|Racers lined up-almost go time at 4am|
After watching the cyclists depart downtown, I headed out to the north/south road to head to the hotel. One of the other cars pulled off the road at the next spot, assuming where there were police at 4am meant that the cyclists would be coming. She was right and they had traveled a long way, from Pennsylvania for the event, she loved the quaint town of Grinnell, plus that the big city of Des Moines as not far away for exploring and shopping :-)
|Police were on hand to block vehicle traffic on a state highway, as cyclists exited Grinnell and headed towards the gravel--those lights behind the truck are ALL cyclists.|
|Nature on my run. The lake in Grinnell|
The run takes me on the gravel shoulder up to the wide bike path which winds around to this lake. Then the trail runs out and you have the option of running streets (along the "bike path" with regular sidewalks) or running up to the cemetery (which is on the other side of the trees). There's not much difference in the end, but only on how to do the next few blocks. I always choose to run through the cemeteries. I find they're peaceful and full of history. This one was technically blocked off due to some repairs of the underground drainage, but I'm a farm girl and can walk through rough terrain, so I went that way (and there was a slight opening in the orange fencing, so I didn't break through anything).
Up and around on the residential roads where I can run on the asphalt streets without much traffic instead of the hard concrete sidewalks, and then I returned the same way, but did a different loop in the cemetery. Each time through is a new experience. I found this man's resting place. . . came from the East and settled in this town, helping to create Iowa College which is now Grinnell College and attended by many east coasters :-) Interestingly, he married twice and both wives were named Sarah!
As I exited the cemetery on a new road, I realized it'd be perfect for hill repeats, so I did a few. . . and then found a dime on said road, and a couple of beer cans by a few headstones, so I did some litter control as well. This was definitely the best run I'd ever had in this town--beautiful weather, not much wind, and I found money!
People always ask "What do you do while Mike is out riding all day?!". I am so lucky that I'm comfortable in my own skin and can figure out what to do on my own! After the run, eating and freshening up, I tried to get a pedicure but there were no openings. I did a bit of local shopping and then I went to the outlet mall and helped the economy :-) I ate some more and then took a "short nap". I decided I didn't need to set the alarm since I rarely sleep that much during naps; I was very wrong. I awoke two hours later and just shortly before the Negro Spiritual event at the college. I hate arriving late, but I wanted to hear this event: "Soprano Randye Jones & pianist Marlys Grimm performing Negro spirituals. Ms Jones is working on her vocal literature doctorate" at Univ.of Iowa. It was a great way to spend the evening, a free cultural event, and I was the youngest person in attendance by at least THIRTY years!
Back to the room I listened to Trans Iowa radio for updates on the event from the coordinator, as well as watched Twitter for updates on racers. This year I didn't hear The Mike's name at all and figured that was good news. I read a bit and watched Pawn Stars (we don't have cable at home, so it's a treat to watch the History Channel) and then I waited for morning to come and hoped the phone didn't ring early in the morning from The Mike.
|Level B road signs. . . amazingly, people enter this race without knowing exactly what is a Level B road!|
|A Level B road in "GREAT" condition up to the farmer's barn.|
|The rest of the Level B road after the barn driveway--this is good condition too, as it's grass.|
|The Mike's finish. |
Two other gents road in with him,
but I don't have their permission to put their pic on the blog.
We got home and took a nap after the exhaustive weekend. Monday I got up for yoga and felt tired and thought I just overdid things this weekend. Instead, I realized later in the day that I was dehydrated and I was slow and sluggish from this!
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
|Kaua'i island Spouting Horn|