Monday, January 31, 2011

3M Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, January 30
Austin, TX
State #21/50
Half Marathon #22
Weather - 64 degrees and HUMID

I used to live in Austin, TX. In fact, over a decade ago I met my future (now ex) husband there. Even though I thought I would never go back to Texas, I obviously had to pick a race there to finish my goal. I still have family there, so I picked the 3M half marathon. The race gets rave reviews for its cool swag, and it wouldn't cost as much money for me since I'd have a place to stay and wouldn't need to rent a car. My ex husband still lives in the area, so that meant that A also got to go along.

Our flight was delayed, but only about 30 minutes. The flight out was pretty quick, and our ride was waiting for us. It was about a 40 minute drive from the airport to my Lisa's (ex sister-in-law) house north of the city. We stopped at Subway on the way home to pick up some dinner.

After dinner and some time with the nieces and nephew (and ex-husband), I found out that Lisa had arranged for a babysitter so the adults could go to a movie. SCORE! We got back to the house late and A had fallen asleep on the couch.

Saturday the only thing on my agenda was to pick up me and L's packet for the race. We slept late after having been up so late the night before. A let me stay in bed until 9:00! I got ready for the day, and then we lounged around the house. We opted on a little Greek restaurant for lunch. I love love LOVE Greek salads. I think it is the feta cheese!

Delicious lasagna!
We made a quick stop at the half price bookstore, and then drove to north Austin to the 3M building to pick up our race packets.

There was no expo of any kind. Literally you walked in the door, gave your name, got your stuff, and walked out again. Relieved I wasn't given any hassle for picking up L's stuff. The swag WAS neat. Got a free pair of sunglasses, ankle brace, scotch tape, scrubbing sponges, (compare to) Sham Wow rags, nice Tech shirt, random other items. We got back to the house and spent more time doing nothing. Except the kids decided that raking was TONS of fun.

L's flight was due to land at 6:00, so we had another trip to make to the airport. Less than ten minutes after leaving the house, I get a text that she had already landed. 20 minutes early. Ooops. After picking L up we headed BACK up Lisa's where her husband was grilling chicken for fajitas! Carb loading for this race through tortillas instead of pasta. Yum.

Since the race was scheduled to start at 6:45, I headed up to bed just before 11:00. A was NOT tired.

Man, I haven't had a night like that in ages. I was uncomfortable and I was starting to feel like I was getting A's cold (that I had managed to bypass all week). The first time I dozed off wasn't until almost 1:00. But I didn't stay asleep. The slightest noise and I was up again. I figure that I got about an hour of sleep all night. I was up before my alarm went off at 5:05.

Chris, my ex brother-in-law, offered to drive us to the race start. He's a police officer with the city and thought with all the road closures it would be easier for us to not drive. Fine with us!

We were out the door only 5 minutes later than we planned, at 5:50. The drive down to the race start went fast, no one is out at that time of day on a Sunday! The exit we needed to take was backed up so Chris navigated some back roads and dropped us off only a block or so from the race start. The lines for the bathrooms were INSANE. As much as we have raced, we have come to the conclusion that it is completely worth it to miss the start of the race if we have to. NOT worth it to be uncomfortable. Right when we got out, the gun went off. No big deal, the start was narrow and people were still feeding through as we started.

Start Line
All I really knew about this course was it was a point to point and there was negative elevation. It was HUMID at the start of the race, and I was glad that the race started before the sun came up. The first mile was spent navigating around the slower runners and finding my pace (like always). Only this race was a bit different.

I found a decent groove but immediately I felt VERY tired and VERY hot. I had been fighting off getting sick, but I had been feeling pretty congested and tired over the last few days and I'm pretty sure it caught up with me. And the humidity was insane. I was sweating like crazy before we were even a few miles into the race.

I had somehow missed the first mile marker (which I don't think has ever happened), and I wasn't feeling YET like I was going to fast, but I was concerned about how crappy I already felt. the first aid station wasn't until we were over 2 miles in, and I walked a bit more than I normally do. I was just NOT feeling it.

I hit the 3 mile marker and I could tell I was going too fast for how I felt and the weather conditions. I was already exhausted and trying hard to not walk. I really really wanted to. Shortly after mile 3, I saw L. She passed me at the water station at mile 3.5. I didn't see her again the rest of the course.

Mile 5 hit and I am feeling worse than ever. Still tired. Still drained. Mile 5 is running through a residential neighborhood. Aid station at mile 5.5 and I walk. Drink a water. Drink a gatorade. Take a GU... start going again. Get passed by the 2:00 pace group somewhere just before mile 6. I don't even care. I'm just trying to not walk. Walking will only make the race last longer. It is "raining" a bit. And by raining I mean it's more "misting" but it feels GOOD. I finally feel like I am cooling off a bit. A slight breeze and the weather is almost bearable for a bit.

