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
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