I signed up for this DRC-sponsored race back in December as a timed-trial for placement into the spring training program. That was before I knew I’d be pacing the 4:30 marathon group. After I knew I’d be pacing, this race wasn’t quite as important, but I decided I’d still do it since I’d already signed up.
RACE DAY WEATHER
My car read exactly 40° when I left the house at 6:30 AM. I think it stayed right around there for the entire race. There was little to no wind at all, which was awesome and the morning was overcast. At one point after I hit the turn-around point, I looked across the lake (looking east) and saw a beautiful lifting fog above the lake. I wish my phone wasn’t attached to my arm, or else I would have taken a picture.
FEELINGS GOING INTO THE RACE
I wasn’t feeling like racing this one. Since I didn’t need it to place me into a training group any longer, I decided I’d just run and not get too caught up in time and trying to set a PR. That worked out well for the first half of the race….
MEALS BEFORE THE RACE
For dinner the night before I had this Broccoli and Blue Cheese Tart with Walnut Crust along with a salad comprised of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, orange bell pepper, avocado, apple, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixed up in a pretty much empty jar of apricot preserves. The morning of the race, I had my usual, Central Market-made whole wheat English muffin with nut butter (almond butter) and pumpkin butter since we were out of jam (as noted from the salad from dinner the night before).
WHAT I WORE
I wore my white cheap-o Target/Champion sports bra again (I have no fear of chafing with this sports bra, unlike all of my others), a long-sleeve dri-fit light purple Adidas shirt, and my Nike thermal leggings. I also had on my pink Smartwool socks (they are the warmest running socks I have, hence why I’ve worn them two cold races in a row), my Brooks Glycerine running shoes, and (back to my favorite insoles) ProKinetics insoles.
Like almost all of the DRC-sponsored, no-frills races, this race started at Winfrey Point (#5 on the map) at White Rock Lake, and ran south towards the Arboretum and the spillway. The 5K race split and turned around right before the top of the spillway. The 10k continued on, down the hill of the spillway, following the lake as we came up the east side through the straight-away, past TP Hill (#15 on the map). The turn-around point for the 10k was not too far past TP Hill.
THE RACE ORGANIZATION
This is one of eight no-frills races put on by the DRC. The race is free to club members. There aren’t any major corporate sponsors and no corresponding race T-shirt is provided. Bib pick-up in on-site at the race.
I’ve been trying to steer clear of most 5k/10k races lately, but I like the no-frills aspect of the DRC races. It’s less of a production and more about running. With my 5k/10k avoidance in mind, those races get expensive. And I have a gazillion cotton race T-shirts right now, that the cost isn’t worth it to me. The no-frills DRC races provide me with an opportunity of doing a shorter (and hopefully faster) race if I’m in the mood and I don’t have to fork over $35+ to race.
The crowd support was just the volunteers at the water stations and turn around points, directing traffic. Being a short race, crowd support wasn’t particularly important for me.
As I mentioned before, I went into this race, not really in the mood to race, but rather to just run and not get hung up on time or trying to set a new personal record. I met up with several of my pace group friends inside the Winfrey Point building, where we got our bib numbers. We had quite a bit of time to kill so we hung out in the warm building for as long as possible.
Eventually, we were about 10 minutes out so we headed out and down the hill to the start line, but first we stopped to throw our extra layers in the car (thanks Jessica, for letting me throw my fleece in your car!). The start was a little delayed (about 10 minutes) so we were standing around for a while, freezing our booties off. Eventually the crowd started moving and we were crossing the start line. Being a race the trail at the lake, there isn’t a ton of room to maneuver around, so the first mile or so wasn’t exactly a quick start. But, like I said, I wasn’t out to race it, so I wasn’t too bothered by the thick crowd. I stuck pretty closely with my pace group friends, Jessica and Rebecca. It was nice running with them to have conversation flowing. We hit the first water stop and saw another pace group friend, Shea, handing out water as a volunteer. Right around that point, Jessica and Rebecca saw Michael, another pace group friend heading back. He was doing the 5k race and when I talked to him earlier that morning he intended to race it, so with that spotting, we knew he was flying! Before we knew it, we hit the 5k turn-around point and the crowd thinned out some. We continued on our merry little way, down the hill, over the bridge, and past the spillway parking lot. I thought our turn-around point would be somewhere along the long straightaway, but we kept going, and kept going, and kept going. As we came out of the straightaway, I saw the second water stop up ahead, right before the little hill of TP Hill. Still? We haven’t hit the turn-around point yet? We came down the other side of the hill (really, it’s more like a hump), rounded the corner and there was Alyson, another race group friend, directing traffic at the turn-around point (YAY!). At this point Jessica was a little bit behind us, but Rebecca and I were still together and we picked up Mike, a friend from the 4:40 pace group. The three of us chatted for a while as we crossed back over TP Hill and along the straightaway. As we were coming out of the straightaway, towards the spillway parking lot, Mike asked how fast we were going. I looked down at my watch. It said the lap pace was in the 8:50’s and our current pace was about 8:30. We were about to cross the (bouncy) bridge and head back up the biggest, most dreaded hill on the lake when Mike took off. Rebecca took off too. There was no way I was sprinting up the hill like them, so I kept my pace. Rebecca passed Mike and flew back to Winfrey Point. I kept both of them in sight pretty much through the base of Winfrey Point, about a quarter-mile from the finish line, at which point there is a blind spot and you can’t see anyone after they make the curve around Winfrey Point. I ran back through the first water stop and grabbed a Gatorade (hoping it was water) from Shea (thanks Shea!), took a quick sip, tossed it, and kept going. Just a mile left to go! As I got up to the southern part of Winfrey Point, I passed a man. I didn’t think much of it, but as I rounded the corner I saw him catching up to me, right on my left side. I looked over and told him good job. He said the same to me. He was excited. He was about to set a new PR for himself. I told him, Okay, let’s finish this thing (with about .2 miles to go). He took off!! I didn’t have THAT speed in my for a quarter of a mile, but I’m really happy for him. He was so excited! I was hoping to find him after I crossed the finish line to congratulate him, but I didn’t see him again.
