Dam to Dam, 2014, what an event!
For starters, I am so grateful for the chance to stay at the Hotel Fort Des Moines, for my team Runablaze Iowa, and to be a part of the great running community in Iowa.
Obviously, a good time was had by all.
Even after being put to bed in his Pack-n-Play in the hotel room closet, lights were out and he was all, “Hoo. Whoo. Ohhooo.” This went on and on and on well past bedtime. Everyone’s bedtime. But again, it was all good and a pretty sweet race eve.
My alarm rang at 4:27am.
I chugged a bunch of water. Then put down about 5-6oz. of beet juice. I know, gross, but I thought I’d give it a whirl. It’s touted as a performance enhancing drug. Not really, but it perhaps may aid endurance athletes. So far, I’m neutral on it’s efficacy. I might have to try it again? Another time. Another race. I then chased that with a few swigs of a coconut water latte. I really needed something after that earthy beet juice and coconut water always hits the spot.
So I was ready and off to catch the elite bus by shortly before 5am.
We had a very well-coordinated pre-race and were bused to the front side of the mass of humanity of nearly 10,000 runners, so that we could easily warm up and make our way to the start without congestion.
The morning was beautiful. Hot and beautiful. Actually, not so much hot as just so, so humid. The air just felt heavy and chewy.
Cutting to the chase, I was aiming for a 6:10 pace half marathon and really lost touch of that rhythm somewhere in miles 4-7. During those middle miles, I lost a lot of ground and just was generally hurting. Thankfully, I was not hurting in the guts. If nothing else, the beet juice did not upset my stomach. Around about mile 7-8, I lit a fire under myself and regaining focus, I worked at using my arms on the uphills and started to just try to pass people. This helped a tiny bit, but it was really too late to chip away a whole lot at my overall time.
Running in 13th from about mile seven on, I ended up finishing 11th. It was good to try and finish strong.
Not my best race, but I still love Dam to Dam. I thoroughly enjoyed the new course. I think the switch from the 20k distance to half marathon is an upgrade. The course felt very natural and familiar. All in all, it was a great experience.
As always, I’m grateful for two strong legs and an able running body.