Home > Uncategorized > 30/30 – Day 2 – Cowtown Half Marathon Recap

30/30 – Day 2 – Cowtown Half Marathon Recap

I have a very special place in my heart for Ft. Worth. It’s such a great city. You have the city experience with the small town feel. You have Sundance Square and a nice downtown area but can drive 10 minutes and be in the country. You have the Botanic Gardens and the new Montgomery Plaza area. And of course, you have my alma mater, TCU!

All that to say, I was excited to run the Cowtown half on February 28. It was one of the races I signed up for back in October, when I started back into running, to keep myself focused on my training.  I heard from friends that it was a hilly course and the cobblestone streets along Camp Bowie made for an interesting run, but everyone seemed to enjoy it.

The adventure started going to pick up the race packet. The plan was to pick up the packet and then go to the tweetup with the runningcouple and other twitter friends. The expo was held in Sundance Square and it was cold and windy (which didn’t excite me for the morning run).  It was a small expo held in a tent with the packet pick up on one end.  As I approached the packet pick up area, I saw the table for bib numbers. I quickly scanned for my name only to find it absent from the list. I looked again, sure that I had simply missed the number in my haste to escape the cold.  Once again I couldn’t find it. Turns out I hadn’t registered for the Cowtown, just White Rock and the R&R Dallas Half.

After some scrambling (and paying extra) I was once again signed up for the race. I got my bib and went to the tweetup.  I do have one beef with the expo (other than how small it is).  The expo and this race is such a great way to show off Ft. Worth, but it really felt like an after thought. Being in a tent didn’t help as it was cold and windy.  There weren’t many vendors there either.  Ft. Worth is one of my favorite towns and it made me sad that they didn’t do more to play it up.  The expo is like the first date with the race, that first impression is the most important. They could have held it in the convention center and had more vendors and speakers, like White Rock does.  The expo is maybe my favorite part of the race (other than right after I finish) so I was sad that this one was a bit of a let down.

Raceday wasn’t too bad, weather-wise. It was still cool, but the wind had died down.  There were tons of people, so much that I ended up way back in corral D around the corner from the start line. The race officially started at 7:30, but I think I crossed the start line at about 7:55.  Once again warming up was an issue. It’s hard to be warm and loose when you have to stand in the middle of thousands of people before you get to run.

The race started out well.  I was very conscious of my pace as I didn’t want to blaze out of the gate and end up burning out in the middle of the race. The first 10k was uneventful.  The sun came out so it got a little warm.  After the first mile and a half the crowd thinned and I was able to get into a good rhythm.  I hit the halfway point at about 51:00, which was right were I wanted to be.  My legs were sore from not being loose and I had a little knot in my stomach, but I felt good.

All that changed at mile 7.  I had just passed a water station and had grabbed a quick drink.  Suddenly my stomach became a pretzel and I had to stop.  I stumbled over to the side of the road and the contents of my stomach decided they hadn’t had enough fresh air and wanted to come out and play.  After indulging them, I took a couple breaths and kept going.

The back half of the course was definitely worse than the first because of my little stomach adventure.  It was also at that point that the course got a little bit hilly (which wasn’t a huge surprise, but a couple of the hills were certainly a challenge).  Around mile 9, we turned on to Camp Bowie, which was cobblestoned.  Running in the vibrams, I felt every one of those stones and it wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences.  Could also have been because I was more tired than I wanted to admit.

As I hit mile 11, I realized that my hope of a sub-2 hr. half was slowly slipping from my grasp.  I pushed my pace a little, but realized that my legs were just about out of gas and weren’t going to run at the pace needed (I think it was a 7:30 that I needed).  I accepted that I wasn’t going to make my goal time and, after a little cussing at myself, I remembered that it was only my second half marathon and that finishing in a better time than the first was still a great accomplishment.  I made my way back into downtown to the finish line.  My Garmin lost signal when I got between the buildings and the shade dramatically cooled the temperature, but I made it.  My Garmin time said 2:03, which was pretty respectable.

Overall, digestive pyrotechnics aside, I enjoyed the race.  It’s not hard for me to enjoy a town that I love, but it was fun running a race there.  The only critiques I had were the expo and the cobblestone section.  I will most likely run this race again next year regardless, but I really hope the directors use the race as a chance to showcase all of Ft. Worth’s great attributes!

  1. April 3, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Nice job! It sounds like quite the adventure. Impressive that you kept going despite all of the pyrotechnics :). Side note: I went to North Texas U, and lived in Denton for 2 years. So, I’m familiar with the area as well.

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