In the week leading up to race day, I thought it would be fun to revisit some (okay, just two) old race recaps. I am not going to post the original links because they are blogs that are no longer in use or blogs I do not want made public to people who actually know me. Ha.
First up, the Big D Half Marathon in Dallas, Texas (April 2013). Originally posted on 6/29/13.
My first half marathon in 3 years. This has definitely been a long time coming. The past three years have been a roller coaster of highs and lows in both my personal life and my running life. From a running perspective, there has been training, over training, and burnout as I struggled to find a happy medium between life and work. I have alternated between being so enthusiastic I embarked on two-a-days everyday and discouraged to the point where I ran an all time low 30 miles in one month.
I don’t know what happened this spring, but something clicked. I set the Big D as my tentative goal race and started training. Training went well, I originally planned on blogging all about it, but as my last couple posts say, life happened and I got busy.
In the days leading up to the race, I wasn’t nervous at all. I was more or less treating this run as “just another long run” because I didn’t have a specific time goal. My loose race plan was to stay around a 10:30 pace for the first three miles and work my way down to a 10:00 minute pace and see how long I could hang on to that. I was expecting a 2:15:00 finish time. Not a PR, but a respectable time for my first race in three years.
Which leads me to race day:
The first couple of miles take you out of Fair Park and through a neighborhood until you get to White Rock Lake. After running around the lake a little bit, the course takes you back through some nice neighborhoods until you are back at Fair Park. It was a good course.
For the most part, I think I was pretty damn successful in terms of my race plan. Mile 3 was almost entirely downhill which accounts for the randomly fast mile. Dallas has much more elevation than Houston. MUCH. More. Total elevation gain for this run was 1800ft. Average elevation gain for a typical run in Houston is 30ft. So that was a fun surprise that I did not plan for. Although, even if I had thought to check about elevation beforehand, I’m not sure where in the Houston area I lived in I would have found hill sufficient to train on.
As a result, the hills got to me a bit, but it was more of a mental battle than a physical one. I wish the huge downhill at mile 3 had been later in the course though. Around mile 7 my body started to hurt. My left Achilles was the first body part to get my attention. It was achy and I imagine that is what tendonitis feels like. Around mile 9, my right hip flexor made sure to let me know it was not happy. I am attributing these to the hills as well. Nothing I couldn’t ignore, but annoying all the same.
Mile 11 was probably the toughest. I was mentally tired and physically tired. I know my running form probably looked like crap because I was hunching over, or I felt like I was at least. Mile 11 is also when I saw my favorite sign “Don’t walk now…People are watching!” HAHA. I love it. I was definitely considering walking at that point, and seeing that sign convinced me not to. Well played spectators, well played.
I crossed the finish line at 2:15 (clock time) or 2:14:10 (garmin time) with an official time of 2:14:15. I had enough left in me for a decent kick at the end. There was one guy who FLEW past me in the last tenth. He probably could have run a bit faster throughout the race if he had that much energy left, but whatever.
I got my medal and found my mom and her boyfriend to pose for the obligatory pictures. My mom said I looked calm and at ease when I was running. Maybe that means I probably could have run faster too? Haha.
I spent the rest of the day eating yummy food and relaxing. Both knees hurt and both hip flexors felt like I had been beaten with a bat. So that was fun. I’m sure I looked like an old lady shuffling around and avoiding all movement whatsoever. Despite all that, I want to run more. Weird, I know. 🙂