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Posts Tagged ‘Dallas’


Wow, I haven’t written a post on this blog since February 24th.  That’s wayyyyy behind.

Well, RL has intruded quite squarely into my writing.  It’s a toss up between the new job and the weather.  The new job is going well, but it’s a lot more tiring than I thought.  I’m pretty beat when I get home in the evenings, physically and mentally.  Add to that the rather longer stretch of cold weather we’ve had in North Texas this year and my motivation for writing seems sapped.

So, I started today on something maybe to change that.  I’m working on making video posts.  I hoped to do up one just in a jiffy…NOT.  I worked last night and this morning on that task and am still not finished with just a short two minute introduction video.  I have it made, but now I need to edit it just a little (cut off the bad front and ending), but I can’t figure out how my editor works.

I have been keeping up on my running and riding, but it’s not as consistent as I’d like.  I’ve managed only one 20 mile week since December.  Most of that problem is just weather.  Tired of the cold mornings.  I couldn’t run this Wednesday because of rain.  I did get up and run a good 8-miler Thursday, but it had just finished raining and dropped into the lower 40’s overnight.  A good run though.  I think the only thing that has gone good is my strength training.  I’ve moved up in weights some.

Not too much more to say today.  I’ve got an evening shift which is the only reason I managed to piece together enough brain cells for this much.  However, Spring is coming and things will be getting warmer.  I’m also finally starting to get comfortable in the new job, so I can shift my brain around a little more.  Happy Running and Cycling!

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After several months of training, I ran my second marathon this past Sunday in the 2012 MetroPCS Dallas Marathon.  This marathon has been run since 1971 in Dallas.  I have now been a participant three times, one half and two fulls.  I finally decided this year to run it again, partially to get redemption over last year’s really crappy weather.  In addition, I wanted to end my year on a strong note and a hopefully improved time.

The race this year was new and old in many respects.  When I ran this marathon last year, it was still called the White Rock marathon, so named because it used to be run just around White Rock Lake in Dallas.  This year’s course moved to downtown Dallas, but still retained  a leg around the east portion of White Rock Lake.  There were also other new additions to the route as well.  So, I ran my first marathon at the last White Rock marathon and my second at the first Dallas marathon.

All the runners gathered downtown Dallas on Main Street before sunup.  Yep, that’s runners.  Ready to run well before dawn.  The streets were decorated for Christmas and it added to the atmosphere.  The weather this year was going to be really different.  I was glad there was no rain forecast, but instead of cool weather that we usually have, it was in the low 60’s and humid–really humid.  Before the day was over, the temperatures would climb up into the lower 70’s.  Not really great running weather for this distance and my build.

The start was arranged in three corrals this year and it helped get us out fairly quick.  Some years folks in the back (like me) had to wait 40 minutes to get out on the trail.  Our first section out took us into West Dallas.  This was the first year that West Dallas had a part in the race.  I think they were thrilled and we enjoyed running through their part of town.  The motorcycle club revving their Harleys was a great part.  Upon leaving West Dallas, we ran over Dallas’ newest bridge.

The Margaret Hunt Hill bridge is a new one placed over the Trinity river and connecting West Dallas with Woodall Rogers and downtown.  It’s a suspension bridge designed by a Spanish engineer by the name of Santiago Calatrava.  I’m pretty sure the idea was to make it like the NYC marathon run over the Verrazano Narrows bridge.  It was a cool part of the race.

Once over the bridge, we took a swing through the Design district in an old industrial part of town, then up Oak Lawn for a ways to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for children.  They are the primary receivers of the funds from the race.  Scottish Rite serves children with many different orthopaedic medical needs, all at no cost to the families.  The race had never been run by the hospital itself, until this year.  We turned at Maple Street and headed through part of the Uptown district and down to Turtle Creek, a mainstay of the marathon course.

