Monday, June 2, 2008

Dam to Dam 2008 Race Report

Dam to Dam: The Biggest 20k Road Race in America. If you are a runner in Iowa you have to do this race. Okay, I guess, I will then! Been training with Art and Amy for several weeks and hoping for something in the 12's. We had a great run a few weeks ago that gave me lots of hope but it wasn't exactly meant to be. Still, we had a blast and we finished.

Besides Art and Amy, my friend Janna and my sis in law decided to do the race too. My SIL is a speedy mcspeedster who is very competitive and I figured she'd drop me at the first Dam, but not so. I shouldn't judge so quickly. She came to run with me from Chicago! and run with me she did. I was very touched that she stayed with this old snail. :D

We enjoyed the traditional bus ride out to the dam and took lots of pictures. It was pretty relaxed and fun. We were at the waaay back of the 5000+ pack, which is not great when the event is not chip timed but whatev. It took over 5 minutes with the clock running to get to the start!

We met lots of cool characters and joked that all the interesting stories are at the back. (the bride, the tae kwan do lady who has run out of people to spar with her in her age group - 50's!?, Brian who lost 105 pounds and has 100 to go, the very elderly gentleman who joked about his heavy breathing behind us) .

The gun went off and we didn't move for a looong time. We joked, "this is easy, what's the big deal? We can hold this pace for a long time!" Yep all the stories are at the back. Or at least that is what we slow people say so that we enjoy the race ! :D

The view from the dam is fairly breathtaking, you can see some little buildings on the horizon just to the right of center (look very closely, they are small) that are the skyline in downtown Des Moines. Holy crap, we are going to run to

We started off fast for me and I was pretty much pouring sweat within one mile. I thought this might be a problem but I was full of hope. We started with Janna, Amy, Art, my SIL and me. Janna dropped us pretty quick as she felt great and went off to find her groove. I am soo excited for her as this was her first time running this event and really her first good sized race. She did absolutely great and finished strong.

We pulled off a few miles in the 11's which is pretty speedy for me and then took our first big potty stop where Art decided he didn't want to stop unless he had to. He went on and had a good inaugural race too -- yeahhh Art!!! After that we hit a stretch of very open, very hot road that slowly zapped us a bit and was followed by a good sized hill. We had plenty to drink but personally I think maybe the early miles a little fast and the heat started to take its toll.

Amy got progressively sicker and we walked more to accomodate some stops and recovery but seriously I don't think I could have continued the pace without the stops, in fact I welcomed them. That poor thing. I wish I had fully understood how sick she was...

There were several points with giant speakers and music blaring, live bands, people in their yards with sprinklers, dogs, cheerleaders, signs. What fun!! There weren't huge crowds on the route, but they were great people. The volunteers were fantastic and a lot of young kids were
handing me drinks. I tried really hard to thank them all!
At one point a guy was blaring Pretty Woman on some speakers and he was singing and talking some. Amy said she'd give me a dollar if I sang in his microphone. I probably would've just done it on a dare!!

The picture isn't as dramatic as it felt or sounds but I'm glad Amy got a pic!! Of course, right when I got to the microphone, I had no idea what the words were. Oh well, we all cracked up which we needed at this point.

My SIL was so fresh and unaffected by our slow pace that she gave the cheerleaders a show dancing and jumping around doing 360's. They cheered extra on seeing this and it helped to break up the grind and pain as we kept moving.

We trudged on and on, finishing with the fast 5kers at the end and just trying to stay out of their way while willing ourselves to keep moving. We rounded a last corner with about .4 or .5 to go. Amy picked it up, I know she was absolutely just dying to be done and go home, the poor thing. I felt so bad for her. What a trooper.

My SIL says, my HR is 124, are you wearing your monitor. Are you freaking kidding me? I cracked that I wasn't and if I was, I wouldn't tell her how much over 180 I probably was at the point. :P I thought the B word, but she was pretty nice to me and I decided not to say it even jokingly. I did later though when we recounted the siti-ation to the fam and she thought it was pretty funny. :D We started scanning the right side for my in laws and finally saw the finish shoot and the family with lenses up! (I am waiting for a few more pictures but this is getting old so I will post them later.)

I got a little teary about finishing, not finishing like I wanted, and mostly about speedy mcspeedster coming all that way from Chicago just to run with her snail SIL. She even told Amy that I was the one that inspired her to run and now she just can't stop! It meant so much to me to run this race with Amy and my SIL and to have my friends Janna and Art also in this thing with me for the first time. I've mentioned before that I've often been of awe of peeps who did this race and wished that I could be in shape enough to have 12.4 miles in me. What a difference a year makes!

We ran through to get medals, and THEY WERE OUT. We filled out mailing envelopes but, this significantly cuts down on the tears in the moment! HA HA. (that and seeing a guy go by half dead on a stretcher after the 5k. Oh man, he looked bad. I couldn't help but thinking that at least I'm standing but I also hope he is okay and have thought of him several times.) After a few pics with the fam, we headed off to the beer garden. Amy had headed straight for her car and we texted a few times to see how she was. I told her I would take one for the team and drink her celebratory beer for her. I only wish she could have enjoyed it with me. Never have I felt so much like I had earned a beer.


