Here we are immediately after coming out of the Atlantic for our first Polar Bear Plunge. A local pub hosts this event annually to benefit the Special Olympics, and we decided to go for it. The weather had been so nice and warm for the last few weeks, but New Years morning was in the 30's. It was probably around 40 or so by 2pm when we Plunged. Everyone dresses up in costumes, and lots of people actually wear the costumes into the ocean. I dressed in some 80's garb, complete with loads of blue eye shadow and a scrunchie, and Rich wore his new do-rag (still have no idea how to properly spell that) and bling. That guy in the champagne bottle keeps us line...literally...he is our chiropractor:) For the Polar Bear Plunge, the open container laws do not apply and there are vendors selling beer and bloody marys along the beach. There were several thousand people there, although lots of them were just spectating. You basically run in, splash around, and run out. It felt so good to get back into my warm sweats afterwards!
Yesterday was our long run of 9 miles. I had run a grand total of 1 mile, and Rich 2 miles, in about the last 8 days so we did not have high hopes of completing 9 without walking. But we did it! We went to a flat (everything here is flat) trail, both wore our Ipods and kind of did our own thing. It was cool and misty, overall great running weather. I could tell from the beginning that I would be able to finish it, even though my legs felt heavy and my right hip flexor was tight almost from the first quarter mile. There was never a time where either of us felt we couldn't do it, although Rich did get a little dehydrated since he ran ahead of me and I was wearing the fuel belt. He ate Sport Beans and I took a regular Gu at the halfway mark, and we both finished strong. We went home and showered, then met some friends for lunch. We had delicious salads and pizza! Then we went back to their place for a few hours of Guitar Hero. We had never played before, and I can see why people rave about it. It is really fun!
I finished my first book of the year, so 1 down and 29 to go to reach my goal of 30 in 2009. It was Dean Karnazes' 50/50 that I got Rich for Christmas. WOW, that's about all I can say about the guy. He offers lots of emotional insight and motivation, as well as some practical running and training tips. It was a quick and very inspiring read. I highly recommend it for all you runners, or even for anyone who has ever wondered "Could I even run a mile? 5K? 10K? and so on." It will make you want to test yourself and see just what you can do.