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3M Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Austin, Texas
United States
3M Half Marathon & Relay
39F / 4C
Total Time = 2h 02m 54s
Overall Rank = 2186/6500
Age Group = F 25-29
Age Group Rank = 157/393
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 5:25 and ate a Lunabar and banana. Left the house at 6:00 and arrived at the site at around 6:15. Despite there being ~6500 runners, it was actually much less chaotic than I was expecting there. I dropped off my coat and cell phone at gear check with no problems or wait at all. Still dark of course, and it was pretty chilly (39) with a stiff north wind.
Event warmup:

Just a few minutes of very light jogging near the start line. Lined up between the 2:05 and 2:10 pacers to start. My goal was 2:04:xx, but I was not feeling terribly optimistic since my training was pretty underwhelming the past month. So my secondary goal was just to PR, which would be anything under 2:11:15.
  • 2h 02m 54s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 23s  min/mile

Like I said above, it was pretty chilly at the start. I had a "throwaway" sweatshirt on which definitely helped. I think being in a huge mass of people helped too! I never heard a gun go off or anything; just noticed that people were starting to walk so I did too. It took about 4 minutes to reach the start line, which was faster than I was expecting. Started my new GPS watch as I crossed, and I was off. The first bit of the course (maybe 0.5 miles?) was straight into the wind (~20 mph!), so I told myself to relax and not tire myself out right at the start. So my pace for the first mile was a little slower than my target, but I was perfectly ok with that; I knew that almost the whole rest of the course would be facing south, so the wind would help. There was a lot of joking around about how cold it was, how this wasn’t a good idea, and all that stuff. :) Shortly after turning to the east, I ditched the sweatshirt since I was already starting to heat up. There was a bagpiper playing at the first mile marker, as a nod to the fact that this was the 3M half marathon (Scotch tape and all that…). The sun started coming up in the second mile, and I was entertained by a woman who was explaining the story of Les Mis to her friend. I knew the story but still, it gave me something to listen to. There was a high school drumline around mile 2, which I totally loved. Can’t believe those guys got up so early on a Sunday to play for us; much appreciated. :)

The next few miles were kind of a blur. I just remember feeling good and focusing on keeping my breathing at a slow rate and locking into a comfortable pace. My watch indicated that I was running a bit faster than my goal pace (9:22-ish as opposed to 9:30), but I felt fine so I just went with it. The course was also noticeably downhill in a lot of parts, so my pace got even faster on some of those. The crowd support was super: lots of people cheering and ringing cowbells. There was one girl (maybe 14 or so?) jumping on a trampoline and shaking neon maracas and cheering at the top of her lungs. And lots of people brought funny signs: “Sweat is liquid awesome”, “Run faster, I just farted”, “Would Johnny Football stop running?”, “Worst parade ever”, and so forth. Those were great to see.

I had a GU at roughly mile 5, which slowed me down a bit. I had been keeping the 2:05 pacers in my sight but fell a little behind. I noticed that we ran over a timing mat at the 10k mark, which seemed odd since there was no “online athlete tracking” in this race. If you’re going to record everyone’s 10k time, why not post them online in real time? Oh well. I was on target for sub 2:05 at this point and was still feeling great. I actually wound up passing the 2:05 pacers around mile 7; I felt like I wanted to go a little faster than they were going. Passed through some neighborhoods, so there weren’t any more musicians due to the early hour, but still good crowd support. Saw my dad and his fiancée Cheryl at just past mile 8! They said later that they thought I looked super comfortable and in control then. And that’s how I felt there too; 8 miles is still within my comfort zone. It’s really the 8+ mile runs that I find more challenging. So I knew the hardest part was still to come.

I could tell by this point my breathing was getting more labored. I tried to avoid falling into the trap of thinking “almost done!”. Sometimes I start thinking that too early on long runs, which is obviously not good for morale. So I really tried, from this point forward, not to look at my watch. I occasionally checked my pace, but I avoided looking at time elapsed or distance covered. I just tried to think about anything else besides where I was along the course. :) We moved back into a commercial area and started seeing/hearing more bands and entertainment. Also started seeing more people walking. :\ I didn’t though! There were some fairly significant uphill sections in the last couple of miles; quite a shock after all the downhill! I think I probably had a pretty disgusted look on my face when I saw the one on Dean Keaton. Tough to have those right near the end. I slowed down to around a 10:30 pace to tackle the hills, but it was still pretty rough. Finally came down the last stretch and made the final turn south facing the Capitol. Amazingly, I managed to spot my dad and Cheryl again despite all the people lined up on the sides! Cruised in and stopped my watch a few seconds late. My watch had 2:03:02, but my chip time turned out to be 2:02:54. I’m really thrilled that I beat 2:05, even though I’m sure I had a lot of help from the wind and the declining elevation. On a flat, calm course, I doubt I’d have made it. But who knows?

This race was FAR better than my first half both mentally and physically. The first time, which was in October, I felt like I was up against the limit of what I could handle both mentally and physically. I was totally beat at the end, and I walked a few times in the last mile or so. This time, I wasn’t ever close to walking, and I still felt pretty upbeat even in those last few miles. And I feel pretty good now too (6 hours post-finish); my left calf is quite tight, but otherwise I’m only a little sore. Of course, the soreness could set in later. I think in my October half, it was about 2 days before the soreness reached its peak. We’ll see what happens this time.

Mile splits:
1 9:40
2 9:12
3 9:20
4 9:14
5 9:08
6 9:30
7 9:02
8 9:12
9 9:06
10 9:19
11 9:18
12 9:23
13 9:22
0.1 9:27 (my watch reads as 2:16, for a 0.24 mile final bit. *shrug*)

10k split: 58:25
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really; I felt like I executed this pretty well.
Post race
Warm down:

Got a "space blanket" and finishers medal immediately after crossing the finish line. I walked around a little and quickly found my dad and Cheryl. I got a chocolate chip cookie which was probably the best I've ever had in my life. :) I would have found it good on a normal day, but it totally hit the spot after the race. I also had some water and a banana and made sure to stretch.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I don't know; I was totally satisfied with my time so I'm not sure how to answer this.

Event comments:

I had a great time. Great course, and the organization and volunteers were top notch. If I lived closer I'd almost certainly do it again.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-11-29 12:00 AM
02:02:54 | 13.1 miles | 09m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 157/393
Overall: 2168/6500
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-01-13 3:15 PM

Subject: 3M Half Marathon

2013-01-15 9:37 AM
in reply to: #4576335

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Subject: RE: 3M Half Marathon
Great job on the PR! Nice consistent splits, too.
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