Beaverdash and Capital Pursuit 10 Mile Runs

I’m a little behind in blogging, but last weekend I had a full schedule of events. First up was the Beaverdale Beaverdash 5k; a nice flat race that is part of the Beaverdale neighborhood’s fall festival, and a fundraiser for SMA (spinal muscular atrophy). The second event was the Capital Pursuit 10 mile run, an event hosted by the Capital Striders Running Club, which I am happy to be a member of.

After a whirlwind of packet pickups on Friday evening, I woke up early and started to get ready for the 5k. Wouldn’t you know that it would rain just enough to make the road slick and hard to gain traction on. Since this race is only 2 miles from my home, I usually run there to warm up, run the race, and run a recovery run home. This time I was worried that it may get cancelled, so I drove to the event. I was there about ten minutes when the skies cleared … we were going to run!

The road was pretty slick, and the humidity was brutal, but we took off and I got off to a fast start. I maintained that quicker pace for over two miles before fading back. I was also having some hip pain from bursitis, but I didn’t let it stop me. I finished in 25:15 with an average pace of 8:04 min/mile! I was pretty happy with that! Then at the awards ceremony, I found out I was 4th in my age division! Not to shabby, considering I felt I could have done better.

Sunday morning was the Capital Pursuit 10 mile run. It starts and ends in downtown Des Moines, but winds you through some of the prettiest areas before heading back to the finish. Once again the bursitis pain flared up, and would not go away until mile 9. That caused my pace to drop dramatically, but given the circumstances, I was happy to just finish the race. I was even handed a finishers medal by Kevin Cooney of KCCI News. I ended up with a time of 1:37:35 with a pace of 9:40 min/mile.

I hope the bursitis is gone for now, as I have an 18 mile run coming up Sunday. After that, we will start decreasing until the marathon. I’m as excited and nervous about this marathon as I was with my first one. I wonder if they will all be that way.

Live healthy, be happy!




The 19 (actually 20) Mile Weekend Run

Runners are a group who love their milestones. Most runners can happily recall when they ran their first mile, their first 5k, first 10k, the first time they went 10 miles. They remember their first half and full marathons as if it was yesterday.

They are also a group that do not subscribe to the “round it up” math method. 3.86 miles is NOT four miles, and nothing you can tell a runner will change that. If they are honest, they will admit to circling their neighborhood until their Garmin registered the full mile. I know I’ve done it, and there are cartoons describing it, so that leads me to think that I’m probably not the only one. Somewhere, out there, a kindred spirit is passing by his driveway for the third time, cursing their Garmin because it seems to be stuck on 9.98 miles!

So, with this little bit of knowledge I tell you about my long run today. It was great in the fact that my dear friend and training partner Kara ran her first 20 miler. My friend Doug also ran his first 20. For myself, it was the second weekend with a 20 mile run, something that I never thought I could accomplish! But now I know that I can do longer runs closer together without fear of failure.

But did I run 20? While everyone else’s Garmin showed the big 20, mine was stuck on 19.02! It seems that while we waited to cross traffic several times during the run, I paused my Garmin and then forgot to restart it! This happened at least four times and for a loss of distance of nearly a mile!

Right away, my friends reassured me that I ran with them, that they ran 20, so I did too. But all I could do was point at my watch and say “but that’s not what it says.” They gently reminded me that I ran twenty last week, and to get out here and to do it again was amazing and not to worry about what the Garmin says.

For a long time, I considered running one more mile to make it legit, but my friends told me that was crazy. But they also told me I was nuts for running 20’s back to back, and I did that. But, I succumbed to pier pressure and accepted the fact that I ran 20 miles.

But my Garmin only says 19.02

Maybe a really short run is in order tonight …

Live healthy, be happy!


The Carbs vs. Caffeine 5 Mile Run

On Friday evening, Fleet Feet Sports in the East Village hosted the inaugural Carbs vs. Caffeine 5 mile run. This was unlike any race I had ever run. We split into groups by choice: carbs or caffeine. Team carbs had 6 members, and their task was to run a 5 mile route with stops in three pubs along the way. They were to have a drink (ideally beer) and then head to the next stop. Once they completed the three stops, they were to head back to the store.

