Sunday, January 1, 2012

48th Annual Asbury Park Polar Bear Run

But the last day in 2011, did not start out that way!

I was in a panic at 11:20, knowing I had to be at Jersey Shore's Asbury Park by 12:30 to pick up my packet, warm-up 1 mile and do four 100meter stride warm-ups before the race started at 1PM. But, there we were, trying to figure out how to get the watchband back on my Garmin 405CX.

For the last few weeks, I was having trouble with my Garmin watch, so I called Garmin and they sent me a refurbished replacement. They even fixed the problem I was having on my "Activities" report - the report wasn't showing my heart rate or average heart rate for my runs. I use my heart rate and pace to see if I am getting stronger, faster or falling into "overtraining" mode. I admit, I am a little obsessed with my heart rate - but, hey, your heart rate is a great way to see if you are over training or under training (like that would ever happen with a type A personality). Anyway, I had to leave without putting the other half of the band back on - I would just have to hold my watch throughout the race.

So, girlfriend and I were off in her Jeep
on our New Year's Eve Race Day Road Trip!
Southbound on the GSP!
 I can't believe my baby was driving me to a race!
Girlfriend's Grandma Smile!
 Such a pretty sky!

Check-in was at the Asbury Park Convention Center. This building is so pretty. This was thee Jersey Shore Family resort area in the fifties!
Asbury Park Convention Hall
This convention center is a little gem!
Look at those beautiful windows!
Outside view of the Asbury Park Convention Hall.
Circa 1928! There is so much history here!
Right on schedule, we lined up for the race, right on the boardwalk. We listened to our National Anthem with Santa and an Elf playing drums in the background! It was great! And we were off....

I didn't realize, but all 5miles were run on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. At about 1/2 mile in some guy in front of me started yelling, "Keep right, Keep right!" He sounded so authoritative that I listened. It was a good thing I did, because coming right back at us were the pack leaders, running full sprint! That's right, we ran up the boardwalk for 0.5miles and back down to the start for another 0.5miles! The whole 5mile race was a loop, on the boardwalk! I've never run a race like that before!

I was so confused at the end, I didn't know where to end, then, I noticed, I had to run straight, to stop going around in circles! Because I couldn't tell where the race ended, I couldn't tell when to start my final sprint. When I realized the finish was straight ahead, I broke into my sprint. It was sort of drizzling during the last 1.5 miles, so when I finally crossed the finish line and tried to stop, I slid on the wet boardwalk, right into the person in front of me! Good thing 'cause she stopped me from falling!

As soon as I finished, I realized how very damp and cold it was. Girlfriend was loving the Wonder Warmers my Side-kick got me for Christmas.
Brrr! We hung out in the Convention Center to keep warm!
After the race, we had some options:
Take a Polar Bear Plunge
Enjoy some Chicken Barley Soup

And my Momma ain't raised no fool.....
Thank you McLoon's for the Hot Soup!
While I was on line for my soup, I got the best pics of SANTA! I promised him that he wouldn't show up as "Stripping Santa" on U-tube, but I didn't tell him that he wouldn't show up on my blog......
Santa just lost about 80 pounds! I'm impressed,
he planned ahead & brought a plastic bag for his "belly"
There goes one sock!
Santa lost his pants! Look: this guy is so organized,
he had his swim trunks on all along!
Right now, Girlfriend is getting pissed at me for taking pics of
the Asbury Park Stripping Santa
"Just stop, Mom. Your embarrassing!"  
But look at this picture - its hysterical!
Santa outfit in the foreground and
Santa running into the Atlantic for a Polar Bear Plunge!
Santa wasn't the only one brave enough to take the Polar Bear Plunge!
I can't believe how many people were taking the plunge!
Thanks Asbury Park Polar Bear Race, even though I took 4th in my age group, and didn't bring home any hardware - and believe me I tried really hard for that polar bear trophy - I had a lot of fun!

And yes, Coach, I surged  - about every half mile - just like a Kenyan!
I set a new 5mile PR at 7:24minute mile pace 
And finished in 36:57!

Happy New Year
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