Saturday I finally ran Dam to Dam, a 20K race held in Des Moines Iowa. I've been training for this event for 11 weeks. Actually, for the last few weeks "obsessing" about this event would be a better way to describe it. I've been very nervous about it. The 10 mile training run I did two weeks prior did a lot to help alleviate my anxiety but I was still nervous.
Race day was BEAUTIFUL! It was warm but not hot, the skies were clear and blue and for the majority of the race there was just a light breeze. I ran with a friend who came down from MN. We had never run together before but we both agreed to take it slow and planned for a 12 minute mile pace. This is a little slower than what I had been running but I knew if I didn't force myself to remain slow at the beginning, I would burn myself out.
When the race started, it took us about 3 minutes just to get to the start line. There were 4000+ racers that finished the race so that should give you an idea of how many were at the start. We stuck with our plan and remained walking until the majority of the pack was ahead of us. At one point we were literally at the very end of the runners. However that didn't last long. Even though we were only running a 12 minute mile, we passed people the entire race, especially on the last hill where it was just a string of people walking. We actually did a great job of maintaining our pace. Towards the end it got harder to check because the math got harder (8x12 is how many?) and we were getting tired. As we crossed each mile marker we cheered. Sometimes we got others to join us in our cheering, sometimes not.
Around mile 10 my right leg was trying to cramp up. The cramping feeling came and went over the next 2 miles but then really kicked in the last 1/2 mile or so. This was really frustrating since I really felt like I had the "umph" to speed it up just a bit for the end. As it turns out, we stayed at our pace and I was able to run across the finish line rather than hobble.
After the race it took us awhile to find the other people we rode with but then there was food and drink. Not only was the beer free but they were handing out Smirnoff Ice. Yay. So there I was, I just finished my first 20K and I'm drinking a Smirnoff Ice at 10am!
Unofficial time from my HRM that I forgot to stop as I crossed the finish line - 2:29.
Official time (which includes the 3+ minutes it took to reach the start line - 2:33:39.
Sunday I drove to Cedar Rapids to finish up the Rescue Diver class I took in March. This was the open water section of the class. I was nervous about some of the underwater scenarios since I knew with all of the recent rain the visibility would be poor and I wasn't keen on pretending to search for a missing diver using a circular search pattern in a cold, silty lake with no visiblity. It turns out that although the water was cold, the wetsuit I had was fine and although it was poor visibility, it wasn't zero. After I went down and got used to looking at silt floating everywhere, I was fine. In fact I had a great time. The scenarios went well and I think did a good job. Again, the weather was amazing, picture perfect. I also managed to purchase more scuba gear, how shocking! The compass was a planned purchase, the new mask was a little more spontaneous but "oh well." I didn't use my credit card so I guess that's something.