Rock ‘n Roll Dallas 2017

On Sunday, I ran the Dallas Rock ‘n Roll half marathon. It was my 5th time running this race, and third time as a part of Team Chocolate Milk. I look forward to it every year. Coming off of fall/winter marathon training, the energy and excitement of this race (not to mention that it’s a HALF) can’t be beat. 🙂

I went to the expo on Saturday, picked up my bib, and over to the We Run Social meet up. I saw several others from Team Chocolate Milk so that was fun.

It did seem like the expo has gotten smaller to me though. Some of the things we were needing to get weren’t there, but I did get a few Larabar samples.

I drove in with my daughter on race morning, after making a wrong turn and parking 15 minutes later than planned, then made my way to the VIP lounge to grab a snack and check my bag. I drank my UCAN, and had a few minutes to meet some other teammates as well.

Then I met up with my friends from my running group. I think this was the biggest group we’ve had go, and for some of them it was their first Rock ‘n Roll race.

 

We made our way to our different corrals, and I was so ready to run 13 miles (and not 26)!

Notice the tank. Yeah, it wasn’t cold.  Like at all.

I had no idea what to expect to run, but I had set two loose goals earlier in the week:

1. Under 2 hours. (realistic goal)

2. 1:55 (stretch goal)

I thought these were manageable because a) it wasn’t a marathon, b) I ran 2:01 last year the day after a 2 hour trainer ride, and c) it wasn’t a marathon. 😉

But I forgot to account for the warm weather. Temps were high 60s at the start. And I truly forgot about the hilly second half.

I cruised along the first several miles not really looking at my pace, just glancing down at the mile splits when my Garmin buzzed.

Miles 1-5: 8:57, 8:38, 8:50, 8:31, 8:42

I was definitely on track for sub 2.

Then the hill (on-ramp) to get to the bridge hit.

Mile 6: 9:24

The bridge is long and straight though once you get up there, but there are several hills over the next few miles. I never really recovered my pace from the initial climb.

Miles 7-9: 9:05, 9:41, 10:37

Mile 9 really got me and I walked up that little mountain for a minute to catch my breath. All the hills in Cowtown were still in my legs.

I took a couple more short walk breaks in the last few miles, a few cups of water dumped over my head at aid stations. The sun was bright and I lost the 2 hour goal. I focused on finishing and smiling. I was hot, but I knew there was a nice finish and cold chocolate milk waiting for me.

Miles 10-13: 10:04, 9:56, 10:53, 10:22

Then a downhill tunnel finish cheered on by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.

My official finish time was 2:06:37.

The chocolate milk was refreshing as always. Here’s why I always recover with chocolate milk – it’s science.

For the first time ever I opted for a post-race massage, where I discovered I had a knot on the side of each calf muscle. Ow! I need to work on rolling those out.

I found my daughter and we spent some time on the lawn watching the concert before I took her back to school.

It may not have been the time on the clock I wanted, but it was a great race and a lot of fun.

 

 

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Rock ‘n Roll Dallas with Team Chocolate Milk (2016)

Last Sunday I ran the Rock ‘n Roll Dallas half marathon for the fourth year, and my second year as part of Team Chocolate Milk. As I wrote in my last post, this is one of my favorite races of the year.

I kept up with all my half Ironman training workouts, and I did my long bike ride on Saturday on the trainer – because the temps were in the 30s. I also wasn’t ready to get my bike on the road yet. I didn’t really want to race Sunday with any injuries from tipping over on the bike. I’m still working on that.

Because I dawdled getting out of bed Saturday morning and spent my time on the bike trainer (1:40:00), we got to the expo a little later than I planned. I missed the #werunsocial meetup, and the chance to meet some runners from Instagram. But I did stock up on some of my favorite hydration, Nuun. I remember a time when I got on to my kids about using my Nuun bottles, but we have a nice little stockpile now. So I find them all over the house…

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I focused on nutrition and rest throughout the day. My legs were feeling pretty good after the bike time and expo, so I was hopeful they would be good for race day.

I met up with some of the team before the race. I enjoyed hearing where others were from, and then there were a few of us locals who run into each other at races throughout the year.

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Race morning was cold! The temperature was right on the bubble whether I should wear long or short sleeves, so I went with long sleeves and shorts. It was a little windy, but not as much as it had been the day before.

