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Oddfellows (Dallas, Tx)

Oddfellows (Dallas, Tx)

It wouldn’t be a vacation without going to a new Diner right?

The rest of my Dallas trip is here and the Dallas Half Marathon Race Recap (1:23.44) here.

While in Dallas, my husband and I decided to go to Oddfellows.  It’s one of the gray area restaurants that same may consider it a diner while others may consider it a cafe.  Life is rarely black and white anyways…

Atmosphere: A
The outside o Oddfellows is neat and clean.  It’s painted bright yellow, and they have an outdoor patio with seating as well.

The inside is all wooden seats, and it’s centered around a giant bar which serves coffee too.  The giant silver espresso machine is almost like the centerpiece of the restaurant.

Coffee: A
The coffee itself is home brewed.  You can order any sort of fancy espresso, latte or anything else coffee-related.  They would probably do a decent business as just a coffee shop. img_2257-1

I ordered my staple coffee with whipped cream.  The whipped cream is homemade, and it was great.  Not surprisingly, Oddfellows has some of the best coffee I’ve had to date.  If I lived locally,
it would become a staple for me.

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, comical and refilled out beverages.  I have no complaints.

Food: A
Oddfellows has a small menu.  They serve their entire menu all day which was great.  We got there around brunch, and I had no idea what I wanted.  Breakfast? Lunch?

The Pork Belly Benedict caught my interest.  I enjoy pork belly, and it seemed like a unique choice I hadn’t had before.  It came with homefries and on a bed of arugula.  The pork belly was delicious, and the poached eggs made a great combination.  It also had a small kick with siracha sauce.  I enjoyed the cubed homefries as well. The portion size was a little smaller than usual diners, but it was fresh.

oddfellows Dallas Texas

Cost: $
For the pork belly and coffee, the cost was $15. It’s one of the cheaper diner meals I’ve had.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back?
I enjoyed Oddfellows, and if I lived locally, I would be back.  In fact, I would be back a lot.  I don’t have any complaints.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food A
Cost: $10-15
Overall: A

Questions for you:
Do you like pork belly?
Where is the best coffee you’ve had?

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Dallas Half Marathon (1:23.44)

Dallas Half Marathon (1:23.44)

As most people know, for a while I contemplated running the 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 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.

As time drew closer, 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 full marathon and my husband, and I were running the half.  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 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 half, 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…

All of a sudden the race went off at 8:05 and it was crowded.  The race 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 extremely happy and surprised with.

I mentally told myself that I wouldn’t complain about a 1:25. During the second mile, 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 at a moderate pace but not too overdo it.  The course itself 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 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 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 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 women 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.  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, and I paid the effects during the last mile and a half. Despite the miles being downhill, 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.  It’s 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, I felt the need to fist pump as I crossed.  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 crossed in 1:23.44 and as fifth woman overall.  I had no idea of my place until I later looked up race results.

bmw dallas half marathon me running

Thoughts:

I’m extremely happy with the race.  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 and I’m looking forward to hopefully PRing in 2017.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Dallas?

When was the last time you surprised yourself?

Vacationing to Dallas

Vacationing to Dallas

Last week I went to Dallas, Texas.  The race was less than 90 minutes, but we did plenty of other things that weren’t racing too. Together with my husband as well as my inlaws, we discovered several fun and exciting things to do.

So first, Why Dallas?

The December time frame (weather wise) is a typically good in Texas.  As long-term readers know, I lived in Texas for a while. Although last week was much colder than anticipated New Jersey received it’s first snowfall, so it’s hard to complain.

Second, both my husband and I like BMWs.  He drives a 1980s BMW, while I drive a 3 series.  Since this is BMWs first title-US race, it seemed like an awesome idea to run.  The weather, timing, and title sponsor all suited us!

So with that, we arrived the Friday before the race.  Here are some of the things we did and ate.  All of which I would recommend.

We stayed in the Magnolia hotel which was beautiful and close to the race start.  We didn’t mean to find a hotel within walking distance but lady luck was on our side (this has never happened and probably never will again).

magnolia hotel view

Some of my Favorite Food:

Whiskey Cake at the Whiskey Cake

I heard this was one of the best cakes in all of Texas! It’s a rich cake made with Whiskey.  The cake itself did not disappoint and the homemade whipped cream on top was perfect. If you’re looking for a nice place to hang out, grab a drink or meal Whiskey Cake is delicious.

whiskey cake plano

 

Campisi:

If you are ever in Dallas for a race or just like Italian, Campisi is great.  They were initially opened in 1946.  For a business to still be here, means they are doing something right.  It was exactly what I wanted before a race.

What we Did:

Expo:

The BMW Dallas Marathon expo was a lot of fun.  There were plenty of activities to do including test driving an I3.  Of course, I wish they let you test drive an I8 but apparently they don’t put 100k+ cars out for testing.  I don’t get into real “fancy” cars but this would be my dream car if I had one..

BMW i8 half marathon dallas

My father in law, myself and Tim all signed the runner wall and got a nice photo next to it.

signing bmw dallas wall

img_2312

And we wouldn’t be there without my mother in law, Greta, so we needed a photo with her too. bmw dallas half marathon

Museums

I hadn’t thought about it, but I didn’t realize JFK had been assassinated in Dallas.  We walked though the Sixth Floor Museum which was a great (but lengthy) museum.  They give you a headset, and you feel like you are there.

Hiking:

hiking dallas texas

As most people know, my husband and I do enjoy our fair share of hikes.  We found a short Mountain Bike area to hike around.  All of a sudden, we found ourselves surrounded by various bike pieces and road signs in trees.  It was the most random and bizarre part of the trip.

hiking dallas texas

And of course, plenty of relaxation!  The problem with going to a destination race is you want to explore and “do everything, ” but before the race, you need to rest your legs and after a race you just want to nap.  We had a great time doing a little bit of everything.

Dallas is a fun city, nd I would love to go back sometime.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Dallas?

What is something fun to do in your hometown?

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