Run Rock ‘N Roll: Dallas Edition

Hello, world!  Despite my best intentions, I once again only managed to get one post up last week.  Breaks are tough, aren’t they? 😉  Seriously, though, the week flew by.  Mom came up to visit for a few days, and she helped me do a ton of painting in the kitchen.  It’s really starting to look good, and I owe you all an update on the remodeling which I’m planning (fingers crossed!) for later on in the week.

I capped off my Spring Break week with #3 in our 12 in 12 in 12 quest!  Dad, Justin, and I ran the Run Rock ‘N Roll Dallas yesterday which crossed Texas off the list.


The three of us plus Caite hit up the Expo on Saturday, and we all agreed that it was the best one we’d been to.  Everything was really well organized, and the booths were spaced out just enough which is really important to me.  I absolutely hate being squished in like sardines anywhere I go, and when you have a thousand runners all trying to look at one rack of socks it’s a perfect recipe for an anxiety attack.

It was an 8 o’clock race start, and the four of us (John had to stay home this time so Caite took over the role of groupie :)) arrived with about an hour to spare.  After a short walk from the car and hitting up the port-a-potties, we took our spots in the corral.


The corrals were released every 90 seconds so it didn’t feel like we were waiting forever once the gun went off.

The three of us took off together through three pretty flat to downhill miles.  Honestly, I don’t remember much about them at all!  Justin had originally planned on taking this race slow, and staying with Dad and I.  I could tell that he was having trouble running at that slower pace, and around the three mile marker he left us in the dust!  Homeboy ended up finishing in 1:45!  I can’t even begin to dream of ever touching that!


Around mile four, we saw Caite, Mom, and Joel.  This was the first half that Mom and Joel have ever gotten to see.  Mom reports that she had a lot of fun watching.  I don’t think a long distance run is in her future!


Not too long after we ran through Dealy Plaza which is, as you history buffs know, the place were JFK was assasianated.  That was a nice little downhill, but it almost immediately switched to the first big hill.  By the time I got to the top, my calves were completely knotted up.  I have decided that I’m just going to have to suck it up and start doing some hill work.

The next few miles went by pretty fast.  Around mile seven we crossed over the Trinity River.


This is a fairly new bridge in Dallas, and it is really spectacular.  We never stop to take pictures during races, but this time we had to.

We saw Mom, Caite, and Joel again at mile 8, and everything was still feeling pretty good.  At mile 9, I started to feel like I needed to take a quick walking break, but I told myself to make it until mile 10 before I did.

I walked for a few seconds then got going again, and that’s when my knee started to act a little angry.  From 10.5 to 12, it was aching pretty good.  I knew that this was going to be a possibility going in.  Running up on my toes doesn’t put any pressure on my knee, but since I’ve had to start striking mid-foot, the knee is getting a little more action.  For those of you who don’t know, I was ironically diagnosed with runner’s knee several years ago.  I say it’s ironic because it usually only bothers me when I’m hiking-almost never while running!

We were pushing pretty hard to try and make it in under the 2:09:40 PR I had set in Baton Rouge.  Around mile 12, my knee magically stopped hurting, but, by then, I’d lost a little too much time.  Not to mention, if I’m being completely honest, by mile 11 I had run out of gas.

So the stretch from 10.5 to 13.1 was physically and mentally challenging.  With a few hundred yards to the finish, we saw the family again, this time with the addition of my step-mom and stepbrother, and seeing them all cheering gave me a boost to get to the end.

We crossed the line at 2:10:48, and, all in all, I’m very happy with this race.  I had ABSOLUTELY NO FOOT PAIN!  You guys know what a victory that is!  Although I did struggle with some knee issues, the pain was completely manageable, and didn’t start until late in the race.  I’ll take that over foot pain from mile 1 on any day!


Our next half is April 18th in Kansas so I have just under a month to tweak a few things.  My number 1 priority is incorporating hill work.  I don’t like it so I don’t do it which means I suffer during a race.  That’s  no bueno.  I’m also thinking I need to incorporate more miles per week.  I shouldn’t have been as gassed as I was toward the end of the race so I need to build up a little bit more.

Regarding the knee pain, I’m deciding whether or not to give the kinesio tape a try.  Does anyone have any experience with it?  I’ve heard both ends of the spectrum on it, but I’m thinking it can’t hurt to give it a try.


So #3 is in the books, and we have nine more to go. Kansas here we come!

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7 thoughts on “Run Rock ‘N Roll: Dallas Edition

  1. Carrie

    Woohoo! Love how you’re working that midfoot strike in the photo! OK, so I have a lot to say:

    -My mom is such a great fan/spectator too!
    -Hills. Oh hills. My running coach says to shorten your stride and maintain your turnover (how quickly you take steps), which works well for me.
    -In terms of the knee stuff, it could be from your new footstrike. You’re going to feel it somewhere, and for better or worse, it’s usually a “pick your poison” deal.
    -Are you taking gels/energy chews during the race? That could be why you feel dunzo at the end.

    1. Natalie @ Free Range Human Post author

      Thanks for the advice on the hills! I’ll definitely try that when I start hill training next week. I need all the help I can get! That’s exactly what I decided with my knee pain. It’s not too bad, and I prefer it over the pain in my feet! I haven’t ever taken in calories during the race with the except of an aid station Gatorade, and only that is occasionally. I didn’t think about that being the culprit!

  2. Colorado Gal

    I’ve used Kinesio tape a few times but I’ve never been overly impressed. Maybe I just don’t have the proper injuries for the tape? No idea but some people love it! Congrats on your finish!

  3. kimmeroo

    Nice race, congrats! Are you using any particular training plan? I might try training for a half in June and am trying to find a good plan to use.

    Are you still doing crossfit? I’ve been knee issues running, and strength training was recommended as a solution (or as part of a solution, at least).

    1. Natalie @ Free Range Human Post author

      I’m actually not using a training plan. Since I’m running so much, I’m just aiming at getting 20-25 miles in a week. However, when I trained for my first half I used the Hal Higdon plan and really loved it. It’s super manageable, and you don’t increase your mileage too fast. I’ve stepped away from Crossfit. I got burned out, and then could never quite convince myself to jump back in. You are absolutely right about the strength training though. I was told the same thing with my knee so I need to find a way to incorporate some of those exercises.


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