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Austin Half Marathon - Run

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Austin, Texas
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 49m 21s
Overall Rank = 503/6695
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 32/275
Pre-race routine:

Pretty standard. We had breakfast (super delish - homemade granola, vanilla yoghurt and milk, coffee, extra piece of toast) then headed to a garage about a mile from the event. Walked over and kinda warmed up doing so (Ministry of Silly Walks kind of stuff). Only thing was we got out of the portojohns a couple minutes before the gun and scrambled to get near our target pace groups. A little HR spike and some cortisol spent on those maneuvers! I did have a little nagging dread that I was more tired than my taper should have left me (that's some foreshadowing right there, kids).
Event warmup:

Just walking from the garage (and bouncing in line for the port-o-pots). Then winding our way toward the start groups we wanted...
  • 1h 49m 21s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 21s  min/mile

Ouch. I deflated around mile 8.5 and was pushing mentally harder than in most races I can remember - but going slower than any previous HM! Was just really tired and didn't have "it" this day. But finished under my target max (wanted at least under 1:50), so all good. Glad it wasn't a destination race or such, though!

One really cool moment, though. Mile 9 or so, at the worst of it for me, I looked around and thought, "None of us is racing each other, we're all racing WITH each other." I was just struck and so happy to be out amongst people pushing themselves individually, but as part of a group doing this "together." Was cool...

Weather was also drippy humid. My shoes were soaked right about mile 5 (usually doesn't happen until closer to mile 10 or so). Was drinking 2-3 cups at each station and still was thirsty at the end!
What would you do differently?:

Meh, not sure I'd change much. Maybe taper a bit more (as I get older, I find the Higdon taper to be a bit shorter than my legs sometimes like). Not sure that was it, though. Just didn't have that usual race "pop" and I'm not sure there was a single reason.
Post race
Warm down:

Pounded down two bottles of water, then grabbed a goodie bag and stretched waiting for Kim. She had a great race! Like 15th in her (large) division.

"Recovery" snack bags were Austin weird, as appropriate. Pork rinds and someone handing out syringes filled with blue juice (turned out to be Gatorade). Plus lots and lots and lots of beer. Love this city. :)

Then we warmed down together by grabbing our kit bags, putting on a dry top and heading to the beer tent, baby!

We definitely took gold in the post-race activities. Lots of beer. Lots of great people just hanging out and chatting. A great time!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I could say it was warm and humid and hilly. All true, but that wasn't it. I just was a bit off. Still happy with the overall, just could've been a bit bouncier.

I think the biggest thing is that this was at the end of my first 3 month block of running in over a year and a half, so I was more tired than thought (having compared the stress to what I could handle from other three month blocks - that were part of a longer, more consistent build). So, next race...

Event comments:

Great race in a great town with great people and a great post-race scene! Loved it!

Last updated: 2017-02-22 12:00 AM
01:49:21 | 13.1 miles | 08m 21s  min/mile
Age Group: 32/275
Overall: 503/6695
Performance: Average
Couldn't get my HR to target for most of this race.
Course: HILLY! Big 3 miles uphill to start. Then 3 down, which hurt. Then a few flat where I just bonked and finished with a few miles of rollers (with a couple short "walls" thrown in).
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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

2017-03-07 12:00 PM

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Austin, Texas
Subject: Austin Half Marathon

2017-03-07 1:40 PM
in reply to: #5215293

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Subject: RE: Austin Half Marathon

Well, you finished, finished under your target and under your own power, had a fun 'aha' moment at mile 9, got wacky post-race goodies (Gatorade in a syringe?!) and got beer at the end.  Sounds like a great race to me!  No doubt you will be speedier and less tired feeling next race. Congrats to your wife, too, sounds like she had a very good race!

2017-03-08 1:01 PM
in reply to: #5215293

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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Austin Half Marathon

Texas weather in the winter or spring is a crapshoot!  I suppose that's true of the fall too....the only consistent weather we get in Texas is in the summer, when we know it's going to be hot and humid!

Hopefully getting another race under your belt and knocking out your first training block has given you some new/additional knowledge to take with you from here.  What's next?

2017-03-27 9:16 AM
in reply to: #5215293

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Subject: RE: Austin Half Marathon

Sorry you just didn't have "it" for the race, but considering the totality of the circumstances- first run training block in a long time, hard course, difficult weather etc, you should be happy with the result. I know I'd be  Really congrats to you and Kim!! 

2017-03-31 5:07 PM
in reply to: #5215293

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Austin Half Marathon

Dude, you rock! Glad you had a good race experience, even if the running itself was not up to expectations.

Congrats on a gold medal post race experience!

2017-04-04 7:32 AM
in reply to: #5215293

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Subject: RE: Austin Half Marathon

Congrats on gutting through the tough parts and still running a great time! 

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