What a trip! (Part one)

Where to begin! WOW! Well, first of all, I am going to give you a little forewarning…this post is going to be long and include several photos! And, I am not sure if this is going to be a two-parter or maybe even a three-parter! YIKES! Yes, I have that much information to share with you all!

Last Wednesday, the hubster and I took off on a little adventure – we headed to Des Moines, Iowa for the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Convention! Please click HERE and HERE for more information about the RRCA. Neither of us actually attended the convention; I was there to take the running coach certification course, which is offered by the RRCA.

coaching certification book

Photo credit: Confessions of a [former] Fat Girl

I had no idea what to expect from the course, other than I knew I would be spending LOTS of time in a classroom setting. On Thursday, our workshop went from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. with a “working break” for lunch. Lunch was included in the registration and included a sandwich buffet with the standard fixings – ham, turkey, pastrami or roast beef with a variety of breads and cheeses. There was also potato salad, coleslaw, a variety of chips and also toppings for the sandwich – tomato, lettuce, onions, pickles, mayo and mustard. There were a couple of different desserts, as well. Beverages included coffee, tea (both hot and cold), water and lemonade. There may have been pop, too, but I can’t remember. I don’t drink pop on a regular basis, so I didn’t pay attention whether or not it was offered. It was a nice lunch!

My head wasn’t spinning too bad after the first day. Topics for the first day included stats about running (who runs and why), types of runners and their training needs, physiology, types of running and building a periodized program, along with a little lesson on the history of coaching including some of the more important coaching figures of our time. Some were familiar, some were not. The coaches included Percy Cerutty, Arthur Lydiard, Bill Bowerman, Bob Martin, Peter Coe, Jack Daniels (the man, not the drink!), Jeff Galloway (finally, a name I recognized!), Pete Pfitzinger, Scott Douglas and Gordon Bakoulis, to name a few.

me with roadrunner

Photo credit: Confessions of a [former] Fat Girl (Note: This photo was actually taken on Friday!)

When I got back from the workshop, Al took the car and went to get some groceries (we were staying at the Extended Stay America in West Des Moines and it had a full kitchen in it!) and I went for a 5-mile run. For some reason, I had this preconceived notion that the whole state of Iowa was flat. I learned very quickly that my notion was completely wrong. Why did I think that?!?! Click HERE for a detailed look at my run. I ended up finding the trail that Al ran on earlier in the day – the Clive Greenbelt Trail. However, we didn’t run on the same parts of the trail.

path I ran on clive greenbelt

Photo credit: Confessions of a [former] Fat Girl

river in the clive greenbelt park

Photo credit: Confessions of a [former] Fat Girl

Everything was so green in Iowa. Both Al and I were a little shocked at that because it is was still so brown when we left Alexandria, which is less than six hours away! My run went okay. It was slow because my stupid asthma acted up, but I think that was because I was running on the trail and everything was blooming and there was a lot of pollen in the air. But, it wasn’t too bad. Plus, it was so beautiful where I was running that I didn’t mind slowing down and taking my time!

When Al got back from the store and I got back from my run, we made supper – broiled swordfish with fresh basil, fresh mint, garlic and freshly-squeezed lemon juice, along with baked sweet potatoes. Oh, and of course, he picked up some beer, which you can buy right at the grocery store! Golly gee that’s so nice. You can only buy booze from a liquor store in Minnesota. Boo!

swordfish meal

Photo credit: Confessions of a [former] Fat Girl

Friday morning, there was a group run as part of the RRCA Convention that I could have went on, but I decided to sleep in a little and just go for a run on my own. My Friday morning run was just a 4-miler. And I stuck to the streets, doing somewhat of a loop; and I tried to go a little faster because I had slept in a little and needed to get back so I could get ready to go to class. Click HERE for a link to the details of my run.

I found out later that if I had went on the RRCA group run, I could have received a medal. I was so bummed. Yes, I am a medal-lovin’ runner! A medal junkie, if you will.

During class on Friday and part of Saturday, we covered the rest of the topics in the book, which included running nutrition, the business of coaching, sports psychology, building running programs, running injuries, running in the heat and cold, along with more on building programs. It was A LOT to soak in. My head was definitely spinning after Friday and Saturday!

Sometime on Friday (or honestly, it could have been on Thursday, but my days kind of mushed together!), I spent some time talking to one of my classmates, Kendal, who lives in Florida. I found out she is a fellow blogger. Please check out her blog, The Adventures of Black Geek Mom. I immediately felt a connection to Kendal and I am not really sure why. But I did. She is so cool! And, she was so easy going, easy to talk to and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. We quickly exchanged information – phone numbers, blog links, Twitter handles, Facebook pages, etc. And of course, at one point, we had a photo taken together. We both love photos! Maybe that’s why I felt such a connection!

kendal and me 1

Photo credit: Some stranger at the convention!

For lunch on Friday, we had our choice – we could stay at the hotel (the convention and running coach course were held at the Marriott in downtown Des Moines) and attend the luncheon or we could go on our own for lunch. Because Al was with me, I opted to go on my own for lunch. Al picked me up (he had dropped me off Friday morning so he could have the car for the day) at the hotel and we had an hour and a half to get lunch. We ate at a great little sandwich/salad bar that was close to the Marriott called South Union Bread Cafe. Al found it when he researched places to eat in Des Moines. I have to say it WAS good, but it was also VERY expensive. Or at least I thought it was expensive. Al and I each had the salad bar (one trip only) and a beverage. It came to $28 some dollars. For salad bar! Yes, as I said, it was good, but not twenty-eight-dollars-good!

The class on Friday was three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. I couldn’t wait to be done with it on Friday. Why? Because, I was going to meet Travis in the hotel lobby and then we were going to meet up with Al to get our race packets for Sundays race – the Hy-Vee Road Races at the Drake Relays. Wait, what? Who’s Travis?

Travis, a fellow blogger who writes the blog, “lifeandfuniniowa,” and I “met” in a Facebook group, called From Fat to Finish Line. When I posted back in February that I was going to be in Des Moines for the RRCA coaching certification, Travis and I connected and started making plans to meet. Travis and I both decided a while back to take the healthy living journey – he’s lost about 40 pounds and is now a runner and actually, he’s also a triathlete! Although Travis doesn’t believe so, he IS an inspiration. And he’s a really good writer. Please check out his blog. You can do so by clicking HERE!

Here’s a pic of Travis and I at the expo:

travis and i at the expo


Photo credit: My hubby

I am going to end part one here and I will tell you all about Travis, his wife Julie and our time spent together, along with more about the weekend in part two of “What a Trip!” STAY TUNED for part two of our trip to Des Moines, Iowa!

7 thoughts on “What a trip! (Part one)

    1. Celeste, thank you for spending time with us and for the mention of my blog. That really means a lot to me, as I know you have a strong following and I am just getting started. Thank you also for the kind words of being a good writer and an inspiration. I only want to help others as they journey toward fitness. It is so rewarding. You are a great inspiration, and I can only aspire to complete as many races as you and Al have. You’re the best!

      Liked by 1 person

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