My Rock n Roll Dallas experience was amazing. I was really hesitant about running this race because the Gusher was just two weeks before. I had never run two half marathons that close to each other and I was just afraid to commit, but I’m glad that I did.
After the Gusher, my knee was bothering me and I got worried about not being able to run in Dallas. I did small short runs, became really great friends with my foam roller and did lots and lots of stretching. I even cut back on teaching my spin classes (I like to sub) so I would be ready to rock on Sunday. Saturday morning I did a short run at the hotel on the treadmill. There was some tenderness but it felt good. I really felt like I had dodged a major bullet. It’s amazing how something became so important to me in the span of five days!
Saturday was also expo day and I was there when it opened. I guess you could say I was a little excited. Packet pick up was smooth, easy and line free. It took me all of two minutes to get everything…which left me plenty of time to spend money at the expo. I’m a sucker for merch and cool running accesories. I’m a girl! I like colorful running socks, fun headbands, shirts with running sayings (even though I didn’t buy one) and anything that will help me look good while I’m running. If you look good, you feel good. That’s a lesson that carries over into all parts of life. I had a gait analysis done because I had never had one done before which then led me to buying a new pair of running shoes even though I just got a new pair last week. In my defense I got a new pair of Brooks because I never can get pretty colorful shoes that are for my feet because I have a larger foot. Most running stores don’t carry the flashy shoes like that and I couldn’t resist. At least I didn’t buy both pairs that I tried on! Also, there was tons of free stuff to look at and enjoy. I spent a lot of time in there and came out with all that swag! Loved it!
The best part of the entire experience was getting to spend time with my running group friends out of a running situation for a bit. Yes we were all there to run but we got to spend some time just talking and sharing stories. And Jeremy introduced us to some of his Team Refuel friends and they were pretty great! Kind of makes me want to try to get on Team Refuel! Running with the Golden Triangle Strutters was the best decision I made this year. Not only did it get me running on a regular schedule again, but I’ve met some incredible people who have become some really great friends! I’m glad that my mom was also able to spend some time with me and the group. I’ve gone through a lot of changes over the past two years and in some aspects it’s like I’m a new (but still the same) person and it was nice for her to get to see me enjoying my new passion with my new friends. I was bummed that Willie couldn’t go though.
- The bands along the way were great. My favorite was the band at mile 10. I really need to go find out what that was because I was rocking out. Gotta love a race that is fun with GREAT music along the way.
- It was freaking cold and I wasn’t expecting the weather to be that cold. I am so glad I raided the clearance bin at the Nike Factory Store when I was in Mississippi the weekend before. I scored some premium running gloves for $3 and I got to use them sooner than I thought. My hands were frozen for most of the race though, which is a problem I have a lot. It must be the way I run with my hands. I couldn’t open up my shot bloks at mile 10 so I had to ask a race spectator to do it for me. Thanks dude, whoever you are. You really helped me out!
- The course was super scenic. The miles just rolled on by without me noticing them. I was one with the road…and the mansions we ran by. I was bummed that I didn’t PR at the Gusher, but I PRed here. I finished the race in 2:13:50 which is two minutes faster than my Gusher time. Kind of makes me wonder if I didn’t have to spend so much time fiddling with those stupid shot bloks, would I have finished sooner? That battle with my hands went on for way too long before I actually stopped to ask for help!
- I was pretty proud of my run. It was a nice steady pace, but I had to stop a few times because of cramping. Sure was glad I had the Margarita Shot Bloks (yes, again with the shot bloks. They were an important part of the race apparently!) with 3x the sodium. I popped those suckers and I was fine after that. Glad I made that choice.
- Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders at the finish. I watch Making the TEam on CMT so it was cool to see the cheerleaders from the show that I’ve grown attached to over all these years. I would imagine all the men enjoyed those pretty ladies at the finish line for other reasons!
- Mootopia, chocolate peanut butter Power Bar and a banana. I think I found my after race rebuild combo. Best. Combo. Ever.
- My mom actually made it to the finish line from the hotel. I was so happy she came out to brave the wind and the cold to see my finish. This was the first race she’s ever been to with me so it was really great to have her there to share in my job at the end of the race. Especially since she knew my official time before I did because she was getting the text updates on her phone. Plus, if she wasn’t there, who would have helped me take off my running gear? I still couldn’t feel my hands two hours after the race. It was that bad!
It was a great experience and I can’t wait to run another Rock n Roll race. I’m seriously thinking about running in San Diego or Chicago! I’ll have to make my decision next week, but it is a STRONG possibility. It really just depends on the plane ticket price.
Another half marathon down with one more to go in May. Next up for me is the Austin 10/20 and then the Green Run 6.2 (I hope to qualify for the Houston half marathon with that race). I’ll keep every one posted on my running.
Some pictures from race day (and I looked super skinny that day):