Ft Worth Marathon 20-miler

I am way, way behind on race reports!  Hopefully amidst the crazy holiday hub-bub, I will manage to catch up before my key race this Sunday.

This was my second time attending the Fort Worth Marathon.  The event occurs exactly 3 weeks prior to White Rock Marathon, the biggest marathon in the area.  A brilliant marketing move, the race director has a 20-mile option for the race - perfect for your last long run if your chosen race is White Rock.  So, you can run the full, the 20-mile, or the half.

I'm not going to lie, this course is pretty, but also pretty boring.  The scenery is pleasant, but it's the exact same pleasant the entire way.  It's also a very small event, so if you're out there alone, you might very well spend the majority of the race by yourself.  But the bonus is the timing and the fact that the course is as flat as you can get for a marathon.  There are 2 hills the entire way... a very small hill to get from the stadium up onto the trail, and another around mile 9 to get across the dam.  Other than that... pancake flat.

I headed over to the race with Elaine and Robin W followed behind.  As soon as we got there, we met up with the speedy Michelle.  Me, Robin W, and Michelle were all running the 20-miler in preparation for White Rock.  Elaine was sticking to the half since she planned to run Tulsa the following weekend.  My friend, Robin D, was also there and running the full marathon.  As was Angie, who I got to see a couple times on the course.

Like our matching bright orange shirts???  We were all volunteer walking billboards for Libby's New Years Double.  I'd say it was a success, because we got asked about our shirts a lot!

My plan for the day was to hold to around an 11 min/mile pace.  That isn't a race pace for me, but a nice strong long-run pace.  My goal was to get through it and feel good, thus knowing I'd have more in me come marathon day.  Something that was unexpected, though, was the weather - it was really hot that day.  It got into the low 80s and the wind was pretty heavy as well.  Ugh... not optimal weather for a run that long on what is mostly an unshaded course.

I don't really have a lot of uber details on this one, there weren't a ton of ups and downs, and since this wasn't a goal race, it was just another day at the office.  There was a special surprise around mile 6.5... Corina, Marci, and Stacey came to cheer!!!  Glitter posters and photos!!!  Thanks ladies!

Robin W and I were running together.  We held right around 11 min/mile just as planned until about mile 8.  The water stops were spaced sometimes 3 miles apart, and on an 80 degree day, that wasn't good news.  I was carrying a water bottle, but Robin W wasn't.  She was starting not to feel well.  We pulled through miles 8-12 a little slower than before, but Robin W made the wise decision to preserve her body which wasn't dealing well with the heat and lack of water and fell back. 

I continued on.  I picked up the pace a bit, but now it was just me and the long boring path.  It gets quiet and lonely really quickly at that race.  But I held to a good pace and made up some time.  Miles 12-18 felt fantastic.  By mile 18, I was regretting pumping the speed up a bit, but I just kept moving my legs.  I managed to finish in 3:38:27, 10:55 min/mile... right on target, and a solid 13 minutes faster than last year's race.

As always, the medal is awesome and can be removed from the ribbon and used as a belt buckle...