Des Moines Half Marathon 2013: Race Recap


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. Smile 


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!” Smile 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. Winking smile 


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. Winking smile 


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!! Smile


Filed under husband, Recap, Running

30 Responses to Des Moines Half Marathon 2013: Race Recap

  1. Aw that’s so fun! My boyfriend and I have always wanted to do one together! Maybe next fall after I get my foot surgery and I will be totally back to running. Stupid bone spur!
    Jackie recently posted..My first WIAW!My Profile

  2. Yay, congrats to you and Scott! Funny thing about Jimmy Johns…we have a location where we live and I always use it as a place to stop for water on our long runs…but whenever I go in there, the smell of bread is mouthwatering and all I want to do is order a big ol’ sub!
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate recently posted..Mission Accomplished: I Found My Wedding DressMy Profile

  3. I’m glad to hear it ended up being a good race!!! Those potato pancakes looked awesome. I’ve never had potato pan

  4. So fun to run w/your hubby! I always have to pee a million times before a race too from coffee/nerves;-) Maybe I’ll have to add Des Moines to my future race list.
    Gina recently posted..Putting the scale away…My Profile

  5. Potato pancakes.

    I hate when you comment using your phone the keypad sometimes goes away and I hit the post comment button.

    Anyways you rock!!! Love all the signs. I think texting during the races makes you faster!! It boosts your mood
    Alex @ Alex Runs For Food recently posted..Treat Yourself Tuesday #4My Profile

  6. Congrats on the race! That is awesome that you crossed holding hands–too cute 🙂

  7. YAY for the recap!!! I’m seriously dying at the “Keep Going, Keep Going, That’s What She Said.” I’m TOTALLY making this sign for someone to hold for me when I get to my first marathon 😉 Bahahahaha! And I hope my texts didn’t slow you down! But you pretty much rocked it so I don’t think I did too much damage 😉 Again, great job with the time and I hope Scott figures out his foot injury sooner than later!
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted..Calling all oatmeal lovers!My Profile

    • KT

      I know! That was my favorite sign. 🙂 And you didn’t slow me down at all – in fact, I think it was the opposite!!! Thanks again. 🙂

  8. Great job to you and Scott busting 2 hours! That’s awesome!

    I love all the unique signs. I always wonder how you guys take pictures and text while running. I’m lucky I can run in a straight line without doing anything else. HAHA!

    That pace lady sounds totally annoying, btw.
    Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted..Plateaus Belong In National ParksMy Profile

    • KT

      Thanks so much Courtney!! It is quite amazing that I didn’t trip on my face because I am totally not coordinated either. 🙂

  9. awesome job lady!! I think it’s so cute you crossed the finish line holding hands! Inspiration right there 🙂
    Alisha @ Alisha’s Appetite recently posted..Massaged Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Toasted Walnuts and Blue CheeseMy Profile

  10. Yay congrats to both of you! Looks like a good race and I bet it felt good to hit your goal under 2 hours. Your recap totally makes me want to run a half marathon!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food recently posted..The Best Parts About HomeMy Profile

  11. Whoop, whoop! You guys rocked it!!!
    Melanie @ BeautifullyNutty recently posted..Vaca Part III: Cruise to EnsenadaMy Profile

  12. I love this recap!! Sorry it’s taken me a week to read it :/ I love that you two run together- you know the couple that runs together….

    In all honesty, reading this post made me both excited and nervous for my half in 3 weeks! I’m hoping for under 2 too… We’ll see 🙂
    Caroline recently posted..On Excuses & Body Image.My Profile

    • KT

      I totally agree that reading other people’s race recaps make me nervous and excited too!! You are going to rock it girl. 🙂

  13. Congrats on such a great race AND for meeting your goal!!!
    I love that you and your husband ran together – that’s something not many people can say…love it!
    Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted..workout log: 10/20 – 10/26My Profile

  14. Congrats!! Haha I have no idea how you did all the texting/picture taking while running! Holy multitasking. 🙂 I would have also loved the lady who supplied Kleenex–brilliant!!
    Kim @ healthy nest recently posted..So farMy Profile

  15. Congratulations, Katie! My husband and I always cross the finish line holding hands when we run together too :).
    Emily @ Perfection Isn’t Happy recently posted..Just Say No to GMOsMy Profile

  16. Bummed I didn’t catch you while you were in town, but so happy you had a good race. I’m thinking I might need to try this race next year. I am NOT a runner thought so I would definitely be starting from the bottom. Any tips for a newbie? Love that you and your husband run together. Maybe I can convince mine?
    Gabe recently posted..Take Care of Yourself & Treat Yourself Too TuesdayMy Profile