Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dam to Dam barefoot 20k race report!

Four thirty in the morning is way to early to be doing anything other than sleeping next to two snuggly little boys. The thought that finally got my butt out of bed was that I could call runners that get up this early crazy on facebook. How funny and not at all surprising that after I posted that status and then checked again 25 or so minutes later that it had already been "liked" 3 times!
  Last night before I slept four and a half hours I piled up all my gear on my desk. I ended up leaving behind the sunglasses since it was raining and thunderstorms were predicted for the rest of the morning.  I had painted the piggies, put on my Dam to Dam tattoos tied on my timing chip and headed out the door !
 I didn't eat much last night. I ate quite a bit earlier in the day but stopped eating at about 6:00.  I also did not drink this morning until the race began so as not to have to need the potty's as much. Seemed to work out well and I stayed hydrated with my handheld full of nuun.
Here I am at 4:30 right after getting ready to rock the pigtails. No one was up to take a pic for me!
As I walked out the door to get in the car I could tell it was going to be an adventure. The rain soaked me pretty thoroughly before I made it to the car. It was raining with flashes of lightning in the distance. 
I grabbed a small handful of mint leaves from the garden. I read that peppermint is helpful for anxiety as well as tummy issues. A friend also recommended peppermint capsules however I never did make it to the health food store in time to get any and test them before the big day.
I parked on the street in the east village and walked to the convention center. Hoards of runners were coming from every direction to catch the  school buses up to the dam at Saylorville lake where the race starts. Its funny how a group of crazy adults start whooping and hollering as soon as the get on a school bus!
All 7,850 or so of us were lining the streets queuing up for the buses. The fleet of buses kept rolling around the corner. After we finally boarded one and were on our way I could see that many,  many people were still standing and waiting for their bus to stop and pick them up .
I laughed out loud at a man running behind one of the buses taking pictures of his friends in the back of the bus!
We arrived at the opposite end of the dam than last year. The wind was cold and blowing hard over the lake and pelting us with rain. We were walking to the start line and then going to run back across the dam at the start.  I thought the dam was gravel last year and was pleased to find that it was paved.  I rode the bus and talked with a girl from Iowa City. She ran Boston this year!   I wish we would have had more time to chat.
This man pretty much sums up the start of the race. It was cold, windy and wet.  Long lines at the porta potties and lots of people heading off into the bush to do their thing before the start.
If you look closely you can see the people stretched all the way down the dam. We made jokes about camping at the lake or at least going and begging for grilled campfire food for breakfast!
I walked along the gravel path that was muddy and wet quite a ways to get up to my time group. The runners, although soaked through didn't want to step in the muddy water.
Most people were nice about my unconventional  barefoot running although I think they either didn't care or didn't realize that I could hear their comments. A small group of guys behind me were going on and on about how crazy I was and blah blah blah. I was chuckling and getting annoyed at the same time and was debating turning around or loudly saying "Oi, Dude, I am right here, I can here you!!" but decided not to draw attention to their negativity and just speed up ahead so I couldn't hear them!
I love the above running shot.
I skipped all the water stops since I had my handheld. This strategy was excellent for me. I hate to spill water all over myself even if I am already soaking wet. Look at those troopers out there with their plastic bags on. Thank you volunteers!! You are the bees knees!
At about mile 6 I was approached by a guy who has ran 45 marathons. He was interested in barefoot running and asking all kinds of questions. He was telling me about his new job and planning to run his last marathon in Greece along the original marathon route and how excited he was for it. That's when the cramps started. I had not eaten anything and then took a GU at mile four. I also ate two shot blocks at mile two.  I was thinking I might have to find a porta potty and was looking around and when the cramps hit full force I had to find a place to stop. I told him good luck reluctantly as I very much enjoyed hearing him talk about his adventure however I had a fence to climb and some woods to visit to take care of a pressing matter....
Not more than a quarter of a mile ahead was a porta potty. Of course there was.  Ah well, it was fun channeling my inner tomboy and scaling that fence and tromping through the overgrown grass and trees looking for a safe place to pop-a-sqat.  (I chuckled earlier overhearing a lady say the same phrase at the start line when she didn't want to wait in line.)
We ran and ran out in the wide open spaces broken up by a turn or two and rural farm houses until we got closer to town. Amazing spectators were out there cheering us on. The road wound through residential areas and up and down two large hills. This was about when I came upon Forey, the barefoot loincloth guy. He runs the Living History Farms race in the fall in a loincloth and barefoot. It was fun to chat with him for a couple miles about barefoot running. Pretty sure we were the only two there today.
By the time I could see the city in the distance my legs were feeling uber heavy. My feet felt great but my legs were aching. My quads, calves, ass and back were just plain tired.  I considered another GU but didn't think it would kick in in time anyways so skipped it.
I could hear the drums up ahead and the crowds cheering.  
This awesome group of youngens danced and drummed us in to the finish! I could feel my cadence speed up and could not keep the smile from my face.
These are the crazy folks in front of me.
I took this after crossing the finish line and getting my shoelace cut off. I had tied a square not and need to think of a better knot to tie on my time chip next time that will be easy to untie in a hurry.
My feet held up very well dispite the wet conditions. I have two"hot spots" that are tender but no blisters. I saw a lady in front of me whose ankles were both bleeding through her socks from where the back of her shoes rubbed her raw. Poor girl. I bet there were many a blister today due to wet shoes.
Here are  my feet in all their dirty glory. They are pretty great feet that have not let me down yet. 
and here are the crazies behind me! Soaking wet, laughing that the sun came out at the finish line, glad to be done and wanting that medal of which I have not taken off all day other than to shower.
Passed by Captain Midnight on my way to find my drop bag with my flip flops stashed inside.
Its amazing how well organized the bags are. They are separated by race number and mine was super easy to find.
The lines for the bags stretched around two sides of a block and off into the park area by Nollen Plaza where I found my bag right on top.
Just about ready to head to the car. 
One of these races I will wait in line for the free massage.
Instead of a massage I went after these scrumptious looking nanners. I was battling with a very rumbly tummy!
There was also a beer, Smirnoff Ice, popsicles  and barbecue pulled pork sandwiches available. I settle for a banana being ready to get home and take a hot shower!
Here are some content and mellow runners milling around eating and drinking after the race.
One last picture before heading home. There were still people pouring through the finish line as I was leaving.
It was quite fun taking photos the whole day. 
I don't have the results yet as I am still waiting for them to be posted. I believe I came in right at 2 hours but I think that my chip time, hopefully, will be a little less.  I had a great time and I am glad I ran it again this year. It was a bit over a 25 minute PR from last years shod time. It is my one year barefoot anniversary race. Last year right after the race is when I decided to ditch the shoes!
I am excited about experimenting with mileage and nutrition over the next month or so  and not feeling the anxiety of a race for a while.
Hope you all had an excellent Saturday and I look forward to reading some race reports today!
Cheers All!

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I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
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