Now, I had been to Texas before, and I even went running there on one visit. But I am living in Mississippi for the summer and train in a very hilly national military park for every run, so I thought, "13.1 miles in Texas in the middle of the summer will be FINE!"
I was mistaken.
I had high hopes for this race: I was training at an 8:30/9:00 minute pace, so this was my goal for the race. I had been doing speed work one day/week and had seen improvements in my pace and times. I had been running in MS for a few weeks and had been out some very humid days (as well as in DE). I thought I would be FINE!
Again, I was mistaken.
The first 5 miles started out great, I was trying not to push myself too much and averaged about an 8:30 pace. I felt good, I was passing people, the course was very flat, and I thought "Yea, I got this."
^^All smiles and thumbs up between miles 3 and 4^^
I had a Gu at mile 4, followed by an excruciating side cramp at mile 5. I get cramps like this sometimes that aren't normal cramps that you can just run through and they go away. They are bent-over-in-pain-I-think-I'm-going-to-die cramps. I don't get them all the time, but of course on raceday, I did. The cramp bothered me for the next 3ish miles, and at this point, the sun was beating down and I was only about halfway done with the race. I fought the cramp and the heat the rest of the way to the finish line, stopping to walk more than I ever thought I would and more than my pride will allow me to admit, but I finished!
Please enjoy the following procession of pictures, in which my face tells quite a story (also note the jubilation on the runner's faces behind me, in contrast with my own face):
My goal started at finishing at 1:45, then after the cramp hit, it changed to 2:00, then after the heat got unbearable, it changed to just surviving and finishing. Needless to say, it was definitely not my best race or run, but I am grateful that I finished, didn't pass out, and didn't get injured. This just means the next race has to be that much better, right??
Age Division 29/78
10:51 pace; 2:22:13 time
8am: 81 degrees, 62% humidity
9am: 84 degrees, 56% humidity
10am: 88 degrees, 53% humidity
After the race, Josh and I went to downtown Dallas with our friends and their kids that we were visiting. We rode in an old trolley, went to a park/splashpad that was built above a freeway, ate from a food truck, and had gelato. Despite the disappointment, frustration, pain, and heat of the race, it was a fabulously fun weekend!