Archive for February 19th, 2008

Austin 1/2 Marathon

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

We had a great trip to Austin, getting to see lots of family and friends.  Also ran a little race.

Race day was a little warmer than I was expecting.  It was mid to upper 40’s at the start, and warmed up throughout the race.  I was probably a little overdressed in tights and a long sleeve shirt, but don’t think I really overheated at any point.  I expected some low rollers for the start of the course, and knew there would be a couple of larger hills later on, but geez, they were killer.  I guess I really need to head out to east Norman for more hill training in the future.  My thighs are still burning today.  But I decided to push it and try to take down 1:45.00.

I was feeling pretty good for the first 6 miles, but there was little room to move about.  Running was pretty much shoulder to shoulder for the first 10 miles or so, where the 1/2 and full courses split.  But around mile 6, the leg started to get tight, not the same hammy feeling, but deeper in the hip and going down the front and inner thigh.  I had set the virtual training partner on the Forerunner for 1:45.00 and I was only about .3 mile behind at around halfway.  So I decided to keep pushing, knowing full well that around mile 8 we would hit non-stop rolling hills, with 2 big ones thrown in.  Around mile 10 my leg was really beginning to throb, and I was losing some of the push up hills, so I walked one decent hill, got some water and poweraide at the next rest stop and pushed on, slowly losing ground to the virtual trainer.  Around mile 11.5 was the worst of the hills, and I had been dreading the though of it for the whole race.  I’ve run it a couple of other times in the Cap. Metro 10K.  If you’re familiar with Austin, its where 15th Street crosses over Lamar and shoots skyward at a terrible angle.  After crossing over Lamar, I “slowed” to a walk and leaned into the grade. Finally crested and pushed down the hill on to the last mile and a half.

The stretch to the finish was great rounding 11th to Congress right in front of the Capital, and downhill.  Hoofed it the last .2 and sprinted for the finish.  Missed the 1:40.00, but did clock a PR with a chip time of 1:52:52 which jived with the Forerunner.

My leg was killing me and I hobbled off to grab a breakfast taco.  The nearby Taco Shack (my personal fave) was closed (stupid store hours of closed on Sundays), so I headed to my second choice of Taco Express.  I was shocked at the disappearance of the original building, and the monstrosity of a pharmacy next door.   But my fears were averted when I walked in and they had replicated the outdoor patio very well, and had done a good job on the interior.  But the tacos were delish.

Headed out to catch A&D on the course.  On the way, phoned Carrie to plan a meeting time.  Told her there was no way I was running w/ A&D as my leg was killing me.  It was painful to walk on it.  But went to the course to cheer.  Got to mile 23 and walked north on the course to around 22.5 to find a nice place to cheer.  Saw A&D come around the corner, and they were not smiling.  It had warmed up considerably.  Probably 70+F and no clouds in the sky.  This is not a good thing coming from OK where we haven’t seen 70’s in oh 3-4 months. I joined them thinking I’d turn off .5 mi on when we got to the car.  But D was getting nauseas and A was getting leg cramps.  So on we went.  Through campus D (a fellow OU alum) really thought about losing her lunch.  We pressed on though and they crested the final hill and took off down the finishing slope.  They finished with a great time of 4:37.41.

To recap: brutal course (but very scenic and lots of spectators), hot, good times, great support.  Highly recommend, as you can’t beat the limited entry, great support and awesome venue.  Just train on hills, a lot of them, and don’t expect a PR.