Any excuse to make my Marathon Dreamcakes is a good one. Trust me; you don’t have to be racing to enjoy these puppies. When not racing, I like them with a little jam. I did, however, make this batch for my husband.
He ran the IMT Des Moines Marathon this morning. It was a huge day. He took 20 minutes off of his previous personal record. We’ve now both taken dozens of minutes off of our best times here, on our home turf. I’m starting to find it odd that the course most consider “hilly” and “a little lonely” is where we’ve made our biggest gains. Personally, I think that since the hills come between miles 4-8, when you’re still feeling great, there’s not much of a detriment on total race time. I’m also guessing the loneliness feeling might hit around mile 16, where runners take to the beautiful wooded trails that wind around the Raccoon River. In my three attempts at the run, I’ve never felt forlorn; there’s always been someone within eye or earshot.
I love the course and racing it. It was on those hills when I unconsciously stumbled upon my self-made mantra. Stride for stride with another runner, he asked what my goal was for the day. What came out was to, “not be afraid to run faster than I ever have.” I ended up shaving 17 minutes of my previous best. Now, I tell myself all the time what I told myself then.
Today, becoming a spectator wasn’t as hard as I thought it would feel. Instead, when I woke this morning, I felt as excited as if I was going see a good horse movie or something, one that I’ve been waiting to see for weeks and weeks. And rather than feeling gloomy that I couldn’t run (or couldn’t race; yes, I could have run with my baby belly) the vicarious experience of racing alongside my husband, seeing him nine times throughout the course, was so rewarding.
After about three 3:22 marathons, he’s a 3:02 marathoner and I couldn’t be prouder.
Now we have just three weeks until the next big race. It’s called the largest cross country race in North America because it is. Yes, right here in central Iowa runs the Living History Farm’s off-road race.
It’s a huge riot.
Try it one of these years; but you have to be fast, I think it fills faster than Boston.