Des Moines, Iowa

State #31

​Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Date: August 4th, 2020
Finish Time: 1:37:00
Who’d I travel with? ME, MYSELF, AND I
Pre-run meal? Chicken Pesto Pasta, a lot of trail mix, and some cookie dough ice cream… what?


Fun fact: I had 10 half marathons in 10 different states scheduled for the year 2020. Another fun fact: I got to run in 2 of those (both Florida and Arkansas). A third fun fact: the remainder of them were cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. Obviously I’m not a special case – the cancellations came left and right starting in March – not just for running, for everything. It has been a wild ride here in 2020, but just because RACES were cancelled – that didn’t have to mean that RUNNING was cancelled. Instead of allowing COVID to put the pause on my running journey – I decided I would simply take a different route – a road-trip route (NOTE: A SAFELY SOCIALLY DISTANCED AND MASKED ROAD TRIP). So, I packed up my car and hit the road for a 7-day road-trip through 4 different states, starting with IOWA.

The first leg of the trip was LONG – nearly 10 hours – but this was my FIRST SOLO ROADTRIP, and I was soaking in every single second of it. The sun shining, my music pumping, and my hair literally whipping out the open driver’s side window and soaring back into the car through the open back-seat window. It was perfect.

After arriving at my final destination and quickly finding the nearest grocery store (I WAS STARVING) – I rushed to make myself some dinner, get caught up on some work, and tuck myself in for a solid 8 hours before an early-wake up for STATE #31!

My alarm rang around 5 a.m. Still needing to work while on the road, I jumped out of bed, put in a solid few hours, and checked the clock to see that it was ALREADY 9 A.M. Now. Let’s just set the scene here. I am one of those people who will ALWAYS be “just a few minutes late.” It never fails. I constantly get wrapped up in something, get too focused, and simply lose touch with reality. Which is all fine and well usually (ish), but it’s NOT so fine and well when it’s 9 a.m. and you have a half marathon to run, a shower to take, and bags to pack before your 11 a.m. check-out time… Oops.

In true Amy-style – I raced around the apartment, throwing things around and trying to figure out what I should wear, where I was going to run, and why the hell I had done this to myself. BUT. Silver lining – this played to my advantage. Knowing that I only had two hours before check-out actually gave me a little boost in motivation. I KNEW I had to do pretty decent if I wanted to earn some shower time – yes, I actually later talked to myself about this while running. I laced up my Nike Frees, took a quick pre-race picture, wrote the door code on my hand in Sharpie (you gotta do what you gotta do) and started running.

A few minutes later I quickly realized I had NO IDEA where the hell I was going. Literally. I was just running. Randomly. In the middle of Iowa. I did a quick survey of the streets around me and noticed that I was on 31st street. Okay. I could work with this. If this was 31st street, then it probably went down to 1st street – which would probably be located downtown (that’s how cities work, right?). So I started running that way. And LO AND BEHOLD – I was right!

The run was GORGEOUS. Honestly. I had no idea what to expect in Des Moines, Iowa – but I can absolutely say that I would go back in a heart-beat. The downtown area was bustling, energized, and bright – especially for a Monday morning. The city was laced with building-art, a sculpture park, restaurants and bars, and several beautiful bridges over the river (which I totally crossed several times during my 13 miles). I ran up and down the city streets, trying to bookmark each of the places that I wanted to return to after check-out. The sun lit my face up as I finished up the last .1 miles down 31st street back to my place. 13.1 miles in Des Moines, Iowa – such a beautiful first stop on my summer-series.

After a VERY QUICK shower and a race against the clock to get outta there – I finally made my way back to all of those bookmarked spots. Mimosas and avocado toast at St. Kilda’s. The PappaJohn Statue Park. The beautiful bridge. A moscow mule at The Royal Mile. It was the PERFECT afternoon in Des Moines. But after some exploring, it was time to get back on the road! Next stop: Omaha, Nebraska!

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