The Working Closet

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it’s all down hill from here, or how I ran 13.1 miles this weekend and didn’t die

I ran a half marathon on Sunday, in Dallas. It was an exercise in challenging my comfort zone, from the very beginning. Wade was supposed to go with me (and drive me around), but things around here have been a little crazy lately, and it just wasn’t possible for both of us to be away this weekend. So Saturday morning we decided that I would drive down by myself. Because no big deal! I can drive to Dallas and find my way around downtown and run my race and get myself home, all alone. Why not?

OMG so many reasons why not. And yet, I totally did it. Go me.

Dallas Marathon 2012

I was sad that Wade didn’t go with me — we could really use a little time away, and he is the World’s Best Driver. But when I realized that I would get all the pillows, I got over it. I ordered room service and told Facebook about how I drove myself to Dallas — and my friend Laura messaged me to say that not only was she in Dallas for the same race, but she and her husband and friends were staying at the same hotel and would drive me to and from the race.

Runners are good people, y’all.

Dallas Marathon 2012

I fell asleep at 8:30 (with all the pillows!) and woke up at 4:45 feeling ready to go. And then I looked at the weather and started to worry a little. Because when it’s nearly 70 degrees at 5:45 in the morning, that’s not a good sign. Also, that 85% humidity? VERY BAD. Very very bad.

I joked with Laura before we left the hotel that I should just pin my bib on my shorts because clearly I wasn’t going to end up running all 13.1 miles with my shirt on. Ha ha ha so funny!

I made it less than a mile before I stripped off the shirt and stuffed it down the back of my shorts. I’m sure those will be some smokin’ hott race photos. Gah.

Dallas Marathon 2012

The first six miles of the course were uphill — unrelentingly, brutally, consistently uphill — and parts of the course were so narrow that it felt like all 27,000 runners were right on top of me. It was insane, and incredibly difficult. But dammit I ran that whole uphill six miles — in fact, I got to mile ten before I had to walk. Because OMG STILL UPHILL EVEN THEN WTH DALLAS???

Laura and her friends all run (a lot) faster than I do; I figured I would just see them at our meeting place at the finish. And then around mile 9 I caught up to Laura, who was having a rough day. We ran together on and off for the last four miles, which was nice (aside from the fact that we were both dying). She outlasted me at the end and finished four minutes ahead of me, which meant that she was waiting for me at the finish.

I always tell people not to worry about meeting me at the end of a race — I don’t run so that people can cheer me on. But I have to admit that it was really nice to cross the finish line and see a friendly face, particularly one who understood what I’d been through. Because damn that was a hard run.

Dallas Marathon

I can’t say this was a fun run, because it was not. At all. But it wasn’t a bad run. I finished in 2:13:12, so not the two hours I was hoping for, but not as slow as the Memorial, and not nearly as miserable.  I ran almost the whole way and even though the heat and humidity got to me, I felt good afterward. And I ran nearly the entire way, despite the heat and humidity and some possible overtraining on my part, so go me.

I learned three things in this race: I will not be going back to run the Dallas Marathon next year (six! miles! straigh! up! hill! nothankyou), I could stand to do more hill training (because the Memorial Marathon course also has a hilly section in the first few miles), and I can totally drive myself to Dallas, run 13.1 miles and drive myself home — no big deal.

And that’s my race recap. You’re welcome.

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14 comments on “it’s all down hill from here, or how I ran 13.1 miles this weekend and didn’t die

  1. Gina
    December 11, 2012

    congrats for finishing & thanks for sharing!! Go Susan!

  2. mainlinemom
    December 11, 2012

    I’m so glad you did this and wrote about it because I am needing some inspiration right now and even your bad runs are inspiring for me. Brave, you are brave. I really DO want someone cheering me on when I finish my first half marathon…whenever that may be.

  3. Claire @ My Devising
    December 11, 2012

    So impressed! (with the driving alone, hotel-staying alone, and the crazy course) That uphill portion of the memorial has killed me both times so I can’t imagine 6 miles straight. I would be on a stretcher. For sure. Congratulations on a great time!

  4. Kristen
    December 11, 2012

    You’re a rock star. Really.

  5. Kelly
    December 11, 2012

    Good job! Go you! I am having trouble imagining that weather in December! We have been running in below freezing temps the last week…

  6. Ris
    December 11, 2012

    Runners *are* good people, and that includes you, pretty lady! Congrats on the whole successful weekend :)

  7. Barb
    December 11, 2012

    Humidity has given me my very worst race experiences. Humidity AND hills?? A killer combo. It’s races like this that you should feel proud of while also vowing never to do it again. Way to push on!

  8. Tara Calihman (@tarable)
    December 11, 2012

    I’ll take hills over humidity any day. I started running when I was going to college in Texas and my goodness, how grateful I am that I now live in super-dry Colorado. For many reasons.

    Humidity sucks ass.

  9. Susan
    December 11, 2012

    I love all of you people. For real.

  10. {sue}
    December 11, 2012

    Yay, you!! I hate hills. There must be some 10K in Kansas or somewhere flat I could try.

  11. Torry
    December 11, 2012

    Congratulations! It sounds like a killer! I have some east coast memories of high humidity and killer heat that will keep me out of certain places for the rest of my life…much less running (OMG Running!) in the them!

  12. Christina
    December 11, 2012

    Hills and heat and humidity? OMGAWSH so great that finished with a great time! Good job!!

  13. Shannon
    December 12, 2012

    WHO KNEW Dallas was so hilly?! Gah. A huge congratulations to you. Humidity is a KILLER for running. Humidity plus hills? Nightmare. So impressed! Now rest a little bit, will ya?

  14. Carole
    December 12, 2012

    You rock, Susan! Also, that picture of you and Laura?
    Cutest picture EVER.

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