IMT Des Moines Marathon

IMT Des Moines Marathon
Join Us At The Finish Line!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Preview of the IMT Des Moines Marathon

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor Mediacom for including the IMT Des Moines Marathon in their Newsleaders segment.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Preparing for Race Day

There is more to preparing to run in a half or full marathon than, well, running. So much additional work goes into preparing yourself for the event than the running itself.

Of course you will have followed some sort of training regimen, and should be confident with the miles you've pounded into the pavement in preparation for the big day. This is important not only for your body, but also to get your mind strong enough to push you through the difficult later miles. You might have even done strength training to get your body ready, and that's great! Both of those will prove helpful.

But you can't forget the checklist: the valuable list of tasks to complete before, or items to bring with you on, event weekend.

 Logistics are crucial. Make sure your hotel is booked and confirmed well before race weekend. Keep an eye on the weather a week before. Know how you are getting to the event on the morning of the race. Are you driving yourself? With a friend? Being dropped off?
 Know packet pick-up location, times and rules. Will there be parking costs and where are parking lots located (this is good to know both for packet pick-up and for race day)?
 Study the race route. Write bathroom, water and food stops in permanent marker on your arm the night before, on your water bottle, or on a laminated scrap of paper you can carry with you in your running gear.
 Make sure your cheering section is prepared with items they will need, like race routes with your estimated arrival times for every spectator spot, road maps or GPS, any signs or cowbells they will be displaying, and snacks and distractions for the younger spectators. Make sure your cheering section also knows what you will need from them during the race, like energy gel packets or water refills at certain mile markers. Make a plan of where you will meet at the finish line.
 Plan your meals for at least three days before the race. Research good foods for pre-race preparation and listen to your body. Avoid too many sugars, fiber and anything else that has the potential to increase your chances of gastrointestinal issues during the race.
Drink a lot of water every single day for the entire week before the event. A good daily intake rule is for every pound you weigh, drink an ounce of water- so if you weigh 142 pounds, try to drink 142 ounces of pure water daily. Don't worry about planning for food or beverages after the race, there will be a ton of free food and drink for you to devour at the finish line.
 Make sure the running clothes, socks and shoes you plan to wear on race day have been worn before. This is the absolute worst time to wear brand new running clothes, even if they are adorable. Run in what you know works for you. The last thing you need is chafing nipples and thighs, or new blisters at mile 5 of your event.
 Know what you will be carrying with you while you run. Water? Energy gels? Baby wipes? Kleenexes? Vaseline? Headphones or arm band? Phone? Headband or hat? RoadID tag? KT tape? How will you carry these things? If you can, do a long practice run carrying and/or using these items.
 Buy a new audiobook, update your playlist, or get your podcasts downloaded the night before the event. Race morning will be busy enough- you don't want to worry about getting your music ready just before the the gun goes off.
 Lay out everything you will need the night before, from what you will eat for breakfast, to every item of clothing you will be wearing. You will be anxious, excited and nervous the morning of the event and being prepared will help calm your adrenaline rush.

This list covers most of everything you will need to remember, but be sure to tailor it to your own specific needs. There is much to consider when preparing for the race, but you want the big day to go perfectly. You have literally run hundreds and hundreds of miles during training to get to the point of being able to prepare your body and mind to run a half or full marathon and you don't want a little forgotten detail to get in the way of your success.

Good luck!

Miles are great, but getting the logistics
figured out are just as important.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jon Dunham to Appear at MidAmerican Energy Speaker Series

Spirit of the Marathon filmmaker to preview new movie
at IMT Des Moines Marathon

Des Moines, Iowa—Jon Dunham, the award-winning director of Spirit of the Marathon and Spirit of the Marathon II,  will preview his new documentary Boston at this year’s IMT Des Moines Marathon.

Even before Spirit of the Marathon was released in 2007, Dunham was hoping to make a movie about the Boston Marathon. “Then the 2013 Boston race turned out completely different from anything we ever imagined,” he says. “My personal reaction after the bombing was to put the project on hold, to give the race time to heal and normalize. But then I began to realize what an important race 2014 would be, how important a race it would be to document.” Organizers agreed and endorsed the project as the official film of the race.

Both of Dunham’s earlier films will be screened at the Scheels Sports & Fitness Expo on October 17 at the Iowa Hall of Pride in the Iowa Events Center. Spirt of the Marathon will be shown at 11 a.m. followed by Spirit of the Marathon ll at 2 p.m. Jon will introduce each film and provide a unique opportunity for audience question and answer following the films. In addition, Dunham will offer previews of Boston, which is nearing the end of filming, as part of the MidAmerican Energy Speaker Series on October 16 and 17.

“We’re excited to welcome Jon back to our event and to show our community a first look at Boston,” IMT Des Moines Marathon race director Chris Burch said. “He’s an accomplished filmmaker who captures our sport in a way no one else can. It is a true privilege to host him in Des Moines for our running community.”

