Well it’s been a hot minute since I’ve put up a blog post! Starting the last week of May and continuing through June is a super busy travel season with my job. I love it but I’m totally drained by the end of the day and on weekends so I just haven’t had the energy to put towards writing. But my busiest week is behind me and I’m slowly getting life back on track!
This run has been a point of frustration for me. I registered in 2016 before I has even moved to Iowa. I was planning a visit to go house hunting with Adam and we decided to sign up for the race. However a combination of moving challenges and my sweet Tallulah getting very sick led to zero training and I opted to wait for Adam at the finish line. In 2017, we registered again. And a few weeks before the race I got shin splints that ended my running for most of 2017. So then comes 2018 and the announcement that this would be the last Dam to Dam race (hosted by the original creators) and instead of a half marathon it would go back to the original 20k. I registered Adam and I at 7:30 AM the morning it opened, it was sold out just after noon. 9,000 runners registered in just over 6 hours!
Adam and I used this as a kickstart to our training for the Chicago marathon and I was deliberately slow to pick up mileage this spring in order to avoid shin splints again. All was well and we both felt pretty solid going into the week before the race.
And then the weather predictions worsened.
Somewhere in the area of 80% chance of thunderstorms at 7 AM. The time the race was supposed to start. Now, I joke without really joking that I am a fair-weather runner. I had never gone for a run in the rain before and tend to avoid any drastic weather (hot, cold, etc). I crossed my fingers that things would clear up.
Saturday morning came wet and loud. Thunder and lightning as Adam and I dressed and drove to the meeting spot. This race is interesting in that you cannot drive yourself to the start. It starts at the top of a dam in a park without much parking. So they do bus pick-ups from two locations, one of which is only 3 minutes from our house. So we headed to the parking lot to get on a bus, checking social media and emails constantly to see if there were official race updates. There weren’t. Ever. We parked and then went to join the line of people waiting for a bus.
In the rain. And wind.
Adam and I were not one of the smart ones to bring trash bags to protect ourselves from the elements so we were soaked in no time. We did go hide back in the car for a bit after reading that the buses were delayed due to lightning. But eventually, the buses arrived and we hauled ourselves out of the warmth of the car back into the driving rain and wind. It was arguably one of the more miserable moments I have had in recent memory. Once we made it to the starting line, we joined hundreds (or thousands) of others who were hiding out under trees, waiting to hear if the race was going to start (at this point it had only been delayed 30 minutes). After what felt like forever, a race official came walking through the crowd announcing that the race had begun and to advance to the starting line.
Adam and I crossed the starting line at 7:47 AM, just as the announcer said “and the rain just stopped, folks!” Best announcement ever!
As for the actual race, it went surprisingly well! My shoes were soaking wet and I had to stop at mile 4 to take them off and put the soles back in place (they had literally slipped up to rest on top of my feet!). I heard from a lot of runners that they had some pretty intense chaffing (FUN!) but I did not experience any of that! It is primarily a downhill race and since we started behind so many people, I was essentially passing people the whole time which made it more entertaining. It was one of the busier races I have done, so a lot of energy was spent dodging and weaving around people. But the atmosphere was light and supportive and I was SO HAPPY to finally get that Dam (to Dam) medal!!
Now you tell me:
- What is something you accomplished that was years in the making?
- Do you exercise in bad weather? Any tips for how you get through it?