Dallas Marathon 2014 Race Highlights
-Meeting Ryan and Sara Hall at the expo AND Sara told me she liked my ‘Strong in the Lord’ tank! (Maybe I should add “Sara Hall approved” in the tank description)
-A personal record finish time AND a Boston Qualifier finish!
Oh yes, it doesn’t stop there…
-Ryan Hall handing me my finisher medal and we chatted for a quick sec about Sara’s personal best finish and he asked how my race was.
Okay, now I am done. But really, what else could top that?? In all seriousness though — starting with some of my running buddies, having my family there to cheer me on mile after mile, and seeing my friend Felicia at the finish was so incredible as well!
Race weekend recap
Expo: I can sum up the expo with “I met Ryan and Sara Hall”. They had a Q & A and it was so fun listening to them share advice and their experiences. I asked them “When racing with a time goal, do you prefer negative splits (starting slow, finishing strong), an even pace throughout, or going all out?” Ryan said he prefers going all out and using the crowd and his surroundings for motivation to keep pushing strong. Sara said she likes to begin fast and take advantage of the adrenaline at the beginning of the race. She also takes advantage of the downhill as she is fast at running them. Great advice, but let’s keep in mind they are professional runners.
After the Q&A, they had a photo op and I stood in line to take my picture with them. As I walked up to them, Sara told me she liked my ‘Strong in the Lord’ tank! Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!! So if you have one of these, Sara likes it!
Race: I went into this race with a much different mindset than Chicago, but this deserves a whole other post and I promise it will be worth the read. I posted my goals for the Dallas Marathon, which were simple and vague. If I felt good, I’d go for a BQ! If I didn’t, no pressure! No pressure was my theme for this race. I began this race with two girls that I trained with – both incredible runners and Boston Qualifiers. I hung with one of the girls until about mile 7 as she was determined to get me started strong and on my way to a BQ! We held around a 7:46 for these miles before she took off to finish with a 3:22 finish time and 3rd in our age group (F 25-29). Side note: Anytime I win a race in Waco, it’s because she isn’t there. She is an exceptional athlete and I am so thankful for her push at the beginning of this race.
I crossed the half with a 1:43,which was my second best half marathon time. I was really nervous at this point and thought that maybe I did start too fast and was afraid I would pay for it at the end. I kept telling myself to just push it until mile 20 and then hold on until the finish.
I remembered seeing mile markers 17 and 22 on my way out and used these as mental target points. I knew at 17, I would be finished with the lake and wind and that mile 22 was a downhill. I powered through to both of these target points and took advantage of the downhill at mile 22. I spent the next 2 miles trying to do math in my head. Anyone else do this? I was trying to determine how much slower I could run each mile to use up the buffer I created. I still haven’t figured it out…
At mile 24 I realized I was almost finished and all signs pointed to a BQ. I refused to believe it. I thought I had it in Chicago and I watched it slip away. You NEVER know what can happen in a race. I found a girl that was running strong and followed closely behind her to try and keep my pace. Mile 25 passed. I knew I had 15 minutes to run 1.2 miles, but I still didn’t even entertain the thought that I would get my BQ. Again, you NEVER know what can happen. I knew the finish line was just around the corner and all I could think about was being able to see Andrew and tell him I did it!
Finish Line: There it was. The finish line. I saw my friend, Felicia, first and she was going crazy cheering for me. And cue the tears. I looked at her pointing to the finish time. Maybe I will do it. I mean, I had 4 minutes to spare, and it was literally right in front of me. Next, I saw Andrew and my parents, and started saying “Do you see? I did it! I did it!”. And there I was crossing the finish mats, full steam ahead. I didn’t stop running. I still didn’t really believe that I BQ’d. Maybe my chip messed up or who knows, I kept thinking. A volunteer stepped in front of me and held out his hands yelling “Stop! You’re done, you’re done!” I looked at my watch and saw 3:31.
Boston Qualifier: I walked through the finish chute with my hands over my face overwhelmed by what just happened. A personal record, a boston qualifier, what could top this…. Oh, “Hi, Ryan Hall”. There was Ryan Hall handing out finisher medals. I walked up to him and he handed me mine. I told him I was the girl yesterday who was wearing the shirt Sara liked and showed him my Run Wit Endurance one. They are Christians as well, if you didn’t know. I asked how Sara did and he said she set a personal record, I don’t think he mentioned the fact that she won the half for women… He then asked me how my race went. Cherry on top!
This was my 10th marathon. This was 9 more marathons than I ever thought I would run. I finished my first marathon in 2010 in Dallas with a finish time of 5:32:48. I finished on Sunday 2 whole hours faster than my first. As I’ve said before and as I will continue to say, I am so thankful for this journey. God has given me this passion and this ability. Some days, I am not sure why. Then when I read your sweet comments about how I’ve inspired you to believe in yourself or set a goal that seems impossible, I realize that He is using me to encourage others to dream big! Never ever doubt what you are capable of! With patience and persistence, anything is possible!
Official Time – 3:31:01
Pace – 8:03 min./mile
Age group (F 25-29) – 8th out of 251
Female – 34 out of 1623
Overall – 238 out of 3953