Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dallas Marathon 2012 - Too Many Positives

Yep, us runners are going to complain about the weather again! Last year it was too cold – this year is too humid. We just cannot be happy, right!?! Well, despite the weather conditions, I really enjoyed this marathon.  There are too many positives!

Marathon Expo

I had a great time with Cairo, Jeff, & Felix at the expo. It had about the normal amount of expo stuff. The only bummer is that it was so hard to find the Dallas Marathon merchandise. It was not prominently displayed like at usual marathons.

I like expos because I get to see a bunch of friends and I get to act goofy before the race. Goofiness allows me to get rid of some of the nervousness.  Below is a video of Felix and I getting goofy for a Metro PCS video.


Cairo and I got to meet Panda Ross from XFactor. She was digging the Marathon Expo environment.


Felix and I are ready for what’s to come on Sunday!

Race Day

imageThere was so much written about getting down to the race by 6am so that’s what we pretty much did.  I usually get to a race an hour or little over an hour.  The time usually goes by a little faster for an hour. 2 hours definitely crawls, but we got to hang out in the Dallas Convention Center.

My plan was to run at even splits of an 8:20 pace and have a 2-4 breaks with family/friends.  By my math that would put me at an average of 8:35 getting me to my big hairy goal of a 3:45 marathon time.  I really should have thrown this plan out the window when I knew the forecast and then experienced the humidity for the first few miles.  No exaggeration… it didn’t rain Saturday night or that morning, but the roads were slick and wet because of the humidity.

I did well with keeping the pace up to about mile 19/20.  Mile 11 was a bathroom break and mile 16 I got to see Ursula and Cairo.  It was so great seeing them.  I counted on seeing them at that point to split the race up in smaller chunks – get to mile 16 see family, get to Dollies, and then a 10K to go.

399307_10151267621639318_1902372680_nWhen I got to the Dollies, I was looking for Erik and couldn’t find him.  I asked one of the other dudes/dollies and he told me that he was relieving himself in the bushes.  I saw him over there, so I yelled, “ERIK, I love you!”  He zips up, I mean drops his dress and runs over to me, saying I was afraid that was going to happen.  He ran me up and around the hill.  It was so cool to have my own personal Dollie.  He said all the right things – How do you feel? You look great!  Keep going?  Keep faking it!  It was such a boost as I was started to get down on myself.  Thanks Eric!

It was great to see Frisco Running Club peeps cheering everyone on out there.  I love this group!  Even though they weren’t running the race they were down there supporting everyone.

A positive side effect of the weather… it was spectator friendly! There were so many people out on the course and sitting on their front lawns rooting everyone on. There seemed to be a lot more spectators this year than last.

Seeing how my daughter and money go to Texas A&M, I used Aggie spectators on the course.  Whenever I was feeling low and I saw an Aggie shirt, I’d give a thumbs up and yell, “Gig ‘em!”  It was so cool to get the “Gig ‘em!” or “Whoop!” back in response.  Those yells… not cheers of encouragement really helped.  I thought about Briana whenever that was happening. 

424876_10151195251208481_2038512906_nAfter the Dollies I got to see Corina and her cheering crew.  It was great see them.  I started to whine a little bit joking that I wanted a ride home.  Corina smacked me on my ass and told me to get to running as it’s a race!

I loved seeing so many friends out there cheering.  For the last few miles, I stopped and had a quick 30 second chat with everyone.  Once I knew that I wasn’t going to really kill my time, I was OK with it and wanted to just enjoy the race more.

One of the best friend moments was when I saw Chris and his whole family at mile 25.5! It was such a huge boost to see them at the end.  At that time, I was right along beside/behind the 4:00 hour pacer.  I was willing myself to stick with her.  When I saw Chris and family, I couldn’t help but to stop and give Chris a big hug.  Yep, I like to hug!  I thanked them for coming and I said there goes 4:00 hours.  Chris told me to get it and catch them.  It’s crazy to think that I got it by 2 seconds!  It’s just icing to the day.

Cairo caught me finishing the race.  Just pure determination at the end.

When I finished, I stopped my Garmin and it read 4:00.  I was happy with the time knowing that I did well for the race conditions.  It wasn’t until I met up with fellow Frisco Running Club runner, Christy that I found out my true finishing time of 3:59:58.  I was ecstatic when I found out!  Too cool to hit Sub 4-hour for this race.

All in all, there were too many positives to this race to let the weather dampen my spirits! It was a great time with my family and friends!  Thanks to everyone that was out there cheering at the course and from afar!

One last note:  I tried to have RunKeeper Live tracking broadcast from my phone, but it malfunctioned because it got so wet with the humidity and sweat.  I need to do the phone in a baggie trick for next time.  It stopped at mile 5.7.  I’ll try it again at the next race.


LifeisaRun said...

Glad no matter what you were able to have fun! Sometimes it's hard to put those goals by the way side even if the conditions aren't ideal! You looked strong when we saw you in that last stretch! Great race, Mark!

Jason said...

Great job! I was out there for the full. Those Dolly Parton Hills are just evil.

Michelle K said...

So many positives...you are right! It looks like White Rock Redemption after all. I was thinking about you as I was fighting my own battles on the half course. I laughed when Mama C told me about your encounter and then later when Erik told me his story. What a terrific journey!! Congrats again!