This past weekend I flew to Dallas, Texas to run my last race of the year: the Dallas Half marathon. I got to Dallas on Friday – giving myself enough time to relax before race day on Sunday. My friends and I went to the expo on Saturday and had a ball. In my honest opinion I think their expo was better than the NYC Marathon expo – which is sad. They had a lot more things for sale with reasonable price tags, more services (I got a massage and a Normatec boot session in), and a lot more giveaways. It was also smaller and there were a lot less people which was great. I hate the crowds at expos. This one was just right so that’s one thumbs up for this Dallas experience.
Upon arriving to Texas the weather wasn’t bad at all. It was chilly at night but it wasn’t freezing. Fast forward to race day Sunday. My alarm clock rang at 6:45AM. Outside my hotel room window it was still dark and you could see the pounding raindrops as they hit the pool. Crap. Now anyone that knows me – knows I hate running in the rain. On top of that it was a breezy 50 degrees. I almost stood in my bed. I was just about over Texas. Originally I was set to start in Corral B but I started in the next corral in hopes the rain would die down. What do you know…. It sure did!
Mile 1.5 – before we even get into miles – let me tell you that this was my first run over 3 miles since the NYC Marathon on November 1st. I had only run all of 8 miles total since. At mile 1.5 I already had it in my head that I couldn’t finish.
Mile 4-5 – at this point we ran a nice downhill portion. Everyone gets excited for downhills and of course these were my two faster miles of the 13.1. I took a gel at mile 4 and wasn’t feeling to bad. I was warmed up and feeling better about the whole thing. The rain had fully stopped…. but the rolling hills kept rolling.
Mile 6-9 – crowds sucked in Texas but I didn’t expect anything like NYC anyway. Around mile 8-9 we ran into some real fun crowds which gave me a little boost. In my head all I could do was keep counting how many miles I still had to go, though. I felt no pain or discomfort minus my damp socks but I did just want to be finished. Somewhere around this point I also broke off with my friend who was running the full marathon. The split was around mile 9ish. I caught up to him for some time then went ahead. Goal: keep the 2:20 pacer off my ass.
Mile 10-12 – I got a bit tired around this point. If it’s in my head that I’m not going to PR that’s what sticks. I wasn’t really out to get a PR in Texas – I wanted to do it for the experience. Running in other places is just such a fun idea (when you don’t look at the elevation chart) lol. Although it seems I was miserable I actually enjoyed myself. I also enjoyed all of November recovering so getting up to do this was a challenge. I kept it moving. Just at mile 11 the 2:20 pacer was on my behind so I had to put some pep in my step. I kept looking back like he was really chasing me. Haha.
Finish: Once I saw the 12 mile marker I got excited. The finish was almost in sight and I could get some FOOD. I sprinted to the finish. I was able to complete the Dallas Half Marathon strong! Overall I had a great race. You deal with a lot of mental demons while running but if you love it you learn to overcome those thoughts and come out on top. I’m shocked I did well considering this was my first LONG run since the marathon.
Overall I’m pleased with my progress this year and I know next year will bring even better results. Like everyone who runs a marathon for the first time – they say they’ll never do it again….. I said it. I lied! My next full marathon is the New Jersey Marathon on May 1st, 2016. Training starts this week. Cheers to a good year and to a better one ahead!