Big T Does Big D – My Marathon Re-Cap
The marathon I ran was the Big D Dallas Marathon on Sunday, April 15, 2012. I signed up a long, long time ago. So long ago that I didn’t think about it too much because back then it seemed so far away. Then time FLEW by, and here it was – SHOWTIME!
I was ready, though. I had done my runs, put in the miles, pounded the pavement. On Easter Sunday when I successfully completed a 20 mile run, I knew I was going to do it. Even though I fell and hurt both knees and my left wrist (cue the sad music).
I was pretty nervous. Not because I didn’t think I could do it (I just KNEW I could), but because of the weather. Forecasters were saying things like “unsurvivable!” “massive destruction!” “extreme devastation!” It’s tornado season here in Tornado Alley, and this sort of thing naturally gets my attention. That’s because I was born and raised in Southern California, and therefore I am terrified of all scary natural disasters except earthquakes. Texans don’t seemed to be fazed by tornadoes AT ALL, but that could also be because they are just naturally tougher than Californians. But they scare the spit out of me (tornadoes, not Texans).
So I admit, for a minute there I almost chickened-out. The morning of the race I woke up at 3 am, because I wanted to be sure to get there in plenty of time; Fair Park is a little far from my house. Wow! The weather here in Mckinney was wild! Pouring rain, crazy wind, thunder (I don’t think there was lightning, though; I can’t really remember). It scared my little brown pooch so much he ran around the house in terror pooping everywhere. Poor little thing, he was shaking like a leaf. Luckily, we own an awesome steam cleaner for trying episodes such as these (good thing I woke up so early, too!).
However, I have lived in Texas long enough to notice a few things about the weather here. One of those things is that sometimes (many times) the dire predictions don’t pan out. Another thing is – if you wait for perfect weather to go outside to run, you’ll be waiting a long time.
I thought about that. Then I thought about how hard I had worked, and how sad I would be if I missed out. And then, because I am a cheapskate, I thought about the $80.00 entry fee that I would completely waste by not participating. That did it! I am not about to throw away $80.00, tornadoes or no tornadoes!!!!
We drove to Fair Park, and it was pouring. When we got there it wasn’t so bad though. Lots of people showed up, too. By the time we lined up for the 7:30 am start the rain had stopped. In fact it was pretty warm and humid. This lasted for about the first ten miles. Then all of a sudden the wind started picking up and it started raining pretty good. Wow, I got soaked for the next few miles. This happened again a little further into the race, but weather-wise, that was the worst of it. No lightning (which always scares me), some gusts of heavy wind, and best of all, NO TORNADOES!
It was really a beautiful course. We ran around White Rock Lake which is just gorgeous, and huge. Then we ran around lovely residential parts of Dallas, including the Swiss Ave. Historical District, which is something I’ve always wanted to see. I heart big old houses. This area reminded me a lot of South Pasadena, a town I just love. There was lots of interesting stuff to see, so that was nice and distracting. The course was a bit hilly, but not as hilly as Mckinney where I live and run, so I didn’t struggle there. I eat hills for breakfast.
I felt good the first 24 miles. The last 2.2 were tough, but luckily they were only 2.2 miles. I just kept telling myself “You’re almost done!” I have to say, though: what is up with this runner’s high I hear so much about? Why can’t I ever have one?
Before I knew it, I was running under the Muscle Milk inflatable arch. I knew this meant the end was near. I could hear cheering and clapping up ahead. Wow, my legs were tired but I wanted to make a good impression for my big finish so I managed to speed up a little. Then I was running the last few yards and people were cheering me on. That was nice. There was the Finish Line up ahead! I crossed it running at a good clip, and “BEEEP” there goes my timing chip and I am DONE! Hang that Finisher’s Medal around my neck and stick a fork in me.
I finished in 4:55. Okay, not a speed demon, but it was my first time. My only objectives were to finish, not get lost, and (hopefully) not be last. And I wasn’t!
Immediately after the race I was pretty sore, Monday I was a little less sore, and by Tuesday I felt pretty good; I went for my usual 4 mile run that morning. Now here it is Friday and I feel completely back to normal.
It was a great race, organized really well. Plenty of nice water stations, potties, and yummy food after. Imagine all the hard work that goes into an event like this?!!! It makes me tired just thinking about it. Thanks, Mellew Productions, volunteers, paramedics, police, and people who contributed the food, music, gatorade, water, road snacks, and potties. I appreciate all your hard work.
I’m so glad I didn’t chicken out! I’m not the fastest, skinniest, or youngest runner in Dallas, but none of that matters because I showed up and I did it. I RAN A MARATHON!!!! Can’t wait for the next one!