The plan to get back on track after my Easter gorging didn't ever really get implemented. I went to yoga a couple times and lifted weights once, but other than that I just lazed about. I really began to regret this high level of inactivity on Friday when Nicole suggested that we run the tenth anniversary of the Big D half marathon on Sunday.
I've run my share of races with little-to-no training. This isn't intended as a boast. I am often terribly sore afterward and walk funny for a few days. But in any event, we registered and were geared up for our fourth half marathon.
This was not my favorite race that I've run. The organization of the event was poor at best. As any serious runner will tell you, the pre-race pee is an important ritual, essential to one's success during the event. It's is the last chance to ease nerves, and it also sheds a few extra ounces, cutting weight for the long run ahead. But for the 5,000 or so that signed up for this race, not to mention spectators and friends and family, there were only 20 port-a-potties at the starting corral. 20! Thus, the lines were 75-100 people deep each. Waiting in line got extremely frustrating, as the starting line announcer was being pushy, telling the racers to get to the start ASAP. After waiting in line for 15 minutes, we were still about 30 people away from a port-a-potty, and I had to go! I got out of line and was prepared to go behind a tree when I noticed an unmarked building with a side door open. I walked in and discovered that this was the "convention center." There were no signs indicating that this small building nearby housed more toilets, and significantly shorter lines!
Then there were smaller issues, such as tiny mile markers. Also, my time isn't showing up on their website. It appears as though I didn't even run the race. I've contacted them and they said they're working on it. Until then, I'm relying on my Nike run app.
It wasn't all negative, though. The course winded through some very nice neighborhoods (houses in the millions of dollars) and even went by White Rock Lake briefly, providing some of the better views you'll encounter running in Dallas. They had plenty of hydration stations along the way, each offering water and Powerade, and a couple of the stops had orange slices. Then there was plenty of food at the convention center afterward. They offered bananas, coconut water, and egg and potato breakfast burritos. And the staff was friendly, which is always a plus.
I ended up running my fastest half yet, crossing the finish line at 2:05:06! My overall distance was 13.3 miles, hence the discrepancy. Since I haven't really been running consistently, I can only attribute this success to an improved diet (though I did fuel up the night before with half of a pizza and two bottles of my favorite beer).
Being that close to sub-2 hours, while great, is also somewhat frustrating. I can't help but think that if I'd simply picked up my pace in a couple extra spots, or hadn't stopped to pee three times, maybe I'd have finished in under 2 hours. Oh well. Next time!
|My newest finisher's medal.|
I can't say whether I'd run the Big D again. While my experience wasn't really negative overall, nothing stood out enough to make me excited to do it again next year. But on the other hand, I do enjoy a good breakfast burrito.