The Dallas Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon was a race I signed up for 11 days after I found out I had a stress fracture in my foot. I think I signed up because I wanted to feel well and not injured. I had no clue what my comeback plan would be like or how quickly I would be able to come back.
After all was said and done, I had about 7 weeks to build enough mileage to complete a 13.1 race. Since that is not much time to just work up to the mileage, not even think about racing I decided to use the Galloway method mixing running with walk breaks - I used a 4:1 ratio. It worked beautifully and I was able to complete 11 miles 6 weeks after being able to run again. What I didn't take into account was the overall weekly mileage and how it would impact game day performance. I was only doing a 3 miler and a short 2-3 miler during the week, my weekly mileage was only at 18 or so, barely over the 13.1 race distance. I looked at some of my quality workouts and a 5K race and saw that I was running well at 9:00 pace and thought "I can do this for 13.1 with the Galloway method..." WRONG!
Race morning was beautiful - which translated into a really hot race day. Temperature was already 60* at the start of the race and it only climbed from there. I felt good the first few miles. It was tough to stop and walk with everyone running around me but I forced myself from the start. I didn't really focus on my interval paces, only on my overall which was staying around a 9:40 pace. There were some killer hills in the first 3 miles and I really started to feel them on my legs around mile 4. That with the heat and it all started unraveling quickly. I ran with a new friend for about 1.5 miles in here which was great for keeping my mind off the conditions.
I was really feeling the length of the course and the 13.1 miles after the 10K mark. There were some long stretches on straight roads - and while there were lots of spectators, there wasn't much to look at, and no shade. My pace on the runs started to drop drastically, and my walks got slower and slower. I kept telling myself that I would complete this race 4 minutes at a time - which got me through the race. I don't remember much of the last 3 miles of the course, just the road and the people in front of me. I was really doing a death march by the end, my head was pounding and I was so thristy - definitely had some dehydration and heat exhaustion there.
I finished the race in 2:15:53. I'm proud of that time. I know that I was crazy thinking I could keep a great pace after being off for so long, and looking back on my training I didn't have enough miles to keep a good pace either. I'm just grateful that I finished with a smile on my face. I enjoyed running with fellow Red Coyote racers. I've decided that I just don't mesh well with the Dallas RnR course though - not sure why but I've crashed there twice. Make me wonder if Dallas White Rock is a bad idea for a marathon...
I will regroup - I'm going to focus on running the full 13 now. Cutting out the walk breaks. While they are benefical, I don't really like them. I need to accept my current training load and run my paces to it. I'm not down, I just hope that I learned from this!