BMW Dallas Half Marathon (1:23.44)

bmw dallas half marathon me running

BMW Dallas Half Marathon Race Recap:

As most people know, for a while, I contemplated running the BMW Dallas full marathon.  After a twenty miler, I realized I had no interest in that and signed up for the half.  I lived west of San Antonio in 2014 and have driven through the city of Dallas and downtown Dallas before.  My husband and I both like BMWs, and since this is BMWs first race in the US, it seemed like a fun December trip.

The race weekend has plenty to do, including the BMW Dallas marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, and new ultra marathon.

As time drew closer to race day, my body began feeling like junk.  I was making intervals and workouts but not feeling great doing so.  It’s something I still don’t have an answer for.  After dropping the ball at the Philly half a few weeks prior, I had no idea how the race at Dallas would go.

Despite running a 1:24 at Runner’s World half in October, if I were faster than the 1:27 from Philly, I would be pleased.  My father in law was running the BMW Dallas full marathon and my husband, and I were running the BMW Dallas half marathon.  Whatever happened, it was still going to be a great short vacation.

We arrived the Friday before, and I felt sore and tired.  When doing a shakeout run the next day, I felt just as bad. The closer it got to the race,  the more I was disconnected.  Like Philly, I tried to psych myself up by posting too much on the internet.  It seemed to work.

We arrived at the starting line of the BMW Dallas Half Marathon on Sunday around 7:15. It was drizzling rain and a little bit windy.  Overall, the weather was definitely better than the majority of races I’ve run this year (realistically that isn’t saying too much).  The first coral closed at 7:50 and I made my way to the start.

The BMW Dallas half marathon, full and relay all went off at the same time, so it was crowded.  I started several rows behind.  They introduced elites Meb, Ryan Hall and Deena.  I am disappointed none were at the finish line when I crossed though!  They were passing out medals, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that didn’t motivate to finish the BMW Dallas Half Marathon…

All of a sudden the race went off at 8:05 and it was crowded.  The BMW Dallas Half Marathon started uphill, and I still felt sore out of the gate.  I was running elbow to elbow with several people.  We made a few sharp turns and a young guy, and myself collided.  Neither of us fell, and we started chatting.  I crossed the first mile in 6:32 which I was thrilled and surprised with.

I mentally told myself that I wouldn’t complain about a 1:25. During the second mile of the BMW Dallas Half Marathon, I felt okay.  I didn’t feel good or bad.  I crossed the second mile in 6:20.  In halves, I give myself until the 5k to decide how my body will feel.  The third mile went without too much note, and I crossed in 6:21.  I hit the 5k in 19:57 which is always pleasing.  The 20-minute 5k barrier is a huge mental block for me.

The plan (per Coach Mckirdy) was to run the first half of the BMW Dallas Half Marathon at a moderate pace but not too overdo it.  The course of the BMW Marathon does have a few hills but the second half is significantly faster.  If I could make it past mile 8 and still feel good, I could crank then.

I saw my husband just up ahead at mile 4, and we ran both 4 and 5 together.  It wasn’t his day, but we ran a 6:14 and 6:12.

Mile 6 of the BMW Half Marathon began a few uphills, and I kept telling myself I just needed to make it to the halfway and then past mile 8. I hit the 10k at 39:37 and was proud of my negative split thus far.

I found both miles 7 and 8 of the BMW Dallas Half Marathon to be the most challenging.  I noticed two women in front of me, but I had no idea if they were running the half, full or a relay.  I focused on passing them.  The crowds were huge, and I ended up high-fiving kids and even a professional player from the Mavericks.  I fed on the crowds and ran a 6:22 and 6:27.  The half and full finally divided and there were a few men who went the full route but no women.

By mile 9 of the BMW Dallas Half Marathon I was running alone.  A relay went by me as if I was standing still.  I hit the 15k in 59:39.  I’ve run several 15ks in Upstate, New York but never had an official time under an hour so that time motivated me too.  Each mental time checkpoint went well, and I built confidence each time.

bmw dallas half marathon me running

I could see runners about 15 feet in front but had no idea where I was overall place wise. I hadn’t seen a lot of women up ahead, but I knew they were there.  I noticed a woman dressed up only  20 seconds in front and I made it my goal to try to catch her.  I wasn’t feeling good by any means, but I needed something to pull me along to the finish,  I ran a 6:19 9th mile and a lonely 6:20 tenth.

