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Austin Marathon - RunMarathon

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Austin, Texas
United States
The Austin Marathon Foundation, Inc.
50F / 10C
Total Time = 3h 29m 58s
Overall Rank = 383/4039
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 35/258
  • 3h 29m 58s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 01s  min/mile

I broke the race down into 5 major sections when I was planning my race strategy, so I'll do the same for the details of the race report. One interesting note about pacing and marathons: you have to take into account that you run MORE than 26.2 miles. The 26.2 mile measurement only applies if you follow the *perfect* line with no weaving or wasted movement. I learned that when I first got my Garmin 305 GPS watch and noticed the discrepancy in my first couple of long races, and I tried to keep that in mind and minimize it during the race. It seemed to work, as my measured distance for the race was 26.52 miles, as compared to 26.76 miles for the Austin Marathon and 26.72 miles for the Boston Marathon this past year. 2 tenths of a mile is over 1 1/2 minutes at my pace - which obviously can be important!

Miles 0 - 3.5
Right after the start, the course is mostly uphill for the next 5K, so my goal was to keep it around 8:00/mile; balancing the fresh legs and initial adrenaline with the need to conserve energy for the many miles that follow. And that is pretty much what I did, just held the pace and kept on target.

Miles 3.5 - 8
What goes up, must come down. After the first 3+ miles, you turn once for a short piece, then head back the other way; so there is an equivalent downhill for the uphill section just completed. Then it flattens out for the last couple miles. This gave me the opportunity to speed up a little bit, while still keeping the HR down and holding some in reserve.

Miles 8 - 14
This is where the Tarrytown hills begin. They don't necessarily look that tough in the course profile, nor feel too terrible when you are running them; but they take their toll. Many people don't take this section seriously enough, and pay for it dearly later in the run. My plan for this section was to just try to keep steady at around 8:00 min/mile, and I kept to that other than one port-a-potty break. As you can tell by my finishing time, good thing I didn't need more than one!

Miles 14 -18.5
Still trending uphill, but not as many rollers and not quite as tough. Just holding the pace again, but able to open run a little freer without the hills to worry about. There's one nice long straight stretch that goes from just before mile 16 to just after 17, and then you start the turns that eventually lead to the final (and predominantly downhill) section. I was actually feeling very good by the end of this part, although a little troubled that I was so close to the goal time and didn't have much time to spare.

Miles 18.5 - Finish
Since the end of the course is mostly downhill (mostly... I'll get back to that in a second...); there was no longer much point in conserving or holding back too much; as I can usually gauge fairly well where I stand and how much I have left in the tank to finish. As mentioned above, I was confident that I'd meet my goal time, but didn't have a lot of room for error. The "mostly" downhill had a few inclines in it that caused a couple of rough patches between miles 20 and 24. Inclines that you normally wouldn't think of as being a big deal can become big deals when your legs are really fatigued, and every slowdown means that you now have some time to make up. I think having been ill the last few days might have been taking some toll at that point as well, and the first doubts started creeping in.

The final couple of miles is where things got really interesting. I knew that I had a little time to spare, but you can lose that in a hurry with one bad mile; and I kept thinking of how horrible it would be to miss by just a few seconds! Just after I passed mile 25, I could see a long rise in the road, and that was NOT a welcome sight. If you look at the course profile, you'll notice a little "bump" at the end. Future marathoner's beware and take note... little bumps at the end of a marathon are not at all a good thing! It's not that it was a tremendously difficult incline, it's just that my legs were burning at that point and having to climb for a mile and hold my pace was fairly painful. I finally reached the Texas State Capitol building, made my way around it (when did it become that long to get around...), and made my way down the final stretch (downhill... yeah!!!) - and crossed the line in 3:29:58.
What would you do differently?:

Not too much, but another couple long runs in the 18-20 mile range would have helped with fatigue at the end. Might have relied a little too much on fitness coming off IM Cozumel past November.
Post race
Warm down:

I made my way down the street and collected my finisher's shirt; then had to sit on the ground for a few minutes and drink some water. I had about 7 blocks to walk to get to my car, and that was a long and painful process, with at least 3 rest stops on the way :) I'm not usually that sore right afterwards, so I guess I really did push hard those last few miles.

Event comments:

Water only until mile 10, then PowerAde every other aid station. No food or gels at all on course. You need to plan for that.

Last updated: 2010-01-13 12:00 AM
03:29:58 | 26.2 miles | 08m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 35/258
Overall: 383/4039
Course: starts out with 5K+ uphill trend; then downhill and flat until mile 8. Up through mile 14 is some good rolling hills, then continues with uphill incline until around 18.5. Last section mostly downhill, with a few inclines and then long upgrade between miles 25 and 26 before short downhill to finish. Pace well!
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2010-02-15 12:31 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: Austin Marathon

2010-02-15 10:46 PM
in reply to: #2673733

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Subject: RE: Austin Marathon
Great job-awesome time.
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