Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Austin Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, February 19
Marathon #7
Texas Marathon #2
Austin, TX
Weather - Chilly at the start, warm and humid at the finish

Pretty sure the only reason why I signed up for the Austin marathon was timing/location related. Nothing to really race near Colorado in February, and since I have family in Austin, it's not as expensive for me to travel there. And why the full? Well, it fit nicely into my training schedule. Later found out that Kim and Lisa were running (Becca was also supposed to run, but got injured in Phoenix)... and therefore...  GIRL'S WEEKEND WAS PLANNED!


Flight out of Denver was uneventful. We met up with Kim and Lisa at the airport, and since Austin's airport is tiny and they are super tall, we found them immediately without any problems. We got a taxi and it $25 later, we arrived at the Embassy Suites. (Thanks, Kim, for booking us such a sweet suite!)

Did I mention that we landed, I noticed it was rainy and chilly? Curse it, Austin, it was supposed to be warmer than this. We spent a few minutes in the room, then walked over to the Parmer Events Center (luckily just down the street) to pick up our packets.

L, Kim, Lisa, Me (Seriously, I am so short!)
We briefly listened to Bart Yasso speak, but then we saw the crazy long lines for packet pick up and decided we should probably just head over there and get our stuff.

Oh, wait. No lines for ME!
It only took a few minutes to get our packets, then we just wandered around the expo. Which, by the way, was super crowded. About 4:00, we start to head out and notice it is pouring rain. Did I mention I didn't even bring a coat?? BRRR. We cowered inside for a few minutes, then braved the rain and headed back to the room until it was time for FREE HAPPY HOUR in the lobby.

I also had some chips/salsa, but didn't want to ruin my appetite
We had reservations for 5:30 at the TGIFriday's down the street, so after slamming a drink, we walked over:

View of the capital from Congress Ave.
Arriving at TGIFriday's, and we got to meet up with another blogger (also a Laura!!) and her husband and daughter. They were running a pasta buffet special, and since I am not picky, that's what I got:

OK, this is just plate one. I had seconds, but about half as much
But wait... we also wanted bread. (We didn't get regular bread sticks because the waitress said they were "fried" - apparently all that meant is they were regular bread sticks. Anyway, this was good too):

And dessert split between me, L, and Lisa:

As always when with other runners, the conversation was all about past races and performances and goals for the current race. The other Laura? SUPER DUPER CRAZY FAST, but planning to run conservatively, Lisa going for a PR, the rest of us pretty much just wanting to finish in respectable times (all while having fun of course). Laura's husband made sure to get a bloggy meet up picture:

L, Lisa, Me, Kim, Laura
We headed back to the room and made sure to get everything ready for the morning. Lisa forgot her Garmin (sad face), but super nice Kim said she would let her borrow hers. What a nice group of runners I have managed to make friends with! I headed to bed around 9:45, and since we weren't planning on heading out until 6:15, I didn't have to get up crazy early.

Race Day

We all managed to get ready and out the door on time. Again. Four females, one room, only taking about 35 minutes to get ready. We are so amazing. One of the nice employees at the front desk took a pre-race picture of the four of us. MATCHY, MATCHY!!

L, Lisa, Kim, Me
Did I mention that even though it had stopped raining that it was still freezing? Stupid me, I forgot half my stuff this trip. I luckily remembered all the super important running related things. But, I forgot extra pants (since I was spending more than one day here), and a throwaway. I was cold. Luckily, on our walk to the start line I managed to accost a city worker into giving me a trash bag. That helped a ton.

Lisa is SUPER goofy

Aren't you loving my trash bag? It's about 5 min to the start (stolen from Kim)
Kim, L and I had plans of lining up with the 4:25 pace group and running together as long as it made sense. After some stretching, Lisa ran ahead to get closer to the front since she was going for a PR. We found our sign, and pretty much a minute later we were getting ready to cross the line.

Stolen from Kim's recap :D

Holy cow, what a crowded start! There were tons of people and the goal (for me), was to run easy. I hadn't looked at the elevation profile in advance, but discovered that the course was really hilly.

So, plan to run easy, take it easy on the uphill, cruise the downhills and walk the water stations. Easy. Well. I was freezing. L managed to find a pair of fuzzy gloves on the course. AWESOME!! I kept them on for a few miles, but man, my hands were cooking in those suckers! The hills started about mile 2, and I lost Kim and L at the second aid station around mile 3. That was ok. If I was only running the half, I might have tried to chase them, but it was way too early for crazy things.

I kept having to jump on the sidewalks to get around people. The course was congested, and people were just stopping in the middle of the road to walk or stretch. C'mon people, you know better than that. TO THE RIGHT, TO THE RIGHT!!!

