Race recaps always seem to be the hardest posts for me to write. I think it is mainly because I have SO many thoughts and feelings during the race that once I cross that finish line all I can remember is happy thoughts. Anyway-I signed up for this race back on National Running Day in June and convinced my friend, who had recently moved to Dallas, to sign up as well. Like a good best friend she pulled the trigger and decided she would brave her first half marathon distance with me in Dallas!
From June to March we kept in touch and discussed our training but as race day came closer we had already decided both of us would be happy with finishing and planned to stick to run/walk intervals- little did we know we both would be 13 weeks pregnant at the time of the race!
I traveled out to Dallas on Friday which gave me a few days to relax and enjoy the area with Stacey and her family. The travel to Texas was easy which definitely set a good tone for the entire trip. We traveled downtown on Saturday to grab our bibs at the expo and had lunch at Klyde Warren Park which was the coolest place filled with green area and games for kids and adults of ages. The best part of the park was absolutely all the food trucks! Stacey and I settled on Sliders from The Butcher’s Son (SO GOOD) and ice cream sandwiches from Coolhaus– again SO GOOD! It was a gorgeous day so the park was very busy with people everywhere.
Sunday morning was race day and after some discussion we decided we would just Uber it down to the start line from Stacey’s neighborhood. This worked out well and ended up being a great decision- it eliminated having to find parking, worrying about closed roads and just made it a smooth morning journey. We were able to get dropped off really close to the Omni and like the majority of the other runners there made it an easy bathroom start before the race. Despite the really long lines downstairs to use the bathroom we headed up to the 3rd floor and had no wait which was very exciting! After our bathroom stop we headed to our corral and waited for the race to start.
Once the race started we were off to explore the downtown Dallas streets. We ran by Pioneer Plaza which has the iconic sculptures of the Cattle Drive that took place along the Shawnee Trail. I should have snapped a picture but I just was not quite on my running/picture game that early in the race. As we journeyed through downtown we also ran through Deep Ellum which and then back towards the downtown area where we started. Some of the buildings were very pretty and eventually we ran back down by Dealey Plaza. At this point that “ideal” running condition that the weather channel app had shown turned pretty hot. Stacey and I were very ready for a water stop and we finally hit one right before we had the elevation climb of the overpass to run us over the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge which was so very pretty!
The overpass elevation was hard but Stacey and I stayed focused and seemed to make it up with no problem. The bridge put us at mile 6 and we were still feeling really good. After crossing the bridge we were headed to another neighborhood area which contained “Mount Dallas” and eventually led us to the Bishop Art District.
The second half of the race was definitely harder than the first. After we reached about mile 9 Stacey and I really slowed down and made sure to take longer walk breaks if needed. Between the hills and the heat we knew the last few miles would be hard but we adjusted our intervals and took each mile inch by inch.
By mile 11 (I think) you could start to see the Dallas skyline again and we knew we were nearing the finish. We both were sore at that point and very ready to be finished. We had gotten a text from Stacey’s husband that he and their son were at the finish line so that gave us some motivation and something to look forward to- besides the finish line of course!
The finish line had a nice downhill finish with loads of crowd support all lined up against both sides of the course. The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders were dancing and cheering on the runners and we happily crossed the finish line in 2:39, which we were both very happy with considering how crumby we did from miles 9-13. The best part of the finish line was the wet wash clothes! It felt SO good to cool off and wipe some of the sweat away from the race.
The finisher zone was located at Reunion park (near the infamous Reunion Tower) and had plenty of space to relax and recover. Stacey and I filled up with recovery snacks (chocolate milk, Gatorade, pretzels, and cookies) and started feeling back our normal selves fairly quickly. We were easily able to find her husband and son and enjoyed the downtime while at the park.
After hanging out for a bit we headed home and really recovered by soaking our legs in her community pool (our version of an ice bath) followed by putting on our compression socks.
After the race we got an email with some information to check out in the finishers zone. This was really neat as it gave the finisher certificate shown above, badges earned from the race, and some other cool statistics. You can tell Rock ‘n’ Roll has been doing this for 20 years because they have some really nice touches within their event. I had only run one other Rock ‘n’ Roll event and that was back in 2011- the Providence, RI Half. It poured the entire race and hardly any bands were on the course which was a bummer. I was happy to not have that experience in Dallas and we heard from good bands along the way!
In summary the event itself was very well organized but the half marathon course was probably the hardest out of any half I have ever done between the hills and the heat. I always used to think Baltimore was the hardest but I think Dallas has now taken that title. While it was awesome running my 20th half it was even more exciting being a part of Stacey’s first ever half marathon!
Monday I traveled home and again had a smooth journey from Texas to Delaware. It feels good to have my first 13.1 of 2017 completed and now I can focus on my next half on April 23rd!
Have you ever run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half? What is your favorite Rock ‘n’ Roll race?