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Austin Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Austin, Texas
United States
The Austin Marathon Foundation, Inc.
55F / 13C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Got up, quick shower, got dressed, all the glide, socks and shoes on, ate banana, coffee, Odwalla, drove to race. Parked at the Capitol garage and walked to the toilets. Then we milled around a little and walked to the start area.
Event warmup:

Sprinted from the toilets to the start area when I heard the National Anthem.
  • 2h 40m 15s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 14s  min/mile
Post race
Warm down:

I found my family at the end and put my legs up for a bit. I changed into a warm top, dry hat, and ate some fruit. I felt nauseated so I skipped the Gatorade. I did eat a small breakfast burrito Dave saved for me after a little while. I felt AWESOME!!

Event comments:

I think it's important to do things that you will always know are just outside of your comfort zone. This race is that race for me. Austin has a lot of hills, a lot, and this race is hilly. But let's start from the beginning.

Saturday we drove to Austin and went to packet pickup. Everything felt smoother this year compared to last; the drive was easier, the packet pickup was not as insane, and I felt calmer. I got all my stuff, we went to Whole Foods, then checked in to our hotel. We stayed at the same place as last year and we were not disappointed with the hotel. I unpacked our stuff, got my race gear together, and took a bath. We met Mollie and Jason for dinner early (around 5) and I loaded up on pasta, beer, bread, and cupcakes. Mollie and her family is gorgeous. We had a very nice dinner with them and she brought me a half dozen delicious cupcakes! It was an excellent surprise.

Getting to sleep was awful, and I tossed and turned for hours. I never sleep well in hotels and I think I dropped off around 1 am, woke back up around 4:30, and started getting ready for the race. I figured sleep or no sleep I wasn't skipping the race I came to do. So I showered quickly and put on my clothes. Dave made me a cup of coffee while the kids got ready to go. I also ate a banana and a poptart. I decided to take my trusty Odwalla bar with me. I felt remarkably calm and un-freaked out. We got in the car, drove downtown, sat in a tiny bit or traffic, then found a parking space right near the Capitol. After a brief restroom stop, we walked to the starting line. I finished the rest of my breakfast and we milled around.

The start line was busy. It was chilly but the sun came up nicely and I figured my clothing was a good choice. I shed the extra thermal top I had on, visited the toilets one more time, and listened to the National Anthem. I had zero anxiety. I stood near the chute watching the Marathon pace groups pass. When I saw the 4:55 pacers leave I got in the line and shuffled through the chute. The energy was awesome, I hit the start button, and happily trotted away. About 1/2 of a mile into the race, I saw Dave and the boys again and I felt ready to settle in to my planned rhythm. I wasn't listening to music but I had my iPod stashed in my back pocket. My hip pockets held 3 gels, a Stinger Waffle, and my chapstick. I traveled lightly and felt totally prepared. I didn't mind being music free because there was so much crowd support along the route, and at the first aid station, I stopped to use the toilet again. My stomach was not happy with me and I figured any time I lost would pay off if things got worse further along. I'd repeat this a few more times along the course.

The first two miles passed without event. The run over the river on Congress was delightful. The sun was rising and the air was crisp and clear. I lowered my shades onto my face and smiled. I felt easy and by the end of the first big climb, at the 5K split, I figured I was doing well even considering my stop. I weaved in and out, running, briefly walking, and enjoying. I sucked down a Hammer Gel, drank water, and felt great. Each half mile I would check my pace and I was right inside my goal. I had no desire to over-work my body so my goal was modest and even with the hills, I met my goal easily.

As the course turned on Ben White, my back started cramping a little. I took extra gatorade at the aid station when I felt the huge amount of sweat on my shirt. I was losing too much water for 5 miles and I got a little nervous about my water intake. I didn't want to overconsume and have to pee, but I didn't want to underconsume and cramp. The gatorade helped, my back eased, and then the course turned on 1st street.

Running downhill is fine. But at a certain point, it becomes painful. My right foot screamed a little and I took a long walk break. I ate half of my Stinger Waffle around mile 8, drank again, and prepared to see my family on the bridge. I was ready to hear them cheering for me, I needed the encouragement. When I saw the boys high-fiving the racers, I felt my legs push harder. I stopped and high-fived them both, gave Dave the thumbs up, and trotted off. The turn at Caesar Chavez showed me the downhill to the MoPac, the Livestrong support area (yes I cried again going through it this year), and the last of the really bad hills. With exactly four miles left, I knew I was ahead of my pace goal and it made me smile. Mile 10 was a harder mile, a lot of it uphill long and slow. But I knew if I could just get around and headed back into downtown I'd see the dome of the Capitol and I'd be pumped to push for the finish.

I took my Roctane at mile 11. I barely tasted it. I just wanted the caffeine. As expected from my training runs, it worked. I felt it kick in right at the beginning of the hill at the end of mile 11. I know it's not really "heartbreak hill" (that's in Boston).. But that sucker is ugly. I was ready for it and there were so many people screaming for us on the road all I could do was push harder.

With the last mile ahead of me, I settled in to a steady run. The hills were done, the road was open, and I had saved some gas for a strong finish. I dug deep for a little extra as the road turned back up to loop the east side of the Capitol. The signs laid out, 500 meters to the finish, 400, 200.. and I already heard it... the roar.

Nothing compares to that sound, nothing. The tears rolled down my face again, uncontrollably. I saw the finish line, and I hit the mats, arms in the air, and it was done. For a moment, I could not see or feel anything. I knew that Dave was somewhere and I knew he'd be at the end of the finish chute. I took my medal and water then I collected all of my finisher goodies and wandered out of the finisher area. The medal hung heavy on my neck, and I felt surprisingly good.

I had a little nausea after the race but it passed. I put my legs up for a few minutes, changed into a dry shirt and hat, and tried to warm up. I ate the egg burrito Dave had for me and it tasted amazing. I was ravenously hungry and thirsty and I was ready for a shower. Compared to last year, I was 100% healthier and fitter. I felt no pain other than soreness. We wandered back to the car and back to the hotel. It was a fantastic race.

I have nothing bad to say. I was ahead of my goal, healthier, and more prepared. I enjoyed the experience, went music free, and took care of my needs along the way. I feel like I pushed just hard enough to meet my goals, but no so hard that I left the race injured. I could not be happier.

Next year? I do the full.

Last updated: 2011-09-20 12:00 AM
02:40:15 | 13.1 miles | 12m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Austin Hills. Congress/1st/Mopac/Back to downtown
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-02-20 7:30 PM

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Conroe TX
Subject: Austin Half Marathon

2012-02-21 10:51 AM
in reply to: #4057403

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San Antone, Texas
Subject: RE: Austin Half Marathon
good run!  You'll love the full next year
2012-02-22 7:49 PM
in reply to: #4057403

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Conroe TX
Subject: RE: Austin Half Marathon
Thanks for reading!! 
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