Perseverance.  Focus.  Endurance.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.)
        Hebrews 12:1-2
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Blog Archives - 2012
Des Moines Marathon Weekend

Wow, what a weekend. After a 5 hour drive, my business partner Greg and I finally got to Des Moines and setup shop at the expo. Chris Burch and the gang ran a great event at the expo and we were pleasantly surprised. Friday evening at the expo was nice and calm and we had a chance to settle in and meet some new friends and just enjoy the time. We even saw our new friend Dane Rauschenberg who we met at the Omaha Marathon Expo (from the famous "Give me my shirt!" scene from an upset runner who didn't get his proper finisher shirt). After the expo, we went and got a burger and watched some baseball.


Saturday brought some excitement and nerves. Excitement for meeting some new friends and seeing the hustle and bustle of the expo. Nerves because I knew less then 24 hours from now I would be on my 26.2 mile journey through downtown Des Moines.


Saturday was crazy busy at the booth. Thank you to all that stopped by to say hi, pick up a shirt, and to give us encouragement in our business venture.  You all made it a great weekend.


As the expo closed down Saturday evening, we took part in the Pasta Feed. It consisted of different kinds of pasta, marinara and alfredo sauce, with salad, veggies, and of course, dessert.  We also listened to a few speakers, including Dane, Chris Gillespie from Team 413, running expert Jeff Galloway, and of course the Race Director, Chris Burch.  As my nerves were reaching their pinnacle by this time, we decided to head back and get some sleep for the big day.


Marathon day:

Of course, since I wasn't able to sleep much the night before, I got up around 6 and headed down to get some breakfast.  During training for this race, it was strictly a bagel or toast with peanut butter.  I was having some awesome training runs on this regimen, so why change now!  Waking up that early also gave me a chance to see some of the elite athletes loading up on bread.  Interesting site...


The start area was pretty typical to most other marathons.  Runners trying to stretch in the ~40 degree weather, long lines at the porta-potties, and the tried and true hefty bag.  The nice part about this race is I didn't have to get up super early to catch a shuttle or something like that, and only had to be in the corral about 15-30 minutes before the start.


And here we go, the start of my 6th marathon.  I was feeling great for the first couple of miles.  I wanted to stay with the 3:10 pace group but found myself taking it easy and was closer to the 3:15 group.  Then at mile 3 came the hills.  Long incline, sharp declines, repeat.  It felt that way for another 5-6 miles.  Although I didn't do much for hill training this time, I was attacking the hills and making up time in order to catch the 3:10 pace group.  Greg was tracking my progress and provided some encouragement at different spots throughout the course.  More on this later.  We made our way up to the Drake University track, ran a lap, and got back on the road.  By about the 14 mile mark I had caught up with the 3:10 pace group and settled in at a nice 7:14/mile pace.  I sustained that pace for about 2-3 miles and decided to venture ahead.  In the past, this usually was a big mistake, but I was feeling great and wanted to see what I was capable of.  As we made the transition from the road to the paved bike trail, I was hitting my stride, passing people and feeling good.  Now that the temperature was rising, I was finding myself taking more fluids compared to earlier in the race.  I hit mile 22 and saw Greg on the side of the course.  I was starting to feel some fatigue when Greg shouted at me "How bad do you want it!".  Well, I couldn't give up after that!  I pushed on through mile 24.  Miles 24 and 25 were rough, but I had one eye on the road, the other on my watch.  I turned the last corner, saw the mile 26 marker ahead on my left, and I still had time to come in under 3:10.  So I sprinted that last ~1/2 mile.  It hurt so bad, but felt so good.  I crossed the finish line pumping my fist and raising my hands to the sky praising God for what I just accomplished.  I just finished my best marathon in 3:09:24, an 11 minute PR, and a Boston qualifier.  Are you kidding me!

The Des Moines Marathon definitely ranks high on my list.  It's a good mix running downtown in a big city and out in the middle of nowhere on a bike trail.  If you don't mind a few hills early in the race, you absolutely should try this one out!

My splits:
10K:  45:34
Half:  1:34:43
20:  2:22:55
Last 10K:  46:30
Time:  3:09:24
Pace:  7:14

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