My Reverse Triathlon

The alarm clock went off at 3 am Saturday morning for what was going to be a very long day!!  We loaded the car and headed to Des Moines for the Dam to Dam races (I wasn’t running the race because of my upcoming half Ironman, but went down to spectate and cheer on MANY friends who were running)…what an early morning…we are use to early mornings, but it seemed really early this morning!!

We arrived at the parking ramp in downtown Des Moines at 4:40 am.  I got organized and went for a 50 minute run around Des Moines while the Dam runners loaded buses and were transported out to the race start at Saylorville Dam.  I thought I would run over to Gray’s Lake and loop the lake before running back to the downtown area to give me a near perfect  run distance/time…well…Mother Nature had a few other plans…

Gray's Lake was closed!!

Gray’s Lake was closed!!

Thank you Mother Nature for all of the rain we have received lately...enough to flood the area around Gray's Lake and put the running trail under water!!

Thank you Mother Nature for all of the rain we have received lately…enough to flood the area around Gray’s Lake and put the running trail under water!!

Luckily I have run around Des Moines enough that I was comfortable with a creative route adjustment to get my distance/time in.  As I was heading back toward downtown Des Moines and the parking ramp, the sun began to rise…BEAUTIFUL!!

Sunrise over Downtown Des Moines.

Sunrise over Downtown Des Moines.

I made it back to the parking ramp in time to change clothes, rehydrate, hop on my bike and meet Robin at the corner of 6th Ave and High Street at 6 am for our bike ride out to Saylorville Dam to see the race start.  We wanted to allow ourselves plenty of time to ride the 12.4 miles out to the dam and not get trampled by the Dam runners running back to downtown!!

We were stopped by a very rude and unhappy state trooper at mile 1 telling us we could not go any further…he wasn’t even letting registered runners enter the race start from that side of the dam…thank you Boston Bombers!!  I may have had a few choice words for the officer and told the runners how to get around him and to the race start from that side of the dam…

Mile 1 turned out to be a pretty sweet location for us to watch all of the Dam runners come by!!  With 8000 participants registered for the 20K, there was a pretty steady stream of runners for nearly 30 minutes.  We then donned our bikes and rode back toward downtown Des Moines (via a different route to avoid the congestion of the runners).  We stopped at the mile 9+ point of the race course to watch and cheer for the runners for a while.  Most of the runners we saw were doing AWESOME!!  It was a beautiful morning for a run!!

Our vantage point at mile 9 of the 20K race.

Our vantage point at mile 9 of the 20K race.

We waited until about 8:35 am and then headed back toward downtown Des Moines.  Robin was running the 5K event at 9:15 am and we wanted to get her back, changed and to the race start in plenty of time!!  I headed to the finish area and cheered on/waited for many friends to finish.  I am so proud of my dear friend Tonja for finding mental focus and pushing herself to a PR of 1:45:10 today!!  Congratulations T you are a ROCKSTAR and I am so proud of you!!

Tonja and me at the finish of Dam 2 Dam

Tonja and me at the finish of Dam 2 Dam

After a very full morning and some lunch, we made it back home by about 1 pm, showered, took a nap and then decided to go for an open water swim.  In the last couple of weeks, every time I have tried to get into open water we have had severe thunderstorms prohibiting me from swimming, so I had yet to be in open water this year.  What started out as a beautiful morning turned into a rainy afternoon, but it was not storming, so we decided to go to The Pits for a swim.  The water was not nearly as cold as I thought it would be…I’m guessing mid 60s…it was near perfect water temperatures for the wetsuit.  I didn’t swim for long as the skies started to darken and I was struggling to get my breathing under control.  With a few more open water swim sessions this week, I will be race ready for Sunday!!

Getting ready to immerse myself into the water for my first open water swim of the year.

Getting ready to immerse myself into the water for my first open water swim of the year.

As I emerged from the water, a rainbow had recently formed off to the east…what a perfect end to my reverse triathlon!!

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