Happiest of Mondays to you! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I ran the BMW Dallas Marathon this past Sunday!! And I have lived to tell you all about it. I’m a tad sore today, but hey I survived. Let’s get to the nitty gritty, shall we?
Although I’ve completed this particular race series many times over the 8 years I’ve been running distance, this was the 2nd time I had run the full marathon course, and my 27th 26.2. I actually think the course makes for an excellent half course, providing just enough of a challenge with some rolling hills mixed in, but mostly flat and fast and showcasing many Dallas gems. This was the 2nd year in a row I had run 26.2 as a BMW race, which was super cool and I really felt like BMW as a whole did a fantastic job with many perks that made the race special (pancakes, wine tastings and beer at the finish, and pretty medals this year). The expo was super organized too. I arrived on Saturday to get my race swag and of course had to take a quick photo.
I had dinner and then was in for the night. Race morning I took the DART rail straight downtown, which was nice since the rail system is literally right in front of my apartments. I can literally hop on and I’m there (or anywhere, it even takes me straight to the airport terminals!) within minutes. This was so nice not to have to stress and worry about logistics and parking. I got there about an hour early and had time to stretch, use the ladies facility and such. They had the OMNI hotel open for the runners so it was nice and warm inside and folks were having coffee and taking photos.
The race started at 8:10 AM with a corral start, and I was in corral B. Shalane Flanagan and Meb Keflezighi were both at the start to wish us well which I thought was super cool – that they would go out of their way to be present for such a local fantastic race like Dallas! After the countdown we took off and were good to go! I felt SO good at the start and took off with guns blazing. I ideally wanted to BEAT my time of 3:47 from last year, but with the course changes and added hills in the back half of this race I wasn’t quite sure of how I would handle things that day. So I just honestly ran by feel and held on as long as I could. I saw a ton of dear running friends from over the years at this race, and my mama even showed up as a spectator along the course. That is absolutely the great thing about local races, support all the way around. As someone who often travels to races without knowing ANYONE, this meant a lot to me to see my family (including runner family) and friends everywhere.
After the half marathoners split off the race ends up going off towards White Rock Lake, a lake where I’ve done many training runs over the years. The temps were cool that morning but then ended up heating up with highs approaching the 70s. Bipolar Texas weather I’m tellin ya! I honestly would have preferred more cloud cover that day and for it to have stayed cooler much longer. The breeze coming off the water with the lake did definitely help.
Leaving the lake at mile 20 something, we were faced with a big hill that kind of came out of nowhere. And of course this is always tough to endure with already tired legs. That hill really did knock the wind out of me and I ended up having to walk a bit at a couple of water stops. Slowing down that much made me doubtful that I was going to PR. My heart sunk in disappointment. I honestly used to NOT CARE that I didn’t PR, but after seeing so much improvement this year with my running (going from nearly 5 hour finishes, to consistent sub 4) I kind of expect to go into a race to have my best time. I chalked it up to it just not being a good day for me, and told myself I’d still be happy with whatever my time was. I’ve accomplished so much this year, from running my very first 100 miler to winning overall female at a few ultra races. I knew regardless of the time, I would be proud and it would fuel the next race to perform even better.
We circled back into downtown and I looked at my watch which still had a little wiggle room away from last year’s 3:47 time and from my recent marathon in San Diego. After seeing this I perked up a little bit and moved a bit faster, my legs honestly felt like they could not move any faster and I just felt gross and dizzy. But I pushed it in and made it happen. 3:45:31 official finish time, seconds faster than San Diego and 2 minutes faster than last year! Hey, a PR is still an PR baby. I will take it, especially after feeling so off towards the end of this race.
This race really lit a fire in me to find a solid course to really knock it out of the park next year. I’m thinking of running a spring marathon, it could be somewhere in South Texas before it gets too warm. And of course, I will be back to my trails and ultras in 2018!! Cheers to a new PR and getting a kick in the pants to kick things up a notch in the coming year.
2018, I am ready for you.
How was your weekend? Anyone run a tough marathon course lately?