A Little Rain Can’t Stop Me

And now for the Dallas half recap I promised.

Ahh, Dallas, land of extreme weather – or at least it is when I visit.  I had trained for many months to run the Dallas half since we’d be missing the Houston half due to our honeymoon in January.  I thought I was more than prepared, but I underestimated that this would easily be the wettest, most miserable event/run I have done.  I promise I’m trying to be positive in this post :), but it was really a tough one!  Luckily we had a lot of family support to help us out.  Before the run:

We left the house on time, however, we got stuck in a huge line of traffic while trying to get to the start location (at the State Fair Grounds).  We waited in traffic for at least an hour!  We didn’t have time for a start line picture, so we just took one in the car; I like that both David & Laura closed their eyes:

 The race started at 8 AM, and we made it to a nearby gas station at 7:45.  Normally we’re waiting in the corral by that time!

The gas station had a long bathroom line so we ran to some port-a-potties and waited while the start guns went of for the elite runners.

After finishing, we again ran to the start corrals where there was no order whatsoever.  I should have started up at David’s corral, but I went back to my corral, which was filled with slower runners already.

Regardless, I put a smile on my face as the race started – this would be hardcore running!

The run started with drizzle, which wasn’t too bad.  In the first few miles, I was passing a lot of people and hopping around puddles.  The rain continued and really downpoured around mile 6.  At that point, avoiding puddles didn’t matter anymore because my shoes were soaked.  I worked to stay positive and enjoyed the crowds that came out (thanks!).  I loved when one guy screamed “It’s a great day to be alive!”

During the run I was zig-zagging a lot to pass people and avoid slippery surfaces which affected my gait a bit and made for some really achy hips and knees.

I was able to stay strong throughout the race, though the run seemed to drag more than usual on since I was looking at every step I took.  Still, for the conditions, I ran the best I could and came in with a PR of 1:56:51 hrs with an 8:55 min/mi pace and ranked 103 out of 1059 in my division.

I was ecstatic when I crossed the finish line!  It was great to hear David cheering from the crowd “You did it!”  He is my biggest fan, I love it!  I do feel that with better conditions I could break 1:55, but I’m staying content for now.  I trained a lot to get below 2!  My last half was at 2:10, so a 13 minute improvement is pretty darn good.

David felt sick, but ran anyway and also PR-ed with a 1:39:53.  That’s a 7:37 min/mi average – wow!  He is the runner in this family 🙂

I met David, and we quickly headed to a building to get our finisher medal and t-shirts.  Next, the race volunteers directed us outside then into another building were the family reunion area was.  At that point my body temperature had dropped a lot and going outside again in cold clothes did not make me happy!

We had planned to meet at the family reunion area, but had not calculated that we’d be waiting there in wet clothes for over an hour.  By the time David’s parents found us, we were shivering and huddled like penguins, and I was starting to feel naseuous.

David’s dad quickly gave me his jacket and I took off my wet shirt.  I felt much better.  Laura & Bryan did great and came in around 2:45 hrs (it was their first half and they had been expecting 3 hours).

We took a long walk to the car (parking was far away), where I took off my wet shoes & socks and bundled up with a blanket until we got home and I took the best hot shower ever.  We were too tired to go out to eat, so we ordered pizza and watched a movie before the drive back to Houston.

I’m really proud of myself and happy this race is DONE, but the race itself didn’t meet my expectations of what a well organized race should be.  My beef with the Dallas Whiterock:

  • Poor start location with inadequate road access
  • Parking too far away
  • Poor corral organization & enforcement
  • Lack of port-a-potties
  • Finisher reunion area, food, and t-shirts/medals all in different locations

If you’re looking to do a half marathon, I’d definitely recommend the Houston half if you ever get the chance!

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