Race Recap: Rock 'n' Roll Dallas 1/2 Marathon


I ran a half marathon on Sunday! I have a whole post I'm drafting about running while pregnant (because a few people have asked), so I'm just letting you know now that this post is specifically a race recap. I'll expand more thoughts about pregnant running in a later post.

I was really excited when I saw a one-day sale for Rock 'n' Roll races back in the early fall last year and snatched up a registration. (This was many months before I knew I was pregnant.) I had been wanting to see what all the fuss was about with the RnR series. I was initially worried it was going to rain, but it ended up being nearly perfect running weather. Cloudy and about 55ish degrees, so I basically was never too hot or cold. Hurrah! (Sorry to rub that in your face, Erin and Tracy!)
^^^ This was my cheering crew. They're probably tired of getting up at dark thirty to watch me run, but they do it with smiles on, and it means so much. They saw me start, met me at Dealey Plaza around mile 3 (RIP, JFK), and then slept in the car for an hour until it was time to meet at the finish. No need to have them chase me around in horrible Dallas traffic.
I went into this knowing I would definitely NOT be getting a PR. I'm thankful to have been able to keep running, but almost immediately after getting pregnant Baby Bum slowed me down to around 11-min/mile pace. Based on that, my "goal" was 2 hours 30 minutes. However, I was not going to beat myself up about it or try to push through if I felt tired. It was just my best guess of how long it would take judging from the recent pace of my long runs.

This race offered runner tracking throughout the course, and my splits were ridiculously consistent (see below). I felt good overall, and I guess my pace showed it. My main goal was to make sure I was never gasping for air, so if I ever felt like I needed a second, I stopped and walked to calm my breathing, and it really helped give me energy to get going again!

5k (3.1 mile): 33:55 / 10:56 (pace)
10k (6.2 mile): 1:08:32 / 11:03 (pace)
10 mile: 1:49:54 / 10:59 (pace)
Finish (13.1 mile): 2:24:55 / 11:04 (pace)

I signed Jordan up to get text updates, and I loved running across the timing mats and knowing at that moment Jordan was getting a message that let my family know I hadn't sidelined myself at a medic tent. (As a precaution, I told Jordan to answer any calls from unknown numbers for the next 3 hours.)

The race was relatively uneventful, which I guess is a good thing. Around mile 8 I started to rethink running as a hobby and wish I were at home eating ice cream. I think at one point I swore off running ever again, but I'm pretty sure that was just the ice cream talking. Either that or I had just taken my fourth sprint to a port-o-potty and hated life. FIVE BATHROOM STOPS, you guys. Most ever in a race? Possibly. More on that in my running while pregnant post, but long story short: my bladder + running = endless buckets of pee that is straight-up water. TMI. I'm not sorry.

I started to get really hungry so I choked down some strawberry/banana-flavored GU around mile 10 and almost wished I were dead. I loved bananas, but banana-flavored anything should be outlawed. Nastiness.

As for the course, it was really fun running around downtown Dallas! I thought the race organizers did a good job picking a very scenic route. Although how they shut down the 1-35 on-ramp I'll never know. There were bands every mile or so, but after reading a few race recaps from blogger friends who had done the DC Rock'n'Roll race just two weekends ago, I decided to bring my headphones, and I'm very glad I did. I was expecting a lot more music overall, but I felt like there was just as much as any other race I've done.

The RnR was very well organized from the registration phase through packet pickup, race-day morning, and post-race food. I know a few people had a lot of issues with the DC race being poorly organized, especially at the end, but I didn't notice that. It was very easy to grab food and find my family after the race, which is essential to a positive post-race experience.

Overall I don't have anything bad to say about the RnR. That said, I don't get what all the hype is about. These races are $100+ easily, and yes the shirts are cool and the medals and heavy and well made, but I don't feel like my race experience was that much more than a lot of other cheaper races I've done. Just my 2 cents in case you're interested!

BTW, I have to share my favorite race sign. I'd never seen this one before, but I loved it. A lady was standing around mile 2 holding a sign that said, "You are NOT almost there." Ha! So sad but true. Gave me a good chuckle. 

To close out this recap, I'll share a short video my crazy dad took when they saw me at the finish. Literally the finish line is about a tenth of a mile up the street, if that far. Clearly I wasn't in a "sprint to the finish" mind-set, but boy was I glad to almost be done running!

