Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Polar Dash Yeti Challenge (late) recap

When we picked up our packets for the Chicago Marathon we registered for the Chicago Yeti Challenge, by Team Ortho (which was to run their 10k, 5k, and 1500m in one day - there was also super yeti which was 15 miles, 5k, and 1500m...I had very nearly registered for that but decided to do the regular challenge with my husband). I have to say, I was really annoyed right from the start because online registration fees drive me insane - I kind of get it if you have a paper option to register too, because then you pay for convenience, but it feels like extortion when you have to pay to register online when it's your only option. When I saw there's a reg fee for the Yeti Challenge I figured, okay, we'll register in person.

Imagine my surprise when registering in person meant they handed you a laptop to use and you still paid the online fee.

But whatever, my husband and I registered to run this together as a couple's thing. Fast forward a few months and I wasn't actually sure I should run it anymore because of the tear in my knee, but I had registered and paid, darn it! (Although for a while there we weren't even sure we were going to be able to run, since Team Ortho was really, really late getting bibs to us - very disorganized on their part.) So when race day dawned, there I was - my knee felt okay since I'd mostly been resting for almost a month, but I'd tried to run twice the previous week and knew I was still hurt. I was a little morose because I knew this was it, after this I wcouldn't run until spring...I needed to full heal.


And let me just say, it was COLD! Really cold. We got there and picked up our sticker that marked us as part of the challenge, so we had access to the VIP warming tent (which, wasn't actually that warm since they kept it open, despite an email saying they'd learned from their mistake the previous year). It was really, really cold. I wasn't sure if that's because I wasn't adapted enough since I hadn't been able to run much, but either way, eeeeek it was cold. While there were multiple waves for the 1500m, there was only 1 10k and 1 5k, so our plan was to run the 10k, catch the 1500m in between the two, and then run the 5k. I warned my husband going into it I had no idea how my knee was going to fare.

To my happy surprise, the 10k went fine. Running at my husband's pace kept it at a completely conversational pace (and to my extreme embarrassment, and the discomfort of some of the runners around us, he decided he wanted to talk about sex, LOL)  and while it meant I was on my feet longer, I never felt challenged or worried. We finished in 1:14:47, which isn't a record but it was done. We collected our medals and went to wait in the warming tent for the 1500m. Our little post race bags of food that they handed out as we went through the finisher chute included a little bag of chips and a bottle of water...so munch chips we did.

Standing around though, I felt my knee getting stiff, which had me worried for the rest of the challenge. Walking didn't feel good the longer I stood and I wasn't sure how the other two races would go, but I was gonna try.

My plan for the 1500 was to gun it if I could, stay by my husband if I couldn't. Well, apparently I didn't do a great job communicating this because I surprised my husband when I took off! Oops. My knee felt sore and I  had a feeling it was gun it or walk it. I finished it in 9:13, with my husband 40 seconds behind. My knee was throbbing though and I told him as we waited to grab our medals that I didn't know if I could do the 5k. He encouraged me to try it and told me we'd walk if we had to.

I'm glad he was okay with that, because walking was uncomfortable but trying to run quickly became agony. I tried a couple times during the 5k and kept encouraging him to run, but he told me to shut up and held my hand. So, we walked it. I felt horrible for holding him back but he kept rolling his eyes at me and asked when I would have finished the 10k if I hadn't been running with him, but that was different. He didn't make me walk a race. And unfortunately - I am a slow walker. Slow. S. L. O. W. Slow! It took us 49 1/2 minutes to finish, but collected our 5k medal and then headed off to get our Yeti Challenge medal.


In retrospect, I should have skipped the challenge; I knew I needed to rest my knee. But I don't think it extended the time I needed to rest - it just wasn't smart. I paid for it in pain, but to be totally honest, I'd do it again. I don't get enough chances to spend a day with my husband and no littles underfoot; it was worth it!

(And the bling was nice too - 4 medals and they are nice looking ones!)


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