On Turtle Creek, I saw the best sign of the race.  Luke’s Locker mans an aid station about six or seven miles out.  This year, they had some signs placed before the aid station and one read something like, “There ain’t no app for this.”  I think I’m going to have to remember that one.  It ranks right up there with “Run Forrest Run.”

During the early part of the race, I tried to keep my running comfortable, but I made the decision that I would stop for a walk only when I really felt I needed to slow down.  I kept looking around for the 5:00 hour and 5:30 pace groups, but never saw them.  I did see the 2:40 hour half-marathon group close and thought I’d stay close to them.  That would be a 5:20 marathon pace.  Little did I know I was soon to become the poster child for what not to do in running a marathon.

My first real break came at 9 miles when we were about to cross Interstate 75 and head towards White Rock.  I probably could have kept going, but it was time to find a short line at a port-a-potty and this was it.  Someone in front of me forgot to latch the door on theirs and I saw the green indicator.  I quickly found out that the lady forgot to latch it.  No harm.  Nothing seen.  Move along.  After eating a bit and drinking some Gatorade, it was off again.

There were a lot more hills in the race than I remember and more than I run on my training runs.  But, I was doing them pretty well so far.  However, when we were on Mockingbird, I finally realized I was running too fast.  When I slowed for a walk, the 5:30 pace group passed me at about the 12th mile.  Uh-Oh.  I had been running ahead of them all this time.  Time to slow down.

I tried to stay with the pace group around White Rock, but about half way, I could no longer keep up.  I was starting to lose energy.  And, the wind was getting annoying off of the lake.  I forgot to mention that shortly after the 9 mile mark, I got tired of my sweaty tech-T rubbing certain parts of my anatomy that it shouldn’t (and doesn’t usually).  It was either run in pain or lose the shirt.  I ditched the shirt under my hydration belt and ran without it.  Much better, even though I was breaking my daughter’s rule about old men and no shirts.  Precisely why the wind off the lake was now getting annoying.

Just after 19 miles, we ran by a group that was actually handing out beer.  I later found out they not only had beer, but also jello shots for the runners!  I passed up the alcohol and kept going.  Never take in something you aren’t used to on your runs, which is why I also passed up the guys handing out FRS energy drinks.  The biggest hill in the race was right here just before 20 miles.  I was glad to get it over with and get on passed 20. I’ve said before, the first 20 is just a training run, the last 10K is the race.  Now, it was the race.

By this time, I knew I was in trouble.  My feet began to really hurt and it was hard to keep it up.  The marathon is the only place I know where we count up to 20 and down to 26.2.  I was actively counting down at this point.  We were on Swiss Avenue and headed to downtown when I really noticed the wind picking up and it getting a little cooler.  We were due a cold front in the afternoon that would take us down to freezing overnight.  Looks like it was getting here a little early.  By the time I was near 24 miles and downtown, it was time to put the shirt back on.

My last few miles was just gutting it out.  Everything below the waist was starting to hurt.  I crossed the line with a gun time of 6:15:00.  If it had taken longer than 15 minutes to get out, I had broken 6 hours.  We had a new tech feature this year.  A QR code on our bibs allowed volunteers to read us our time almost immediately.  6:01:52 was the actual.  I was still happy.  I had taken more than 25 minutes off last year’s time and considering my mistakes I did alright.  I learned later my 10K time was 1:15 and my half time was 2:45:45.  I ran a great 10K and massively PR’ed my half marathon time.  Yet, it took me 1:36 to finish the last 10K.

I guess I did something right because it sure hurt worse than last year.  It’s Tuesday and my quads are still barking.  Now for three weeks off of running and then to rebuild for next year’s adventures.  I think I’ll work on half marathons for a while.  I seem to run them well now.  My weight is less.  My speed is up some.  The marathon is still a brutal race, but it’s great to have both on mylist and more to come.  Lesson learned and a great race also.

Yes, on Monday morning there was snow on the ground.  Just a little and it left after sun up. Happy running!

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