I keep going. And going. And going. Pass the relay hand off and I'm wondering... WHERE IS THE NEXT AID STATION??? It was not until almost mile 8. Not sure exactly where it was because I managed to miss that mile marker too. Are you kidding me??? So tired. So thirsty. So blah.

Keep going. Don't know how I am doing it. A lot of the course is running down Burnet road. Not too much to look at. I feel so terrible I don't even care that I'm not taking pictures. Somehow keep going. Another aid station somewhere around mile 11. People are passing me. They don't look as tired as me. Lots of crowd support but I can't even appreciate it because I feel so awful.

I swear I'm never gonna make it. I wonder why I run these races. I'm so tired. The miles are DRAGGING by. I hope there is another aid station. I desperately need the walk break. There is one (HURRAH) around mile 12. I can see the skyline for Austin and see UT's stadium. I get EXCITED thinking we are almost done. Look down and I still have 3/4 of a mile to go. Curse it!!! So tired... and then there is a decently long gradual uphill. My legs feel like lead but I will not allow myself to walk. Keep going. Don't know how, but I do. Come around the corner and I can see the finish. I still cannot force myself to move any faster. Ironically, I hear my Eminem song "'Till I Collapse" during that final stretch. Man. I really did just want to give up.

Was beyond happy to cross that damn finish line. The after race stuff was AWESOME.  With the exception of water availability (I would MUCH rather prefer a bottle of water, or more water stations would have been better), it was everything you could want! Live music and TONS of food. There was breakfast burritos from Rudys, Subway, Austin pizza, cookies, protein bars, bananas and oranges. I had to get a small  box to carry all my stuff! Finally did some pictures:

Holding up 2 & 1 for state #21

Post Race 
Gun Time - 2:09:35
Chip Time - 2:06:53
Overall Place - 2203/4515
Gender Place - 993/2600
Division Place - 191/455
10K official Split - 57:20 (hehe, would have been a PR)
Official Pace - 9:41
Garmin Distance - 13.10 (never had an exact race before!)
Garmin Time - 2:06:53
Mile 1 & 2 - 8:43
Mile 3 - 8:55
Mile 4 - 9:27
Mile 5 - 9:09
Mile 6 - 10:19
Mile 7 - 9:59
Mile 8 - 10:15
Mile 9 - 9:57
Mile 10 - 10:15
Mile 11 - 9:54
Mile 12 - 9:53
Mile 13 - 10:19
Mile 13.1 - 9:00

We met up with our friend from Colorado that also ran. He also struggled a bit and didn't put up a time like he had hoped. Chris picked us up by the finish line and we headed back to their house for more lounging.

A "playing" the piano while we watched a marathon of "Pawn Stars" on the History channel. That show is FASCINATING!

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:30, and on the way to the airport we stopped and got some Whataburger. Look. She's reading the safety manual. Again.

R picked us up at the airport, and even though she was VERY adamant about NOT being tired, she crashed a few minutes into the drive.

I enjoyed my visit in Texas, but the race was pretty miserable. Under better conditions, I think the race would have been a ton better. It was very organized and there was lots of stuff that made it good. The weather and how I was feeling just made it suck. Bad.


  1. Well all the free stuff you got sounds awesome!!

    I think this is the most miserable you've sounded in a race cap - which is saying a lot since you are racing about 8 days a week! ;)

    Congrats on another one - and your 10K PR!

    I'm always hungry when I finish reading your race reports. I wonder why??

  2. Pretty good time for feeling so crummy throughout the race. And, I like Greek food too, and it is the feta cheese!

  3. Good for you for finishing and with a great time! I hope you are feeling better now! I love all the pictures! your daughter is so cute!

  4. It was definitely a hot and humid weekend - I ran in shorts for the first time in months!

  5. For feeling so miserable, you had an amazing finish time!! Congrats on finishing!!

  6. You had a good finishing time despite how crappy you felt. Congrats! Glad that the swag was awesome. :)

  7. Sounds like a great weekend. I'm sorry about feeling blah during the race! But keeping that pace despite of the feeling blah: amazing! :)

    Plus, A looks adorable. :)

  8. Hi Becka:

    I had a half like that on Sunday (Callaway Gardens in GA), but unlike your tough self, I had to stop halfway through. Great job! I know exactly how you felt and the humidity will suck the life out of you. After the traveling for that race and one two weeks before, I honestly don't know how you do it and the fact that you really only talked about being tired or stressed at this race is incredible.

    And your daughter is such a little peach, so cute!

    All the best for your next races and I hope you feel better!



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