Monday, October 17, 2016

Is This Heaven?

Nope. Its Iowa. So I have to be 100% honest when I admit that Iowa was not a state I was dying to get to. But a few things changed my mind.

First, sure... its boring there. I had a list of about 3 things I thought looked kind of cool and 2 of them were closed when I got there. I ended up watching college football most of the time. But during the race, I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the neighborhoods surrounding Des Moines are. They are REALLY pretty and filled with very neighborly people. I get the feeling the quality of life there is very good.

Second, I saw a cardboard cutout of John Wayne in a window. On a whim, I thought "Where was John Wayne born". Sure enough, Winterset, Iowa (45 minutes from Des Moines). Since the "Field of Dreams" field was 3 HOURS from Des Moine, I thought this would be a fun post race event. And it was! The John Wayne Museum was right there next to his old house. Good stuff. The picture here is me and the Duke!

Oh and there was a race too. I went into this race thinking I would be happy just crawling to the finish. Truly had thoughts of getting a 3:15 or so and call it a day. Plus it was 70 with 100% humidity and I was literally sweating just waiting for the race to start. But as I was sitting there, i started thinking about a story I heard Jeff Galloway tell the night before at the pasta dinner. It was about his friend who ran the 800 meter race in the Olympics. Basically, every heat, the guy was always dead last and would come and barely get to a qualifying position. He squeeked into the finals and found himself in the same position. Dead last until the last 200, 6th place with 100 left and he ended up diving and winning the gold medal. How did he do it? Negative splits? Nope. His 200 splits were all exactly what he tried to go out for. Moral of the story, run your own race. How did it work out for me?

As I looked at the Kenyans in front of me before the race, I'm not running the fastest marathon, but I'm going to run the smartest one. My strategy was to drink an obscene amount of gatorade and eat all my nutrition exactly according to plan (never skip a single one). I would go out at a comfortable pace and then not change it. That happened to be about 7:03. Around mile 19 i started to see folks stopping. It was brutally hot and humid. Even the Kenyans looked hot. I was stalking the 3:05 pace group for a long time (I honestly didn't know if it was the 3:10 or 3:05 until i almost bumped up to them). Anyway, it was so hot that 6 of the 8 members of that group just stopped at mile 19. The guy holding the sign went into the woods and tossed the sign! I ended up catching the other 2 how kept going. I felt strong and had my best mile of the day, 6:25 for mile 26. My last 10k was faster than my first 10k. I ran my 3rd fastest marathon ever. I didn't have the sign for the 3:05 pace group, but could have.

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