Girl on Fire: More races in my future

Dam to Dam Half 2014 1[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, May 29, 2014]

Saturday I will be up before 5 a.m. to hitch a ride on a bus from Valley West Mall to Saylorville Dam for the Dam to Dam half marathon. This is something I am both looking forward to and dreading.

My first half marathon in Olathe, Kan., the Garmin half marathon, was an amazing experience, despite my muscle pain and rainy weather. Dam to Dam’s half marathon, a race starting at Saylorville Dam and ending in downtown Des Moines, should feel less daunting than the Garmin because I’ve experienced a half already, and it’s a more familiar territory.

But, thanks to less than optimal training and constantly thinking about how I may not do well, the finish line seems so much farther away than 13.1 miles.

Thank goodness Russ, my boyfriend, will be there with me. I know he will push me to keep going, and if he needs it, I can push him to continue running. That medal is going to look amazing when this race is over.

After the Dam to Dam, I am running Des Moines’ Color Run in July, Earlham’s Warrior Dash in August and Des Moines’ Foam Fest in September.

I think I am more excited about the smaller races coming up because they involve less running and more variety. The three runs I am doing after Dam to Dam are 3.1 miles, and two involve muscle strength because they are obstacle courses. This will be the third year for the Warrior Dash for me, and the first year for the Foam Fest. I’ll be sure to let you know how my training is going on those when I get around to weight lifting.

Obstacle course runs are my favorite because it involves variety, partnership, fun and the pride of finishing. More emotions run through you when you finish a 5K with 10 obstacles along the course compared to a plain 5K. The obstacles are challenging, different and interesting.

This leads me to something I’m not quite sure about yet. Over Memorial Day weekend, Russ and I sat at Green Valley camping, and several friends sat around the campfire with us. The Tough Mudder was brought up and immediately everyone around the fire said yes, they wanted to do it.

I’m not sure if it was for real, but I think I might be doing the Tough Mudder in October.

The Tough Mudder is an obstacle course run, but far more challenging than Warrior Dash. The course is 10-12 miles, and the obstacles are more difficult. For example, instead of crawling through an open trench as the Warrior Dash may have you do, you’d have to trudge through a muddy, darkened trench with water at the end.

This will be something I finish in time, but I’m not sure if October is the right time for it.

However, no matter what I finish, and when, I know I will have a good time and be so happy I finish them at all.

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