And... thus concludes the last race recap I'll be writing for a while, at least until after Baby Bum arrives. If you have any questions about my experience running while pregnant, please ask so I can add it to the post I'm writing!

Any RnR veterans? What do you love about them?
What's the most bathroom stops you've ever taken during a race?
Cassie Lee @ Sage the Blog said...

YOU ARE A ROCK STAR. Seriously, I'm so proud of you (even if it cost you a few bathroom stops hahaha).

17 Perth said...

First off--congrats! That's a major accomplishment! And I felt the same way about the RnR....music was good, but not much more than other races. And I ran a 10k 6 weeks pregnant and stopped 3 times. Lol! I feel your pain. Hilarious though!

Anonymous said...

Dang Girl...you Rock! I can't manage to find the motivation start running non-pregnant and you're doing half marathons while pregnant!

Caroline @ In Due Time said...

Girl! You are amazing!!!!!!!!!!! SO awesome and so fun I was there too!!! I just signed up a few weeks ago because our company (was) owned by Humana (that changed on Monday) and since they were sponsoring the race they told us we could sign up for FREE! (Don't you love the 3 week notice! That coupled with my hurt hip hence why I didn't train!

I'm glad you thought the course was good, because I thought to myself, "Man, Dallas is really boring". Ha! I thought some of the roads were pretty bad too, but of course they can't help that, especially with all the rain we have gotten.

The signs were cracking me up! Some of them VERY discouraging!! I love that your family went and slept in the car, that is hilarious. Do your parents live in OK too? If so, amazing that they came down to see your race! Is it sad that Colby didn't even THINK about cheering me on? He dropped me off and went to Starbucks and then picked me up after! haha

You rock and YES 5 bathroom stops = a record!!! Do you have any other ones lined up while pregnant? Congrats again!!!

Caroline @ In Due Time said...

oh and the music - bleh! Glad I headphones too! I managed to get ALL the food after the race and they did have a nice selection! I'm pretty sure I got made fun of after for A. holding so much food I started dropping it all and B. for taking a picture with the Nestle bunny

Erin LFF said...

RUDE. ;) I am honestly REALLY glad you had a better RnR experience than we did! And so awesome your family always comes to cheer you on. We (obviously) had no one in DC waiting for us, but last year in our local 1/2 it was really cool to see my in-laws with a sign for us about halfway through the race! I'll look forward to hearing more about running while pregnant... You know, for future reference :)

Leslie Lukens Martin said...

Oh my gosh! I cannot believe you ran a half marathon while pregnant...CONGRATS girl! That is so awesome! Glad it was a (pretty) good experience for you!

Kate said...

I have this desire to just bask in the fact that I ran a half marathon 10 minutes faster than you did. But then I remembered the whole you're pregnant, and I'm not. Totally ruined it for me. ;)

But seriously. I've always been interested in running an RnR race or any BIG race for that matter. My half had very, very few spectators. And I almost laughed when you mentioned the medic tents because at mine, there were just random volunteers standing around near their cars to transport you if you were having issues. Annnd they only had one set of potties. It was a looped course, so they just stick them at the start/mid point/finish line. You would have been out of luck! Ha.

Also, yay for running while pregnant! That kid deserves to get your legs just for tagging along.

Ali said...

I'm so impressed with you and Baby Bum! I wasn't a runner when I was pregnant, but I'm pretty sure there was no way I would have been able to do a half while pregnant. Good for you!

I ran RnR St. Louis, and while I thought it was well organized and a nice race, it certainly didn't "wow" me in any particular way. I have a couple of runner friends that travel to all the RnR races and just LOVE them. I don't get it, but to each his own!

Ali said...

Actually, they ran Dallas this weekend for RnR. See? They travel to all of them!

Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate said...

Congrats to you! I always get mad when I have to stop for the bathroom but you gotta do what you gotta do :) I don't get why those Rock n Roll races are SO expensive. They are cool, but jeez!

K @ Keeping Up With K... said...

You're so lucky to have such an awesome cheering squad! Doing a half while pregnant is an amazing accomplishment! I'm hoping to do Vegas' RnR in November so I'm glad your experience with it wasn't as bad as Tracy and Erin's - hopefully Vegas' is just as well organized as Dallas'

Andrea H. said...

Oh my goodness! I was also in Dallas. Not running this race, but staying at a hotel along the course. Let's just say I woke up to whoooo!! cheers much earlier than I would have liked! But so crazy that it could have been your family out there whooooing :) Congrats on finishing with such a consistent pace with baby in tow...yay you!!!