2:52:01 ~ 13:50 pace ~ 12.4 miles


Wes said...

Nicely done :-) Very cool that your sister in law came down to run with you. You guys had a blast. I always enjoy running with Dee Dee, and I get the strangest look from Speedy McSpeedsters when I tell them to leave me and go on without me :-)

Runners, rock!!! Woot!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Maybe I'll make the southern trek one of these years for this race.

And 124?? Was she taking Quaaludes before the race? ;)

Midwest said...

Congratulations, Nancy! Totally cute picture of you below, by the way.

P.O.M. said...

The pics are great. Beer after hot races is pure Heaven. I don't even really like beer, but after a race - it's the bomb diggity!

Brianna said...

Wow - how fun that your SIL was there to run with you! :)

Congrats on finishing a 20K . . . that rallies me on for my 10K on Saturday!

Keep up the good stuff, Nancy!

Kent said...

Congrats on the finish! I swear this race is more about the finish and the party and less about the time. You did great!

Ms. V. said...

WTG on finishing, and doing it with family!

Michelle said...

Nancy, dude (i call everybody dude) amazing! You know, in the end it doesn't really matter about how long it took, just that you did it is quite a feat!!! Thanks for sharing this with us!! Gives me hope!

Anonymous said...

It is always fun to run with you, but it was an honor to run D2D with you. Thanks for being a part of my first time at the quinessential Des Moines running event.

We really should start training for the Des Moines half... :D

E said...

Great report. Congrats! I'm so proud of you! :)

Nat said...

I'm glad you guys toughed it out with her. Congrats on getting it done.

As I was finishing the last 500m of the Half, I saw a marathoner passed out 250m from the finsih. Can you imagine coming that close? (I overheard his wife say "Oh he passed out last time he did this too." Odd breed we runners.

Congrats again.

Andrew is getting fit said...

Well done! It is so nice that you had the opportunity to run with your SIL.

Marcy said...

Awesome Nanc!! Awwwhhh how sweet that you got to run with SIL. I don't know, I'd probably want to choke mine if we ever ran together (LOL JK!)

Lily on the Road said...

Wow Nancy, that was a great report and Congrats on a fabulous run....I'm proud of you sista!!!

Nice that you got to run with SIL...thanks for the pic's too!!

chia said...

*warms the heart*

congrats Nancy!!! Great recount of what sounds like a great race :-D

Jamie said...

Yay Nancy! Congrats and nice race report! So nice for the SIL to hang with you.
And beer is the best after a race!

Carly said...

great race!!! It looked like you guys had fun. I may have to try that race someday since it is in a neighboring state. I am up for any race that has a beer garden at the finish!!

sRod said...

Looks like it was a really fun race! Congrats again on a race well run!

Nitmos said...

Great job! Not sure how they would have run out of medals, but, okay. The empty beer can can be put on a strap on worn around your neck anyhow.

Jess said...

Nice job Nancy! Great report.

Anonymous said...

What a great race report. I'm SO sorry to hear that the medals were gone. That always makes me really angry, just on principle.

Viv said...

Nancy, you did wonderful! You ran the race you have longed to do and were able to celebrate it with a beer :-)

Poor Amy, she never told us on the post how difficult it was for her. I love that the SIL came to run with you. The sining on the mic, I know you woulda done it for free

PS If you ever call me the B word while running I take it as a compliment just so you know!

Way to go, Congratulations!!
Go ahead and put that lipstick in the make up bag cause you are looking great!

Razz said...

Yeah. I'm running this next year. Wow! What a view! Didn't know DM had it in it.

Great race report!

Amy@RunnersLounge said...

After your travels, we are going for a run and then a beer,or two to celebrate the way we were intended. I know you had one for me, but it just didn't taste as good.

Travel safely,


The Laminator said...

Awesome race report...Thanks Nancy!
And I think after your latest adventures, you need to change the title of your blog to "Definite Runner Nancy!"

jahowie said...

Awesome job!!! I'm very proud of you. You always have so much fun when you are out there too. I wish that there was video of the singing. LOL!! Congrats!!!

Unknown said...

Sounds like you had a blast! What a fun distance! :D

Jeff said...

Great run, Nancy. As always, an awesome report, too.

(Hate to admit I had to reread the post 3 times to figure out what a SIL was.)

J~Mom said...

I am so proud of you!!!! You did it!! That is so cool that SIL stayed with you!

Running Ragged said...

Great report, great pics!!!

People like you SIL make me sick...well not really, but I am sure you know what I mean. ;)

Michelle said...

Nancy, you rock!

So does Amy!!

Great job!

Scott McMurtrey said...

damn! you are awesome!

Vickie said...

Nancy, great job finishing the race in such heat! I'm sure it was as bad there as it was here. I couldn't help but think of you with all that bad weather blowing our way from Iowa! And the stories ARE at the back of the pack because at least there you can relax some and talk!