A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trail of Dreams

Ever heard of Dyersville, Iowa? Ever seen the movie Field of Dreams? The baseball field built in the middle that corn is in Dyersville. But that's not the only thing that's there. Nope. There's also the trailhead for the Heritage Trail, a 26 mile jaunt that runs from Dyersville to Dubuque, IA.

Kim and I both had long runs to do this weekend and since we had already planned a trip to her family's cabins on the Mississipi River in Guttenberg, Iowa we knew we had to find someplace to do our run. We certainly could have looped around the town of Guttenberg a few times, but Kim had a better plan.

We drove to the trailhead and, after a few false starts, purchasing a trail pass, and some exploring, we headed out into one of the most scenic places I've ever run.

Sometimes it looked like this:

And sometimes it looked like this:

The weather was pretty beautiful, too. Cooler than it has been, less humid, and overcast for much of the run. Still, we knew we'd have to make a pit stop for water and possibly bathrooms so Kim, using her impeccable planning skills, found a gas station in a town a mile from the trail. Thank you to the Casey's in Farley, IA where we bought water to refill our fuel belts.

Originally I had only planned to run 16 miles this weekend but Kim had 18 on her schedule. I adjusted my mileage earlier in the week so that I wouldn't make too large of a leap between weeks and decided to run the full 18 with her. The plan? One minute walk breaks every 2 miles and a pace between 10:30 and 11:30 minutes per mile.

Aside from a slightly more extended break during our pit stop at the gas station, we stuck to our plan. Except my Garmin only recorded 17.27 miles. Why? I got distracted by these guys:

Cows. And bison! We stopped to look and take some photos and I paused my Garmin. Guess who forgot to turn it back on until almost three-quarters of a mile later? Yep.

The run went surprisingly well. No hip or quad pain and only a little bit of shin and knee pain. The 3+ hours Kim and I were out there flew by and I still had energy to spare at the end. So much energy, in fact, that when Kim egged me on I ended up doing this:


Eighteen miles is good to me. Or maybe those Shot Bloks I took every two miles helped out. For the last few walk breaks I alternated between taking a regular Shot Blok and taking one with caffeine. I think it helped. I bought a few more caffeinated ones so I'll have to keep trying them out on my long runs.

Or maybe the biggest help was the company. You really can't go wrong when you run with your best friend.

18 Miles with Kim by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details