Saturday was low key, including carb loading and resting. I woke up Sunday morning around 5:10 and fixed my Kona Kola NUUN, bagel, and got ready. The temp had dropped 40 degrees since Saturday with 10-15 mph winds. I didn’t exactly pack the warmest clothes. I had to make the best of it and was thankful I had my mylar blanket from the last race (I try and take an old one to my next race-it’s something to sit on or keep warm). Katie’s neighbor was also running and she was nice enough to drive me to the start. The race is point to point but they have shuttles to take you back to your car post race.
We got there with plenty of time-close to 45 minutes before race start. She had a running group to meet up with so I tagged along until a few minutes before the race and went to warm up. I felt good-cold-but good. My legs felt great and so did my lungs.
I lined up in between the 1:40 and 1:45 pace group and waited for the start. It was delayed by 5 minutes, but no biggie (this is an early race-6:45 start). The announcer said that the wind wouldn’t be a problem-the race would be 85% of a tailwind. I can handle that!
The race spread out quick and I had plenty of room to run. I had decided that morning that I would go ahead and shoot for a PR. My lungs were ready and my legs rested.
I could barely keep it at the 8-8:10 goal pace for the first 3 miles. It was still dark and cold but there were plenty of spectators and even bag pipe players. I felt great. The announcer was spot on with the wind-I’d turn a corner and no breeze, make the next turn and feel a gush immediately. It was manageable and I was glad 85% was a tailwind.
My watch hit 3 miles and I knew I could finally bring it down to a 7:51 pace. The race was a gradual down hill and my legs were moving easily. At mile 4, the hip that has been bothering me started to feel a little tight, but that has been the norm for the past month.
All of the sudden, somewhere around mile 6, the pain stopped me. Wail out loud in pain, stop me on the course pain. Never, in my 30 plus races, has a pain stopped me like that (well, maybe the ankle). I attempted to massage out the issue and did a few stretches. I saw the 1:45 pace group go by and that had me ready to go again. I needed to get ahead (I hate being behind pace groups). I felt okay again, and slowly inched my way ahead of them.
I made it another two miles and it hit me again. This time, it was right in front of a crowd of spectators. Tears in my eyes I attempted to do some yoga stretches. I walked. It hurt. I felt defeated. I’ve never been passed by so many people. I felt helpless. The cheers of the spectators made me feel worse-I knew I was capable of so much more but my body said absolutely not.
I debated on calling Katie to come find me on the course and take me home. Beat It, by MJ, came on my ipod. And decided I would do just that. It was time to suck it up buttercup.
The course seemed to wind through neighborhoods all going slightly downhill. The crowds were great and there were plenty of aid stations but my mind was elsewhere. I couldn’t even pay attention to where the course was going and what I was seeing. I do remember one awesome spectator that had a sign that I LOVED, “Go Stranger.” Which is so true-you get used to seeing signs for other people and wondering about who it’s for and their goals and who are their cheerleaders I love the blanket “stranger” because, come on, they really are cheering for all of us if we are out there. That sign was the only thing to give me a smile (no pic-too much effort to get my phone out).
I literally limped for the last 3 miles. I somehow did that at a decent pace and I refused to give up. I have never, ever, ever wanted a race to be over so badly. I was so embarrassed at my form. At my limp. At my entire race performance. Unfortunately, the last mile and a half actually had hills and that made me look even worse. At least the lululemon store was cheering at the top of one of them (side note-apparently course used to run through UT campus but it didn’t this year-some runners weren’t happy).
I think this was one of few races that I didn’t end with a smile. I just hurt all over and ended in tears again.
The splits show you exactly how much I slowed down. Such a bummer.
The course was perfect for a PR. You can see where I fell apart on my splits. Heart breaking to me.
I went straight to the medical tent for ice and advil. I grabbed a few snacks and went to the picnic area to wait for Katie to come get me. There were food trucks (whichI was originally excited about), but it hurt so much to walk around I didn’t care.
I went to see the race results because I wanted to check on Jennifer and another friend of mine from Atlanta. I was so excited to see how well they did! I ran into Jennifer and we realized she won Masters female. My other friend, Jared, was third place overall.
I was so thrilled for Jennifer and excited to see her but I was ready to go. Katie picked me up, I stretched and showered and we went to brunch.
Our brunch was amazing! I have to share one picture, because I’d never heard of it before…our table split a piece of carrot cake french toast with some sort of cream cheese pecan syrup.
I relaxed the rest of the afternoon before flying back to Atlanta.
- PR-perfect course
- City of Austin
- Well organized, small race
Not so Much
- The hip
I like the medal-don’t love it, don’t hate it. Nothing over the top, heavy, not too small. The race swag was what I had heard about before the race. Since 3M is the sponsor-you end up with lots of fun goodies: calendars, mini lint rollers, super glue, pop up tape, scotch brite, duct tape and bandaids (gave both to P already) to name a few. I like the shirt too.
I know that my time is still solid. I am more disappointed at the “what could’ve been” and that I got hurt. I am very proud of myself for pushing through and finishing.
I know I would’ve really enjoyed the race had I not hurt myself. I will say, the 3M 1/2 marathon is really good, but not noteworthy. There was nothing to rave about and nothing to hate-just a good race. If you live in or near Austin, run this race. If you want to PR your half marathon and hang out in Austin, run this race. I’m not sure this would’ve been my Texas race of choice for my 50 states quest, but I wanted to see my old roomie and I love Austin, so it all worked out.
What’s your most random thing you’ve received as race swag? Ever had a pain stop you mid race?