Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Dam to Dam

Pictures from left:* My hubby, Andy and me after our races were complete
*A view from my phone along the route. People everywhere but I loved it.
*View at the beginning of the race, at the dam watching the sun come thru the clouds.
*Picture after the race. People everywhere but I loved it!
Here is my story of the Dam to Dam 20k on Saturday, May 30th, 2009.
My family and I stayed with my great friend, Sonia, who lives in Des Moines. I woke up at 4:30am the day of the race thanks to the neighbor dog and decided to stay up and just get ready early. It was a very short night of sleep but I was ready to go. I got downtown Des Moines around 5:15 (thanks Sonia!) and loaded a school bus a short time later. They sure had everything organized! We arrived at the Saylorville Lake Dam not too much later, but we did get to enjoy seeing the rain leave...thank goodness!
Music was playing on the dam and they had places where you could dump a bag of stuff and it would be at the end. There were plenty of port-a-jons for us nervous nelly runners too-yes, I saw men coming out of the trees and just walking down the dam to go wee! It was a little chilly that morning but we knew it was going to warm up quickly.
We started on time at 7am. It was a slow go at first, but we were soon on our way. 6,476 people finished the race!!! That's a lot of feet to NOT trip over! Did ANYONE see me in my "Running for a Paws" shirt??? Anyone? Anyone??
The entire race went fairly quickly, probably because of the awesome atmosphere. There were people along the route cheering, handing out water, playing music, and letting their hoses spray us warm runners off. It was great! It's been a long time since I've run in a race with so many people and it's just not the same as when there's crickets...crickets....and more crickets!
I texted my hubby at the halfway point (yes, I carried my phone in case I couldn't find him afterwards so I could get the kids and he could run the 5k). I was going at an 8 minute mile pace, which was very good for how I felt. I do have a nervous stomach so I usually cramp up and hurt after about 5 miles and I didn't this time....until mile 10. Ugh, it was tough, and I think I ran a 12 minute mile that mile but I was already happy with my time so was ok with it. I'm very competitive with myself, which doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but I am...can't really help it.
Anyway, I speeded up at mile 12 and finished the 12.4 mile race in 1 hour 45 minutes- I was 1417th of 6476, 313th of 3167 women, and 55th of 538 women 35-39 yrs old. I almost barfed at the end due to sprinting the last bit, but it would have been worth it! There were people EVERYWHERE! I had no idea there would be that much of a crowd and chaos, but it was great fun. We got frustrated once when we were trying to sign up my 6 year old for the kid race, but we should have had Sonia do that the night before when she picked up the packets...our fault and we know better next year. Andy and Sonia ran the 5k, which started at 9:30., Andy hurt his hamstring, but it's feeling better today, and Sonia ran her very first race! She did great and I'm so glad I was there at the finish line cheering her on! They both did awesome and I got to see them both cross the finish line. Andy ran his 5k in about 27 minutes.
We got to eat some great food after....water, gatorade, bomb pops, bbq sandwiches, bananas, apples, BEER (no, didn't have any but we could have), and Dr. Pepper. The band was great and I even danced with Tyler, my 6 year old to the fun music! What a day. After the running and standing and walking around, I was ready to go and sit for a while (ie the rest of the day). Sonia had to go to Minneapolis for a graduation party and we needed to head home. What a day, what a great great day and I hope to come back next year for the Dam to Dam!
Now, I do have some observations that I made during the race....enjoy.
There are many types of running styles. I know I look a little funny when I walk and run, but to each his/her own, I say. If it works for you, then there's nothing wrong with it, but it's just interesting to see them all in one day.
*I have to say that there's one rule that I never knew that SHOULD exist: DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO RUN WITH LOOSE CHANGE. NEVER. NO MATTER WHAT. Let's say that this guy who ran with "ching, ching, ching, ching, ching" helped my time since I had to speed up to get away from that sound! Thanks Change Guy! But bring a credit card or some cash next time. I'm sure someone has a cell phone (me) you could use and I don't think pay phones are really around much, especially in the corn fields. No more change allowed in races. No exceptions.
*I saw a lady, who, from the back, looked like Grandma in a bathing suit. Let's say that I passed her about half way into the whole thing, so she's a rockin' runnin' young Grandma. Just a different top she was running in. It was NOT a swim suit, but looked very close to one.
*There were some very muscly women. They must lift weights with their arms since their shoulders were very wide and rippley. Not the same wide and rippley as my rear, mind you. They looked awesome and I was not passing them....
*There was tatoo guy- He didn't need a shirt as his tatoo served as one. Not sure what the design was as I saw it more from a distance, but was interesting.
*Talkey ladies- I don't think I could talk during a race going at that pace or I would be at the barfing point much sooner. Good for them. And yes, I was trying to hear what you were talking about but I couldn't get it all heard.
There were:
Swingers- swing your upper body from side to side as you run
Cutters- cut the air with your hands as you run, hands held all open and flat
Flippers- flip your hands as you run...seems it would use a lot of energy and your wrists would by mysteriously sore at the end of the day
Slappers- they slap the balls of their feet on the street as they run. ouch.
Plodders-they run like they have weights on their feet.
Bounders- they bound like gazelles. I assume this uses an extraordinary amount of energy but again, if it works....
Weavers- they weave in and out of traffic (this was me)
Inconsiderate weavers- they weave in and out of traffic, no matter who they step in front of and trip. (hopefully this wasn't me).
Walkers/slow pacers- sorry, but you should start at the back as they requested. You should not be in front of the 8 min mile pace people as we will have to dodge around you and in 6500 people on a street, is not very easy.
Spitters- take a drink of water and spit it out, sometimes hitting others around them. I was the one getting hit and considering the warm weather and my own personal odor at the time, was thankful to get some cool water on me.
That's my list for now. I love all runners and have a lot of respect for anyone who wants to run and then especially for those who do. We all have our own 'ways' about us, which makes running so much more interesting! I am used to running on my own in the early mornings, so it's wonderful to be out with others and yes, having fun while running over 12 miles!
One more note, I was happy to see that the article I wrote for Missouri River Runners club was published. I hope I am getting some interested readers. Please do email me your thoughts about anything! I would love to hear from you. I have already received a call from a friend of a member about finding a home for a dog, so I appreciate you publishing the article....Siouxland Paw Prints is awesome. I still need lots of donations, pledges, volunteers, fosters! Remember, if I get $20 pledged to me by July 1, I will attempt the FULL marathon!!!!!!! (this is a hint)
Well, I'm sure I have written enough for now. I do have more things to talk about, but will leave it for the next day!
Thanks again, Dam to Dam race! What a great time!


  1. Great job hun! You are doing awesome and you did amazing at the run. We will definitely do it again next year...

  2. This was so fun to read!! Next year hopefully we can see you despite the thousands of people! My boys ran the kids race too!