...or how I ran funny for the second half of Dam to Dam...
...or how Bonnie Tyler was the bookends of my race experience...
Today was the Dam to Dam 20k, which was the first distance race I ever did, back in 2005. Back then it took me 2:17. Then the next year, I was training for Grandma's and it took me 2:08. This year the training hasn't been so stellar, so I wasn't expecting a PR (this is good for me and my must-PR mentality). Of course, I was also thinking "Gees, I PRed at the Phoenix half and I only ran 9 times in the two months before." But I pretty much kept my expectations open for this. I did two ten milers before the race, but I was dead at the end of both of them, so I figured 12.4 miles wasn't going to be a walk in the park.
Anyway, I should start this off by saying that I had some visitors in the form of Krissy and her friend Zack. With Dam to Dam you have to pick up your packet on the day before, which can be a bummer for out of town people because it means they have to stay in the area the night of the race. So since Krissy is also a po' ass grad student (just at the other university in Iowa), she crashed at my place in Ames. Yay for the blog world where you find free places to stay with strangers! And now I have a place to stay for Lake Geode. Although I was mildly offput by the fact that our dog decided to sleep with them in the living room instead of with me. Gees, he's such a little dog-slut.
Anyway, there was a chance they weren't even going to make it to Ames because we got like 5 inches of rain on Thursday night and all but one road into the city was underwater (this is from one of the main streets in town):
It was pretty crazy. Fortunately our little house is on a hill, so we stayed dry. But we were actually a little worried that the river would rise and block off the remaining egress from Ames, but it fortunately stayed low enough.
So we drove down to the race finish and elbowed our way onto one of the buses to the start. Someone asked the bus driver to turn on the radio and my chronic singer-alonger tendencies emerged when Total Eclipse of the Heart came on. The best part was that some dude sitting a few rows ahead of me was totally busting out to Bonnie Tyler. I wanted to go sit with him so I would have someone to sing along with.
Anyway, we got to the start, I learned that in New Mexico that portapotties are called Honey Buckets, and then we crowded on the dam. The biggest pain about this race is that despite 5000 runners that all have to start in a confined area on a dam, they still don't do chip timing. So you lose several minutes walking in a crowd to the starting line, so official times are always slow compared to actual running times. Krissy, Zach, and I lined up and finally we got going.
There are so many people there that I just started running and I lost Krissy and Zach in the midst of all the people pretty fast. That's okay - we were all being ipod zombies anyway :-) The first six miles were good - I came in at exactly an hour. Mile 7 wasn't so bad, but then there is the hill. The hill that killed me the first year, that I bounded up the second year, and that hurt this year. Kori was behind me at the start and she caught me on the hill, but I can't keep up with her uphill, so I let her blow by me. About mile 7 was also where I started to notice my shorts rubbing mighty uncomfortably, despite the liberal amounts of body glide I applied.
From that hill on, it was rough. My lack of training was very evident. I started shuffling. I am pretty sure I dropped to about 11 minute miles at this point (I stopped looking at my Garmin). It was getting hot too. With our mild spring, I am so not used to running in warm weather. As always seems to happen with this race, my mind starts to get a little fuzzy at mile 10ish.
Then Bonnie Tyler saved the day again. At about mile 11, Holding Out For A Hero came on the ipod. Oh yes, not only did I pick up the speed, I passed people while singing out loud. After cranking that up, I hit back on my ipod to Crystal Frontier by Calexico and Jolene by Dolly Parton, totally awesome running songs IMHO. I would like to say they caused me to run 9 min miles to the end, but alas that was not the case. I did pick my feet up a bit during them though. But I really had nothing left at the end. I couldn't even sprint much to the end.
I came in at 2:13 clock time, but more like 2:09 watch time, for a 10:24 pace or so. Not awesome, but considering my training, not so bad either. My run in Phoenix was in perfect running conditions, so I am not surprised I managed to PR. Oh yeah, and some lady tried to sprint past me at the end but she didn't make it but she ran right past me after the finish line in the chute and I had to put that beyotch in her place (because they had to take the tags off our numbers in the correct order). Gees people, common race etiquette here!
* I should probably be doing more 6-9 mile runs during the week. Not 3-6 mile runs and one long run (9-12 miles) on the weekend.
* I can barely walk due to shorts chafing. These shorts have served me so well! Why now do they suck?! Maybe I need a baby Body Glide to carry with me on long runs. Seriously, I can barely walk right now.
* Do you think if I feather my hair like Bonnie that I might run faster?
We Survived Cannon Falls Duathlon!
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