Chilly, Nerve-Wracking Run

First post of 2015 is a little delayed, and with no good reasons, just purely that I’ve been too lazy to sit and write a post. I’ve also been going a little crazy. Living alone is both a great thing and a treacherous thing for me – it’s nice to be able to play music and watch Netflix without worrying about bothering anyone, but it’s also incredibly lonely, and you can’t converse with Netflix exactly.

Another thing I’ve been driving myself crazy about is this run I registered for this fall: Chicago’s Polar Dash 15 mile race. First off, it’s the longest distance I’ll have ever raced with, secondly, the weather forecast is scary cold. Not just for a run, but in a general kind of way.

I’ve found that the more I talk about my plan and the run in general, the better I feel about it, and the more I feel like I can accomplish this scary thing. So I’ll start with the course. It an out-and-back going from Grant Park (in the South Loop area) down south on the Lakefront Trail. I usually run northwards, so maybe it’ll be nice to get a little change of scenery. It goes just past the Museum of Science and Industry, and past Hyde Park. Actually, it’ll probably be around the area that Get Lucky (my first half marathon) ran through. So it could be a good little blast to the past?

My clothing choice is strictly weather chosen. I have a Northface headband, a turtle-wool head/face cover, and I’ll be sporting my ski goggles too, of course. I have some vaseline-type cream that I may put on the exposed parts of my face, but we might hold off on that. I would rather not try that on race day, but if worst comes to worst, I’ll do what I have to do. For the top, I have a pretty good running top from the Running Room that has an underarmor-feel, I’ll wear my warmest sweatshirt (it’s gotten me through a lot of other cold runs, so that’s more for comfort,) and I have a windbreaker to throw on top of that. For bottoms, I’ll wear the felt-lined leggings I’ve worn all winter paired with windbreaker pants. I’m considering putting a pair of sweatpants in with them, but I’m still not sure on that one. Feeling okay with the two of them – but I’ll test it out this evening (the temp is supposed to go up to about -3… oh joy!) For the other extremities, I have some pretty good Northface mittens and I’ll wear the Underarmor socks that cover my shins, too, and I’ve done quite a few winter runs in. I’ll have my run-happy Brooks that have been with me through it all to this point since my last race, and I’ll keep the fuel belt with me stocked with a Cliff Bar for luck (and fuel, since last time I ran, I crashed pretty hard around mile 8.)

So, runners? Tips? Motivation? Anything? HELP! I’m nervous but also excited – I don’t want to quit this race, because I’m not a quitter. I power through. But I also don’t want to hurt myself. (And…I really want that finisher’s medal.)

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Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota, Interdisciplinary major in Radio and Business & Entrepreneurship at Columbia College Chicago. Enjoys long runs on the lakefront path at dawn, public radio, and lefse covered in butter w/ cinnamon sugar. Spends too much time on Spotify, in search of the best record store in the world, and dreams of returning to Reykjavík.

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