Yesterday, Dustin and I ran the Marathon to Marathon from Storm Lake, Iowa to Marathon, Iowa. The weather conditions were tough: 90+ degrees, no clouds, just glaring, hot sun on open country roads with no shade. We both finished about 20 minutes off of our goal paces (4:20 for me, 3:43 for D) but we survived, and felt proud of our accomplishments on a tough day.
And more importantly, we completed state #10, so we are officially pursuing the 50 state goal!
This was marathon #12 for me, and marathon #16 for the D-man!
The weekend began with a 4 hour drive to Storm Lake on Friday.
I had booked a room at the “SailInn Motel“, which was listed on the marathon’s website as a suggested lodging option. It looked okay online, but when we arrived, we were both a little apprehensive… It looked more like a place where people stayed for extended periods of time when they are really down on their luck..Maybe something from a scary scene from Dexter!
We quickly drove around the tiny town to determine if there was another place to stay, and we ended up at the “King’s Pointe Resort and Waterpark“.
We had tried to book a room at this hotel originally (D-man loves his waterslides), but they didn’t have any open rooms at the time. We got lucky though on Friday, as someone had cancelled their reservation, so we were able to stay there for the night.
Fiasco #1 avoided (The SailInn also did not appear to have air conditioning…not so good when it was 94 degrees when we rolled into town!)
King’s Pointe to the rescue!
The expo was held at the Storm Lake High School. It was by far the tiniest expo I had ever been to.
We were lucky that the race was tiny, because we found out when we arrived that they didn’t have the D-man’s registration..(or maybe he forgot to register? I do love my husband…but sometimes he needs a little hand holding!) That would not have been good… to have driven all the way to Iowa and not be able to run???
But thank goodness, he was able to register on the spot.
He was the 215th marathoner. I was #3!
I couldn’t decide which album to buy….
And then we were off….
(I experienced ZERO chafing even on a hot day in this outfit: Women’s Moving Comfort Fiona Sports Bra – Calypso Blue 34C, Nike singlet, and Lululemon shorts. And CBRC BIC band of course!)
I didn’t have a camera on the course, and there were no photographers either. In fact, even though the race is a sanctioned marathon, it’s not even chip timed! I have never done a non-chipped timed marathon. Clock time it is, baby!
There was a very memorable “zombie” support stop. For about half a mile before the support stop, 30 signs with “zombie jokes” lined the highway…
“What did the zombie eat after getting his teeth pulled? The dentist!”
“Why did the zombie lose his job as a teacher? He only had one pupil”
Though the jokes were lame, they offered up a huge distraction, and I know I really appreciated it. I’m sure the other runners did too. And then of course, the volunteers handling that support stop were all dressed as zombies. It was awesome!
I had heeded LL’s advice and told myself I couldn’t turn on my iPod until I passed the halfway point. When I finally got there, it was a HUGE boost to start up my tunes, and I was feeling AWESOME from mile 13.1 to 19…until my iPod DIED! Ugh. Clearly, I had not charged it enough the night before, but that was a huge disappointment…
I needed something to keep my mind off the 7 remaining miles, so I tried “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”…I think I made it to 30 before I gave up.
At that point, it was just “a Calhoun and a Harriet- just an easy two lakes Cool J“…I let myself walk through the water stops and told myself, “Don’t think. Just run”….It was very mentally challenging, and it was so, so hot…
The heat was intense, and I could tell that I was coated in salt. I had followed lots of the tips from Friday’s post for running in the heat. I filled up my water bottle at every stop, and used it to pour water on myself to cool down. At the stops with ice, I filled a cup with ice and used it periodically to put on my head or down my bra.
It was a brutal run in tough conditions, but as always, crossing that finish line was an amazing feeling. The D-man was there cheering me in, and snapped this action shot as I tried to finish strong!
The sweetest little old lady greeted you at the finish line and put your medal on your neck, thanking you graciously for visiting Marathon. It was beautiful.
The finish area had an ice bath for soaking your feet, freezie pops, water, oranges, gatorade, iced sponges, and best of all?
The D-man and I had both planned ahead and brought dry clothes to change into, so we took advantage of the community showers and quickly changed into dry clothes.
D also took advantage of the pancake breakfast that was being offered at the community center, and he became BFF’s with the race director (while I wandered around trying to find him- no cell phone service in Marathon. How did we survive before cell phones???)
Shuttle buses took us back to Storm Lake every 45 minutes or so. We checked out of King’s Pointe Resort, but not before going down a few more waterslides!
We then decided to drive back to Minneapolis that afternoon. What do you need when driving 4 hours after a marathon? Compression socks! (though pink socks with red Tom’s is probably a failed fit, right?)