DRC is not my favorite race. I've got nothing against DRC, in fact they put on a great race, more on that later. But traditionally this race is the first weekend of November and this being Texas, it is often hot. This is a tough course, very hilly. Hilly + Hot = Grumpy Pink Girl. Of course, last year I didn't do this race because I was, you know, running my first marathon in NYC.
My training schedule called for a step back week (thank you sweet Hal for step back weeks, mwah!) of only 14 miles so this half seemed perfect. Plus, I had a pretty stinkin' awesome coupon. Sign me up.
I started the day off right by falling back in time and gaining an extra precious hour of sleep. Except, I woke up every hour afraid that I had overslept. Now, why was I so nervous? I run well over 13 miles for my long run every week. I eat 13 miles for breakfast. Or, whatever. Plus, the race wasn't until 8 and we normally start our long runs at 5 am. So, why worry? Dunno.
I finally got out of bed when my alarm went off and celebrated my race by donning a new pair of socks. I get a lot of free socks from coaching. But I store them like a squirrel stores acorns in the Fall. So for big races, I shuck my graying Feetures and bust out a new shiny white pair. These are the thicker Feetures and I, gasp, actually PAID for them. (shocking, I know) I do love me some Feetures! (hey Feetures, you hear that? Your socks are the ones I pay for I love 'em so much!) I don't know why my feet look so manly in this picture. I swear I don't have many feet. Old lady feet, maybe. Boy Mom and Coach Swimmifer met up at my house and we headed to the lake. Or rather, the train station. Parking was going to be a mess and DRC had arranged for shuttle buses. DRC, you did a great job with transportation. It went seamless. Thank you for that.
For the first time in years, it was not 80 (26.6 C) on race day. It was a breezy 45 (7.2 C) at race start. Here is Kat and Coach Swimmifer.
We met up with precious Jules too. Here she is with Kat and Boy Mom. Uh, can you tell we are cold? You should have seen me. I checked my jacket with my bag and was wandering around in shorts, a short sleeve shirt and gloves, wearing Coach Swimmifer's pants as a jacket. Classy, that's me.
Okay, so I tried really, really, really hard not to set any goals for this race. It is just a training run. I kept telling myself this. And then every stinkin' person I saw before the race (and I saw plenty) kept asking what my goal was. And then proceeded to guess. "Oooh, I bet you run sub 2!" Um, are you new? "Yeah, Pink Girl is fast, I bet she runs a 2:05!" This from my coaching partner. Seriously y'all, have you seen me run? Sheesh.
But you know, of course as much as I claimed not to have goals, I did. Here they are. My "I'll take it if I have to" goal was 2:15. That's a pretty standard half for me. My "Ooh, baby, way to go!" goal was 2:11, my current PR. And the coup de grace, my "I'll dance on the table" goal was, oh, nevermind, I'll keep that one to myself. (as you always should)
Really, I hoped to maintain a 10:30 pace as that is my goal pace for my marathon coming up in December. I managed that for my 18 miler a few weeks ago so it seemed totally doable. But then of course, what did I do? Run like a maniac at a 9:15 pace for the first 6 miles. And then, predictably, zonk for the next 7. It got warm, I got tired and ralphy. Oh yes, there was hurling involved. Always lovely. Around mile 10 I was so over this race. I just wanted to stop. Unfortunately, there is really only one way to stop, and that's to get to the finish line. My legs just didn't want to run. I tried to sweet talk them into a nice 10:30 pace, but they just wouldn't do it. It's like I had two speeds, 9 minute mile or walk. There was no in between. Sigh. It's called PACING, lady. Look into it.
I ended crossing the finish line at a total of 13.29 miles in 2:16:35. Average pace, 10:16. Even with hurling, I managed to come in under my goal pace, if not under my goal time. Here I am meeting up with longtime friend Adam. I've been knowin' him since he was in high school. (me, not so much) I don't know why the guy behind me looks like he is ice skating.
Us lovely ladies in the Biergarten post race. While they were maxin and relaxin in here, I was roaming the place picking up all kinds of great swag. (can you say Muscle Milk???) All in all this was a great race. Except for the ralphing issue (my bad) I had a good race. I was very pleased with my time. While it wasn't a half marathon PR, it was a course PR and this pretty tough course. I'm happy. (but I would have been happier had I NOT had to "pull over" in front of a bunch of people)
DRC did a great job with many things. The race director deserves a pat on the back. First, there were gender specific technical shirts. Uh, thank you! Love it. Secondly, parking could have been a nightmare. We were kept very informed via e-mail and the shuttle buses worked like clockwork. (other races with shuttles, not so much, I almost missed a race once because of slow shuttles...looking at you Tour de Fleur...) The swag in the packet pick up was awesomesauce. I got Gu, Shot Bloks, Clif bars and some trail mix thingy. At the race, there was plenty of water on hand (even though I bring my own in this cutie) Lots of enthusiastic volunteers all along the course made it go by quickly. And after? Well, I was greeted with not one but 2 slices of pizza and 2 breakfast burritos. (sadly, after my little episode, these did not sound good at all, but Hubs gobbled them up for me) There was still plenty more swag post race. I got more Shot Bloks, Clif Bars and some chocolate Muscle Milk. I won't have go to the grocery store for days! Good thing, we all know how I loathe the grocery store. Way to go DRC!
Afterwards I showered and then refuled at Chuy's with a chile relleno. Whoever invented the chile relleno should be knighted by the queen. I mean really, a green chile, stuffed with cheese, breaded and then deep fried? Pure culinary genius. Nom nom nom. Plus, there was a bird on the patio, under our tables, hunting for scraps. For reals. See?
Nothin' here birdie, this Pink Girl was hongry!