Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Lessons from the Dallas Marathon

I???m a terrible runner. I???m slow, I get bored, and I don???t think I work hard enough (another speed-related issue). But I keep signing up for races. I keep doing the training, and if I try, try again???

I recently ran the Dallas Marathon, which was a well-run event, if you???ll pardon the pun. Not well-run by me, but more on that later.

Run the Dallas Marathon, they said. It'll be fun, they said.


Let???s start with the good choices I made:

  1. I signed up.
  2. I trained.
  3. I showed up in the morning, despite the rain, and started the race.
  4. I finished the Dallas Marathon without any purple toes!

That???s about it for good choices, lol.

Before I get to the bad choices, I’m just going to leave this here:


Chuck Norris has never run the Dallas Marathon. Or any marathon for that matter.

Here???s what I did wrong: Nothing new on race day? That???s for newbies.

I tried 4 new things:

  1. I wore a new Bondi Band armband to hold my car key. I hate combining my car key with my usual SPI Belt where I put my phone. I wouldn???t want to whip my phone out to change a song and drop my car key on course. The armband was a rousing success. No chafing, it was secure, I barely noticed it. (win)
  2. I tested out compression calf sleeves. I don???t run in compression socks because I worry about blisters when I don???t wear my tried-and-true favorite running socks, which are Balegas???and it was raining. I have worn compression socks once on a 20-mile training run with no issue, though. Testing the calf sleeves turned out to be a HUGE mistake. I was fine until mile 20, when my lower calves and Achilles started spasming. Making me feel VERY concerned about pushing anything and possibly injuring myself for upcoming races (Dopey, anyone?). The compression calf sleeves were the only ???new??? thing in that general area, so I imagine they just aren???t for me. (loss) I???ll save them for recovery only.
  3. I ran without my water belt. I???ve been irritated lately with my water belt. I don???t like the weight of it when all 4 bottles are full. The back of it chafes a little on the longer distances. So I decided to wing it???it???s a supported race, so there should be plenty of water. Uh oh. I hate waiting for a drink when I???m thirsty. (loss)
  4. I made a friend. Wait, how can that be bad? Well, for the most part, it wasn???t. I mentioned before that I get bored during 26.2. I don???t want to quit, but I don???t really want to keep working hard alone. So I made a friend with a nice guy who has a daughter my age and we chatted for a few miles. When he started having cramping issues and needed to walk (speed walk, mind you), I didn???t leave him. He told me I could, I knew I should, but I just didn???t want to finish the remaining 11 miles of the Dallas Marathon alone. So my finish time suffered. I could have run more, but by the time I got to 20 miles and realized my mistake, see previous bad decision on compression calf sleeves. My calves and Achilles were tightening like a bow and I got scared. So, the moral of that story is don???t make friends. Ha ha ha ha.

Why am I running the Dallas Marathon, and when can I do it again?

So, as I sit here, knowing I could have done so much better at the Dallas Marathon, I???m struck with the desire to sign up for another one. Even though at mile 26 on Sunday, I swore to myself I would never do this again. Something else for the loss column???I???m disturbed. No, wait, I???m a runner. (+)

Carlye O'Brien

Carlye O'Brien

In the real world Carlye is a technical writer, married to a much faster runner with two kids who can also outrun her. But she's good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it... some people like her. She has lived nearly everywhere; right now she lives in Texas.

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2 thoughts on “Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Lessons from the Dallas Marathon

  1. Jim Slocum

    Hi Carlye. I’m the guy you ran/walked with the last half of the DM. It was fun. Sorry I “cramped” your style. If it is any consolation, it was my slowest marathon, too. (I just didn’t have enough base coming back after an injury.) Run with me next year and I promise our times will be much better.


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