This was the 3rd and final leg of the River City Races Polar Bear Grand Prix. The weather suited the name of this race perfectly with the temperature being in the upper 20s and lower 30s. The saving grace was the bright sunshine. The wind still managed to send a cold shock through my face for the first half mile or so of the race. I could over hear a man saying “It’s cold!” All I could do was nod my head as I rounded the first turn coming out the first downhill.
I approached the detoured part of Scenic Loop which was added on to make the distance meet the 4 miles. I got to the turn around and asked the staff person what the distance was at that point. He said “about 1.5 miles.” That was OK with me because I knew it would take about a half mile to get back on the Loop and I would be at my half point mark.
I was well prepared as far as distance because I have been increasing my distance to 4 miles on the treadmill. Where I slacked was not enough practice time outdoors where it really counts. At that moment, I had some regrets about not getting outside to run more in the last month. Next thing I know, I’m telling myself “Why don’t you just quit. Go ahead and walk. Who cares.” Those thoughts left my mind as soon as they entered and my mantra became “How bad do you want it Kelsie?”
Dog Hill approaches. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad! The extra layering seemed unneccessary as the sun beat down against my skin. My focus was on running tangents as I winded my way up to the top. I was able to find some kick as I leveled out and hit the downhill with ease. Then I realized I was close to the finish. One more hill.
I wanted to catch up with familiar faces from the previous races but there was too little time and too little distance. I unzipped my jacket so the camera would caption my bib number. Hogan’s Fountain. Hallelujah! Sprint to the finish. Wait a minute is that 28 minutes I see for 4 miles??? I felt really good about that time because I was logging 36-38 on the treadmill. I know race times are always faster, but 10 minutes faster? Wow!
I was fortunate to have 2 brave souls accompany me to the race and offer support. Much love to you ladies <3. It was refreshing to have smiling faces as I ended a gut wrenching run. I seriously wanted to cry from the exhaustion. The anguish quickly faded as I realized it was finally over.
I was able to meet Karen and her roommate and discuss the Polar Bear Grand Prix scoring, upcoming races and other general running topics. Next, I did some light stretches and changed into a layer of sweats and my fox fur. We patiently waited in the cold for the race results. The announcer tells the crowd that the turn around was in the wrong spot so our 4 miles turned out to be 3.7 miles. I knew 28 minutes was too good to be true. My official chip time was 28:13 and I was awarded a 2nd place age group medal.
I think there was some error in the calculations because I am viewing the pdf and they have my name listed as #1 in my age group. I also see Karen's name listed as #3 women's open but she was awarded 2nd place in her age group also. I hope that gets straightened out. I didn't recognize the name who was called for first place in my age group. In fact, no one even walked up and claimed the blue ribbon medal. Oh well. I am confident and satisfied with my performance.
#1 Don't run in the black socks my Dad gave me just because they match my leggings. They felt like I had mini weights on my toes. Get some wool socks.
#2 Loose the jacket.
#3 Get in more outdoor practice runs. Treadmills suck!
Million Dollar Question: How will I increase my speed?
"How bad do you want it Kelsie?" – This applies to all areas of my life. If I can think it, I can achieve it. Nothing is stopping me.