parts was the mile markers; they were WAY off from my watch, but yet somehow the distance still ended up being a perfect 5K. As I passed the mile 1 mark, my watch read .85. Then later as I passed the marker for mile 3 (because I don’t remember seeing a marker for mile 2), I knew which way we were headed and there was definitely more like a half mile ahead of us.
Anyway, as the finish came into view so did a photographer and I managed to smile for a picture right before crossing the line. I almost want to buy the picture only because I look so happy and not at all like I was about to vomit and you can’t even see how much I was drooling all over myself. My official:
Considering the fact that I was having a near death experience, I have no idea how that time happened. Afterward a couple of people were trying to talk to me and I couldn’t even get a word out. I literally could not feel my face enough to move my mouth. I grabbed a water and ran inside to collapse on a chair and recover for a few minutes.
By then the Chick Fil A was serving coffee and hot chocolate and there were snacks out for the runners. I wanted to pour some hot chocolate over my head, but instead I ran to my car to grab my visor in the hopes that I had won something and would be able to represent for Team Nuun in my first race of the year. And I did!
First place in my age group (6th woman overall). They also gave awards for top fundraisers for the event and spoke with some of the Special Olympic athletes that were running in the race that day. There were some FAST young men out there and it was so inspirational to hear about their running backgrounds.
Will I do this one again? Probably no. While the event itself was fun and as well organized as Charm City races always are (AND THE CHICK FIL A COW WAS THERE!! I should have gotten a photo with him) there was nothing fun about the way I couldn’t even catch my breath in that cold air. It was like I froze my lungs as well as my buns.
Yes. This picture again. 🙂
What is the coldest race you’ve ever run? Would you ever do a Polar Bear plunge? (Or have you!?)
Happy Tuesday, all!