The Romagnolo Family

The Romagnolo Family

Monday, December 12, 2016

The 2016 BMW Dallas Half Marathon Recap

I can't believe that I just finished my THIRD Half Marathon for the year.  If you have been following along with me on my journey, you know that I only started running this past January.  Y'all!  That's insane!

The BMW Dallas Marathon is different from any of the races that I've done this year in my area.  This race and the Hot Chocolate Run were the only races that had Expos that you had to go to pick up your race bibs.  This Expo was even bigger than the Hot Chocolate Run.  There were tons of booths and merchandise to browse.  The girls and I headed there on Saturday afternoon.  I got my bib first.  I was placed in Corral D.  That was the last Corral.  😞  Oh well.  It was what it was.  I got to sign my name on the wall, the girls got to bounce in the bounce house, and we got some free shirts.

My friend Allison had been there a little earlier and found my name on the car.

My girls got to have a sleepover at a friends so that I could prep for the race.  I did not sleep well though.  I was having some major anxiety over this race for some reason.  I talked a little about it here.  To ease my anxiety though, I made sure that everything was laid out and/or charging before I went to bed.  

Since traffic had been horrible the day before getting to the Expo, Allison and I decided to meet up at one of the Dart Train Stations and take the Dart to the race.  That was the best decision ever.  I got up in the morning, got ready, drank my coffee and ate a waffle with Peanut Butter and headed out to meet Allison.

The temperature was in the high 40's (51 by the time the race started).  It was enough to need my daughter's Olaf hat, gloves and a jacket.  Once we got to the Convention Center, we took advantage of using their bathrooms.  We then headed over to gear check.  I really debated on whether I wanted to check my jacket with my stuff or keep it.  I decided to check it and I used my Mylar Blanket until the race started.  Once we checked our bags, we headed over to the Omni Hotel to warm up, relax and use the bathroom one last time. 

At around 7:50 we headed to our Corral to stretch and wait for the race to start.  The race started at 8:05am.  Our Corral started at 8:35.  I took a slow and steady pace the first 3 miles.  I didn't want to waste a lot of energy weaving in and out of people.  It started to clear up around the 5K mark.  At that point I was at a 12:06 pace.  Somehow over the next 3 miles I picked up my pace.  By the time I crossed the 10K mark, I had brought my pace down to 11:48. I am shocked by that because it was around mile 5 that we entered Highland Park and that's where a lot of the hills were.  It was also during this time that the "stitch" in my side that had started right around mile 2 started to really hurt me.  I just kept sucking in my stomach and trying to take deep breaths during my 30 second interval walks.  At the 15K mark, my pace was 11:47.  Around mile 10 the soreness in my legs started to kick in.  It wasn't a pain from an injury, but my legs were just getting tired.  Every time I got to a mile marker I kept telling myself, "you only have ___ miles to go!  You can do anything for ___ miles!"  I promised myself that when I got to mile 12 that I was going to push it as hard as I could.  I wasn't going to hold back.  I didn't care how sore I was.  

The course had some great entertainment.  I loved seeing the homes in Highland Park.  We ran by this home and someone said, "It's pretty sad that their decorations cost more than my house!"  Yep!  It was pretty though!

This guy and his friends passed me along the course.  I'm not sure if he was doing the full or half.  Either way he didn't make excuses.  What is your excuse now?

One of my friends in my running group had posted this week about a lady getting lost on a half marathon course that was on a trail.  I'm glad that they made it very clear which way to go.  I would've cried if I had somehow ended up on the course for the full marathon.

I was feeling a little sorry for myself because I didn't have anyone along the course cheering for me until I heard, "Ms. Romagnolo!"  One of my students was getting his service hours by volunteering and handing out water to the runners!  

I finally got to mile marker 12.  FINALLY!  I texted this picture to my friend Angie to let her know that I was almost done.

I had promised myself that I would push it this last mile, and I did.  Of course as we came around the corner during mile 12 the wind kicked up.  I kept pushing though.  It took everything in me.  When I crossed the finish, I pulled out my phone and checked my time (I had signed up to track myself).  I couldn't believe my eyes!  My time was 02:36:00!  I had shaved off 6 minutes from my first half marathon in September!  SIX MINUTES!!  I am still shocked!  There is no feeling like a PR (personal record)!

After I got my pictures I waited for my friend Allison who was just a little bit behind me.  We got changed (I'm SO glad that I packed extra clothes to change into), got our finishers bag that had pretzels & cookies in it, and then we found the IHop tent!!

I am so glad that I did this race. I'm glad that I didn't let my anxiety or exhaustion win!  It was a good course with plenty of spectators and entertainment throughout.  I also liked how (like the Disney races) I was never alone on the course.  I always had running "buddies".  I'll probably do this one again next year.  The announcer said that 48 states and 20 countries were represented in this race.  If you are looking for a good race then come out next year and try the BMW Dallas Marathon.

What about you?  Did run this race too or have you run it before?  What are your thoughts?  Be sure to check out my YouTube page for the video recap (& other race recaps) that will be coming soon!

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