TITLE: Off to the Des Moines Marathon AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: October 15, 2004 4:37 PM DESC: I'm ready for my second marathon. Is it ready for me? ----- BODY: Well, the time is almost here. I leave tomorrow for the Des Moines Marathon. Officially, I've been training for this race since April 1 or so, but I never really stopped getting ready for my first marathon last October. You reach a point where there is nothing left to do. I increased my mileage and my pace during training this year. I've tapered the last three weeks, running only 13 miles so far this week. My eating has been out of sync the last few weeks, but I think that my body will be fueled well enough for the race. It's time to do it. Tomorrow, I will hit the race expo, to pick up my race number and timing chip and to do a little window shopping. Then I'll spend the evening with a friend, former student Fred Zelhart, who has generously offered to put me up for the weekend. The race is 8:00 AM Sunday morning. The weather forecast is almost perfect -- mid-40 degrees to start the race, upper 50s to finish, partly sunny. That may sound cool, but it's perfect for a long run. I'm excited. I think I can improve on my time at Chicago, but I'm respectful of what race day and the distance can bring. My first goal is to enjoy; my second is to improve on my debut performance. If everything goes perfectly, I could run anywhere from a great time to the same time as last October. I have a couple of goal times in mind but learned last year that sometimes you just have to run. So that's what I plan to do. Oh, and if you want something with a little more attitude than my cautious forecast, check out this Grant Wood-inspired race poster. And we Midwesterners wonder why our coastal friends tease us sometimes... -----