Sunday, January 19, 2014

New year, new races.

The 2014 race season has arrived. A scant 5 weeks after my 2013 season ended... I'm not much for down time. You don't get medals for down time.

You do get medals for running around in circles at the Olympic Oval, however. So that's how I chose to start my 2014 season. The race wasn't the most exciting I've ever been to, but there were some familiar faces there to keep me company. Well, to keep passing me every couple of laps or so anyway. It was nice to have an aid station available on every lap and it was stocked with Swedish Fish, a welcome treat at any race.
Mmm. Swedish.

The best part was being able to watch the speed skaters whooshing around on the ice track just inside the running track. They made it look so effortless, and it was a nice distraction from running in circles. Another nice distraction was the people who were spinning on the bikes for the whole time. They had it worse off than we did.

Aside from the obvious boredom of track running for hours, there was the issue of lap counting. They had sensors out that were supposedly tracking how many times one went around. You could hear a faint beep as you passed over, letting you know it registered. But there were times when too many people went across at once and it didn't seem to be able to get everyone. In the end, it said I had registered 48 laps, enough to be a half marathon. But those 48 laps took me 3:20:23, which is close to my worst finish time ever, the finish time where I walked most of the time due to IT band issues. I am consoling myself with the fact that there were issues with the lap counts, as well as the fact that I was running in the outside lanes of the track, thus logging more actual mileage. It was a well put together race aside from the lap counts though. The very friendly volunteers and a cool venue made it a nice way to start the year.

Half marathon #36 in the books.
I decided that just one race in January wasn't good enough, so the next weekend, I opted for the Frigid 5K with optional polar plunge. Since I'm now in training for the Ogden Marathon and the Trail Rail Run 50K, I had to wake up early before the race and get some extra mileage in before the 5K. I was worried that it would impact my finish time at the race but I actually ran pretty well and got a my standard 5K time. A couple of friends even joined me for this race. It was nice of them to brave the 19 degree temps to come out and run. And another friend joined in to be the camera man and take pictures.

It's not THAT cold. (Yeah, right.)


I did indeed freeze my buns off.
And since it wasn't enough to just freeze my buns off by running in the wintertime, I had opted in to the polar plunge as well. I watched with trepidation as they took a chainsaw to the icy surface of Utah Lake and cut a hole for us to jump in. They made it as safe as possible by lowering a cage into the hole so that no one would sink too far or float under the ice. I appreciated that safety precaution very much, since dying in a frozen lake isn't my idea of a good time.

Really regretting my life choices right now.
The group of crazies that I had joined was a fairly rowdy bunch. It took the edge off to be in a fun group before possibly jumping to my doom. The shirtless man behind on the right offered to push me in if I couldn't make myself jump. He was a little too eager, but it's good to know that people have your back. He told me after that he was very proud of me since he didn't have to push me in after all.

Despite the look on my face, it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be.
The look of relief is priceless. 

The worst picture of me in the history of the world. But also, a picture of victory. And a really great, green towel.
So there's 2014 so far. It's going to keep on bringing new challenges and adventures. My training has been really solid so far and I've found a massage therapist that is very close to where I live. I've decided that if I'm going to put my body through everything that I have planned, I had better take real good care of it. I'm on a new metabolism diet to help get my weight down, getting a sports massage every three weeks, continuing with my cross training at the gym, and doing heart rate training to get my heart rate down. Hopefully, all this combined will give me a very successful racing season.

I'm also going to be more involved in the volunteer side of races this year. Next month, I'm heading down to Moab to help out with the Red Hot Ultra and in April, I'm flying out to North Carolina to volunteer at the Umstead 100, as well as pace a friend through a portion of her first 100 mile effort. I think this is going to be my most fun year yet!

Happy running :)


  1. The "worst picture in the world" of you is actually pretty cute.

  2. Great photo sequence of you around , in , out the ice hole, well done.