With about .1 to go, I caught up with Sy, another friend from my pace group. Again, I turned to him, and said, let’s finish this thing! And we crossed the finish line together. Rebecca was right at the finish line and congratulated us as we crossed. Jessica came in shortly behind me and we saw Jackie and Ritu come in as well (again, more pace group friends).
POST RACE FOOD AND VENDORS
Of course, immediately after the race, all I wanted was water, but there wasn’t too much left at the finish line. We walked back up the hill to the Winfrey Point building and I found another set of jugs which I got Gatorade on my first two tries and then finally water! We headed in and went straight for the banana table.
Being a no-frills race, I don’t expect much more than that, and boy were there a ton of bananas! Several of us stood around for a while, listening to the awards. But the real reason why we stood around was to get stretched out by the doctors at the ChiroSport tables in the back! Initially, I wasn’t going to do it since I wasn’t feeling particularly tight from this race, but I figured, heck, I might as well. While I was waiting for my turn, I heard my pace group friend, Michael’s name be called. He got 3rd place in his division for the 5k! Woohoo! Go Michael!! Eventually my turn came up and the doctor asked me what was up. I told him that when something does feel tight, it most often is my butt. So he got to working on my butt….
NO PAIN NO GAIN
I thought I’d add a new section in, because I think it will be useful for me to refer to this in the future. So as I was saying, I didn’t have much bothering me from this race, but my butt seems to be the spot that does bother me when I have a bothersome spot, just as it did with the New Year’s Double Day Half Marathon. The chiropractor did all kinds of digging and stretching. I mentioned to him that last year my primary tight spots were my calves. Eventually, I asked him if I was doing something that was causing my butt to get so tight. (I like to be proactive about these things, as I find it fascinating and I’m always interested in how I can improve my form.) His diagnosis was that I don’t lift my knees high enough when I run and I turn my feet out. He asked me if, in the previous season, my calves were tight on the inside or outside. I said I couldn’t remember. He felt them and said, yup, inside. I could feel the tightness as he put pressure on them too. Apparently the inner calves are somehow linked to the exact spot in my butt that has been getting tight. He said I’ll probably go back and forth from having a sore butt to having sore calves until I correct my form. I’m interested in seeing him in a real appointment, but we’ll see what insurance will cover and what the remaining bill will be.
OTHER RANDOM THOUGHTS
From the write-up of the race, it should be pretty clear that I have quite a few friends out for the race. It sure makes it more fun seeing people I know. I think that is another appealing element of the DRC races. I’ve made a small running family from a fairly large organization and it makes it so enjoyable to see familiar faces and cheer friends on. Makes me happy.
I’m partial. I love the Dallas Running Club. I had a great time, even thought I wasn’t so much looking forward being in the cold earlier that morning. Like I said, the friends are probably the best part about the race! And the DRC has such great people. I’d run this race again, for sure!
Bib number: 3828
Official Chip Time: 59:47
Official Gun Time: 59:47 (There must have been an error between the two because I was definitely not at the front of the start line. From starting with Jessica and Rebecca, there was about a 40 second lag between their gun and chip times, which sounds about right when comparing to my Garmin)
Official Race Distance: 6.2 miles
Official Average Race Pace: 9’37” (based on the gun time)
Overall Rank: 165 out of 290
Garmin Time: 59:08
Garmin Distance: 6.30
Garmin Average Pace: 9’22”
Mile 1: 10’21”
Mile 2: 10’07”
Mile 3: 9’20”
Mile 4: 9’06”
Mile 5: 8’52”
Mile 6: 8’57”
Mile 6.30: 7’54”