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JMERLAU
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Rock n Roll Half Marathon - My 6th Half - lots of pics

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Date: March 25th, 2012
Event: Rock and Roll Marathon Series Dallas

Race Length: Half Marathon Ė my 6th


I have to start this blog by going back to my training run on 3.18.2012. I did a 10 mile training run that was the worst run Iíve had in a very long time. I ran the service roads in my area, like I do a lot when I need a nice long run with some hills. I didnít push my pace as it was probably around 9:40ish per mile or so. When I finished my run, my legs hurt so bad, I honestly did not think I would even finish this Half Marathon.

So, I did what I do, I kept training, kept pushing myself since I have the will, I had to find a way. (I rarely taper for half marathonís anymore BTW). I spent time with my roller. Not just any roller, not your typical foam roller, my 4Ē PVC pipe roller. I use this because itís hard and goes deep enough into the belly of the muscle and works! I rolled twice a day for 20 minutes or so each time. Here is a pic of my trusty roller:


Fast forward to the weekend and Iím READY to run! My family had a great day Saturday at a golf event with my oldest daughter, then we went to the Rock and Roll Health and wellness Expo. We had a great time at the expo searching for bargains and checking out new things. I made a video for GotChocolateMilk as a recovery, that Iíll be asking everybody to vote for as soon as I get the email about it. My daughter and I took a picture together in front of the green screen. The funny thing about this is that we were both wearing green shirts. I thought it was funny.


Fast forward to Sunday morning.
I was up at 4am to start getting ready. Typical stuff, quick shower and then I rolled for a while! Oh I love my roller, have I mentioned that. :-) Since I knew there would be large crowds and I do not like sitting in traffic, I left the house just after 5am for Dallas Fair Park. This was the finish line and we were bused over to the starting line. I relaxed in the car for a while, watching traffic pick up before my very eyes, thankful I was early.
I met a very nice lady named Joyce on the bus to the start village in downtown Dallas. We made small talk and I learned it was her first half marathon as a walker, and she was excited! I was excited for her of course. In the course of the conversation I learned she is 65 years old and had lost 75 pounds. She lost her husband years ago and they used to do 5kís together a lot, her husband enjoyed the tech shirts he got from the races. I shared my story and then I spread the SPARK and told her about Spark People. Here is Joyceís finisher photo


Can you tell she is excited?!

So now I am downtown at City Hall before day break and it is absolutely beautiful. I could feel a great day in the air and loved that feeling. I was really taken by how beautiful it was, so I snapped a photo


I found a spot to start warming up my legs again, then started texting Michelle who is a fellow SparkPeople member and we wanted to meet. I had a really nice warmup time and stretching to get my legs ready. Michelle had found me by now and we were getting to know one another more, then Kim walked up as well. Kim is another SparkPeople member who I was meeting for the first time. I love meeting SparkPeeps in person that brings me joy. Here is a picture of the three of us.


Finally itís time to get lined up. There were nearly 12,000 runners for this race so it was fairly crowded. I was lined up in corral number 8 and you will never believe who was also in my corral?!? Elvis was in my corral. Pfft, who knew?!

This is a picture of the crowd in front of me before we started:


It took me about 20 minutes from my starting position to get to the start line because there were so many people.

Finally, weíre off. The course took us downtown Dallas to the grassy knoll where President Kennedy was assassinated, that was kind of cool to run down that area.

Mile 1-3 were 9:35, 10:00 and 9:38 pace per mile respectively. This was the Ďworstí part of the course really. The scenery wasnít all that great.

Miles 4-6 were 10:26, 9:33 and 9:49. I felt like I was right on target for what I wanted to try to do. I was feeling pretty good, not pushing the pace too much because I knew it was nearly all uphill for the first 7 miles. I hate it, but I had to stop at mile 4 and take a bio break, ugh. My legs donít do that well. The scenery was beautiful though, sometimes Iíd get caught up looking around and forget I was running. LOL

Miles 7-9 were 9:38, 9:30 and 9:14 per mile. Mile 7.5 is where the uphill climb stopped, thankfully! Somewhere around mile 7 we ran right past RunON, which is my favorite running store in Dallas.

Miles 10-12 were 9:00, 9:09 and 8:47 per mile. I remember thinking to myself that my plan had worked. I was able to go slow on the uphill climb, then speed up after that point. I felt good at this point too! This was the same route I ran on my first marathon with Nicholas, so thoughts of my bro came to mind and helped push me speed.

Miles 13-13.1 were 9:00 and 8:24 for the last little bit. I remember thinking as I entered the fair grounds that I was almost done. They had the finish line as far back as they could possibly get! We ran nearly all the way around the Cotton Bowl. I had stopped at the last water and walked through it just like I do every time I run a race, then something new happened. My calf muscles decided to start cramping, ugh, thankfully it was less than a mile or so from the finish line.

All in all, I surprised myself beyond belief! Here are my stats from the run


That time still blows me away. My 6th half marathon and itís my 3rd fastest time over all. I have to give credit to my roller for helping heal my legs the week before the race. I also give credit to my family and friends for posting comments as I ran that encouraged me to keep running strong. Seeing my wife and daughters at the finish line, priceless.
The after party was a hit as well. James Durbin from played and well, he durbinrocked! He is on stage over my shoulder when this photo was taken.


Couple photos shot around the post-race party




The bling


YES Ė I DO LOVE TO RUN! (taken during the half marathon)


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