Monday, December 14, 2009
Race Report: Dallas White Rock Half Marathon
I was super excited to hit up my first legit race expo on Saturday. I've never done a big race before, so it was pretty cool. I hit up some sweet free samples and found about 284937459 things I wanted. Luke's Locker was having a big sale, and I ended up finding some more Nike tempo track shorts to add to my collection. After I bought them I realized they matched my new-er Nike tank tops. Look out soccer mom's, I'm going to give you a run for your matchy-matchy money. :)
I had to take a pic at the starting line in front of all the elites. Look at me, I'm winning!! Heh heh. When I went to pick up my bib, the guy tried to tell me they had given it away to someone else. Um...what?!?!? I don't want some other fool running under my name. No way! Luckily they found it, but I was freaking out a bit. When I checked out my bib, I was 8400A. Not sure what the A meant, I consulted the race packet, apparently it didn't stand for AWESOME like I had previously thought, but corresponded with my race corral. Um...what? So maybe I WILL be lining up with the elites. ;)
freak out mode prep. All week long I've been trying to decide whether it would be best to wear a tank top or sleeves for the race. I knew it was going to be in the low 40s for the start of the race and mid 50s for the end. Option A: Freeze at the start and be perfect at the finish or Option B: Be comfy at the start, and be HOT at the finish. Luckily after some consultation on twitter, I decided to go with the tank top. I laid out all of my clothes and gear Saturday night before hitting the hay, and felt super weird snapping a pic in front of the fam who doesn't know I have a blog.
I went to bed at 11, and easily woke up once per hour. The alarm went off at 5 and I sprung up out of bed and started getting ready. My bro and I made the trek to Dallas in some heavy fog. He dropped me off, and I was on my own. I left my phone with him because I was super afraid that my bag would get lost and I'd be screeeewed. I really wish I would've had it for those two hours though.
I met a gal who was running her first marathon, and we kept each other calm-ish for the 2 hours before race time. Finally it was getting close to the time we were supposed to be in our corrals so we headed outside. It. Was. COLD! BRRR!! I was half tempted to ask some random boys to hug me while we waited. No shame here. :p The gun went off and the elites were off, and about a minute later I crossed the finish line. I was super concerned being in the "fast" corral that I would get swept up in the quick pace and crash and burn. Luckily there was some bobbing and weaving that took place in the first couple of miles that kept me from going out way too fast. I kept seeing people throwing off their cheap-o gloves and was half tempted a few times to snag a discarded pair. I was warmed up but my hands were frozey!!
The first few miles went by really fast. I didn't really check out the scenery but I was concerned about running over those in front of me and cutting people off while trying to pass. There were a bunch of skyscrapers which was pretty cool, and I was super happy Mr. Garmin didn't lose a signal because of the tall buildings. By Mile 1, sweat was starting to roll down my temples, so I was content with my tank top final decision.
I missed the 3rd mile split, so I tried to pick up the pace a bit after that mile, because I was afraid it was similar to miles 1 and 2. Also, it was about mile 2 that I started to notice that my garmin was showing about .1 miles long. Oy! Tangents Jerbear! Tangents! It never failed that each time there was a water station I was on the opposite side of the street and would have to shoot over to the other side. I also had a sideache for the majority of the first 5 miles. I took a GU about 25 minutes before the race, and I usually don't, so I think that might have been the case.
The next few miles were in a gorgeous area of town. The houses were huge and historic looking, with beautiful Christmas decorations strung up. Because of the fog and 100% humidity, the streets were really wet and slick. My knees were NOT happy about that part. I thought I left the slippery/slick running back home on the snow covered paths!
Around the half way point, I tried to start predicting a finish time to see if I'd be close to a PR. I knew I was pretty far off from my 8:30 pace goal, so I wanted to come up with a new time to shoot for. Doing math while running makes time flyyyy by for me.
My 10k split was 54:45 for a pace of 8:50. My 10k Split rank was 1659. Right around this point the marathoners and half-marathoners split apart on the course and it was so nice to have some breathing room. It was pretty congested up until that point. You know....just running with 20,000 of my closest friends til then. ;)
Around miles 7 and 8 there was a little out and back portion, so it was really cool seeing some of the front runners in the half. That kept me entertained for almost a full mile. Once I hit mile 8 I realized I only had 5 miles left, and I felt GREAT.
Once I hit mile 10, it was time to kick it in the booty. I actually yelled out "5k left kiddos!" because I was so excited. No one else really shared my enthusiasm, but it's truly my favorite part of the race, because I love me a strong 5k. [Sidenote: According to the stats on the website, I passed 120 people during the last 3.1 miles. I'll take it!] The last few miles was on a bike trail, so there were less spectators, but also less rolling hills.
My mile 10 split was 1:27:54 for a pace of 8:48. My rank at the 10 mile split was 1586. The last 3 miles of the race FLEW by. My last 5k time was 25:17.
Because my garmin was still showing about .1 miles long, I wasn't quite sure where to start my kick. When I saw the balloons of the finish line, I thought CRAP! definitely should've started sooner. I kind of looked like a fool with an all out sprint in from the last .1 miles, but oh well. Hopefully it made for a great finishing pic, right?! :)
Final time 1:53:09 for a 1:30 PR for 13.21 miles. I ran an 8:34 pace according to the actual distance I ran, but 8:39 for 13.1 miles. Bummer, because if my calculators are correct, I would've been pretty ding dong close to 8:30 pace for 13.1 if the course was correct/I didn't suck at running tangents. Oh well, gives me extra motivation for the next one, eh?
Race Stats? Sure why not? :)
I guess I shouldn't have felt soooo weird about being in the first corral. :)
Hopefully the course photogs got some sweet pics, but my official photog crew was back home. For the record, I missed my fan club.
Luckily I found my bro right at the finish line. Wow, was I a SWEATY mess. Holy crap. Soooo glad I went with the tank top.
This was by far the most fun I've ever had during a race. I ran almost a perfect race, except for I should've started my kick sooner. I crossed the finish line with a HUGE smile on my face. I beat my best time by 1:30, when I didn't even think that was an option a month ago. The crowd support was awesome. And I officially love big races. This race got me SUPER pumped for my full in May. :D
Favorite sign of the course: Hurry ___________. Run like Tiger Woods is chasing you.
Favorite back of a shirt on the course: I would let Brett Favre knock up my girlfriend. I caught up to him and we chatted about The Pack for a while. I almost asked if the shirt was in reference to current or future girlfriends, because I think him and I could work something out. ;)
Thanks so much for all of your support on my blog and on twitter. It's great having such a strong support system. Love you kids!
Half Marathon #6 is in the record books. Bring on the next race!!