On March 23, I ran the Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon. While I PR’ed (woo-hoo), I just barely PR’ed. It should have been a lot faster, based on the times I’d been running in training, the weather, the course… but I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me go back.
So, in late February I ran the Cowtown Half Marathon, and kicked off the first official week of my full marathon training (Rock n Roll Seattle, here I come!). Training for Cowtown, and then in between Cowtown and Rock n Roll Dallas, I was actually *gasp* mostly following my training plan. At Cowtown, I tied a PR on a much more difficult course, and my training run paces were continuing to increase, so I was optimistic going into RnR Dallas.
We had a busy weekend leading up to the actual race. On Friday night, we had a potluck dinner with my local running club.
Saturday, we went to the race expo (SO MUCH FUN!), home for naps, then back into Dallas for dinner with some of the coolest people I know… the Runner’s Corner peeps. We carb-loaded at Spaghetti Warehouse and socialized.
Then it was back home to get the kids in bed for the early morning ahead.
Sunday morning found us up EARLY. The race started at 8, but the shuttle allegedly stopped running from the parking lot to the start line around 7, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss it. I got up around 5 to get ready, then got the kids out of bed at 5:30. We headed out around 5:45. Luckily, we didn’t run into much traffic, and we were parked in the lot by 6:30 or so. This is where the day started to get long for J – spectators weren’t allowed on the shuttle, so he was stuck in the car with the kids while I went to get on the shuttle. Ordinarily, the family wouldn’t go with me, but the headliner band happened to sing my 3 year old’s favorite song, so I couldn’t leave him at home. More on that in a bit.
I easily made it to the shuttle on time, and arrived at the start line area around 7:15. I had 3 groups to get into photos with, all scheduled at the same time. Luckily, 2 of the groups were meeting in the same spot, so I headed there first.
(With my MRTT group)
Then headed to the meetup spot for Runners Corner. I missed the big group picture.
(The big group picture. I’m not in it)
But we took another picture right before heading to the start corrals.
(Not many of us left. Ignore that I’m standing weird.)
Then it was off to the corrals. I think there were 14 or 15 start corrals. I was assigned to corral 7, so right in the middle. I had hoped to be able to run with some of the Runners Corner people, but it didn’t work out that way. So I ran alone… as alone as one can be in a sea of 10000 people. I felt pretty good for the first 5 or 6 miles, but something felt off. I usually hit my groove around mile 3-4, and then stay pretty steady for the rest of the distance. But my pace was all over the place, I’d run a “fast” mile and then a “slow” mile, with no real reason for the change. It was a disappointing run for sure. The course was nice, though, and pretty well supported, although they could have used one or two more water stops to space them more consistently.
I ultimately finished with a new PR by about a minute.
Then it was off to the finisher festival. I grabbed some snacks and beverages on the way to the stage to refuel, then stood around while they presented the awards to the top finishers. And then it was time for the headliner concert, the reason I dragged the kids out of bed before 6am: American Authors!
I took about 40 pictures of them performing, but I’m only going to share this one. Of course, they saved their hit song, Best Day of My Life, for last, and that’s the one G wanted to hear. After they performed, they also signed autographs and posed for pictures.
It really was the best day of G’s life. He STILL talks about the guy with the “funny hair” picking him up for the picture. Seeing his excitement as they sang “his” song and as he took a picture with them was worth the early wake-up for sure.
Overall, it was a good event and I’d run it again if I wanted to see the headliner act perform. Or maybe even if I didn’t. RnR races are pretty expensive, even on the day registration opens, but I enjoyed it.
Have you ever run a RnR event? Do you think they’re worth the money? What’s your favorite race so far this year?
Oh yeah, I’ve updated my race schedule for 2014. Any suggestions on good races in the months where I don’t have anything planned?