Now that my legs are feeling back to normal, it’s time to relive the Rock ‘n’ Roll half! Actually, it wasn’t that bad. Not a personal best, but before I knew it, the race was over and I was taking a cat nap with Jackson.
So let me start from the beginning. Saturday morning my alarm went off at 5 AM. I let Nick sleep in for another 45 minutes while I got dressed, ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and waited for my food to “digest”. I woke Nick up at 5:45 AM and we were out the door by 6:00. Remembering the White Rock marathon traffic, I took a sneaky little side road that nobody ever seems to use to get to Fair Park, probably because you have to drive through some shady parts of town. I didn’t hit any traffic until I approached the gates of Fair Park, so it worked out well for me and at that hour all the hoodlums are asleep anyway, so no fear driving through the shady neighborhood. (That’s supposed to be a joke.) I parked the car and said farewell to Nick as I headed to the shuttle to get to the start line (a few miles away, at City Hall). The day before, Nick and I decided on the best spots for him to come out and cheer me on: roughly mile 3.5 and 11.5. He would walk over to the 3.5 mile spot and walk back towards the finish line at Fair Park, trekking about 8 miles just to cheer me on. (One of the many reasons why I love him. He supports me in my crazy endeavors and will walk 8 miles around town, even if he’s not in the mood to, just to put a smile on my face. Thanks babe!)
On the shuttle over to City Hall, I chatted with some people about various other races as well as hopes for this race. We got to City Hall just as the sun was coming up, but there was 45 minutes left to kill before the gun shot. I hopped in line for the port-o-potties, only to discover that toilet paper was no longer available :(. I wandered around for a while and then headed to my corral. Lucky number 7. Come to find out, Rusty Wallis was in my corral. If you are from the North Texas area, you should know who Rusty Wallis is. If you aren’t from North Texas, Rusty Wallis is the owner of a large chain of car dealerships and there is a catchy, yet annoying jingle for the dealership: “Russssssty, Rusty Wallis” Unfortunately, I can’t find a sound bit for you all to hear, but you get the point; annoying, catchy jingle. So back to the corral. The race finally started and I was very impressed with the waved corrals. It was much more organized than the White Rock race. It was super easy to get going as we were grouped roughly by pace so all the walkers were in later corrals.
I took off and wound my way through downtown, over to the Design District, under the new Margaret Hunt Hill bridge, and up towards Uptown, zipping though the first 5K.
I was getting excited to see Nick and as I got close to our designated intersection, I started to search for him. I didn’t see him. But this particular intersection is large with three lanes of traffic in each direction and a 50 foot median in the middle. As I crossed the end of the intersection, I pulled off the race, paused my Nike+ GPS and texted Nick. He immediately responded that he was about 0.15 miles away, running towards the race.
It’s too dark to see, but this is where he was as I texted him and the race is just down the hill (in the shaded part of the photo).
I figured I would wait for him to come down the hill so I could see him, but we had a total miscommunication and he was on one end of the intersection and I was on the other end and we couldn’t see each other, so he figured I kept running on in the race. He started to make his way to our second meet-up spot and I was still under the assumption that he was headed to meet me at our first meet-up spot, so after about 20 minutes, I texted him to find out that he was headed back, so I hit the road again. That ended up being a total communication fail. Knowing my official time was totally killed, I decided that I didn’t need to totally outdo myself and “enjoy” the race, stopping for plenty of water breaks (the temperature was increasing by the minute) and periodically walking while texting Nick of my current location. My first stop was about a tenth of a mile in; port-o-potty time! And this one actually had toilet paper! After the communication mishap and my bathroom break, I let me Nike GPS run to keep track of my moving time. I figured I’d have the official race time, but I also wanted to know what my time was without those two stops, so keeping it going was my best solution.
Somewhere in Highland Park I started to get super thirsty. I quit running, telling myself that I would start running again after the next water station, thinking that it had to be a block or two away. four or five blocks later, no water was in sight so I sucked it up, and started running again, hoping that I would get to the water faster that way. I finally came to the water station, about 3/4 of a mile from where I started walking. I chugged a water and then a Gatorade and really wished it was the other way around because the Gatorade flavor stayed in my mouth. When I’m running, I seem to be hyper sensitive to taste and smell. Things that normally wouldn’t bother me make me gag and want to throw up when I run. Water is the nectar of the Gods, though. I don’t have any problems with water. But knowing that I’m losing salt from sweating so much, I made an effort to drink the Gatorade. It tasted like pure salt to me. The water table was already behind me so I kept moving on.
At around mile 9, I hit the Gu station. If you remember from this post, I was nervous about trying the Gu. Well, I grabbed a strawberry-banana packet, ripped the top off, sucked out a teeny, tiny bit and about threw up right there. NASTY! There was a water station not too far from the Gu station and I tossed the rest of the Gu in the trash and cleansed my palate with water.
From mile 6 on, I intermittently took plenty of walking breaks. It was getting hot and I was so thirsty. I saw people who I’d passed a long time ago pass me. I saw the 2:45 pace group pass and I’d run past them once I started running again. It was a back and forth kind thing. They’d get ahead of me and I’d get ahead of them. I began counting the miles down until I got to see Nick again, who stationed himself close to mile 12 at this point. The miles ticked by and I longed for water about a quarter-mile after each water station. Finally I spotted Nick!
I hopped on the sidewalk so I could get to him faster. At the same time, I passed my running twin. Who knew bright yellow shorts and a blue tank top would be a popular outfit for the day?! I was happy to see Nick. He handed me a normal sized (no tiny Dixy cup) bottle of water and we walked together towards the finish line for about half a mile, until which point we had to split off since as a spectator, he couldn’t get much further along the race path. I started to run again and came across a majority of the race photographers at this point. I decided to have fun with it!
The official finish time: 2:51:25 (13’04” pace) not particularly great. The unofficial splits from my Nike+ GPS:
Mile 1: 9:11 (9’11” pace)
Mile 2: 18:38 (9’27” pace)
Mile 3: 27:51 (9’12” pace)
Mile 4: 37:19 (9’28” pace)
Mile 5: 46:56 (9’37” pace)
Mile 6: 57:20 (10’24” pace)
Mile 7: 1:09:03 (11’43” pace)
Mile 8: 1:20:22 (11’19” pace)
Mile 9: 1:30:49 (10’27” pace)
Mile 10: 1:42:49 (12’00” pace)
Mile 11: 1:54:37 (11’48” pace)
Mile 12: 2:05:55 (11’18” pace)
Mile 13: 2:19:14 (13’18” pace)
So what’s next? Now that my muscles are feeling better, I’m thinking of doing the Big D half marathon in a few weeks. We’ll see though. The hot weather is slowing me down.