January 1, 2016
My stay in Dallas was an unusual one. For the past few years (except in December 2011 when I went on a Christmas cruise), I have spent Christmas in Dallas and participated in runs with Carrollton Running Club, Plano Pacers, and done the New Year’s Day White Rock Lake run.
This year, after taking a special trip with my entire extended family to Hong Kong for Thanksgiving, we spent Christmas in the Bay Area. However, I did end up going to Dallas after all, two days after Christmas to spend a week with my sister and (sort of) babysitting my nephews while my sister worked and they were out of school.
We were to have a late flight out of San Francisco on the 27th, so I would be able to run the Lake Merritt Joggers & Striders 15K in the morning (I even pre-registered for it – $5.). Unfortunately, there was torrential rain and thunderstorms in Dallas and our flight out of SFO got cancelled. Because my sister has traveled pretty extensively on AA, we were able to rebook onto another flight (that hadn’t yet been cancelled) earlier in the day, albeit out of San Jose Airport and at 10am, making it impossible for me to do my race. (The other downside was that I was to be upgraded to business class, but now I was back in coach. Alas.)
Marisa drove us down to the airport and just before we boarded the plane, they announced that the flight was over-heavy and would anyone be amenable to giving up their seats.? Although Riva really needed to get back before 8am Monday morning, she negotiated that both of us would give up our seats (and take a slightly later flight), plus each of us would get a voucher for $600, because Riva was giving up a business class seat.
It was a moot point, because the weight issue resolved and we were able to get on the plane. Also, had we ended up taking that later flight, well, it ended up getting cancelled as well.
As we got closer to Dallas, they announced that DFW and DAL (Love Field) were closed due to storms, and we were being re-routed to Houston-Hobby. In all probability, it looked like we would have to rent a car and drive the 4 hours to Dallas to make it back in time, but after a couple of hours on the plane in a heavy rain storm, DFW opened for a small window and we were able to get into Dallas.
Because of the timing of the visit, I had missed the Plano and Carrollton runs (which are usually the fourth weekend of the month) – I arrived Sunday night, but I hoped to do the White Rock New Year’s Day Race, which strangely enough, I could not find any information about. After several years of having this fun 10am New Year’s Day race (with mimosas, beer, and spiked egg nog post race, plus champagne flutes as prizes), it was defunct.
I looked around and found a Resolution Run in Fort Worth (about a 45-minute drive). It was a 5K, it was timed, and had a 10am start, so I wouldn’t have to get up super early (kind of like leaving at 7am for an 8am race), and there wasn’t too much traffic at that hour on New Year’s Day.
The race was in Trinity Park, which was part of the Fort Worth Cowtown Marathon course, except that the year I ran it, the Trinity River overflowed and we were routed an extra half mile to get around the flooding, so it is kind of cool that I get to run in an area that I should have run in nearly 11 years ago.
The registration is pretty easy-going and there are not a lot of people in line (maybe bodes well for placing in the race, though there is no Clydesdale category for me to dominate). I also got a decent parking spot, since I arrived with 30-plus minutes to spare.
By the way, it is January in Texas, which should be read as COLD!! I have two shirts on plus gloves, plus my Buff, and I am still cold.
The race is an out-and-back past the start, then further around the park, under a railway trestle and then back around part of the original course again. I try to run in a controlled manner.
My first mile is in 7:26, and I get myself out of the crowd (especially because we are mostly on a pedestrian path and there are 200+ runners here). I catch up and pass my Carrollton Runners friend Kim Andres. I always see her and chat up briefly. She and Riva have run with the same groups in the distant past, I think.
I slow down a little on the second mile, trying to get myself into a comfortable pace and stay ahead of whomever I think might be in my age group. (I am a terrible gauge of this, because it seems to be the salt-and-pepper guys, but heck, if I can stay ahead of those who I think are in my age group (aka the young guns), then I may place in my own group.) My second mile is 7:45, and I pass Frances McKissick, someone who I have seen in a few Dallas races in the past.
The last mile takes me under the railway trestle which is probably less than an inch taller than me. I duck under the entire thing just to be safe. There is also a bit of a hill leading up to the final 1/4 mile, and I am struggling trying to catch up to some kids and stay ahead of Frances. I manage the final mile (and 0.1) in 7:44 (so probably around 7:00 even) and finish in 23:10.
Afterwards, I head over to the covered picnic area to get some post-run snacks and champagne. They have fruit, and some crackers and Frito-Lay chip bags. There is one lady over there pouring champagne (and sparkling cider, Cold Duck, and Rose). She can hardly get glasses poured before people snatch them up, and I am in the first quarter of finishers, so can imagine how bad it will get as the crowds come in.
I park myself behind her and start opening bottles. This involves scraping off the foil cover, pulling off the metal band, and then popping the cork. It’s pretty much impossible to do with gloves on, but I continue so that she can just pour, and I go until all of the bottles are opened and poured (at least 25 bottles).
This volunteer turns out to also be one of the award presenters, so when I pick up my award for 2nd place in my age group (out of 15, it wasn’t that small), she also announces to the crowd that I pretty much opened all of the bottles for them after I ran my race. Starting out the New Year on a pseudo-good deed (and running a good time). I did also get a glass of champagne (and try out a sip of the other “flavors”).
In the afternoon, I went to the Pretty in Pink DFWH3 event – I wore yellow and had a fun run around Dallas with a bunch of hashers dressed in pink, so I got to start my year out with nearly 8 miles of runs.
I was sad to miss the White Rock run, especially because it is so much closer to my folks and sister’s houses, but this was a nice replacement.