I’ve been very diligent about my training for the Disney Dopey Challenge. Running four races in four consecutive days will be a new experience, and I want to be smart about it. Add to that the hefty registration fee, results in me not doing any races lately. But not racing for several months makes a PirateBobcat go a bit nutso. Not to mention it’s good to break up training now and again with a race. This not only serves as a barometer of your status, but also helps you practice racing. And of course, they’re fun!
This past Saturday I decided to race The Loop 15k by the Dallas Running Club. Here’s why I chose it: I had some friends doing it, the weather was finally supposed to cool off, it fit into my training schedule, and the registration fee was only $10! Also, I had never run a 15k, so instant PR!
They call this race The Loop, because it takes you on one loop of White Rock Lake. It’s a very popular running and biking spot in Dallas. It’s where I go to do my long runs as the lake is about 8.9 miles around. There are also a few detours to make add distance. This race had to add a detour because we needed to get to 9.3 miles to complete the 15k. I know, right, why aren’t we on the metric system, except for races? Haha!
The start/end was at Winfrey Point. I assume named for Oprah.
My last several half marathons have been run at around an 8:12 per mile pace. My goal after the Dopey is to get faster and the next step is to run 8:00 min miles in a Half. I secretly hoped I could do that in this 15k. I thought that hope was out the window when I arrived though because the weather was not cool like the weather dude promised. It was in the low 80’s with 90% humidity. It was swampy. I did a quick warm up before the race and was absolutely drenched with sweat. But a funny thing happened when the gun sounded – I was able to finish with a pace UNDER 8 min miles! Here’s what had happened…
Before the race I started chatting with a dude who was new to running. He was asking me all sorts of questions about it, which I was happy to answer. This guy is younger and looked like he was in pretty good shape, but this race would be a new experience for him. Also, at the start line I saw one of my running buddies – Lea. She’s a great runner who is getting ready for the Houston and Boston Marathons. I decided to try and keep up with her despite the weather. My new friend decided to try and keep up with me despite his newness. We did all stay together until about mile 7 when we hit some hills. Not nice hills either. They actually hit me pretty hard, and I fell off the pace a bit. But my two friends did great and finished just ahead of me. Lea even got 2nd place in her age group.
I finished in 1:13:48. Good enough for 8th in age group and 60th overall out of 512. I was really happy with this. Especially considering the weather, and especially considering that I took a few walk breaks through water stations (and part way up the last nasty hill). The conditions were so bad that I had to briefly stop at one point and tighten the belt lace in my running shorts because they were so heavy with sweat that they kept falling down, and I didn’t want to have a wardrobe malfunction on the course – especially in case a race photographer was around!
There was also a 5k race that I had some friends in. In both the 5k and 15k, my other friends did great in their races too! It was tough out there and I’m proud of them all! One friend even got 1st in his 5k age group!
But here’s the thang – about 15 minutes after I finished my run, the skies opened up and it began to pour down rain! I was glad I finished before the wet stuff came down, but after it passed, the weather dropped down into the 50’s! What I wouldn’t have given for those temps at the start of the race! Oh well, what are you going to do? Hopefully those cooler temps will stick around for a while for my next round of training runs.
Anyways, that’s why there are no post race photos – because it was pouring rain and cold as crap. I’ll try to take a photo of the lake next time I run there. Some nice views!
I know this was a big racing weekend around the country. Did you race? How’d you do? If not, what did you do? How’s the weather there?