Thursday, January 23, 2014

First "race" 2014!

Last weekend the Mike and I went to the Triple D snow bike/run event in eastern Iowa. Folks came from afar to enter this fantastic event. It was my third year, and worst physical conditioning,  to enter the I didn't want to wear a short sleeve race shirt as I figured thalf marathon division which takes place entirely on a former railroad bed. The Mike entered the 62 mile snow bike which is held on snowmobile and the railroad bed. There is also a half marathon ski, full marathon run & ski and then the ultra marathon and ski/sled.

Saturday on the drive we encountered the fabulous drifting snow. It was the first year I would actually experience snow on the route. Four or so inches of fresh powder fell on Saturday.  (Last year we had some icy trails and the year before was almost dry as a bone trail run). The Mike registered for this a few months ago and went ahead and registered me as well...Normally I'd have been excited but my energy levels have plummeted this past year so I wasn't as excited as I could have been.

Saturday evening was packet pick up,  chatted with other cyclists and runners, had dinner with some and went to our rooms at 9pm....we all were reminded as to how exhausting driving in wicked weather can be.

Sunday morning was the race meeting for runners and then we loaded the shuttle busses to our respective start lines. There is no support along the eay. It is an all self sufficient race. The weather Saturday was cold, windy, snowy and the weather Sunday was suppose to be in the low 30s for a heat wave, though quite a breeze was blowing at the hotel making us all worry about what we wore. 

Gear: I had on Nike fuzzy winter tights with Nike winter pants over them, my Mizuno breathe thermal shirt and, looking quite quirky, my moving comfort shirt sleeve v neck shirt over..then my cold weather jacket. I didn't want to wear a short sleeve race shirt over as I figured the cold breeze would get between the layers and get me cold.  yaktrack and short gaiters. 

We all prepped our watches and at 10:05 we were off. Most took off quite faster than myself and i was fine with that. After about .7 mile into it, my left food landed wrong on the snow and I started a walk and on run for the next 3 miles there in I was NOT happy with being out there! Then the snow got either more packed or run down with snowmobiles that I was doing better running. 

I still treated this as a fun run excursion rather than a race. I was enjoying the beautiful scenery. By mile 7 my knees were not happy in addition to my left ankle. I picked up some litter amd ran woth it for a few miles to where i knew there was a trashcan. I encountered snowmobilers who slowed down for me and some who were hanging out at an intersection. By mile 10 my feet were wet and sliding around in the shoes slightly, but still warm. Mile 11 it was warming up and the snow was sticking....getting built up into a "rock at my arch, caught under the gaiter strap where it was with my yaktrack. I'd also been passed by two marathon runners,  but I could see a guy in all black that was walking and whom I was getting closer. 

Mile 12.5 I caught up to the guy. He was doing his first ever 13.1! He said last year he did a 5k, 8k, and 100 so he decided to do a half....we chatted, walked, ran, and pretty much enjoyed seeing the last former rail bridge as we came into Durango. I was happy to be at the finishline/bar. First things first of sugar replacement.  I ordered a tequila sunrise so I could have sugar and a little bit of alcohol. I haven't had a soda since December so I didn't want to pick  Jack/coke. Then I ordered  the burger and chips.....All covered under the alloted money (from race entries)  the race director put at the various finish lines for refinish food! 

The salad with avocado picture is the dinner I had at the hotel restaurant after The Mike finished  his 62 miles of snow bike. The salad was HUGE compared to what I was expecting: lettuce, bacon, egg, blue cheese, tomatoes,  and avocado. The Mike had a bowl of cheesy soup and a huge sandwich (and I was jealous  that he was eating bread)

Prizes and awards were given at 10pm. No awards for us, but I won a door prize!  I selected/picked an insulated water bottle cage container for a the Mike.    Someone present at the race has started making these and he gave a couple away.

Monday we were awake at 5:30 am, went for breakfast at the hotel and returned to the room to nap until 9:30. Hahaha.  We decided to head over to Galena Illinois as it wasn't too far away, about 30 minutes. The first stop was at the visitors' center and then we headed to Viney Vanucci's for Italian.  The Find Me Gluten Free ap reviews were mixed and I was ready for a surprise.  There were several choices on the GF menu and I chose the chicken artichoke pasta. Mike chose the glutinous gnocchi in , what he said, was an amazing sauce. As we left, I saw a small note on a pillar with photos that said Galena was used as the setting of the Minnesota town in Field of Dreams.  I'd never heard that before, but could believe it. 

The last two photos are of main street and near main street of the town. We did some browsing,  some shopping (an amazing popcorn store with hundreds of real sugar soda!), a yarn store, and inquired of Bernina machines at the quilting store. 

We decided to head home and skins a a few flurries in the air...As we headed on down the road home the flurries continued to build and we were thankful to be home by 4:30 in the daylight. The roads were quite slippery. 

Tuesday the body wasn't happy, but up u got for yoga and the body was glad for it afterwards.  

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