Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Half Recap

In case you've been living under a rock and haven't seen the obscene amount of posts on facebook about my running journey, I thought I'd take a moment to recap my first half marathon experience.

After weeks of training that began after my 10k in January Kim was able to talk me into training for a half marathon. We followed Hal Higdon's, Training for your first Half - Novice. It was very challenging and rewarding at the same time. I loved achieving a new goal each weekend when I increased my mileage. It was a great feeling of accomplishment.

I started feeling anx ious about the race the Friday before. I woke up that morning with an upset stomach which I new was just anxiety. Thankfully, Connor had his 11th birthday party Friday evening so that day flew by. I picked up my race packet at the Expo at the Dallas Convention Center Friday morning and spent the rest of the day prepping for Connor's party.

Saturday, was a busy day with an appointment with the tax lady to pick up our business taxes and I spent the day making sure I drank plenty of water to stay hydrated and focused on eating plenty of healthy and carb loaded foods so I would have plenty of energy for the half the next day. Kim and I enjoyed a pasta dinner at her house as a kick off to the half.

I fell asleep just after 11:00 p.m. and woke up at 5:00 a.m. to eat a bowl of oatmeal and drink a bottle of water and head down to Fair Park. A cool front came through Saturday night and it was freezing waiting for the race to start but PERFECT weather to run in. I love to run in the cold...I'm a tab bit faster in cooler temps. We enjoyed waiting for our corral to start and watching all the interesting people. One girl was dressed in a gingerbread man costume and we also saw Elvis dressed for a quick 13.1 mile run.
(Kim and I waiting in our corral to start the race)

Troy Aikman fired the start pistol and I was surprisingly calm waiting to start. We got going about 25 minutes after the race officially started, we were in corral 12. I was only 3/4 of a mile into the race when I had to make a detour to the first set of port-a-potties. I couldn't believe it, not even a full mile into it and I had to make a pit stop. Surprisingly, I was not the only one and had to wait in a short line.

The course was really fun. There were local bands every mile marker, high school drill teams and cheerleaders were out along with a lot of spectators that were cheering everyone along. It made the time go by so much faster than my training runs.

We ran through some of Dallas' most beautiful neighborhoods (Turtle Creek, Highland Park just to name a few). At mile 9 was a GU station. What is GU you might ask? I had no idea what it was either until I started running distances further that about 6miles and my sister said we needed it to help with our energy to finish our runs.

GU is the consistency of pancake batter, you rip off the top and squirt it in your mouth. Your suppose to drink water with it too. I had started taking GU around 3 miles with a bag of GU Chomps (like a fruit snack, it was in my race packet.) I also did GU at the 9 mile station and around mile 10 my tummy was starting to feel weird. I started looking around for the port-a-potties that had been along the course and found none. Finally, just before mile 10 we passed a bagel shop and I had to make a detour to relieve my upset tummy. Just as I got back out to Kim and we resumed our run we ran into our step sister, Jessica. She scared the tar out of us. She ran up from behind and yelled "booyah!" as she jumped in front of us. I have no idea where she mustered all that energy at mile 10. We ran with her on and off for the remainder of the race. Jessica...You ROCKED it girl!!! Can't forget our step brother, Josh, who finished his in 2:15. Wowser, Josh!

I was still feeling good and excited to only have a 5k left. It wasn't until passing mile marker 12 and entering into Fair Park that I began to wonder if it would ever end. There were a lot more spectators and the course was fenced off. I saw my sweet friend, Amanda and her boyfriend at one point cheering us on and new we had to be getting close to the finish line. The last 1/4 mile seemed to last forever. Finally, Kim spotted the finish line up ahead and told me we were close and I took that as a sign to pick up my pace (my legs felt like jello at this point). I somewhat sprinted the remainder to the finish line. It felt AWESOME to cross that finish line.

After running across the finish line I walked for a minute to my medal and turned around and hugged Kim. I can't thank her enough for all her encouragement and support and running the race with me. Thank you SOOOO much Kim, I love you!

My chip time recorded me at 2:50:28 (this time includes my two port-a-potty stops) but my Garmin watch recorded 2:40:03. I stopped my Garmin watch for the port-a-potty stops. That gave me a 12:18 mile pace. I'm pleased with that. Last May I couldn't run to thecorner of my street (2 homes away) without being exhausted. 10 months and 60 pounds lighter I was able to run my first half marathon and mark it off my bucket list.

Many thanks to my friends and family for their love and encouragement. Especially these two cuties and my awesome husband, Keith!

Oh, and how did I forget. Bret Michaels is the headliner for this race series. He went on stage around 11:30. It was really cool to see him live even if it was freezing outside.


Courtney Smith said...

Yay Laura! You did so great. I can't tell you how proud I am of all of you for your accomplishments! Congrats!!

What am I listening to?

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones