While I've been able to read your blogs, I haven't been able to post a blog. But I'm back, back again. And I feel like I've had so much to say that it's almost worth posting backdated. Ha!
Saturday I conned my mother, Da, and Sister into heading downtown for the inaugural Rock n Roll Dallas Expo. Needless to say there was absolutely nothing for them to look at at Expo. Not a fan of Expos myself, we were in and out as quickly as possible. I must say, they were very organized and I moved through all 3 lines (bib, shirt, goodie bag) expeditiously.
They did manage to pick up some free pink pom poms and here they are on the streets of Dallas pretending to cheer for me. I have the best relatives. And yes, Da is wearing a cross country tee for the middle school she works at. So true.As a bribe, er, thank you, I treated them to The Cupcakery. They have mini cupcakes now! Da chose red velvet and Sister selected Tickle Me Pink. I opted for 4 minis instead to share with Hubs. He took the Oh My Gosh Ganache and I gobbled up the Strawberry Shortcake. Because, really, it has glitter. What better reason? Sunday early (oh, time change how you kick my booty each Spring) we jumped on the DART train and headed for downtown. Smarties we are, avoiding the whole arrive at the finish line and be shuttled to the start line bidness. Who thinks of these things anyway? Plus, we arrived at the Convention Center, which was open, thankyouverymuch, and had real potties! No porta johns. Whew. OC we each ran into people we knew in the various corrales. Hugs all around. I did get to see the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, sigh. My dream job. If only I was taller, thinner and could, you know, dance.
Here is the view just after the start line. Big D indeed! The course was a good one. Uphill the first 8 miles, but only a couple of steep ones, mostly just a gentle incline. I mean, it is Dallas, not Austin. We ain't got many hills. But my hamstrings still felt it! I wore a pacing bracelet and we stayed within a minute of my 2:15 goal the whole time. I enjoyed going through downtown, uptown and Highland Park. I did not enjoy running around Fair Park. But really, who does? Not the best or most scenic part of Dallas.
Encouragement to go faster maybe??? Sprint your way out of the hood? About mile 11 we had all quit talking to one another, it had warmed up and we were all concentrating on finishing strong. Two of the girls put in their earbuds. I really felt like I had more in me to give. So I bade them farewell and took off.
Or, you know, tried to. Turns out I didn't have much more gas in my tank after all. But I was determined to make up that minute that I was off. Surely I could make up 30 seconds each mile, right? I basically fartleked the rest of the way. I knew the Longhorn Band would be at the finish line so I kept my ear turned for The Eyes of Texas, my reward. Soon enough, I could hear the drum line. I started to sprint. Drumming turned into Texas Fight. My song! I gave a good fist pump, started singing and gave it all I had.
Until I realized that the band was NOT at the finish line! Whaaaat? Cruel! I wasn't sure how much longer I had to go and let me just tell you, singing at the top of your lungs doesn't help you run any faster. So I quieted down and slowed down as well. Where in the Sam Hill was that finish line? I couldn't even hear the band anymore. Arrrrgh!
Finally, I turned another corner and saw it. I didn't even have the gas to sprint. I was worried I was going to hurl. I took in plenty of water, but they served Cytomax on the course and I've never tried it. Didn't think race day was the optimal time to try out a new drink. I'm a Gatorade/Powerade girl.
I crossed the finish, actually remembered to stop my watch, then sank down, hands my knees to catch my breath. About 4 people rushed over to see if I was okay. Um, really, thanks, but I'm fine. Don't most people need a second after crossing the finish line? 2:14 was my official time. I managed to make up that minute and then another. Whew! No PR, and I was really using this as a training run, but let me be honest, I raced this thing. I did manage negative splits and I'm pleased as punch about that. I'm sure that was ALL because it was downhill, but whatevs. Negative split is negative split.
I'm encouraged by my time though. The weather is about what I can expect in Cincy. It was uphill the first 8 miles, much like Cincy, uphill the first 6. So, in theory, if I can keep that pace for the first half and maybe just a wee bit slower the second, well, 2:14 + 2:14 and then some...hopefully = many minutes less than 5:45!!! Fingers crossed.
Sadly, I later found out that a young man had died moments after crossing the finish line, about 20 minutes before me. So tragic. He leaves behind a young family. He ran the race with his brother, who witnessed it all. Please keep them in your prayers as they grieve.
What was different about this race, is that I ran with a new group of girls. Not my regular racing crew. Bonus, it was Staci's first half marathon! I'm so proud of her - she did GREAT! Here she is after the finish. She did it!!! Here is our group, Kara, Staci, TPG and Anne. Can you believe Anne just had a baby 6 months ago and is already back to racing halfs? What a woman!
All in all it was a great race. Sure, I'd like to have broken 2:10, but hey, I'm satisfied with 2:14. Rock and Roll did a great job. There was plenty of water on the course, I enjoyed the bands and there was PLENTY of water and food aftewards. I had two orange slices, a banana and a bagel. There was more to have than even that. Usually I have to beg water off a volunteer, but not this time! Plus, the medal was huuuge, heavy and handsome. It even had glitter on the Texas Star. You know I'm a sucka for anything with glitter! Totes worth my money...but I signed up very early and only paid around $70. The fee at Expo was a whopping $125 - are you kidding me? For a half? No way! I'm thinking about signing up for next year now as it's only $55. Hmm.
Hal told me that if I raced, I could forgo my long run. So no 18 miles for me this weekend! I have a 12 mile stepdown this week and then 20 next week. I think I may do 12 on Saturday and then pack another 5 or 6 in on Saturday night. What do y'all think about that? Should I leave the 12 mile as is, or put in another run pm? I'm following the program to a tee, but my last training program was so mileage intensive, I feel like I'm slacking. Maybe I should just trust Hal who is in his 70's an run over 111 marathons. Hmm, maybe Hal knows more than me! Ya think?
Here is my schedy for this week:
Mon - 4 miles (Indian run for some speed work)
Tues - xtrain (squats, squats and more squats)
Wed - 8 miles
Thurs - 5 miles (going to try to work in some hills yo)
Fri - xtrain (prolly stycling)
Sat - 12 miles am, 5-6 pm maybe
It's good to be back!
It's good to be back!