Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014 Des Moines Marathon Race Report and Video

Here's Holly's 2014 Des Moines Race Report​:

This race was on my radar for this year, but I never officially registered for it right away. It was just one week after the Hartford marathon and I have never run marathons one week apart. I did book a hotel back in March and decided I would wait until after Hartford to make the final decision. If you read my Hartford report you know I had some knee pain during that race. It was really bad after the race and even the next day. I was pretty sure Des Moines was out. Monday it felt better, much better. I then went to my miracle massage therapist. She worked on my IT band for an hour. Holy crap was that painful. As I was lying there I thought I must be crazy. I was in pain in Hartford. I am in pain now. This is all just so I can hopefully put myself through the pain of a marathon again on Sunday. I am an idiot.

I went for a shakeout run on Wednesday and everything felt good. I did it again on Thursday and it felt good again. I registered for the race. We were going to Iowa. We decided we would just drive over Saturday morning and come back Sunday after the race. We made the 5-hour drive and went right to the expo. It was a nice size expo. After the expo we went to the hotel and then we started our Des Moines beer tour. Dave will cover that at the end of the post. We had dinner at an Italian place (wasn't very good) and went to bed early.

Race day and the weather was perfect! Thank goodness! I could not have run another race in the rain. Our hotel was right by the start and we walked down and found a bunch of port o potties with no line! Dave left to go cheer and I got in the corral. The race started on a bridge and it was a fun start. Dave did a great job as usual of race chasing and saw me a ton of times. The course was beautiful with no "junk" miles. It was quite hilly from mile 2-10 or so. I was a bit worried with the hills in the beginning but I took my time and walked up the big ones and ran down the backside. I wasn’t feeling too bad during the first half and my pace was pretty good.

Dave gave me the GoPro to run with while I went through Drake stadium. I don’t know how anyone could run with this for an entire race. Around Mile 15 I started to tire and I think a lot of it was mental. I started doing math. Can I walk from here and finish under 6? I didn’t listen to myself and kept going. Dave would be at 18 and I told myself to get to him and then evaluate. My leg pain came back around mile 17. I took two Tylenol and by mile 19 everything felt ok. I kept up my 2:1 ratio but was slowing down a bit. Around Mile 23 I really was done running. I started doing 1:30/1:30. I was so happy to make the final turn and run up the bridge and cross the finish line. State 25!! I am halfway towards my goal of running a marathon in every state.

The Des Moines Marathon was a great event. Great organization, nice shirt and medal and a beautiful course. The five hour drive home was painful, but thanks to Dave for doing the whole drive and for always supporting me on this crazy adventure.

Dave's Comments:

For the most part this was an easy course to navigate. There were several miles I had no options for stop points because the course went through a few large parks. The Start Line and Mile Marker 1 were two blocks from each other. Des Moines streets were fairly close to a grid layout so getting around was easy, except for the end by the parks and river where there were a few road closures. I saw Holly seven times by the half marker and four times after that point. I found a decent parking spot near the finish that happened to be close to a bar with a patio. I had time for a quick beer and used my people markers and Find Friends app to make sure I would get to the finish line in time.

Snacking options were mostly limited to gas stations. I grabbed a few coffees along the way and ate snacks I brought with me - Sour Patch Kids and a bar of some sort.

As for local beer in the downtown area there are three breweries within a fairly straight mile walk. We lunched on Saturday at Court Avenue Brewing. Great sandwiches and really good beers. We moved onto Raccoon River and we were not too impressed by their offerings. Finally, we went to Exile Brewing and were quite impressed. Great spot (old warehouse done up nice), good approachable beers, and really nice tap handles.

Here's the video:

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