Sunday, June 5, 2011

Beating the heat (Dam to Dam race recap)

Today, I did the Iowa classic distance 20k:
A 20k is 12.4 miles, and really, I just round it up to a half marathon. It was my first distance race 2 years ago after dabbling in 5k and 10k races for a while. It's also cheap ($35.00 if you sign up well ahead of time), well staffed, and net downhill (yesssssssss! I hate hills).

The route goes from Saylorville Dam to downtown Des Moines via a country 2-lane highway that 8000 runners truck down on a morning in early June.

See how the start and the finish are not next to eachother? It makes this race a little logistically complex. The organizers fix it by having people park at the finish and then bussing them on school buses about 40 minutes to the Start. Awesome. Who doesn't immediately become a little kid again when they ride a school bus?

Ok, so this is how my day worked:

3:45a Wake up. Make coffee. Eat toast. 

4:15a Drive to Jill's house. 

4:30a Pick up Jill and her sister, Julie. 

5:10a Arrive in downtown Des Moines and find parking. 

5:20a Get on a bus. We got the backseats and felt like bad kids! Bouncing our way up to the Dam.

6:00a Deposited at Saylorville Dam. Visit port-a-potties, people watch.

6:30a Get kind of lined up in the wayyyyyy back. 

7:00a Race starts. We know this only because people are clapping. 

7:04 We start moving forward...kind of. Walking. 

7:05 It's on! (From now on we'll do this in miles)

Mile 1: Oh, we just got off the freaking Dam! 

Mile 2: Deposited outside the park. Man, it's going to be hot today. Good thing it's cloudy. 

Mile 3-5: Nothing exciting. Stop to fill up hand-held water bottle at a water stop. Eat a shot-blok at mile 5. 

Mile 6.2: 10k! Halfway there. Man, I feel good. Sweaty, but good. 

Mile 7: Here comes the big hill! 

Mile 8: Downhill is really soon...wheeeeeeeeeee!

Mile 9: Another shot blok. 

Mile 10: Where is the water? Did I miss the water? 

Mile 11: It would suck if I missed the water....why won't these people get out of the way. Should I ask them nicely? Is that rude? 

Mile 11.1: The people were nice and they moved when I asked! And there is water coming up! 

Mile 12: Almost there. Where are my peoples? 

Finish: DONE. 

Highlights. I didn't puke or even feel pukey, which is amazing. Heat is my achilles heel. I can't handle it. My goal for this race was just to cruise and listen to my body. I didn't walk, except to get water at the water stations. It wasn't my fastest race, but I feel hugely successful in that I could still walk, talk, smile, and felt fine afterward.

Chip time: 2:01:51

Not my fastest time, but it could have been a horrific run if I had sped up. Speed on another, cooler, day!

Plus, I had friends! This race is soooo much better with friends because of the long wait time on the Dam and the activities downtown after the race. The fiance came down with Jill's boyfriend later in the morning and found me in the crowd after the race. We then waited for Jill, Julie, and their family to find us.

Then, we went over the the Des Moines Farmer's Market to survey the options. Kristin over at Iowa Girl Eats went last weekend and got an Apple Cider doughtnut (link here), and I saw those and wanted one...but I also wanted to see what else was we walked. I oogled flowers, foods, music, and then finally I saw it. I knew exactly what I wanted...

Pretzel nuggets! OMG...buttery. SALTY (yesterday was one of the few days I considered downing a salt-tab post-run). Carby. AMAZING. I shared some with the fiance.

We also picked up some tomatoes and summer sausage for the fiance. Then we headed home to the farmer's market in our home town. Last week my favorite vendor asked me if I knew about a test-tube that he could plant his sweet potato seedlings in to prevent the roots from tangling. I knew exactly what I would use and got him some samples and their order numbers over the course of the week...he seemed suprised to see me, but he was really nice and thankful for the info. See? Knowing a chemist is awesomely helpful...even if you don't plan to use the supplies for chemistry. I'm A-Ok with that!

Then we went to lunch. It was noon. I had finished the race about 9am and had powerade and pretzel nuggets to tide me over. I was starving...and I couldn't stop to take a picture of the food before I started. BUT IT WAS SO AWESOME (take with grain - or twenty - of salt. I was starving) that I have to tell you about it so that you can recreate it at home.

Onion bun

BBQ Tofu

American Cheese

Lettuce, Tomato, Onion

COLESLAW (I don't even LIKE coleslaw!)

It's called the Cowboy-Fu, and it was really, really amazing. I ate 80% of a sandwich as big as a salad plate. And the chips. Then I went home and took a 3 hour nap. I'd call that a productive Saturday ;)

What did you do this weekend? Anybody travel somewhere cool?


  1. So jealous! I want to run the Dam to Dam race sometime, but it seems like I am always working! Maybe next year.

    Your BBQ tofu sandwich sounds good - and I don't even really like tofu! Where dod you go?

  2. West Street Deli in Ames. I'm telling you, you HAVE to come to Ames for Midnight Madness this year...I'll take you around and FREE BEER. Plus, I'll let you smoke me in the race. You can thank me for making you look better ;)

  3. Your posts got me to start running again... I suffered through a 5k with Ashley riding next to me on the bike! I hope to catch up to your endurance, but I have a feeling it may take the next year of training to be ready for a 20k!