This race happens to be my anniversary race with the Dallas Running Club. I debated all week long if I wanted to run in this race or not and on Wednesday, the last day to sign up, I decided to go ahead and sign up. Traditionally, this is the race that determines what pace group you will be put in for fall half/full marathon training, but since I will be a pace leader, my time didn’t really matter that much.
Race Day Weather
I’m pretty sure last year’s race was more hot, but it was still a warm one. The temperature started out at about 77°F at the beginning of the race.
By the end of the race, the temperature creeped up a few degrees to 81°F
Feelings Going Into The Race
From the get-go, I decided I’d take this race relatively easy. Of course whenever I race, I want to do my best, but there were several reasons why I wasn’t planning on pushing it too hard for this race. First off, it was a last-minute decision, which shouldn’t make that much of a difference, but with little mental preparation, I wasn’t feeling the need to go all-out. Second, as I mentioned above, this race is the race that determines which pace group you will be put in for fall training, but since I’ve already been placed with a group as the pace leader, my time really didn’t matter for the fall training. Third, I ran the night before. I met up with some friends who are training for the El Scorcho/La Scorchita and ran with them so I could get more of a long run in. I only ran 10 miles, but we started at 10 PM and I didn’t get home until 1 AM. During that 10-mile run, I was having some hip issues and the combination of the late night, tired legs, and hip issues resulted in my third reason for taking this race easy.
Meals Before The Race
This one is a bit unusual for me since I had a midnight (or really 1 AM) snack once I got home from my 10-mile run. But before that, for dinner I tried to clean out the produce shelf in the fridge as well as eat up some grains. I made a sauté with zucchini, bell pepper, shallot, frozen carrots, frozen peas, frozen corn, frozen lima beans, sausage and amaranth.
I’ve actually never had amaranth before. I picked up a sample pack at the BlogHer Food conference in Austin and thought I’d give it a try. If you’ve never had it before, I’d say it’s a cross between quinoa and polenta. It was dense and sticky like polenta, but the texture of the individual grain was similar to quinoa.
And it was petty cool to watch cook!
When I walked in the door from my night run, I could smell that Nick had just made a midnight snack for himself. I jumped on the opportunity to join him. We each had a Trader Joe’s Beef Steak Burrito.
Since I had this “midnight” snack just a few hours before I actually woke up for the race, I decided to go rather light for my pre-race breakfast and just had a spoonful of almond butter.
What I Wore
My outfit nearly matched what I wore for the Jalapeño Half, with some change in color. I wore my C9 white sports bra, as usual. On top, I had a raspberry and purple Nike Racer tank top and on bottom I wore a pair of purple Nike Tempo shorts. I also wore my raspberry Features socks with an older pair of Brooks Glycerine running shoes and a new pair of ProKinetics Posture Control insoles. (I initially set out my “newer” pair of Brooks, the pair I got injured in, but after my hip started to hurt on Friday night- also wearing those- I decided to switch back to the older pair.) I also wore my blue Flip Belt, a pink Under Armour headband, my Garmin Forerunner 610, and my RoadID bracelet. I carried my Camelbak even though the water stops were about a mile apart. I’m just so dehydrated going into races that I’m better off carrying my own water and drink the second I need it. I also brought one Clif Shot Blok in Margarita flavor for the turn-around point. I brought my Mission Enduracool towel with me and put it in my Camelbak when I walked out the door, but unfortunately I forgot to take it out of my Camelbak once I got to the race.
Almost all of the Dallas Running Club races are on White Rock Lake. We started at Winfrey Point and headed North, turning around just past the Mockingbird overpass.
The water stops were roughly located at miles 1 and 2, which, being an out and back race, were roughly miles 4 and 5 on the way back.
This stretch is relatively flat with just a couple of baby hills or really humps near the Bath House (around mile 2 & 4).
The Race Organization
Being a less publicized/no fee for members DRC race, I consider this to be a no-frills race, which I prefer for shorter distances. I find that no-frill club races weeds out the people who don’t normally do races. Maybe you know the kind; a huge group of people all walking together, taking up the entire path or people who get to the front of the pack to walk/push a stroller the entire way. Not that there is anything wrong with those people. I’m perfectly down for it if you want to walk with your large group or walk/push a stroller, but please, please, please start at the back of the race and let the runners go through. Anyway, like I said, being a no-frills race really helps take care of the “clueless” people.
