Monday, March 26, 2012

Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marthon 2012: Race report

This race report really begins in January when my good friend Ivy started coming out to the Golden Triangle Strutter runs that I lead. She is an avid tennis player and wanted to get into running as another outlet for all her energy. We started out walk/running but pretty soon she was able to cut the walking out and just run the whole 3.5 mile course. During our runs she had asked me about the races I've done so I told her all my stories. She seemed to be interested in doing a half so I had told her if she wanted to do one I would pace her through the whole thing.  Once that seed was planted she got excited and agreed to start looking for one. She wanted to do a big race and we found the Dallas RnR Half Marathon on March 25.  3 months? Half marathon? Newbie runner? I told Ivy it could be done and she nervously agreed to it. Through the next 3 months I had trained  her to do a 5k then a 10k and then our longest run, 3 weeks before the race ,was a 9 miler. She did well on her 9 miles doing it in an average pace around a 11:50 and I had no doubt she could complete the 13.1 miles in Dallas.

Initially it was only going to be me pacing Ivy but my brother, William, decided last minute that he was going to join in on the fun. Race day had arrived and we all start getting dressed in our 80's workout gear! 80's workout gear??? Yup that's right Ivy wanted to dress up for for the race so we put on our head bands, bright sunglasses, short shorts and headed down to the race start. Ivy had signed up to be charity runner for the Susan G. Komen foundation and there was a VIP meetup and breakfast with pictures before hand. The organizer told me and Willie to join in the pics so we got in there and hammed it up for cameras. Ivy also ended up being the number 9 top running fundraiser out of the 100+ people fundraising so that was pretty awesome, congrats to her for that. After all the pre racing events we headed out to our corral and waited anxiously for the start of race.

My plan for Ivy was to get her across with a goal time of 2:40 - 2:50 but mainly to have fun and finish. The race is started in waves and since we were in corral 13 we had a good while to wait before our wave started. 

Miles 1-2 

We finally get our countdown and are off!! Willie and I initially have a little trouble finding the correct pacing but soon settle in. There is not one cloud in the sky and the sun and heat are bearing down on us it was going to be a tough day for a race. I notice Ivy is sweating a lot in her outfit so I tell her to make sure she gets adequate amount of hydration during all the water/Gatorade stops. Our outfits were a big hit during the run and we had lots of spectators cheering us on.

Miles 3 - 5

We start hitting some hills on the course and since Southeast Texas is flat as a pancake we had absolutely no hill training. She had a rough time but was powering through them. Around mile 5 Ivy tells me that she is starting to have some lower leg pain on her left leg. She's never had this pain before and I'm suspecting it might be her IT band acting up due to the hills. She says she can deal with it and we continue running strong during these miles.

Miles 6 - 8

Ivy's left leg is really starting to bother her and I tell her we should stop and try to stretch it out. It doesn't really help and she starts to tear up telling me she wanted to run the whole race and not stop or walk. Willie and I give her hugs and tell her not to worry about it and that we will get her across no matter what. Other runners also stop to console her telling her there is no shame in walking and that she can finish it. We start moving again and Ivy is giving it her all with every step trying her best to keep at a running pace. Around mile 8 I see Ivy writhing in pain with every step forward so we make the decision to stop at a medical tent to see if they can wrap up her knee to relieve some of the pain. We leave the medical tent and she tries to run again but all she can manage is a walk and we tell her its OK we will just walk until she can run again. Willie and I also tell her our own stories about our first half marathons and how it was a struggle for us to finish. We tell her how we walked many of the last miles in pain and that all the pain and struggling makes crossing that 13.1 mile line all the more sweeter.

Miles 9 - 12

Ivy smiling through the pain for the camera.
Ivy is really struggling during these miles. But one of my Dailymile friends, Tim Taggert, meets up with us at mile 9 to help pace Ivy which gave her a bit of a boost knowing that he is out there for her. He also joins in on motivating her to keep on moving with his race stories. Around mile 10 some runners offer her advil and with all the pain that she is in, she accepts their offer and take it. Still in pain not much after she takes the advil we stop at another medical tent to get her legged wrapped in ice. The ice seems to help and she is walking a bit faster and tells me she wants to run when she gets closer to the finish line. 

MILES 13 - 13.1

With the fair grounds in sight Ivy starts to run a bit and we are all there motivating her to keep it up. I tell her to give me 5 more minutes of running and she'll be done and be a half marathoner. She is in grimacing pain but keeps on moving forward. Other runners, who have finished, are cheering her on and telling her she's almost done. With the finish line in sight we are all yelling/motivating Ivy to finish strong. As we cross I'm pointing at her cause this moment isn't about me its about this first time half marathoner that we helped on her journey across these hilly Dallas streets for 13.1 miles. We all give her hugs, Ivy has tears in her eyes, its a great moment.  Ivy has become a half marathoner!!!

Pacing a half marathon rather than racing one was a totally different experience. Both are rewarding but pacing another runner to their goals was just as great a feeling as one can get. Congrats IVY!!


  1. This recap made me die with laughter!!! it looks like you had so much fun! I love your outfit :)