As you know, Scott and I ran the Des Moines half marathon this past weekend. And I have finally had time to put together my official race recap!!
So, after having my stomach cramp up at mile 12 last year, I was super nervous about what I was going to eat prior to this race. When I ran my first marathon, I had potato pancakes the night before and that went fine. . . so I dragged Scott to Perkins for dinner on Saturday night. And oh man, they were delicious. Potato pancakes are one of my favorite things!!
We headed to bed early on Saturday night to get a good night’s sleep and in anticipation of getting up early. I wanted to get up early so that #1. we could find a good parking spot in downtown Des Moines and #2. So, I could get my caramel skim latte from Caribou.
Before each of my long training runs, I have always had my coffee, so I didn’t want to stray from that for the race. Thankfully, Scott was totally on board and in support of doing everything possible to make this a better race.
And we totally scored a perfect parking spot about 2 blocks from the start. And we were 1 block from porta potty’s with NO LINES!! They were sort of on the backside of the start line so not too many people were parking on our side. That was the key to the perfect race start. I always have to pee like 4 times before the start of a long run, combination of nerves and coffee. So, that was a great way to start out. We hung out in the car for about 40 minute before the race start.
It was a chilly morning. 43 degrees with a little wind. I had an long sleeve t-shirt from a Halloween race a few years ago that I never wear that I wore to the start and then took off right before we got going. We made our way to the start line and lined up right at the 9 minute mile sign.
I had a hard time deciding what to wear – I didn’t want to be cold or hot. I almost always wear shorts – unless it is below 35 degrees, but I wasn’t sure what to wear on top. I ended up wearing my tech long sleeve t- shirt from last year’s half marathon. And it was (thankfully) the perfect choice.
And then, it was 8am and time to start. The race started right on time. And I had my garmin ready to go! It took us about 2 minutes to get to the start line. And yes, we crossed the finish line to get to the start line. ..
Scott and I settled into our pace right away and didn’t let ourselves get sucked into the mob mentality of starting out too quick. The first few miles you wind through downtown Des Moines. And run in front of the capital.
The trees along the course were so pretty.
You don’t want to miss this sign! **We totally saw a runner at mile 8 realize that she missed that sign and was running the half-marathon course instead of the full marathon course she was intending to run!! #badday
There were a lot of spectators with great signs –> even one that said “What does the fox say?” They all must have read my Spectator post because all of the things that I mentioned (except the sprinkler – too cold!) were there!!
No, I didn’t know this man, but I appreciated that he was cheering for me.
Team Lululemon. ..
And this sign says “Keep Going, Keep Going, That’s What She Said.”
Good signs. –> one that said “what does the fox say?” Gummy bears. My favorite – a lady with a box of Kleenex at mile 6. I had told Scott to watch for Kleenex. And I was totally texting and would have missed her, but Scott was “Katie, Kleenex!!” And I was so happy to see her. I said thank you!! And she said “I know what runners need!” A couple of people read my name off of my bib and called out “good job Katie,” which is always nice to hear!
I was texting Melanie, Becky and my parents off and on throughout the race. I don’t feel like it affected my time at all. I just tucked in behind Scott and kept up with the pace. And it was super nice to have the encouragement too.
I got water at 3 stops, but we never walked. I probably spilled more water on me than I actually drank. . . I never felt like the miles took forever. Scott and I didn’t talk about too much. We tried to figure out some colors for the new house – bedrooms and bathrooms etc.
A couple of times my stomach threatened to cramp up, and I just slowed the pace a bit and it was fine.
We caught up to the 2 hour pacer about mile 11. And man, she was annoying!! I know that she was just trying to talk and encourage the group, but she was saying things like “I like to repeat a mantra to myself, or sometimes I just say just keep going, or sometimes I just sing the ABCs over and over.” Scott and I ran past her so quick just so we wouldn’t have to listen to it anymore.
At mile 11, Scott asked about our pace and I said that we were doing good – about 8:37 pace and that we could pick it up at 12 if we wanted to. .. I didn’t want to pick it up before then, in case my stomach started to act up. And he said maybe we can slow down instead. That’s when I realized that he wasn’t having the most fun. He had been worried about his foot bothering him like it has been for the past few long runs but that was fine – his hip flexor was totally cramping up. So, we just stuck together and I really realized that he was totally done when I asked him at mile 12.5 “what does the fox say” and I didn’t even get a smile back! Thankfully, we were almost done at that point.
The only part of the race that is ridiculous is this little out and back that is only about 150 feet long at about mile 12.5 or so.
But, then we made it to the finish line. And we crossed holding hands! Yes, we are that couple.
And we made our goal of under 2 hours! Official time 1:58.01. Garmin time 1:58.09 with a total distance of 13.36. Yep, we did about a quarter-mile of weaving around people!
We got our medals and then wandered around the food. Had a piece of yummy pizza, some cookies, jimmy johns subs, and bagels.
Now, we are planning for next year for both of us to finish feeling good with hopefully another PR for Scott. This was his 3rd half marathon and first time under 2 hours!!
Des Moines is a great city. The half marathon course is a really good course. Overall flat. Good scenery. Great support. Lots of spectators. I would highly recommend this race. And we will be there again next year!!