Tuesday, May 10, 2011

When did it get hot? (And Drake Relays race recap)

Suddenly, Iowa decided to skip Spring (yeah...did you get Spring? I think we might've gotten a couple of days of it...) and go right into Summer. Like, July.
Don't you love how it's 93 and sunny today (nice breeze, btw) and by Saturday our weather completely deteriorates to chilly and rainy? That's Iowa. Actually, the weather people in the midwest get it wrong A LOT so it'll probably still be 93 and sunny on Saturday. One can hope, right?

Anyway, I'm chilling in the AC on the couch, catching up on my blogging, while I wait for the temp to come down a couple degrees. I plan to go for a short, hot run around 8pm. Hopefully it feels good and I don't die. I'm thinking a coconut water bribe might be in store.

Since it's inevitably going to be a miserably hot run, let's think backward towards a beautiful 13.1 miles I ran two weekends ago: Drake Relays On-the-Roads 1/2 marathon.

Drake Relays is an Iowa classic. It's fast, it's flat, and it's super cheap. I think I registered for $30.00 ahead of time.

The race started and finished on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines.

It's a beautiful campus, but it borders on a pretty bad part of town. When I went down for packet pickup, I found out that all the parking lots were $8.00 to park in, so I went in search of a street-side parking spot. I got one around 0.5 miles away in the ghetttttoooooo (or as ghetto as Iowa gets). So, I walked 0.5 miles to pick up my packet and 0.5 miles back. I think I spent nearly double the amount of time walking as I did actually picking anything up.

But I digress...I went home, surveyed my supplies, and laid out my stuff for the next morning. It was supposed to be rainy and 60ish, so I planned to layer, layer, layer.

Wicking jacket, crops with pants to wear over them, bra top, wicking t-shirt, hat, and ipod.

And the ugliest pair of running shoes I've ever owned. I only buy one brand/model (Nike Air Pegasus), and I usually buy a few pairs at a time and then 'retire' them into my work shoes for a cycle after I reach 500 miles. These are really ugly and WILL NOT make it to their work shoe rotation. A little bright for my taste, you know? But, it's what's inside that counts, right?

I went to bed and actually slept really well beforehand, and I set out to get ready for the race. Drake Relays is nice because it starts at 8am and you can park on-site, so I didn't need to leave for the race until about 6:30.
It wasn't raining when I left, so I just wore the crops and left the pants at home. Sorry for the filthy mirror!

This is where the pictures end and the problems begin. I got to the race site and realized my first mistake. I left my timing chip at home! What a newbie mistake! This is what happened...I picked up both my own packet and a friend's packet. He wasn't going to run the race, but he had signed up and wanted his t-shirt (injured...not weirdly into race shirts or anything). When I picked up my packet, I threw my chip into his bag...where it was hanging on my closet door until Monday morning. Ugh! 

I talked to the registration people and after a huge, unneccesary hullabaloo, they said I could run the race and if I didn't care about my official time, they didn't care. Unfortunately it took 25 minutes and three people to get that answer. I mean, I know I screwed up, but I feel like this probably happens all the time and there should be a canned answer for it. Either yes, you can run, or no, go home. Either way was fine, I just needed to know!

Ok,  so I get that figured out, ditch my jacket, and get to the start line on time. This was when my second mistake occurred. I brought a 10 oz water bottle and planned to rely on the race course for the rest of my water and nutrients. WHY DID I THINK THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA?!?! I totally know better. But, I've been spoiled lately with races that provided gatorade at every water stop, so I thought I wouldn't need it.

The race started, and the course was beautiful. The sun came out, it was nice and cool, and they had us running through these nice neighborhoods with rolling hills. Course support was awesome, and they managed to keep many roads clear for us. I was great until about mile 8, when I knew I made a mistake not carrying any Gu's or gels or gatorade, but I had no choice but to finish, so I trudged along. I alternated walking/running and kept my head up. I knew I would finish, but my time was pretty slow for me. I got in at approximately 2:10, and my knee, which had really bothered me during the St. Louis 1/2 a few weeks earlier, really only reared its ugly head starting at mile 10.

I walked to the car, and on my way home I stopped and got something really unhealthy. A real Coca-cola. I figure if they serve it on the Ironman courses, it was good enough for me! I have never tasted a better soda!

Second 1/2 marathon of the year done. Almost to my 3 x 1/2 marathon goal, and since I just set new summer fitness goals, I'm super excited to get started working on them.

If you want to work towards summer fitness goals together, just leave your goals in the comments section and I'll be happy to be your cheering squad!

Ok, coconut water is in the fridge and it's almost time to go brave the heat for a few miles. Back with a post on the 100 pushup challenge soon!


  1. I haven't been too strict about the 100 P-up challenge :(
    I managed to do 20 in a row a few days ago..... I may need some reminding.

    I have a new goal though! Run/walk at least a half hour everyday! :D

    Great time for your half!! I always try to put my chip on as soon as I get my package, and I have to check it obsessively - I'm always scared it'll fall off!

  2. Hey, new to your blog and I really love it. I finished my first 5k today and my goal is to run more races this summer and improve my finish time and overall performance which includes lots of yoga, breathing exercises and strength training.