On Friday we left to head up to Dallas for the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon. Luckily it’s only a few hours away (about three hours), so it’s a quick trip. We thought we’d get in on Friday night, get a good night’s sleep and then hit the expo on Saturday afternoon.
Assumed a little too much since we ended on the party floor in the hotel, ugh. I never understand how people can be so disrespectful. Although their disrespect and security’s choice to do nothing resulted us in getting a free night stay. Still not worth being extremely tired the day before you run a marathon.
Anyways, we headed to the expo at the convention center (parked a few blocks away in street parking so we didn’t pay the crazy parking fees at the lots nearby) and grabbed the goodies. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the expo. I thought it was going to be much smaller than it was since there weren’t a ton of runners (about 5K full marathoners), but they had a good showing, including my favorites Nuun and PRO Compression.
The rest of the day we explored Dallas and of course, had to finish it off with Chipotle! (although, weird, the first one we went to didn’t have any vegetables? they ran out of onions? good thing you can always find another one nearby)
It was nice because the race didn’t start until 8:05, so that meant I could get up later than I normally do during the week! I had a plain white bagel + salted almonds for my breakfast (going with it after success at NYC Marathon), packed up my gels and hit the road. Drop off was super easy; I thought the roads were going to be busier, but I was dropped off and at the start within minutes.
I love listening to all the runner conversations around me before a race. One guy was telling his friends that he was going to run the half (same start) fast so he could make it to church that morning. Meanwhile, I’m starting to get a little concerned that I didn’t wear any throw away gear and in my “race day outfit,” I was already feeling warm. The temperatures were in the mid 60s with about 85% humidity…
Soon they were introducing the elites (LOVE the excitement for Meb!) and we were getting ready to go! They had confetti and fireworks to kick it off (woo!) and here we go…
Within the first 5 miles, I could tell that it wasn’t going to be a good race. My legs felt heavy, my breathing labored and my heart was actually hurting, which is a really scary feeling. Meb ran the relay and just after the four mile mark (ish), he was hanging out taking pictures and giving high fives. I got a high five!
My pace started to slow and I went with it… I could feel the sweat dripping everywhere, which is never a good sign that early in. I kept up with my fueling plan (full Honey Stinger at mile 4 / followed by 1/2 at miles 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22).
I saw my family around mile 7 and stopped for a few seconds to give them my sunglasses and tell them I got to high-five Meb. When I saw them around mile 12, I told them it was going to be at least a 4 hour marathon.
Slowly my pace started to dip slower and slower… I heard other runners around me complain about the weather and say how it affected their performance. Instead of getting mad, I told myself that I hadn’t set any goals anyways, so what’s the big deal? I started handing out high fives, cheering for people wearing my favorite sports team and laughing at the best signs.
Somehow, I missed mile 22 (why does this always happen to me? so weird)… and there were just a few more miles left. My family surprised me at mile 25 (!!!), which is what I needed to get to the end. I got a bit of a last-minute kick to finish in 3:50.42.
So, no, definitely not the race that I expected, but a finish… #16 marathon!… nonetheless. I think this is why the marathon is so intriguing; you just never know when it’ll be your day and the challenges that you will face during the race. I do think that I’ve learned that in order to hit my PR goal… I need to be in a lot better shape than just “squeaking” it in… and while I’m not sure Houston will be the spot to do it, it would be awesome if I could make it happen in Boston.
What you need to know about MetroPCS Dallas Marathon:
- The weather (true to Texas!) is crazy. Last year the race was canceled because it was freezing rain. This year, it was like a hot summer day. So, be prepared for that!
- It is a smaller marathon and there are SO many benefits that go along with it. Great swag, nice and calm race (no elbowing in the back when you hit water stations, even when you run with the half marathoners).
- I was surprised at how much crowd support there was — I was not expecting that!
- The course is nice, you run through downtown and basically through all of Dallas’ most beautiful neighborhoods, along with some time along White Rock Lake. I thought the out and back would bother me, but it really didn’t.
- The race will most likely sell out about a month or two before race day, so make sure you don’t wait til the very end to register!
- Would I do it again? Yes, if you could guarantee that the weather would cooperate! 🙂
- P.S. the medal is balling:
P.S.S. the second best moment from this race –
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