Around mile 11, I caught the woman and she asked: “do you know where the relay exchange is?”  I said I had no idea, but the last one I saw was two miles ago.  She panicked and peeled off of the race course.  I felt extremely bad because she had missed it and that is a lot of extra miles to run.

Around 11.55, I realized I had charged too early in the BMW Dallas Half Marathon, and I paid the effects during the last mile and a half. Despite the miles being downhill during the BMW Dallas Half Marathon, my stomach began cramping, and I didn’t have anymore leg speed. I was just focusing on the end, and it began a 13 minutes left…12…11..11:59…

The last 600 meters had signs that said 600 meters to go, then 400 then 200.  The BMW Dallas Half Marathon has a downhill finish, so at 600 you can see the massive finish line shoot.  I took my mind far off of racing.  I was thinking about everything but the race pain. I hurt but focused on the expensive BMWs lining the street.

As I approached the finish line of the BMW Dallas Half Marathon, I felt the need to fist pump as I crossed the finish line of BMW Dallas Half Marathon.  They announced me as “fist pumping all the way from Jersey.”

bmw dallas half marathon me running

Don’t ask why I raised my hand.  An hour and a half of racing does strange things.  I had done it; I had my run my third fastest half at a race I wasn’t even sure I would be able to run faster than the Philly half.  I was shocked with my finish at the BMW Dallas Half Marathon.

I crossed in 1:23.44 and as fifth woman overall at the BMW Dallas Half Marathon.  I had no idea of my place at the BMW Dallas Half Marathon until I later looked up race results.

bmw dallas half marathon me running

BMW Dallas Half Marathon Thoughts:

I’m thrilled with the BMW Dallas Half Marathon.  I didn’t anticipate to be able to string a race this strong at the end of the year. As I’ve mentioned in several training logs, I’ve made intervals but haven’t great doing so.  When I raced my two faster half marathons (Carlsbad 1:22.57) and April Fools 2015 (1:23.23), I felt like I was on top of the world.  When I raced the Dallas half, I didn’t feel fantastic or fabulous.  I have no complaints.  I’ve continued to recover well during the last week from the BMW Dallas Half Marathon and I’m looking forward to hopefully PRing in 2017.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Dallas? Have you run the BMW Dallas Half Marathon? 

When was the last time you surprised yourself?


  1. I’m so proud of all you have accomplished! You are a great role model and definition of perseverance. 2017 is going to shine!

  2. Wonderful work, doll! It sounds like you had a great day out there, despite some concerns.

    I’m going to sound like an old person now: This used to be the Dallas White Rock Marathon; it was for almost thirty years. The course used to run around White Rock Lake (my happy place — it’s a gorgeous 9.3-mile loop around the lake) and the surrounding neighborhoods. It means a lot to me because my Mom grew up around there. I think they diverted the course into more of the downtown and art district areas, which is great, but I loved the old course, for sure. I’m happy you had such an awesome day!:)

  3. I haven’t been to Dallas. I think that any new training program is going to lead to soreness/your body reacting because it’s a totally different thing. I think something about “adaptation”… in the end a different training schedule may work out the best but it’s very hard at the beginning if you change it up. Best wishes to you and hope you start feeling good soon! It is so frustrating not feeling well. unfortunately, I know this from experience 🙁

  4. with that time and not feeling great i can only imagine what your half time will be feeling on top of the world. sad you didnt get to see meb that would have been really cool! i personally love the fist pump, you worked your tail off for a fast finish a fist pump is necessary 😉

  5. Woohoo! It’s impressive how you were able to persevere and hang in there mentally even though the race didn’t feel great. Really excited to see what 2017 brings! 🙂

  6. You are so freakin amazing!!!! I read this like I had no idea what the outcome was and was getting nervous for you. It’s so hard to hang on in those miles that hurt the most and YOU DID IT!!!! Nice job and 5th overall is just out of this world incredible!

  7. Congrats lady! I’ve never been to Dallas other than the airport on my way to California.. as far as surprising myself…. today when I found my phone in the dishwasher. I usually leave it in fridge.

  8. Awesome race Hollie! You worked so hard in 2016 and you earned that race. Cheers to 2017!

  9. Amazing results!! I was in Dallas for a layover flying to my honeymoon in Hawaiia once. Haha so doesn’t really count. I surprised myself running a 1:38 half a few weeks ago, but clearly have more work to do to get up to your level! Damn girl that is fast. Going to be reading about your training, doing my first full in March in Myrtle Beach!

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