This was a surprising race performance for me and just about everyone I know who ran it. I wasn’t expecting much as I’d been sick for about three weeks straight and couldn’t run for more than a couple miles without getting exhausted. Add to that that on race morning the temps were in the 30’s (USA) with steady 20+ mile per hour winds with gusts up to 40 mph (USA) that pushed the wind chill factor into the 20’s (USA). And I knew the first 8 miles were pretty much on a steady incline (running into the wind). So like I said, I wasn’t expecting much of a good performance.
I was so not expecting a good performance that I didn’t even bother to warm up before the race. Instead I found some friends in a hotel lobby and just kept warm and lounged. But here’s the funny thing…once the race started, I ran along at a pretty decent clip for me. In fact, I was trying to take it out slow, but instead found myself running 8 min miles flat for the first few.
I knew that I hadn’t been able to train properly and that I probably wouldn’t have the endurance to keep it up, but as the race went on, I kept on keeping on. I was ahead of the 1:45 pace group for a good portion of the race. That would’ve been a PR by almost three minutes. But then it happened around mile 10-11, I hit the wall from lack of conditioning and had to take a walk break. The break took around two minutes, and I knew it would cost me a PR, but I was fine with it, like I said, I wasn’t expecting much.
I average a 1:50 half marathon. Sometimes a few minutes faster or slower depending on the day. With everything considered going into this race, I was just hoping not to have a PW (personal worst, not sure if it’s a real term, just thought of it). But I finished in my 3rd best time at 1:48:03, within 20 seconds of my PB (personal best, not peanut butter). If I hadn’t taken that walk break, I would’ve crushed my PR by minutes. That’s gives me hope cause I never really felt especially labored, I just didn’t have the endurance thanks to that illness.
Now, I have another Half Marathon in less than a month. I’m hoping to build on this performance and hope for a new PR in that race. I’d love to get down to 1:45 as the next milestone, but we’ll take it as it comes. I’m feeling much better now (health-wise) and hope to get a few good weeks of training in. We’ll see how it goes!
Before I sign off, let me add some constructive criticism about this race in case any race director happens to see this…not trying to be negative, just want to help make things better. 1.) I find it a real shame that our entry fees for RnRDal no longer benefits any charities whatsoever. I’ve may be naive, but I’ve never heard of a race that didn’t have a charity attached to it. I see now that they are purely for-profit organization, and that makes me sad. 2.) I thought the medal was kind of spare. People commented on how the ribbon seemed like it was a cheap-o picked up at JoAnn Fabric. And in this age of big fancy medals, the RnRDal was kind of small. I also don’t quite get how a guitar represents Dallas. In years past they’ve had other land marks incorporated into the medal…like the giant Ferris wheel at Fair park. I know there are a few guitarists that call Dallas home, but I’m not sure Lisa Loeb will go down in history next to Jimi Hendrix. 3.) I still think the race should start at 7 instead of 8 am. And that’s coming from a non morning person. 4.) I still think it’d be much cooler to end inside the Cotton Bowl instead of outside of it. 5.) And I still think the course could find some other parts of Dallas to run through – like going through Deep Ellum instead of by all the bail bond shops in the first few miles. It seemed like this year’s course copied some of the exact portions of the Dallas Marathon course. Not every race has to go up Turtle Creek Blvd. folks! 6.) I know it was cold and that kept spectators away, but the course entertainment seemed really light this year. Not a lot of bands, cheerleading teams, etc. along the way. Not sure if they bailed, or less were booked this year, but it felt kind of empty.
All that said, everyone I know seemed to PR this day, or at least have a good finishing time. And I was so very proud of the people we helped train – some of which had never run a half before. They all finished and I think they all PR’d too! It was also very cool that some members of our group either went back after finishing and helped others in our group finish, or some didn’t run the race at all but instead did the same thing and just helped others finish by running them in. That was really cool. Runners helping runners. Hopefully one day those newbies will be more experienced and able to help newer newbies. It all goes full circle.
Anyways, congrats to all who finished! Way to get out there and battle the elements! Success everyone!