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My friend and I ran together to start. I had a loose goal of sub 2 hours. I figured with the triathlon training, that it was a manageable time goal. We were rolling along really well, with an average pace of 8:48 for the first five miles. But I forgot about the hills. Around mile 6, we began the climb to the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge. This was an interesting hill to climb. On the service road, taking the on-ramp by foot. You could see the runners down below, and the view was different, but in a good way. Once we reached the bridge, my hamstrings reminded me I rode the bike the day before. My friend was just ahead of me and I was struggling to keep up with her. At one point she turned around to wait for me, but I sent her on. I didn’t want to hold her back because I could tell she was feeling great at that point.

The next hill was pretty steep, but I plowed on. I could still see my friend up ahead, but couldn’t muster the strength to speed up to her. My stomach started acting up around mile 9, and I knew my race nutrition was off. At mile 11 I darted into a porta-potty (better safe than sorry) and lost my sub 2 hour goal. It was out of my control though, so I’m not beating myself up over it. My official finish time was 2:01:45. My friend ended up setting a PR (several minutes ahead of me). She can sure knock out those hills!

The finish was amazing, with a nice downhill and a turn, and crowds of people gathered on both sides of the road, cheering their hearts out. It was much improved over previous years I thought. It made me feel like a superstar. Then I got my chocolate milk, and all was right again. 🙂

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If you aren’t familiar with the benefits of chocolate milk for recovery, take a look here. I know the importance of replenishing my muscles after a hard or long workout or race, but for me one of the main benefits is that I can stomach it immediately after. Especially if my race nutrition is off, or my stomach is upset (as was the case here).

I gathered up with some other team members who finished right about the same time. I feel priveleged to be a part of this team:

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I then got my extra medal for running San Antonio and Dallas, which is always a nice treat. Rock ‘n Roll does it right, and it was another great experience for me.

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70.3 Training: Week One

Last week I started my half Ironman training for Buffalo Springs Lake, and I ventured into uncharted territory.

I have never put my focus completely on training for a triathlon. I use the word “never” like I’ve been doing triathlon for years, but this journey started over a year ago with my first running injury. Cycling was a substitute, then a supplement, and it evolved into triathlon.

When I was trying to pick a plan a few weeks ago, I hit panic mode when I saw the quantity of workouts. They all pretty much follow the same format of three bikes, three swims, three runs weekly. I talked to a friend who assured me I wouldn’t be able to get it all in. “You’re a mom. You just do what you can.” That means I will run the miles scheduled even though I will crave more running. I will pay attention to my body and not push myself to injury point. I will take recovery seriously, and continue to hone my nutrition and eating patterns.

With last week being spring break, I lucked out in being able to get in the groove of training. I actually completed all the workouts. One child was gone from Tuesday through Sunday, and the other two went to visit grandparents from Wednesday through Saturday. So I was able to get my three bikes, three swims, and three runs done – guilt free. Some of those were two-a-days, which I know will not be possible on a weekly basis. None of the workouts were too long or too hard, but the quantity of work began to contribute to some soreness. It’s an adjustment for sure.

On a more positive note, I am eager to see how the increase in swimming and biking will enhance my fitness. Last summer when I trained for my first triathlon, I was surprised to see some definition in my arms and shoulders for the first time in my life. I am also hoping the change in training will help my metabolism and get this marathon weight gain off. It’s been hanging around far too long.

On Sunday, I will be running the Rock ‘n Roll Dallas with Team Chocolate Milk. This is one of my favorite races all year! I’m not going to adjust my triathlon training, so I will be running the half marathon on tired legs. I think that’s good practice for a half Ironman, don’t you?

 

 

 

A Great Year in Running (2014)

So I’m a little behind on posting a year-end summary for 2014, but I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the year I had. I may have missed my big time goals, but I still had a pretty great year. I ran 18 races which included 4 marathons, 5 half marathons, a 15k, two 10ks, five 5ks, and a trail race. So here’s my recap of 2014 – mostly with pictures.

January: Houston!

Meeting Meb in Houston!

Meeting Meb in Houston at the Expo

Feeling great and smiling!

A 20 minute marathon PR in Houston

February: Cowtown Marathon

Cowtown does a medal right!

Cowtown does a medal right!

March: Rock ‘n Roll Dallas 1/2

PR!

My half marathon PR

April: Finding out I was picked to be a Houston Marathon race ambassador, part of Team Chocolate Milk, and running the OKC Memorial Marathon.

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All the Gear

Becoming part of Team Chocolate Milk

Straight into the wind

OKC Marathon

September:

Some first time 5kers

A few first timers (5k)

October: My first half marathon as a pacer

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November: First age group award in a half marathon (benefit of getting older)

IMG_5344December: Dallas Marathon and finding out I will be a Nuun ambassador for 2015!

