Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dallas Marathon Weekend

In what turned out to be a great distraction from waiting on comps results, I ran my first half-marathon this past Sunday! I signed up in July for the Dallas MetroPCS Half-Marathon and started training shortly thereafter. Up to that point, my longest distance was a 10K (6.2 miles) so I definitely had a way to go. Thankfully there are some amazing resources online with different training plans and I have several other runners in my life to offer advice along the way.

Since the start was 8 AM Sunday morning in Downtown Dallas, about 30 minutes away from where we live, we decided to stay at a hotel downtown, the Dallas Omni to be exact, to make the morning of less stressful. They were offering a special discount to marathon runners so we were able to stay there for a reasonable rate. The amazing thing was our hotel was right in front of the start/finish line so we didn't have to worry at all about getting to the race early or waiting in the long lines for a Port-A-Potty!

Hello there, Omni!
We checked in Saturday shortly after lunch, headed up to our room, and was amazed at the view! We decided to upgrade our room for $25 and we were so glad we did! The room was very spacious and just look at the view!

Yes, that is a TV in the bathroom mirror.
Come race day, we didn't have to head down until 7:30 (corrals closed at 7:45) but I woke up before 6 anyway as that's just what my body's used to. Had my normal long-run breakfast of a bagel and banana. Stretched out. Tried not to freak out. Then eventually it was time to head downstairs! Matt walked with me to my corral, we stood around for a bit, then we decided he should leave so he could get to his first spectating point near mile 1. 

On Saturday at packet pick-up
Race day!
I'll spare you an in-depth race report, but I will say it was one of the most physically and mentally difficult things I've done, but also one of the most fun things I've done. The spectators made it. I think I would have hated the experience if it wasn't for the awesome spectators. From their costumes and signs to the things they would shout out at you as you were running by (including "Go, random stranger, go!"), their encouragement was awesome and helped me power through. I also enjoyed running through several parts of Dallas, from Highland Park to Greenville Avenue to Deep Ellum. 
Around mile 1
If I hit a wall, it may have been at about 10.5 miles in. At that point it became so mental, trying to convince myself to not stop, keep on putting one foot in front of the other. I was able to see the Omni at a distance, and I knew I only had 2 miles to go, so that helped. From mile 11-12, I was wondering why the heck I signed up this stupid thing. Then I saw Matt at about mile 12, which made me put a big smile on my face. At that point through the end of the race, there was a large crowd of spectators cheering and yelling us on, so that was awesome! Couldn't stop running in front of them, right? 
At mile 12, so close!
Hello there!
As I crossed the finish line, my eyes filled up with tears just from all the emotion I felt-- satisfaction, mental and physical exhaustion, shock, joy. One of the race volunteers asked if I was OK and I just nodded my head and continued on to collect my medal. Here I was, a girl who could barely run a mile a few years ago to running 13.1 miles. It is truly amazing what the human body can do!

Total time: 2:07:48. Average pace/mile of 9:45.

Now 3 days out I am definitely less sore than I was. Monday was pretty painful as I was really feeling it in my quads & hamstrings. I will be getting a foam roller soon because I know I will be doing this again. I'm not going to be doing a marathon next (had too many foot issues with just this distance) but I would love to do another half! The whole experience-- from the spectators to the course to running with 20,000 others-- was addicting and I can't wait to do another one and beat my time!

1 comment:

  1. wow!! So impressed!! I LOVED running half marathons in my hey-day a few years ago. I think my best time ever was 2:10 after running like 3 half-marathons so your timing is so impressive - you teeny tiny little thing!! ;) Running is such a good stress relief and so healthy. I agree with you though - I could NEVER do a full marathon, I think those are for crazy people :)