Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! Now go jump in a lake.

Go Jump in the Lake or Resolution Run 5k with Polar Bear Dip

This is a popular 5k race with an optional ‘Trip n Dip’ meaning that you take a fully submerged dip into Lake Washington. This race has always been on my radar but it has just never worked out. 2009 was the year as I found out some other running friends were interested. The only issue is that we were hosting a casual brunch for family around noon and the race started at 10:30. K was agreeable to covering the cooking duties and off I went.

It’s 36 degrees and drizzly. There is a pretty stiff breeze from the south at times. They are saying that lake temp is 42 degrees. I went and ran most of the course as a warm up and realized a couple of things.

I’m just coming back from a stress fracture and have just been running since early November. I was finally diagnosed with bursitis in my heel mid-December and had a cortisone shot which has miraculously cleared up all pain in my foot. Things are looking up on the running front as all my runs started to feel much, much better. I’ve been taking things slowly and only last week hit over 20 mpw.

This course is nice but there are some pretty serious bottlenecks in the first mile. After that there are huge puddles, big tree root chewed areas of pavement and a huge crowd! 700 finished the trip and dip race. 400 finished the regular 5k. Both races went at the same time.

So with both these things in mind, I realized this really should not be an all out race nor could it be with the dip. So the goals ended up being run a good tempo run, feel good and have fun.

The race started 10 minutes late which according to the rumbling of the crowd always happened. The gun went off with a surprise and we were off. It took a bit to get across the line but they happily did have corrals. Still there was a gramma in walking shoes and sweats and jeans just ahead of me in the 7:00 pace corral. Ok. I hope she didn’t trampled. The first mile was as expected with some bad pavement patches and a bit of congestion/bottlenecks. I was able to slowly make up time and came in right around 8:00. Not bad. I’m hoping for under 8 for tempo. Mile 2 goes by a dog park and there were a lot of canines out having a romp as well. I laugh at all the people who are afraid to get their feet wet (? Remember the lake) and happily go stomping through the very big puddles. There was a hill in here which I took steadily. Mile 3 had a lot of headwind but here I was starting to feel pretty good. I was warmed up and feeling better than good. I was feeling great! I started to slowly catch up and pass people.

The whole time I’m thinking I have to go dunk myself in a lake?! Finally that moment came. Those who were doing the 5k only went off to the finish line, those crazy ones lke me ran down a boat dock and right into the water. The frist few steps didn’t seem too bad. Then as the water got deeper, it became so hard to move your legs against the force of the water. Next I started to realize how cold it was! They did have a couple of volunteers standing in the water in dry suits helping runners get around the hairpin turn in the water and not fall over. As I came around the corner I dunked my head and nearly fell over. HOLY FREAKING SHIT! That was cold. It took your breath away. But keep moving. Another slog back up the boat ramp and try to get the legs moving for the 100 yards to the finish. Hell no I’m not letting anyone pass me and I may have passed some other people in the sprint (ha!) to the finish. I think by the time I reached the finish I could feel my legs again a little.

I went jogging off too do a cool down (ha again!) and came back in time to see RPD finish. I gave him a hug and wished him a happy new year. We both had very cheesy, happy grins. A slow jog back to the car and then I changed. It took forever to get sopping wet clothes and shoes off especially as my hands stopped working half way through. Dry clothes have never felt so good.

Garmin Splits (but mile alerts were always short): 7:55, 7:51, 7:50, 1:35 – Total Time 25:13 and 7th in my AG out of 76. :-D I was hoping for under 25 for a good tempo run and this is just about right. Best of all everything feels great. Considering how little I have been running this past half year I am very encouraged about the coming year. And it was so much fun!

And brunch with family ended up being a really nice time. Mimosas hit the spot after a dunk in the lake.

Happy New Year!

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