Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No insanity!

Time for TRIPLE D winter race!  We arrived in Dubuque Saturday evening. I was not sure of the conditions, but had gotten a report from a high school classmate in the area and the fields were pretty blown free of snow. Thus, I figured that the trail wouldn't be too bad, maybe in some spots, but overall not too snowy.
We went to the prerace meeting, picked up our race numbers and received pre-race medals (okay, they were the race medals, but we got them when we picked up our packets!). Mine had runners on it, my husband's had bicycles.  

Dedicated this race to mom, who was in the hospital and has a race of her own this past year.
We went out to eat at a great restaurant just down the street from our hotel. Fabulous food. I had called ahead and inquired about gluten free dining. When we got there, I requested a GF menu and when our waitress came to the table with bread, she told me "this isn't for you" because a) she knew I was gluten free and b) she KNEW what that meant! Exciting for sure! Mike had the  Tequila Mockingbird pizza and I had Tuscany Chicken with oven fried potatoes. YUM.

Race morning came as it always will. This was a race I entered to do with my hubby, though he was doing the 65 mile bike portion. Temps in the low 30s, but would they stay there, very little wind, but would it stay that way? I put my new Melanzana pants to the test as a base bottom layer with other pants on outside, Mizuno breath long shirt on with Melanzana hoodie. Race number, check, camel back with water, check, ifitness pack with Cytomax and a few GUs, check.

I had an omelet at the hotel restaurant, suggest passing on that next time, it just wasn't that great for the money. Drove over to the race hotel, short 5 minute drive, and waited for the news. We'd be bussed out at 9:45, ultra and marathoners would leave about earlier. About 40 of us total for the half-marathon. As people get on the bus I look at their state of dress, etc. . . some have yaktraks on like I do, others don't, many have just a single handheld bottle of hydration. I overhear several comments of "there will be water along the way, right?" uh, no, this is a self-supported race! Lots of "I've never done this before", etc.
The nature trail course as the people who were self-depricating on the bus take off quite fast. . . my conclusion, those who aren't fast like me would never fathom to enter a race like this!
DON'T do this: 
self-dep·re·cat·ing (slfdpr-ktng)
adj. Tending to undervalue oneself and one's abilities.
We should ALL be happy with where we are and where we see ourselves going. The journey to the finish is as important as the finish, maybe more so. It's where we often find our strength.

We get to the trail, in country, a few miles west of Graf and there's no race official, so we just start. 10:26:29 my watch says. And off we go. . .1 cross country skier, 1 racer with his gorgeous husky dog and lots of other people who just take off much faster than me. I'm fine with that. This is TRAINING for me, not a race. . . .and because of that, I am able to take photos along the way of the beautiful scenery, the bald eagle in a tree next to its nest, spy the innards on the trail from some other bird's snack, the nativity scene in a limestone hole (when I was thinking of my mom who was in the hospital) and the "snow birds" nest.

This was an accident photo, but it looks neat, I think.

Giant bald eagle in the tree.  The nest was quite large and in the tree next to it. There was another bald eagle. . .or at least a very giant  bird I could see from quite a ways off... on the horizon on other side of the trail

Snow birds' nest, har har har.

The nativity scene I spied.  At least one other person made the trek over to view it.  Very nice with how the sun was hitting on it. My mom was in the hospital and I wasn't able to go see her. Interesting I spied this at the same time I was thinking of her. 

Race organizer's wife who was out on the course. 

After all the scenery, the change of clothes (take off the hoodie, put on a short sleeve over Mizuno shirt. . . change race number to pants, stretching when legs started getting heavy, etc., talking to an old man on the trail who wanted to know what was going on. . . . my finish time was my worst ever for a half. . . 3:09, BUT, I've never run this far on snow before,  and I decided to enjoy the day, the race, the trail, the scenery and it wasn't  a race for me, it was just a training event :-)  I may not have run 18 miles, but it sure felt like I did!

The race ended at a bar. . .yup a bar, where you could order anything you want on the tab of the race (entry fees hard at work!!). I got a pepsi (bar food = gluten), talked to a few people who were in the race and then got a ride back with one of the volunteers to the host hotel.  First order, get a little energy in me (some pecan crackers and a chocolate milk); second, get cleaned up, lastly, get more food! I went BACK to CRUST (I said it was really good), arranged to meet a long lost friend there, got some relaxation in while I enjoyed a soda, read part of a book and, when friend D arrived, enjoyed great company over a GF pizza for me and a salad and sandwich for her. 

After chatting for over an hour, THE MIKE called. He was done with the race, a few hours ahead of what he was thinking (YEAH!) and I headed over to the host hotel with D for a meet up and greet.  We chatted more while the cyclists were finishing. One of her daughters has done a TRI and wants to do more!!! Then the awards were ready to begin and I had to say 'farewell' but not 'goodbye' to D! We agree to see each other more than every ten years, HA!  THE MIKE didn't win anything in the raffle, but I won a Balaclava! (though I always wish I had baklava when I say that)!

A little stiff and sore on Monday, felt like I had run through tires for an hour.  Worked half a day on MLK day, then off to Zumba in the evening, my third time, and I dragged a friend with me this time. She said she had fun. I thought I'd be sore aftewards but today, Tuesday, I had no stiffness. Zumba was just what I needed to get the muscles moving again!

[edited to add another photo]


  1. Triple D sounds like a tough race. Congrats, & glad you had fun too. Oklahoma sounds good, thanks for the suggestion. Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks, Just a runner. Funny you should mention Oklahoma, the marathon in May is on my wish list, but it hasn't worked out yet!

  2. Just checked the official results. There were two people who finished behind me, plus 5 DNFs---for women in the half run. 4DNFs in men.