The Panther City Half Marathon Stampede Report

Howdy Stampeders!!!

Everyone knows I am training for the Paris Marathon, right?  And if you have been keeping up, and not just clicking on another page when my whining becomes annoying, you know I have been struggling with said training.  Between aches, pains, twinges and an appalling lack of motivation, especially when it comes to my long runs, the mileage just hasn’t been there.  So somewhere along the way I decided that running a half marathon race in place of the 14 miles I had on the schedule would be a good idea.  I figured that if I paid the race entry I would be more motivated to get out and do the run.

I won’t push, I told myself.  I will stick to my long run pace, I promised myself.  Yeah, that worked.  In case you missed it that last sentence was typed in sarcasm font.

But this is a Stampede Report, so from here on out I will focus more on the race and less on my whining.  Maybe.

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The Flat and Fast Report

The Good – I loved this race!  It was small and personal, it started and ended at a brewery with free beer at the end (WhooHoo!) great water and nutrition stops, a shirt and a medal, and the course was flat.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

The Bad – None

The Ugly – No porta potties on the course.

The Full Report

The Panther Half & 5K were held on March 14, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  Fort Worth is located about 30 miles west of Dallas.  So on race morning I had a little bit of a drive ahead of me, but it wasn’t too bad.  I had laid out my race clothes the night before. I was very excited because my new Shine Athletica (affiliate link) tank and capris had arrived and I hope to wear them during the Paris Marathon.  This would be the perfect test run.

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New Shine Athletica tank and capris, check, nutrition, check, racebelt, hat, and sunglasses, check, check, check. Shoes that will cause me great pain later, doh!

Pre-Race

I hadn’t done the on-line check in and as usual on race morning had to have the stern self-talk to make myself get out of bed and go to the race.  Luckily Badu Geobug was also doing the half that morning and that motivated me to go.  The race location was easy to find being that it was right outside the warehouse the brewery is located in.  One of my super powers is an inner compass that points me towards breweries and wineries.  Hello, my name is Ima. I got registered without any issue (drat!) and then went back to sit in my car until closer to the race start. While it was supposed to warm up later, it was very chilly before the race.

Badu Geobug (BG) arrived with a couple of family members who doing the 5K. We sat in the car awhile longer and then BG left to go check on something registration related.  A few minutes later she texted me that the lines for the restrooms were long and that if I wanted to go I better head that way.  I had already been once after arriving at the site and I always go one last time right before the race starts.  I know, TMI. It was still about 20 minutes to race start and there didn’t seem to be that many people milling around so I figured I could stay warm in the car for a little longer.  Come to find out there weren’t that many people milling about because they were all in the porta potties!  There was a huge line when I finally left the warmth of the car to go take care of bidness.

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I know, it doesn’t seem that long but it wasn’t moving, at.all.

I waited in line right up until they started the race and was still about 5 people back from the start of the line.  I went and joined the racers resigned to the fact that I would have to stop at a porta pottie somewhere along the course.  The Fates were laughing at me.

 

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Fort Worth. It was a beautiful morning to be racing.

The Race

When the race started I left my porta pottie vigil and ran over to join the group of runners.  The race was on the Fort Worth Branch of the Trinity Trails.  The course mostly followed the Trinity River with a few loops in it to get in the 13.1 miles.  All in all I loved the course.  

 

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We crossed over the river at this point several times.

Let the Whining Begin

The first three miles of the race were really hard for me.  I had some arch pain in my right foot and my back was bothering me in spite of some Advil I had taken before the race (I know, I know).  When I run I like to just kind of shut down my mind to everything around me and just run.  It helps the miles go by and keeps me from focusing on the negatives.  With my foot, back and bladder issues I couldn’t shut down my mind.  By bladder issues I mean that I was still looking for a porta pottie and was scared to go too far into my runner’s trance in case I ran past one without seeing it.  By this time I was also thinking a big dense tree or bush might just do the job so I was also busy scanning for a likely natural spot.

 

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While I may look happy here, I was actually thinking of pulling out of the race.

At around the 3 mile mark the course looped around within about 1.5 miles of the start.  I actually considered just walking back to the start.  Then, it seemed like the pain just all went away.  My pace picked up, my breathing evened out and I was enjoying myself.  I still needed a bathroom, though.  Of course, it couldn’t all be chocolate and roses.

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Right around the turn around two different things happened – BG and I got pictures of each other and I gave up looking for a porta pottie.  My pace increased some more and I really started enjoying the race.  As I mentioned in the Flat and Fast report the race did a great job with the water and nutrition stops.  Although I was scared to drink too much.

My good mood and faster pace lasted until about two miles to the end of the race. My pace slowed and I struggled for the last two miles.  This is entirely my fault for pushing my pace earlier in the race.  I was so happy to see the finish line.

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As you can see from the picture it was a beautiful course on a beautiful day.

 

Unlike me, Badu Geobug had a strong finish.  After a quick porta pottie stop for me, again, TMI we immediately proceeded into the brewery to enjoy the after party.  A few steps after the porta pottie I realized my foot was hurting.  Really hurting.  Apparently the pain that subsided during the race was a portent of bigger things.

The After Party

The Martin House Brewing Company is situated in a warehouse, but makes incredible use of both decorating and space to play up the location.  With our race entries we each got 3 free beers.  I don’t believe in waste, so I was forced to drink all three.  🙂  Don’t worry, they were small cups, so I in no way “over did it.”  Meanwhile, I hobbled around trying not to spill my beer.

 

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Total stranger bellying up to the bar for her beers.

 

I tried the Gateway Blonde, The Imperial Texan and River House.  I liked them all, but I think River House was my favorite.  I also loved the taps, which you can buy at the brewery.

 

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Great use of kegs and boards for bench seating. “Honey! I have a project for you!”

 

The Wrap UP

Overall I loved this race and will do it again if I am still in Texas this time next year.  We received black technical shirts (I love black technical shirts) at registration and a medal when we finished.  The race was well planned and I (obviously) loved the after party.  My only suggestion to the race organizers would be to put at least one porta pottie somewhere along the race course.

I wrote some about the foot pain I experience after the race in this post.  I took a week off from running, started back slow and things seem to be going okay.  Paris will be my next Stampede Report.  I can’t wait!

Happy Trails!!!

 

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