The Scheels Sports & Fitness Expo and the MidAmerican Energy Speaker Series at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines are free and open to the public. For details and a complete race weekend schedule, or to register, go to

Friday, September 11, 2015

Are You Getting Excited for the IMT DMM!?!?

I'm getting excited to earn my new IMT DMM swag this year. 
I love my pullover from last year and as the 2015 race approaches 
I find myself reaching to pull this shirt out from my closet more and more often.

It's hard to believe we are running the IMT DMM next month! I registered so long ago and started training for this race so early this summer that I feel like it has been a long time coming. Finally, race day is getting closer and closer.

I am so excited to participate in the events again. I have even recruited my younger brother to run the half with me this year. This is particularly special because he attended the IMT DMM last year as a spectator, enlisted to cheer me on as I completed my first full marathon. He was so inspired by the strength he saw in runners and the sense of accomplishment he saw in me as I finished that he will be running his first half marathon when he runs it with me this year. He has never run a race of any distance before- ever- so this is kind of a big deal!

How is your training going? Mine is still on track overall and this past weekend I ran another round of back-to-back practice runs in preparation for the I-35 Challenge next month. Last week I posted about my Runner's Toe problems, and after taking it easier than I wanted these past few weeks, my feet feel much better. I ran 10.14 miles last Saturday and then 10.00 more miles on Sunday. Overall, I was happy with my performances and mostly had negative splits. This is a good sign because it means that I had a little gas left even as my miles accrued. I have scheduled one more practice weekend before the I-35 Challenge where I will run two 11 milers in two days to help me build physical and mental endurance.

Although it makes me a little sad that I'm only running the half this year, the one thing that I am enjoying about not training for the full marathon is the long runs I had to do every other week last year around this time. I use MapMyRun and the app developers like to email users little "memories" of impressive runs they had "crushed" a year ago on certain dates. Lately several runs in the low 20s have made it to my inbox and I must say that I don't really miss how hard it was to carve out time for those 3-4 hour practice runs. I do, however, have to admit that I miss the sense of personal accomplishment and mental encouragement I felt after completing those longer runs, and I look forward to running them again when I train for a couple full marathons that I'd like to complete next year. It's fun to say to myself "Good job on that 10-miler Traci!" but it was even more fun to be able to say "Good job on that 22-miler Traci" last year.

My respectable splits from the two 10-milers I ran last Saturday and Sunday.

My goal is to PR on the Saturday of the I-35 Challenge during the Waddell & Reed KC Marathon, and then finish under or near 2 hours in the IMT DMM on the next day, Sunday. I will need to run 15 seconds or less faster per mile than I did during my 2nd 10 mile practice run to do this, but I am not too concerned. Race adrenaline always kicks in before race events and I always seem to run faster in half marathons than training and leisure runs.

How is your training going? I'd love to hear about it. Comment below!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Who Needs Pretty Toes Anyway?

I remember it like it was yesterday, with the same nostalgia of recollecting when my child lost his first tooth. It was the day I lost my first toenail. 

The first toenail I lost to running was a little over a year ago when I was training for the IMT DMM and I felt like it was a rite of passage; like I had reached some running milestone that officially made me part of the culture. I have since lost three toenails and it looks like I will soon lose another. Who needs pretty toes anyway? My toes are always too sore to get pedicures so as long as I'm running, my feet must endure a little loss of pride.

I know some runners who don't really have toenail issues, and for me, I am only bothered when I run more than 15 miles per week. I have researched it some and since my second toe is just slightly longer than my big toe when fully extended, my poor second toe has to take the brunt of my body weight with each step I take. This is actually called Morton's Toe which causes Runner's Toe and thank goodness I only have a mild case because some of the pictures of this condition look quite irregular. I am somewhat concerned because this the 3rd time I will lose the nail from this specific toe, and I just keep wondering if there is a point where it won't grow back. 

Part of the reason my toes have been tested is because not only have I been running over 30 miles per week this summer, but I have been trying hard to work on pace. I really want to PR in the KC Half, and then just finish respectfully in the IMT DMM. Notice my beautiful negative splits above!

Although I am still working on those longer-ish runs with quicker splits, my sore toes have interrupted my completing all of the longer runs from my training plan this past week. In fact, just walking around the house recently has been hard; if one of my children accidentally step on my unprotected toes, tears immediately come to my eyes and it takes everything in me to hold back a yelp of pain. I did take a few extra rest days this week and finally woke up these last few days with less pain, less swelling and more bruising (which means healing). This is a very good sign that I can get back on track with those long runs very soon. Even taking off a few days this week, I still ran 110 miles this month, so I was content with that.

How is your training going? Do your toes ever trip you up, or have they prevented you from running when you wanted to? What tips do you have for runners with toe problems? Comment below!