Dallas Whiterock Marthon: done
i'm back in sunny Kansas City...err...after a wonderful weekend in Dallas. ran the Whiterock Marathon on Sunday and enjoyed every mile of it...especially the last half, which I gutted out a negative 10 minute split. after what's been about two years of continuous marathon training, i'm happy to reflect in the glow of this race as i lower my weekly mileage and enjoy sleeping in on the weekends for a while. i've dealt with a nagging stomach issue, torn cartailage in my foot, a re-injured Achilles tendon and am well tired of gritting my teeth through training runs. but crossing the line on Sunday, nailing my goal time with 58 tenths of a second to spare (4:10:42), well, it was all worth the pain.
i started out rather conservative due to the injuries i was bringing into the race. but at mile 16 or so, i knew i was having a good day and just let it loose. passed a couple pace groups and then with 2 miles left, passed the 4:15 group and decided 4:10 was attainable. spent the final two miles in a dead sprint. but dang it feels good to be done. i do believe i could have bested my last PR (3:54) yesterday if i'd have cut my mile-by-mile time down on the front end...maybe next time.
the best part, though, was running with three of my favorite people. my good friend Joel (and Interwoven Threads collaborator) ran his first marathon and did a heckuva job (and got the bug, i think!). it was great to run with him for the majority of the race and be part of his huge accomplishment. my Dad ran an expectedly smooth race (i honestly don't think he broke a sweat). our wonderful family friend Larry not only hosted us in his new home, but he and his wife treated us to the best Texas hospitality we could imagine. he's a really talented runner and even better guy.
we messed with our layers and technical choices until the very minute we started the race. felt great though in what we all wore. i decided on a Patagonia Capilene 2 base layer with another Cap2 long sleeve over that, then my Brooks water/wind-proof jacket and Brooks Trance 7 shoes. i wore the injinji socks that have become a favorite in-training sock due to their ability to prevent blisters, but was really disappointed in them during the race. they just didn't provide enough stay or cushioning. also very poor wicking ability. i think that was their last race. i was on and off with the jacket the whole way, but having it definitely helped during the rain showers that accompanied the 30-40 degree weather. it was rough...and the north wind hurt.
last year's houston marathon is still my favorite - it's part personal record and part great fun - but this may well be number two. man...just keeps getting better. i needed a vacation and this turned into exactly that. great laughs, wonderful food and drink, even better company and a chance to get my head out of KC. moreover, i needed a successful finish to get the bad taste of the Chicago Marathon out of my mouth. my hat's off to the people of Dallas and the race organizers and volunteers. they had aid stations at EACH MILE, filled with water and Gatorade (Chicago, take note). and i will venture to say the neighborhoods bested Chicago's for enthusiasm and fun (not an easy feat). even in the cold and rain, people were outside holding block parties and front-yard parties. they handed out food and drink (lots of beer!) and cheered consistently. it was a well-run race and a great city to run. thanks to all involved for the experience.