Monday, April 18, 2011

Big D Half Marathon 2011 Race Report

On April 10, 2011, I ran Big D Half Marathon in Dallas, Texas. This was my 5th year to run the race. I have now run it in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. It was my first half marathon in 2005, it was my second half marathon and my first after I'd had my daughter Marissa in 2008, a PR in 2009, my first half marathon while pregnant in 2010, and my fifth race of half marathon or longer for the year in 2011. Phew. The race has always been significant in my memory with all of that. I'm also friends with the race director so each year for the last 3 years I coordinate, recruit volunteers, supervise, and work packet pickup at the main location in Dallas to make sure about 1500 of the almost 5000 total runners get their packets and are greeted with a friendly face over those three days.  This of course means I've just spent 28 hours on my feet. Oh, and the day before the race this year, I timed another race for a friend which required me to get up at 4:20 in the morning. Yawn.

So I'm typically not very fresh going into this race. I had my race plan for this one. Since it was my 4th week of races of half marathon or longer, I wanted to just "take it easy". I figured that would end up around where Rock N Roll Half had in good running weather 2 weeks earlier, which was a 2:44 finish.

However, it was super hot this April morning of Big D. 72 the start. And it just went up from there. In the 80s when I finished. Not a cloud in the sky either. HOT.

I carpooled down with Marcie to the race. We were there plenty early which left us tons of time to gear up, Bodyglide up, sunscreen up, and walk to the start to find friends. A group of us met up at the Gear Check tent.

From left to right: EW, Dana, Erik, Elaine [kneeling], Michelle, me, Marcie, Lesley, Robin, and Emily.
The race starts, and between "take it easy" and "it's hot", I decided on this... I ignored my watch and just ran comfortable, ran by feel (something many people know is hard for this overly analytical gal). I saw friends, would say hi, they'd pass me or I'd pass them. I had an awkward moment where I came up on 3 "friends", one of whom was talking bad about me. LOL, it was all due to a misunderstanding involving another mutual friend, and lawdy did everyone jump as I literally jumped into the conversation to correct why she was badmouthing me. It was divine intervention and I'm glad we cleared the air because I didn't even know she was thinking like that. But man, what an awkward moment. How much badmouthing of me is happening at paces I could not possibly ever come upon someone at? ;-)

Around mile 4 saw my good friend Elizabeth. She's an amazing runner, and you'd never know looking at her that she has 4 children. And this race was the second marathon of her weekend - her first double marathon weekend! She was trying to settle into the uncomfortability of her body, and I'm glad I spent a half mile with her trying to reframe some of the, while not truly negative, less than happy thoughts she was evoking. :-)

Again, just ran comfortable and enjoyed the sights. I was getting tired the last couple miles. It was becoming truly hot out there and the last couple miles are completely unshaded so we took the full brunt of the sun. I kept a slow jog going the whole time and had to have passed over a hundred people in that last 2 miles who were walking it in.

It was very hard not to try to race it in or give a big kick at the end. Even my pride was hurting a little to continue the slow jog through the spectators and into the finish - I wanted a sign that said, "I have more to give but I'm smarter than that." I know I have 16 more weeks of marathon training and tuckering myself out there would have accomplished nothing.

I finished in 2:45:58, which is only a minute slower than Rock N Roll Half 2 weeks before and in temps 30 degrees hotter. And felt about the same afterward, LOL!

I hung out post-race, saw friends, then headed home to do 3 more miles to bring the day's total to 16.19. A few hours later, the family did a 0.6 mile walk with stroller and tricycle and both kids, so brought the day's total to my highest ever of 16.79 miles!

Mile 1: 12:12
Mile 2: 12:37
Mile 3: 11:47
Mile 4: 11:33
Mile 5: 12:29
Mile 6: 12:31
Mile 7: 13:04
Mile 8: 12:57
Mile 9: 12:54
Mile 10: 12:40
Mile 11: 12:48
Mile 12: 13:11
Mile 13: 13:20
Last 0.16: 11:57 pace


  1. Amazing how well you held up in the heat... Some of those splits beat mine!

  2. Awesome run Libby! Was great seeing you before, during, and after!!!

  3. LOL, thanks, Brian, although you did a FULL marathon the same race and you started out with a 7:06 mile! Only 62 people finished under 4 hours I heard for the full marathon, so you have every right for your 26th mile to be slower than one of my early miles. :-)

  4. Good job, Libby! It was a tough day out there for sure!