Also being a no-frills club race, packet pickup was basically show up at Winfrey Point a few minutes before the race and find your bib on the table. They have the system down and it works well. I quickly and easily found my bib.
I think DRC changed their timing system, too because we used to have our chips on the back of our bibs but the chips for this race were the kind you put on your shoe.
There is very little crowd support for the no-frills club races, but I’m okay with that. The crowd support that is there are volunteers at the water stops, most, if not all of them are DRC members, so I always know somebody working the water station or directing people at the turn around point. So even though there is a lack of crowd support, I love seeing friends along the course!
I ran into my friend, Michael, the one I ran the Cowtown half marathon with, and we decided early on that we’d run together. We headed down the hill to the lake and got settled in the pack while we waited the few minutes for the race to start.
No dilly-dallying; we were off right away. Our initial plan was to keep it around a 10 minute mile since it was hot and neither of us felt like pushing it. My legs were instantly tired, but we continued on, holding a pretty solid sub-10′ pace. A few friends passed us within the first mile to mile and a half and we said hi and they carried on. We skipped over the water stops on the way out, but said hi to our friends working the stations. My hip was bothering me, but I tried to press through. Around mile 2.75, almost near our turnaround point, Michael’s calf cramped up. We pulled off the road and my watch buzzed. Dang it, I turned on the Auto Pause setting a week ago when I had to do a hard reboot and I never turned it off. So my Garmin time doesn’t reflect the running time. After just a few seconds, Michael told me to go on ahead so I started running again.
I hit the turn around point and shortly there after, I ran into Rebecca (who I started the Dallas Marathon with). We stuck together for about a mile and as we came up to the 4 mile water stop I told her that if she wanted to go faster, she didn’t need to wait for me. We both took water and Gatorade from this stop and she picked up while I slowed down. My hip was really bugging me, but I wasn’t ready to totally give up yet. As I passed through the 4 mile water stop, I saw Vishal, the director of the half/full marathon training program. He was out at the Friday night run and he knew I was having some hip issues. As I grabbed my cup of water from him he asked if I was okay. I responded with an unenthusiastic “yea”. You know, like saying yea because you don’t want to admit that things aren’t really that great.
Anyway, I continued on for the rest of the way alone. I came up to the mile 5 water stop and took some more water and Gatorade. From this water stop until the mile 6 marker, I basically crashed and decided to run/walk to help relieve the pain in my hip. I only took two walking breaks and I knew it killed the pace I’d maintained for the first 5 miles, but I kept thinking, I’m doing WAY better than I did last year and my time really isn’t that important.
At mile 6, I picked it up and as I hit the 0.1 to go sign, I high tailed it to the end. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw 1:04 and change. Meh. Not great, but given the temperature, tired legs (and body), and hip pain, it could have been a lot worse!
I stuck around for a few minutes after to watch some of my friends come in, including Michael, who was just having a bad day all together.
And for kicks, here is my pace chart.
Post Race Food And Vendors
Again, being a no-frills race means there is very little in the way of food and vendors after the race. There were bananas and granola bars.
No Pain No Gain
Yeah, it should be pretty evident by now that I was having some hip issues. More specifically, I was having trouble with my left hip. Luckily, my chiropractor is a DRC sponsor and comes out to all of the DRC races to work on participants, so I got a FREE session!!
He worked on me FOREVER and while it was insanely painful, it was also glorious! It pays to be a client!!
Other Random Thoughts
No random thoughts for this race. It was pretty cut and dry.
I like the no-frills DRC races, and while I don’t do all of them, I always enjoy the simplicity and community feel of them. I hate summer racing because I don’t do well with the heat, but being an anniversary race, it is fun to see where I was and where I am now.
Bib Number: 596
Division: Female 30-34
Official Chip Time: 1:04:06
Official Gun Time: 1:04:26
Official Race Distance: 6.2 miles
Official Average Race Pace: 10’20″
Official Rank: 245 out of 410
Sex Rank: 91 out of 192
Division Rank: 19 out of 32
5K Split: 31:24
4.65 Mile Split: 47:27
Garmin Time: 1:03:45
Garmin Distance: 6.33 miles
Garmin Average Pace: 10’05″
Mile 1: 9’53″
Mile 2: 9’44″
Mile 3: 9’52″
Mile 4: 10’06″
Mile 5: 10’07″
Mile 6: 10’58″
Mile 6.33: 9’28″