PS...not sure how often you are in Dallas, but I recapped our time there on my blog yesterday...including a request for restaurant recommendations since we plan to be back there for another wedding in the fall. If you have any thoughts...I'd love to hear them!

Rebecca Jo said...

I love a baby bump running momma!!!!

Laura said...

Good for you for keeping up your running! I would think that as long as your doc gave you the all clear, there's no reason to not keep it up. Lots of my friends continue doing the things their bodies are used to while pregnant-I kept up my yoga. And compared to what our ancestors had to do while pregnant just to survive, or women in the Majority World, running is a piece of cake! Sounds like a fun race, too!

The Lady Okie said...

Crazy! I definitely wouldn't travel for one unless it was for a specific reason (a friend lived there and was doing it or something). VERY well organized, and I love the dri-fit shirts and the medal! But no, it didn't wow me for the cost.

The Lady Okie said...

Seriously I don't know what I would have done if they didn't have bathrooms like every 2 miles or so. Ah! Don't want to think about it.

There were a lot of spectators, which always makes it fun. Actually, now that I think about it most, if not all, of the races I've done have had a lot of spectators. The one I ran with Tamara didn't have a ton, but I was with someone so I didn't really care. It helped too because this race had a 1/2 relay going on at the same time, so especially close to the exchange stations there were CROWDS of people.

Again, I have no complaints about the RnR race, so I wouldn't say don't do it. It's just that for the cost (I spent $80 because I got a deal on it but usually it starts at $100) I didn't find it to be that *much* better than other races I've done for $50/$60.

And I guess I forgot your 1/2 marathon time. That is so awesome! You really need to do another one, I think, and PR that sucker :)

The Lady Okie said...

I am really glad I read your recap and brought music. I agree that the bands are just too spaced out for it to be of much use. I think I expected more or something, but really you're past them so fast you barely hear them! I really do love when people come cheer me on, but I understand how boring it is, so it's not a big deal if they don't. After so many races, my family just maybe sees me off at the start and then maybe once during, but otherwise they chill in the car or at a coffee shop :) It's nice to see them at the end, though!

The Lady Okie said...

I agree that some of the roads were bad, but you can't help that. I thought it was fun to see the skyline so much! It was pretty :)

That is AWESOME you got to run for free, because the RnR races are SO expensive! After doing 9 1/2 marathons and 2 fulls, I think my family doesn't feel the need to chase me around and meet me every few miles. But it was fun to see them at mile 3! I liked running through Dealey Plaza. That was cool. I think going to Sbucks for a few hours is the way to go ;)

I don't have any more races lined up. Trying to find bathrooms and worrying about something happening in the crowds of people is too stressful for me. I'll keep running probably but not do any more races for a few months :)

I wish we could have met up! I didn't have my phone with me or that might have worked better. Next time, though! And no, my parents don't live in OK. They live in the Dallas area, which is why I run races in TX so much because it's easy to drive down and just stay with them!

The Lady Okie said...

I've heard the Vegas one is amazing! Probably because it's Vegas ;) I don't have any complaints about my race; it just didn't "wow" me considering the cost. But geeze they had such a terrible time at the DC one! I was glad that didn't happen to me.

Kristen said...

oh my gosh, that first picture I was like OMG GET OUT OF THE WAY WHAT ARE YOU DOING then I realised you weren't actually standing in front of the finish line haha.
I'm so glad RnR was a better experience for you than for us, though I agree - I still don't think they are worth the price they charge. Those medals are bloody heavy though.
I'm interested to read your pregnancy running post, I always like to read stuff about that and I hope I am able to run whilst pregnant. I need to get back in fabulous shape so I'm a running machine before getting pregnant, because right now I am slower than you.. by a lot ;)
I have heard lots about being active being good for labour.. I'm very curious about that. Obviously you can't help me with that though, haha. Yet! Are you doing other things as well, or just running? Not 'just' running, but you get what I mean, hopefully.

Amy @ A Desert Girl said...

You're a rockstar! I can't do a half marathon now, let alone sporting a cute bump. Good job!!

Allison said...

Wooo! Congrats! I'm so impressed that you ran a half while pregnant. That's such a bummer that the RnR was so expensive and didn't have many more perks than a typical race. Thanks for the info because I was looking into doing one of these at some point, but I think I'll put my money elsewhere! What has been your favorite larger race that you've run in?

Kayla MKOY said...

