Anyone want to run…?

10 Feb

As one of the employees of the Galley, we tend to miss out on some of the recreational activities that make McMurdo special.  We missed the Turkey Trot, a noncompetitive run around town, the McMurdo marathon (full and 1/2, either running or cross country skiing), and various guided tours and hikes.

Since a few of us had discussed the possibility of setting up a special run for the galley folk, one of my employees, Dhane, took the iniative to set up a 5K run with the recreational department that would fit our schedule. 

The Scott Hut Race for the community was scheduled for Sunday, January 18 and Dhane arranged for the Galley folk to have their own race that evening.  It was planned to start Sunday  night at 7:30pm at the Chapel of the Snows.   As soon as I heard about this I tried to convince all of my coworkers and friends to participate with me.  I started training the Monday evening by jogging around town as well as back and forth to the New Zealand base, a similar route as the race would be.

For the rest of the week, I convinced my coworker Jenny to train with me.  We gradually increased our speed and distance to properly prepare for this race.  I think by Thursday Jenny would have killed me if her legs would have allowed her.  We took it easy on Friday and Saturday to allow our bodies to rest, but felt we were as prepared as we could be for the race on Sunday.

I did the proper carb (carbohydrates) loarding on Saturday evening as many runners do and indulged in Italian night sans the wine and beer.  I felt ready and strong and prepared to do this race. 

I worked my regular schedule on Sunday, from 6am-3pm and even got a little cat nap before the race.  We all met at the Chapel and soon realized that it was the coldest day it’d been all week.  I was physically ready for the distance and the physical challenge, was not mentally ready for the cold.  It had been very mild and warm (relatively speaking) all week. 

Jenny and I started with a bang.  There were lots of cheerleaders as we began and it was very motivating.  When the cheerleaders dissappated, the cold set in very quickly.  It was a little dreary out, with lots of wind and clouds.  Jenny and I stayed with each other for the first half, but then the hills came and it was a very large uphill climb in some of most windy conditions I have seen all summer.  It wasn’t the greatest feeling in the world. 

I did my best and gave it my all.  I pushed through and made it to the finish line alive and in one piece.  It was a goal of mine to compete in atleast one race while I was here and I did.  I got a really cool tshirt out of it (Patricia-you’d really like this one!) and a nice hot veggie burger and tater tots after we finished the race.  It was a nice accomplishment and I am very pleased I was able to participate. 

There were other galley staff that choose to walk the entire race and some that ran a great deal faster than I did, but I did do and it was a personal best. 

I did learn some lessons in the process.  If I do choose to return here again, I would like to do this race.  I have also decided that (1) I will do this race again, (2) I will start training more than one week in advance and (3) I will mentally prepare for cold weather. 

I have heard the McMurdo marathon is a bit more challenging and I am always up for a challenge.  Maybe I can shoot for competing in the cross country skiing portion of the marathon?  You have to aim high, right?

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