Summer is Here

We’ve turned the corner from Spring to Summer, although in Central Iowa it has felt a lot like summer for a while now.

Last time I posted, I was tapering off and getting ready for the Lincoln Marathon. Starting with that race, my running schedule has been a whirlwind of fun that left me very tired. So let’s talk about what I did.

And we start with Lincoln. This one definitely didn’t go as planned. I didn’t get a great amount of sleep leading into this race, which isn’t what you want going into a Full. The whole weekend just felt “off” to me, and had an eerily similar mental feeling to when I was in Sacramento for the Pony Express Marathon. Again, not where you mentally want to be going into a race.

The race was a little on the warm side, which played a factor since we hadn’t had temps in the 80s just yet (at that time). I never really hit a wall during the race, but couldn’t quite get going. If you’ve run Lincoln, you know the second half of the race gives you a lot of alone time and virtually no shade. The race definitely left me disappointed, especially after how well the Fall (and Twin Cities) went.

No rest for the runner though! I turned around for the Market to Market Relay, a staple in my spring schedule. I ran less than I had in past year, which was a nice change of pace for me. I also got to experience how uncomfortable running in a Captain America costume really is.

I was supposed to have the next weekend for a nice relaxing long run. However, I got talked into a 5k, by the events Race Management Coordinator. Even the day after a long run, this one went well for me, notching my second fastest 5k time and a third overall finish. For as well as this race was, it got me into the mindset that maybe I could race Grandma’s Marathon and do well. More on that in a bit.

The fourth week away from Lincoln and I finally had a weekend with no race planned. Did that stop me from doing a 22 mile training run? Nope.

On a whim, I signed up for Iowa’s Distance Classic, the Dam to Dam Half Marathon, with the purpose of pacing two of my running group friends to a 1:35. Dam to Dam has no pacers, so this one was up to me. I succeeded in hitting my marks on a hot day (75 at the start!) but my running mates dropped back around the halfway mark.

Normally a 22 miler three weeks out, followed by a Half, would put you into major taper mode for a marathon. Instead, I was revving up for the World’s Longest Relay: Relay Iowa. This relay is 339 miles across the state. Three days of little sleep, few meals (we only had two real meals across the three days), and lots of miles, I rolled up 36.

And that leads us into Grandma’s Marathon. I was hoping my legs would be ready for this, but I should have known better. The weather was warmer than you would’ve liked for 26.2, but it wasn’t outrageous. My second attempt at Grandma’s Marathon went just about as well as the first, which means not well. And I know, I’m calling a 3:24 marathon “not well,” but I was disappointed in my effort.

But some great things (other than racing) happened the last two months as well! I worked my way onto the Performance Running Outfitters race team, which frankly is a huge bucket list item of mine. Now I get to rep the best running store (in my opinion) every race day. I also tackled Strava’s #MyMile challenge, and got to run my first all out mile since high school. Managed to sneak in under 5 minutes at a 4:59, which was the first time ever I ran under 5!! It also reminded me how much I always hated going all out on the track.

Exciting things are brewing for this summer and the fall. But I’ll save that for Sunday’s post.

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