Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas half marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
I have a long history with Rock n’ Roll races. I love the big expos, the atmosphere and the management of this race series. I was excited to run the Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon for the 4th time this year! Unfortunately, my excitement didn’t translate into a steady training plan. Life challenges got in the way and quite frankly I wasn’t motivated to put the time and energy into training like I have in the past. I know I can get through a half marathon, so I subconsciously put myself in that troubled state. I accepted my poor preparation and made a race plan of alternating walking and running as I needed to and trying to enjoy my time on the course.
I decided to take DART on race day so I wasn’t stressed about finding parking. Gear check was a breeze and there were adequate restroom facilities pre-race. The best serendipitous event occurred pre-race when I bumped into a dear friend I haven’t seen in a while. We had the chance to catch up and then toed the start line together.
I noticed immediately that the humidity was much higher than I anticipated. I started out with a steady pace but knew I would need to drink a lot during the race to maintain hydration. I got to see friends near mile 3, which were already a very welcome sight for my sore eyes! I held steady movement until around mile 5 when the tiredness already started to set in. Uh oh. I took some of my chews, drank water, and continued to walk-run. Around mile 6, we had to run up the 35E onramp to then cross the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. We started running up Sylvan Avenue, which is the longest incline on the course. I was wiped out by this point and knew the second half of the race was going to be a big struggle. I walked way more than I wanted to. I talked with volunteers. I listened to my music. I waved to the on-course entertainment. Supporters were handing out water bottles, which I thankfully accepted and carried for nearly two miles so I could take in more water. I was so tired, I forgot to focus on my form and it all went to crap. I barely picked up my feet and shuffled along. I sweat so much my heart rate monitor came sliding off my chest.
I walked and shuffled some more. Around mile 10 I even stopped to use the bathroom because of all the water I was guzzling. Walking. So much walking. I finally recognized the finish line area and picked it up to cross the finish line. I gathered my medal and post-race food and sat down on Reunion Lawn, exhausted mentally and physically. I completed my manifestation of getting through the race. I looked at my watch and realized this was my second slowest half marathon ever.
I only have myself to blame for my poor preparation. I need to identify the root cause of this self-sabotage. Am I still enjoying racing? If so, then why I am no longer committed to the training schedules I used to love? Time for some self-reflection.
Have you ever hit a training and racing slump? How did you address it? Drop a comment or tweet me!