It’s come and gone! My mom and I successfully ran the 20k this past weekend (just shy of a half marathon, my watch actually said it was 12.69 miles).
Leading up to race day I was really nervous it was going to be over 90 degrees out because that’s what it had been for the few weeks prior.
Thankfully last week the forecast trended towards rain on race morning. I would much prefer to run in the rain rather than the heat.
Race morning came and I got a call at 4 a.m. from my mom. There was lightening down by her house and she was curious about the contingency plan for the race. I said it would probably get delayed if anything and to finish getting ready and head up to town.
I went back to bed for another half an hour before getting up and ready.
By the time she picked me up, just after 5 a.m., it had started to rain in Des Moines, and by the time we made it to the shuttle it was coming down pretty good.
At some point, we heard the race was delayed 30 minutes, which I had a feeling it would be.
We got off the shuttle, made a bathroom pitstop, stood semi-under the trees for a few minutes before making our way to the start line. It started on the top of a dam, so pretty exposed. We hunkered down under a bridge coming off of the dam for about 10 minutes not knowing the race had started for about 4 minutes.
But there was still a steady stream of people making their way to the start line so we just joined in, crossed the start and began running. We stuck together for about the first mile, but it was crowded and hard to weave through everyone together so we got separated for a few miles.
I felt great, was keeping a good pace and stopped to go to the bathroom at mile 3.
It stopped raining shortly after we started running and I found my mom again in between mile 6 and 7.
My knee had started hurting at this point, and when I caught up to her she mentioned her thighs were sore in the new shorts she was wearing. We both looked down at her legs and I’m pretty sure I gasped out loud because her thighs were raw and red with blood. It legit looked like she had started her period and was bleeding down her legs.
We adjusted the rain jacket around her waist to cover up her poor thighs and started running again until we passed a firetruck with a group of EMT who we asked for some sort of vaseline or bandages. They gave her KY Jelly and wrapped something around my knee.
We hobbled on.
My knee was screaming at this point and I’m sure her thighs felt about the same.
Around mile 9 maybe, we finally ran by an ambulance.
Perfect, I thought, they’ll have some sort of bandages. We wrapped them up with some gauze and stretchy bandage tape stuff and kept running.
We were so close at this point that you just kept running because why not.
The last two miles were rough. It was pretty toasty, but not nearly as bad as it could have been that day. I was grateful for the cool, rainy morning at this point.
The home stretch of 7 blocks (about half a mile) was the hardest part of the race. They had these signs up “400 meters to go!”, “200 meters” and “100 meters to go!”
What I found most incredibly infuriating was that the rest of my body (minus my knee) felt great. I was conditioned enough and in shape, and that race should have been a piece of cake. But because my knee wasn’t having it, that made it much harder than it should have been.
You alter the way you run when a certain body part is in pain, and after the race, my calves were cramped because of how I was running to baby my knee.
But we made it across the finish line and just kind of walked right into the medical tent.
We re-bandaged my mom’s legs and I got a little glove of ice to wrap around my knee. After that, we went and said hi to everyone before going to my apartment to eat some leftover rice and veggies I had.
I think the thing that always surprises me is how it can almost depend on that day to how your run is going to go.
I had an absolutely brilliant run in San Francisco two weeks ago. I remember the mile markers ticking by and wishing it would slow down so I could keep enjoying it.
The biggest similarity between this race and my full marathon last year was my knee, which really bummed me out. My mom and I have been training for 10 weeks and I didn’t have any issues whatsoever with my knee this whole time.
But I have confirmed my belief that I run better in cooler weather and am not much for warm weather running.
I haven’t decided whether I’m going to go for a full marathon this fall (at the moment I don’t think I will), but I’ve got plans to run plenty of 5k and 10k’s this summer because I find I like races a lot more than training.
What races are you doing (have done) this year?