Thursday, December 19, 2013

Race Recap - Texas "Whine Not" Another Marathon

After the craziness of the cancelation of the Dallas Marathon less than two weeks ago, I scrambled to sign up for a new race as soon as I could. I didn't want to travel very far, but it was looking like that would be inevitable, since most of the races that still had space were further away. My other option was waiting until February or April to run, but I wasn't sure that I could train for another few months. A friend of mine sent me a link to a race here in Dallas. It was the following weekend. The race was called the Texas Whiner Series Marathon. I had never heard of it, nor had I heard of the race location: Bachman Lake. On a whim, after Chance's encouragement, I signed up for it. 

As the days dwindled down to race time, I began to get really nervous. After all, I had completed some pretty unconventional training. I used the Hansons Marathon Method to train for this race: my first full marathon. My longest run had been only 16.5 miles. In comparison to most training plans, which have you run at least one 20-miler, this training plan capped at 16 miles for its longest run. I ran 6 days a week, incorporating strength, speed, and tempo workouts. It was hard, but so much fun. 

The night before the race, Chance and I were in the kitchen talking. I asked him, "So, how do you think I'm going to do tomorrow?" I was hoping for some major ego boosters as I was really starting to get the pre-race jitters. His response: "Well.. I know that if anyone can do it, you can." Um, not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I'll take it! He went on to explain that 26.2 miles is a reallllllly long way to run and since I had only run a few 16-milers, he wasn't 100% sure I'd be able to finish. Yikes. Now I wasn't so sure either...

Race morning! I didn't sleep well the night before (big surprise!) but still got up at at 5:30 to eat and get ready. Downed some gluten-free waffles, a bit of coffee, and got dressed. It was 32 degrees outside. Chance and Hudson took me to the race start where a group of about 60 other people were gathered. 

The race was so low-key and non-intimidating. I liked that a lot. The woman, who was giving instructions about the course, asked if anyone was a first-time marathoner. A number of other people (including me!) raised their hands. This was it, no backing out now! I was so ready to start running. At 7:00am the clock started and all of us runners were off.

The sun started to come up just after 7:00, and it turned out to be a beautiful morning. There was no wind, which was amazing. The course was eight 3-mile-long laps around Bachman Lake and then a short out-and-back about 3/4 mile to the finish line. I thought that going around in a circle would get monotonous, but it actually wasn't bad at all. 

I got near the front of the "pack" with about three other runners ahead of me. I was going to try to maintain about an 8:12 pace for the whole race. My first few miles I found it difficult to even out my pace, but once I got into a rhythm I was much more steady-going. I began talking to a woman who was running right behind me, who was shooting for a similar finish time. We were both trying for BQ's (Boston Qualifying times - 3:35:00). I was more or less just doing that for fun, to see if I could actually get close to that time. My actual goal time was 3:40:00.

At about the halfway point, I began to feel some soreness in my legs, but not too bad. As I got closer to that 16-mile mark, I was getting excited because I still felt really good. After I passed 16 miles and finished 17, 18, 19 miles I was pumped because I hadn't run that long... ever!

Around mile 20, I went to grab some gummies from my running belt and to my horror realized that I had dropped my phone (or so I thought). I spent the next two laps trying to remember whether or not I had actually taken it with me. When I saw Chance and Hudson pull up in the car, just as I passed mile 23 (still feeling somewhat fresh!) I was relieved to discover that Chance had my phone the whole time.. whoops. It was a nice distraction, anyways. 

I yelled to them, "Last lap!", and kept on running. I decided to push my pace a little bit when I got to mile 24, so my last two miles were under 8:00. Throughout the whole race, I had passed by other runners who cheered me on, or yelled things like "You're killing it!" That was truly helpful! Thank you, other runners! 

When I got to the turn around to make it back to the finish line, I thought that I might just make the 3:35:00 mark. As I sprinted to the finish, I looked at the clock which read "3:36:14". I  couldn't believe it! I had finished my first marathon, and had done it UNDER my goal time of 3:40:00. I didn't really care that I missed a BQ by about a minute. I was just thankful to have been able to run this race, cheered on by some other wonderful runners and my two biggest fans: Chance and Huddy.

Hudson after the race. He was just too excited to take his morning nap.

At the finish line, the race volunteers told me my official time (3:36:14) and told me that I had finished first female overall. Now THAT was a huge surprise. Granted, there were only 60 people in the whole race (not exactly the Dallas Marathon) but still! Overall, my first marathon experience couldn't have been better. I am super happy that my training**, as unconventional as it was, paid off. After three days, I am beginning to feel much less sore, and can't wait to get back out there logging more miles. 

Happy Running! 

[**I would definitely recommend the Hansons Marathon Method to anyone looking to train for a marathon. Whether it's your first or tenth, HMM will push your expectations and help you to achieve beyond what you think your body is capable of.]


  1. Great Job! What a great experience.

  2. Awesome!!! Sorry it wasn't a huge big ordeal, but glad you still got a chance to do it. Way to go!!

    1. Me too.. I'd like Chance to take a look at a couple recent posts.if he is willing, they are in his interests.

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