2011 White Rock Marathon Race Report

(Photo credit: Dallas AM News)
I did it!  After 11 years and 5 marathons, I finally EARNED a PR.

And, by 14 minutes!

Despite this course being considered, "fast" - the weather made it by far the most difficult I've ever run.  But before I go any further, I want to commend the race directors, sponsors, police officers, volunteers and spectators for putting on an amazing race.  While the weather was out of their control, I can't thank everyone for the encouragement, support and keeping us safe out on the course. I've seen grumblings on their Facebook site and I have to say overall the race was a great experience and Dallas should be very proud of this world-class event.

2011 Dallas White Rock Marathon
Finisher's Medal and
long-sleeve tech shirt
My mom was amazingly supportive, as always, and I picked her up at 4:30am to head out to Fair Park.  After sitting in traffic last year for almost an hour, I was determined to get there early.  It paid off and we had premium parking. After chatting for a bit, we both fell asleep.  Thank goodness I got a text message at about 7:15am that startled us both awake.  The race started at 8am! I couldn't believe I could have almost missed the start!
The weather was a chilly 47 degrees (it's Texas- we don't deal well with the cold), raining and windy. Throughout the morning, it dropped 5 more degrees.  I could see my breath, I was soaked and frozen.  The hood on my poncho was full of water and every time I tugged on it from around my neck, it would pour down my back.

Many of the roads were flooded and the potholes on the course were covered with water, so you didn't realize they were there until you were ankle deep in water. My socks sloshed and even the generous amounts of Aquaphor that I used on my feet couldn't keep my shoes from rubbing off a huge chunk of skin off the back of my ankle, leaving my sock and shoe covered in blood. I didn't realize this until after I was finished, because my feet were so frozen. Bonus!

I had tried to stay as positive about the weather, but by about Mile 18, the rain picked up and it started to play with my mind. I felt pretty alone out there and was ready to be done. The pace group that I was trying to keep in front of, passed me looking strong. All I could think about was having a warm meal, taking a shower and getting into some warm, fuzzy pj's. 

I refused to look at my watch until Mile 25.  The clocks on the course were off because of the rain, so I had no absolutely no idea where I was in regards to time until that moment. I felt like I was on track, but I wasn't sure.  When I finally let myself check my watch and realized that I was going to easily PR, I was ecstatic. I kicked it into high gear and ran the last mile in as fast as I could.

I'm going to be honest, despite the PR, it was a hard race. I don't think anyone could classify a marathon as easy, but I'm pretty nervous about the double marathon coming up. The day after White Rock, I hopped on the treadmill and ran 3.1 miles and then did a recovery swim. My legs felt better than expected, but I'm not quite sure how 23.1 more miles are going to feel. Yikes!

Fun stats from RunPix:

- Of the 4530 who finished, 38% were Women and 62% were Men.

- I was ahead of about 35% of men runners.

- Over the final 6mi, I passed 111 runners and 61passed me

This weekend was a weekend of amazing PR's for a lot of people, including Lesley at RacingItOff, Jason at CookTrainEatRace, and his wife Karen, and a big congrats to my co-worker Christi who ran her first marathon and did amazing!  Way to go everyone!

Thanks again to Team Aquaphor for sponsoring me. I had many thankful people accepting samples to keep them from chafing with their wet clothing!


Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Congrats on the PR Shannon! Way to stick it out in tough conditions!

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

So excited for your PR!!!!!!! It was rough out there. Ill get my report up today, but I have a lot more whining in mine. ;-)

Christi said...

What nasty condition! Great job on your PR! That is very impressive.


DRW has kicked my ass twice. Deceptive hills on that course..
Great job..

Katie said...

BAM! congrats!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the PR in tough conditions, I like the medal you earned

Caratunk Girl said...

YAY PR!!!! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

A 14 minute PR through a shallow sea is quite the accomplishment. Well done!

Mary IronMatron said...

Congrats on the HUGE PR despite the gruesome weather! Yeah!

Jason said...

Booyah!!!! 14 minute PR rocks the socks off......

That is incredible and I'm not sure who calls that course fast b/c there are plenty of hills on it to slow you down.

Great job my friend, great job!

Laura said...

Great job! just found your blog-- i'm a running mom in TX too, just moved here this summer. Happy running!

Colleen said...

YAY! Shannon, I knew you were going to PR. I just felt it! :)

Ugh, I will say that the weather sounds CRAPPY. You go girl for being strong!!!

Ginger Spansel said...

WOW!!! That is amazing to PR with those conditions!!! Nice going!!!

Jill said...

Congratulations on the PR, that is fantastic!!! I've run that marathon 3 times (it was my very first in 1997 :)), and I love that course. And that medal, that is the neatest marathon medal I've EVER seen. Wish I could have run it this year!! Congrats again, well done :).

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