I choose team caffeine, and our task was to run a different 5 mile route which had three stops at local coffee shops along the way. We were to have three coffee drinks and then run back to the store. The first team with three members returning would be the winner!

Our team had only four members, so we were at a disadvantage, but we were ready for a challenge. After a few group photos, the call went out and we were on our way! I was rested for this run and it showed as my first mile was 7:58, and that led me to the first coffee house. I turned around to see where my other three team members were, but they were no where to be seen! Did they take a wrong turn? Did I?? I decided to go have my drink and hope that they would show up and that they weren’t lost.

I realized as I walked to the counter, that an iced coffee would go down faster than a hot drink, so I ordered a small iced coffee. I quickly downed the drink and took off again. I still didn’t see any signs of my team. I wondered where they were.

Miles two and three were going pretty well, until the skies opened and the rain started to fall. I was careful to dodge slick areas, road construction and other obstacles, and still made times of 8:11 and 8:15. I finally made it to the second stop, and discovered that they made iced coffee shots! That was just perfect! I slammed my shot and headed back out into the rain.

I was at the turnaround point, and was heading back towards the last stop when I saw another team member! I told him I was happy to see him, as I thought I had screwed up. He laughed and said “No, you’re just pretty fast” as he passed by. He headed on to the second stop as I, more determined than ever, decided to out run the rain.

Miles four and five came in at 8:18 and 7:59! But, a problem had arisen … I could not find the last coffee shop! There are lots of little shops in the East Village, and I got some strange looks as I stared through the windows, soaking wet, panting, with this “Team Caffeine” bib bobby-pinned to my shirt. I finally gave up and asked someone for directions, and tried to ease their concern by telling them I was in a scavenger race of sorts. I found out I was a block away!

I finally found the shop and walked in. As I headed to the counter, I heard someone ask “What took you so long?” I turned to find my other two team members! I was in shock! “How did you get here so fast?” I asked. They laughed and told me that they made it to the first coffee house, and then the rain started. They decided to run to the last coffee house and wait. Once we got back to the store, they would announce that they did not complete the race, so that way everything was honest. I said the main thing was to have fun, and winning was not important. We finished our coffee, and I took off to the store.

I was amazed to find out that I was the first one back! Then my partner, who did finish the run came in. Then the last two members walked up, and we explained what happened. Everyone was laughing and then team carbs started to show up! We chatted and laughed with them and then there was a raffle for prizes. Almost everyone went home with something, most of all a newly formed bond with fellow runners.

If you live in the Des Moines area, please stop by Fleet Feet Sports. It is owned by great people who love and support the running scene, and they are friendly and knowledgable. They also love to help their customers, from the beginning runner to the advanced athlete, and to give back to the community.

Melissa and I after the “Carbs vs. Caffeine” 5 mile run.

Live healthy, be happy!


The 20 Mile Run

Today I mapped out a twenty mile route to run. The marathon is a little over a month away, and I would like to get at least two 20 milers in before the big day. But after last weeks miserable 15 miler, part of which I walked, I was worried about not finishing this run as well.

The weather was with me today; nice and cool and low humidity. It was much nicer than is was a week ago when I felt drained and worn out. I started out before the sun rise, and the quiet streets allowed me to focus on my running, my gait, and my breathing.

Before too long, I was at the 13 mile marker. It was hard to believe what a difference a little weather was making. Although my body started to tire and get sore, I was able to continue and finish the run. It felt great to see my Garmin click over to the 20 mile mark! I needed a run like this, after such a defeating week of running in the heat.

Some people have been asking about hydration during a run, asking why they are getting chills after a run. I always run with water, and although each person is different, I start drinking water at about three miles. You have to keep the body hydrated, or you run the risk of not only dehydration, but heat exhaustion and other ailments.

Anther question was about fueling (eating) during a run. Typically the body has enough carbs to make a 13 mile run. Anything other than that, and you need something to refuel the body. I use Honey Stinger chews, and I usually eat about half a pack (5) every 3-4 miles after I get 10+ miles in. Today I didn’t need to refuel until mile 13, but you need to listen to your body and not wait until the body is completely drained before refueling.

Someone told me to take an old photo and post it next to a current photo so I could see the difference all this exercise was making. I always see the flaws, but even I have to admit I was surprised with the results so far:



Live healthy, be happy!