Marathon Number 9

Marathon Number 9

2015 looks to be pretty great as well as I start with the Houston Marathon. Next week, I’ll post more about my goals for that.

Have a great week everyone!

 

 

Rock on!

Sunday I ran the Dallas Rock ‘n Roll half marathon. This was my second year to run this race and I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t have experience with any other Competitor races, but for a big local half marathon this is a great one to do.

Dallas skyline at 6 am

Dallas skyline at 6 am

UPS does gear check too?

UPS does gear check too?

The weather was a little cool and windy, but thankfully no rain.

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I was overdressed with a 1/4 zip pullover and capri tights. Usually my legs get warmer faster than my upper body, but this time the pullover had me sweating extra by mile 3. I unzipped and pulled the thumbholes back but it didn’t help much. The course was not as windy in the first half as I thought it would be. Combine that with the hills that dominate the first half, and I was struggling.

Going in to this race, I didn’t feel strong enough to run the time I thought I should be capable of (sub 1:50:00) but I managed to hold a pace around 8:23-24 for about the first 10 miles. I bumped it up for the last 5k telling myself to just hang on – “it’s not a marathon, it will be over soon.” The elevation drops in the second half helped out a lot.

The spectators were great and some signs made me laugh out loud. My favorite was a lady sitting on a couch with cold cream on her face, rollers in her hair, wearing a robe, and a sign that said: “You got me up for this? Go Trudy!”

The finish is in Fair Park, and I’ve done enough races there to recognize when I’m close. I stopped checking my Garmin and tried to focus on finishing strong, but several people ran past me in the last 1/4 mile. I think they had too much gas left in the tank, because surely I wasn’t slowing down. I was surprised my time was so close to hitting my “A” goal. I took almost two minutes off of last year’s time.

PR!

PR!

 

After the race, there was this nice bonus:

American Authors!

That would be American Authors on stage. My 16 year-old daughter is so jealous.

Thanks again for a great race, Dallas. Here’s to another 5 years!

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Last Week’s Training

Some weeks, my training seems to be on autopilot. The alarm goes off, I pop out of bed, get dressed, and get the run done before the kids get up. Then some weeks I struggle because of the time change or spring break or family obligations. Or all of the above.

I thought having spring break directly after time change would be great. The kids would sleep in and I would get my planned mileage. Win-win.

Wrong.

Monday started way too early because of my husband’s schedule and my sleep was disrupted enough that I felt exhausted all day. Plus I worked an 8 hour day instead of my usual 5 and a half. I know, rough right?

Tuesday, I drug myself out of bed and drove to the track I use on occasion – only to find it locked. A last minute workout change had me switching from 400m repeats to a tempo run back in my hilly neighborhood.  I then drug my achy legs to work for another 8 hour day. By Tuesday night I was exhausted, but due to my increased caffeine intake, I was wide awake at 10 pm. Again.

Wednesday’s Texas weather brought wind gusts up to 30 mph. Thankfully, cross training was on the schedule. Stationary bike, jump rope, core work, and some arm weights. Then it was off to the oral surgeon for the 16 year old. Wisdom teeth be gone. The rest of the day I alternated roles of mom and nurse. Spring break fun.

I still had trouble getting out of bed Thursday and Friday. My mileage was a little short, but I was holding strong with my nutrition. Temptations were everywhere with ice cream, cookies, and Little Debbie cakes. I hope I’m at the point where my drive for speed outweighs my desire for junk food.

By Saturday morning, I was wide awake by 5:45. Finally. I was the only female there for the group run along with several faster guys. I thanked them for “slowing down” for me. I imagine the paces were in the 8:15-8:30s for the 3.5 miles I ran with them. That was a good push for me to be ready for this Sunday’s half marathon. I ended up with 12 miles total and I kind of tanked toward the end thanks to a lost gel packet that fell out of the elastic on my belt. Probably because I was running so fast for those three plus miles. 🙂

This week I’m going to taper down a bit. I’d like to see how fast I can run on Sunday. My last good solid half marathon was a year ago at this same race.

If you’d like to follow along with my training progress – you can check it out on my Daily Mile link on this page. How is your training going?

Have a great week!

Rock ‘n Roll Dallas Half

Sunday, I ran my first Rock ‘n Roll race. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’ve seen such mixed reviews over different Rock ‘n Roll races, but I know others that have done them and had a blast. Plus, I was able to register with a great discount.

I thought it would be a nice change of pace (no pun intended) to race a half marathon between the Cowtown and Oklahoma City marathons. The week before, I wasn’t sure this was a great idea.