You are a flipping rockstar, my friend. So so happy for you! That's an amazing time, and you're carrying a little one!! I'm so glad your family came to support you, that truly makes a huge difference! I'm on my cell so I can't watch that video but I plan to later ;)

Sarah @ Sometimes Photojenik said...

Here I think I'm cool for doing my first half then I think of all the crazy awesome people that are doing the same thing WHILE CARRYING A CHILD. I am SO impressed by you and loved reading your recap! I feel like five times isn't that bad for someone who's preggo. I'm sort of expecting to be in the bathroom every hour when I get pregnant but maybe I doubt the ability of my bladder. Thanks also for your honest reviews- there's an R&R in denver but I can never bring myself to pay the high fee. Looking forward to your post on running while pregnant!

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I am so impressed you ran this while pregnant. I think I would be all about the naps and ice cream. Thanks for proving it is possible. You rock!

Tara said...

You ROCK! Seriously, you are amazing for doing a half while pregnant. With my first baby, I sometimes would plan my running routes so that I could stop in somewhere and pee about every two miles, haha. (with my second, there wasn't any time for stopping... just had to run and be done!) Glad you had amazing weather; love your cute little bump!

Unknown said...

CONGRATS! You deserve two medals. Three. Ten!

"You are NOT almost there." This made me laugh. There's a little family (mom and 2 daughters) who often volunteers at my local Parkrun on saturdays, and the girls always shout (wholeheartedly) "You're ALMOST there!", even when they're marshalling at the very first check point. They are not even aware of the irony, which is hilarious.

Allison said...

I've done RnR races that are great and others that were not-so-great. I think it really depends on the local race team. I kinda get people's frustration with/avoidance of them and they are freaking expensive -- I always figure I can find another half marathon in that city that's cheaper.

The best sign I've ever seen (right at the halfway point of a marathon) was "STEVE hurry up - beer misses you." I would've laughed out loud had I not been, you know, in the middle of a marathon.

The Lady Okie said...

Yeah, I definitely have nothing to complain about, but for the price I didn't find it to be that much *more* awesome than other races I've done for cheaper. But I do love me a dri-fit shirt!

My favorite races are the OKC Memorial (end of April) and the Cowtown in Fort Worth, TX (end of February). The Cowtown is expensive, but you get TWO shirts (one at registration and one at the end that says "finisher" on it), and the medals are really cool. The last few years they've had a "series" race where the finisher medals fit together to form a big star (if you got them consecutively). Plus there is a ton of crowd support, and the course is fun... you run through the stockyards downtown! They also print "1st time Cowtown Runner" or whatever the number is on your bib. I just think it's fun.

The Lady Okie said...

haha! I thought that picture of the finish line was fun :)

I am SO glad I had a better RnR experience. Yours sounded terrible! And yes, I don't have anything at all to complain about, but for the price I wasn't blown away. I was like GOOD LAND THESE MEDALS ARE HEAVY. Then I weighed it on the scale and it was like .2 pounds. So, yeah, I'm just weak now I guess. Baby's sucking all my juices. ha!

I have also read a lot about running being good for labor. In general, I've read that runners (or basically any endurance athlete) handle the pain better because we're used to pushing through the pain of a run/workout, so our pain tolerance is higher. But who knows.

I do get what you mean by just running :) Yes, I'm basically just running, although I try to go for a walk every day during lunch for 30 minutes or so. It's weird but I started running consistently 5 years ago, so for the first time in almost 5 years I have zero guilt about not running, and I kind of love it. I still LOVE running and am going to keep doing it, and obviously exercising is good for you, but I also am enjoying not feeling bad about skipping a week of running or whatever. That probably sounds pathetic. I am super bummed, though, that I finally worked my way up to consistently being able to do pull-ups, and now that's over. I guess after the baby comes I'll just start again!

Did you know your abs straight-up SEPARATE during pregnancy? Freaky.

Sarah said...

GO you! That's a great time, bump or not!
I'm glad to hear you had a good experience, I've always heard mixed things about RnR races so I tend to shy away from them.

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

You did so well! I admire your running. I'm sure it will pay off long term with delivery and recovery.

I do think RnR races are over priced. I've ran two of them and I still think the one in Seattle was really terrible at the end. The course was beautiful but not enough food at the end and when you run 26.2 miles you want a whole cow.

I know this is a ways a way post but remember that article you wrote about how running a marathon is like giving birth? I think it would be interesting to see what you think about that after you have a kid.