I felt less prepared for this race than I have for any other one I have done. I only laced up my sneakers once since the Austin half on 2/20 – and it was for a 5k. I wasn’t running, I never went to the gym, I was incredibly stressed, and as a result of the stress, I wasn’t eating as well or as much as I should.
Generally as a rule of thumb, I avoid alcohol the day before a race. But as I mentioned yesterday, I indulged in a mid-afternoon margarita. I also like to get to bed around 9:30 or 10. Saturday night I was up until 12:30. I usually hydrate like a crazy person the day before a race – on Saturday I had coffee, a small glass of water, half a glass of iced tea, and a margarita. Hydration FAIL.
On four hours of sleep, Megan and I began getting ready for the race. PB&Js (strayed from my PB & Banana!) were consumed, water was downed, and I took a couple Tylenol for my aching back that had been bugging me since Thursday. On race mornings, okay every morning, it’s a necessity to start my day with a cup of coffee and Sunday was no exception. We stopped quickly at a 7-11 and then we were on our way to Fair Park to catch the shuttle to the start.
This is where the morning began to get a little stressful. I’ll let our tweets explain the situation:
We FINALLY made it to the start line and met up with Marci & Suzanne.
It was now just after 6am, so we had a little under 2 hours until the race started, plus an additional 20 minutes due to the wave start. We huddled together to keep warm (it was 48 degrees!), tweeted to kill time, and had a few fellow runners take photos of us in our tutus.
This person clearly didn’t get the memo that we were trying to get a picture of the tutus too… and it didn’t help that I’m a midget.
There they are!
This is the first race I haven’t brought my camera with me, and I have to say, it was nice not to have it in my hand the whole time. I did, however, bring my own water bottle (½ water, ½ Gatorade) again. It worked so well for me in Austin, and the annoyance of carrying it the whole time was outweighed by the fact I would be able to avoid the stress and congestion of the water stops.
The course was awesome. Megan had told me to save some energy for miles 5 through 9 since that was where the hills were. I didn’t dread them that much since I have a whole new appreciation for hills after the mountains I climbed in Austin. It made the course slightly challenging, but it was welcomed – it kept things interesting. The spectators loved the tutu, everyone was yelling to me and smiling.
Miles 1-4: 10:38, 11:20, 11:11, 11:36
I went out a little too fast, but I couldn’t help it – I was feeling great!
Miles 5-9: 12:00, 12:44, 12:16, 12:54, 12:14
Then came the hills. I slowed my pace down to power through them. I have to say, the amount of time I put into tweaking my playlist really ended up paying off. I remember bouncing around to Shots (LMFAO/Lil Jon) and Stand Up (Ludacris) on mile 9, and it helped keep my mind focused on something other than the hills.
Miles 10-13.1: 11:55, 13:06, 12:19, 12:20, 2.03
Mile 11 is when I hit the wall a little bit, and it pissed me off because it was downhill. I was sick of carrying my water bottle, it started misting a little, I hit a string of songs on my playlist that just weren’t pumping me up, and I was just drained. Once I saw the mile 12 marker I ate two shot bloks and tossed my water bottle into a trash can – it was time to MOVE!
I spent a lot of the last mile checking my Garmin like a maniac, calculating how much time I could take off my PR. Obsessed much? I think it helped me to really push through.
I crossed the finish line with a brand new PR: 2:38:49, 9 minutes faster than San Antonio.
To say I was excited is an understatement. My last three half times were 2:47, 2:48, 2:48. It felt AMAZING to finally break 2:40. Tequila, no training OUA(L) style, four hours of sleep, PB&J, and a hot pink tutu = PR material? Who woulda thought?! I tweeted to Sarah after the race that I thought about her while I was running. She had a less than lengthy training schedule for her last marathon and she killed it, even in a monsoon. Seriously a rockstar. I kept thinking that if she could PR, so could I – and I did!
Once I crossed the finish line I decided to bypass the photo with my medal and head straight for a banana and orange slices. I was FREEZING, but just my luck, they ran out of mylar blankets. Megan had went back out on the course to run the final miles of the race with her parents, so the only logical thing to do while I was waiting was to go here:
Ah yes, free beer. MGD 64 isn’t exactly my first choice, but it was free and I needed a delicious adult beverage to celebrate my new PR. I did a few laps around the parking lot to keep my legs loose, and then watched Bret Michaels rock out on stage for a bit.
I met up with Megan about an hour later and grabbed a quick lunch before going back to her apartment. I packed up my stuff and it was time to hit the road L So sad, I had such a great weekend with her, she’s such a sweetheart! The ride home took longer than expected due to an accident that shut down both lanes of the highway, but I spent 2 ½ hours of it on the phone with Carly so the time flew by. Surprisingly after four hours in the car, my legs didn’t hurt AT ALL. I unpacked a little bit, and even managed to cook dinner. Amazing. The next morning though? I woke up feeling like I was 90 years old. It seriously took about 15 minutes to muster up the energy to climb out of bed.
Overall, I really loved the Rock n Roll Dallas ½. The weather (aside from the misting)/temps were perfect, the course was great, AND I PRed! I would definitely consider running it again next year.
The tutu gave me wings.