Why hello!! Long time, no blog! Sorry about that. I’ve been in a weird spot lately and this little blog took up a cozy spot on the back burner. I’ve been questioning the direction I want to take Healthy Living in the City in and I’ve decided to hold up on all the food posts for a while. At the same time, I took somewhat of a running hiatus. After the Chicago Marathon, I started to feel down in the dumps about running and once I got the Houston Marathon out of the way, I slacked off completely and only ran when I needed to be a pace leader, which meant I ran two days a week. About a month ago, my attitude changed and running became a priority again, so after 6 months, I’m finally back with a race recap! And what better race to recap than my anniversary race with the Dallas Running Club! (In fact, right before I started drafting this post up, I read my recap from last year, which was really interesting to compare with this year’s experience!)
Race Day Weather
I’ve been doing almost all of my training runs after work, when it is in the 90’s. I think doing this has really helped acclimate me to the heat, because the 8 AM race felt relatively cool and quite comfortable. It was 75º at the start of the race.
By the time I finished, it was 80º. The whole time, I was convinced that last year was much warmer, but it turns out the two races had nearly the same weather conditions!
Feelings Going Into The Race
Since I’d been on a long 6-month racing hiatus, I was actually really nervous for this race. Relatively speaking, my fitness level is way down from where it was this time last year. I vaguely remembered what my pace for the 2013 race was and I was interested to see where my time would fall in relation to last year’s time. (I totally forgot about the hip issues I was having during the 2013 Independence 10k race.) Needless to say, I had a mixed bag of emotions going into this race!
Meals Before The Race
I made Steak Chimichurri with Grilled Garlic Bread and Gilled Tomatoes (OMG, sooooo good!!) along with a side salad for dinner… and a tall glass of water, because I’ve physically noticed how dehydrated I’ve been lately. (My lips are so raw and chapped, they are driving me crazy!)
In the morning, I had a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana slices. Nothing too exciting.
What I Wore
Some new things and some old things for this race “outfit”. I wore my pink C9 sports bra. On top, I had a white Nike Racer tank top and on bottom I wore a pair of purple Nike Tempo shorts. I also wore my gray and pink Features socks with my new Saucony Kinvara 4’s with my gray Super Feet inserts. I also wore my pink SwirlGear headband, my new-ish Garmin Forerunner 620, and my RoadID bracelet. I carried my Nathan hand-held water bottle.
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. (I just used the same map and elevation chart as last year’s race, since nothing changed.)
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
This is a no-frills Dallas Running Club race, so there isn’t a whole lot to say. Bib pick-up was the same morning as the race.
Walking towards “packet” pickup at Winfrey Point.
All the race bibs!
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, and 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. Even though there is a lack of crowd support, I love seeing friends along the course! A lot of people who finished before me stuck around at the end to cheer people on as they came in for the finish, which is always nice.
When I got to the race, I couldn’t find any of my typical running buddies, so I just joined in the crowd as we lined up for the start.
I happened to turn around and I saw my friend, Michael. Michael and I started together.
I’m on the far right and Michael is right next to me in a very patriotic red-white-and-blue shirt.
I told him I didn’t have any plans for this race. I wanted to do decently, but I wasn’t going to go full-out. Michael, on the other hand, did have a specific time goal, so I told him to not feel like he had to stick with me. We did stay together for about a mile, while he warmed up. About a half a mile in, we spotted our friends, Jessica and Rebecca, running together. Michael suggested we speed up a little to catch up to them, and so we did. The four of us continued on for another half a mile before Michael took off. Jessica, Rebecca, and I stuck together for the rest of the race.
I was feeling pretty good the whole time. It definitely helped to have company to keep my pace in check (instead of stopping and walking). We zipped through the first and second water stop and made a U-turn at the turn around point, all the way cheering on friends as we saw them. Once we turned around, I could tell we were running straight into the wind. While the breeze felt nice, it definitely made running against it much harder. At the third water stop (which is the same table as the second water stop), we slowed down to grab so fluid. I got a cup of Gatorade, but it was so sweet, I could barely drink any of it. Onward we went, continuing to chat and enjoy ourselves. It was definitely warm and sunny and the sweat was dripping in my eyes, but I was convinced that last summer’s race was 10 degrees hotter. Haha, like I said, it was interesting to re-read the 2013 recap and find out that the weather conditions were almost exactly the same!
The miles ticked by and we hit the last water stop. I was eager for this one. The remaining water in my water bottle was now warm and not particularly satisfying. I grabbed two cups of water from this water stop and was so happy to chug down COLD water! At this point, I think the three of us were ready for the race to be over with. One more mile to go!
Shortly after this water stop, one of our other friends, Rachel, caught up to us.
From left to right: Rebecca, me, Jessica, Rachel. I missed the blue shirt, black shorts memo!
We were down to a half a mile and then a quarter-mile. We spotted the 6-mile mark and the finish line straight ahead. Jessica, Rebecca, and Rachel took off. I didn’t have .2 miles at full speed in me, so I held back, but shortly after the 3-mile mark sign for the 5k race, I decided to give it my all and finish this thing.
Just a few more feet to the finish line!
I spotted the clock out of the corner of my eye… 1:02:and change. Not too bad! And then I was done!
And for kicks, here is my pace chart.
And my heart-rate chart (I now have a heart-rate monitor!)
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. I think I spotted some granola bars at the end of the table, but there were only two or three left.
No Pain No Gain
I was having some shin issues in the weeks leading up to this race, but I switch shoes and the shin pain was almost instantly gone, so I really didn’t have any major problems during this race. However, I did feel my heart-rate monitor chafing against my rib cage and sure enough, when I got in the shower when I got home, I got that awful burning sensation and a nice, big pink welt on my chest.
Other Random Thoughts
I am really, really, really happy with how this race went. Like I said, I had race jitters from being out of it for the past 6 months and after a month back on the running wagon, I am really pleased with my results. I know I could have run harder, too, if I tried, but that wasn’t my goal for this race. While comparing to last year, I think my mentality of not going full-out was the same, but last year I was having hip problems, which slowed me down. Mentally, I feel like I was in much better shape for the 2013 race, but finishing the race faster this year was a big boost in confidence for me and that is helping me get really excited for marathon training again!
Post-race photo with the speedy running coach, Steve, Rebecca, Jessica, and me.
Oh!!! And Rebecca, Jessica, and I had our photo taken by a D-Magazine photographer. It should be up on the Health and Fitness section of their website on Tuesday 7/8/14.
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. (I liked this section from last year so much, I didn’t change a word of it!)
Bib Number: 1825
Division: Female 30-34
Official Chip Time: 1:02:21
Official Gun Time: 1:02:47
Official Race Distance: 6.2 miles
Official Average Race Pace: 10’02″
Official Rank: 173 out of 340
Sex Rank: 59 out of 154
Division Rank: 15 out of 30
5K Split: 31:18
Garmin Time: 1:02:24
Garmin Distance: 6.34 miles
Garmin Average Pace: 9’51″
Mile 1: 9’55″
Mile 2: 9’47″
Mile 3: 9’51″
Mile 4: 10’01″
Mile 5: 10’02″
Mile 6: 9’55″
Mile 6.34: 8’35″