Around mile 5?
Somewhere around mile 5, I caught up with L, although I never did see Kim again. We ran together until about mile 8, and then I had to stop and use the bathroom again. I had to wait about 2 minutes, but since it was NOT a false alarm, it was well worth the wait.

Mile 8.5ish
Easily one of the best aid stations was the Livestrong one around mile 9. What a cheerful group of people! My hands were still freezing, and at some point I picked up a new pair of gloves and ran with them for another 4 miles or so. The course split a bit earlier than I thought, and again, I was a bit sad I had to head to the left:

I caught back up to L around mile 11. Which surprised me. I didn't think I would catch her again after my long stop. We ran together until the hills started again somewhere after the halfway point. Overall, I wasn't super crazy about the course. It was all road, and it wasn't anything spectacular to look at. UNTIL... mile 15 or so, when I was lucky enough to run behind LMFAO (well, not the real LMFAO, but they were super fun and energetic and got tons of cheering from the crowds which helped me out a ton).

I'll say that there were some pretty crazy hills on this course. I wouldn't call them "gentle" or "rolling" - some of them were seriously like roller coaster hills. Proud to say that I didn't walk up ANY of them. Although, I think I would have been screwed if there weren't 25 aid stations on the course! I stopped again to use the bathroom at mile 20, but at least this time I didn't have to wait. Two different places in the second half had beer, I stopped at both. Thanks, random citizens! I also had to run about a half mile between miles 23 & 24 with my eyes closed. My eyes were STINGING with sunscreen/salty sweat. Gross.

I think this is about mile 25 - near UT
Kim and Lisa had gone back to the hotel to shower and change and were planning on meeting us at the finish. Kim got this shot of me somewhere in the last half mile. I was so focused on not walking up the stupid hills at the very end that I never even saw them!

Somehow managed to finish the race without collapsing, but that was the longest chute EVER, and my legs were DONE.

Finishing area 
Cool race app on my phone
I texted Lisa to let them know I was done, and they said as soon as they saw L cross they would head over to the finish area. I hugged a tree until I found L, and then we again, found Lisa and Kim very easily in the crowd. (Have I mentioned how TALL they both are?)

Thoughts on the race:
  • Pretty organized, although they might benefit from doing a bit of a staggered start in the beginning to ease congestion
  • Course very well marked
  • LOVED the billion aid stations, although they were super long and spread out, and it was hard to toss a cup without it landing on a volunteer. I also probably should NOT have had Gatorade at every single aid station because I think that contributed to my stomach angst.
  • With a course this size, they might have benefited from a couple more potties at the aid stations. Almost all of them had decent sized lines
  • NO GELS ON THE COURSE??? WTF. That was not cool. Luckily I am a BYOG, but still... A race that costs over $100 should provide this
  • Crowd support was AWESOME.
  • Liked the app on my iPhone. I could track other runners very easily, as well as look at maps, etc. Neat.
  • Liked the race shirt and the medal.
Bib #3419
Official Time - 4:30:29
Official Pace - 10:19
Official 5K - 31:21
Official 5M - 51:17
Official 10M - 1:44:32
Official 13.1M - 2:17:43
Official 20M - 3:29:27
Overall Place - 2143/3881
Gender Place - 614/1429
Division Place - 110/237
Garmin Time - 4:30:29
Garmin Distance - 26.36 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:16
Mile 1 - 10:03
Mile 2 - 10:09
Mile 3 - 9:39
Mile 4 - 10:53
Mile 5 - 10:02
Mile 6 - 10:33
Mile 7 - 9:50
Mile 8 - 9:42
Mile 9 - 12:10 (bathroom)
Mile 10 - 10:31
Mile 11 - 10:48
Mile 12 - 10:40
Mile 13 - 10:37
Mile 14 - 10:22
Mile 15 - 10:11
Mile 16 - 10:05
Mile 17 - 10:37
Mile 18 - 9:50
Mile 19 - 10:24
Mile 20 - 10:52 (bathroom)
Mile 21 - 9:44
Mile 22 - 9:41
Mile 23 - 10:03
Mile 24 - 9:52
Mile 25 - 9:33
Mile 26 - 10:05
Mile 26.2ish - 9:09

Did you notice I had a SIGNIFICANT negative split??? 2:17:43 for first half and 2:11:xx for second half?? That's INSANE.

We walked back to the hotel and showered, then we walked to get lunch. Man, I love going to Texas because I get to eat... WHATABURGER!

L had to leave for the airport, and I had plans to meet up with my family, so we spent a few more minutes chatting in the room, before we parted ways. My brother in law picked me and L up at the hotel. We dropped her at the airport, then I head up to north Austin to spend about 24 hours with my family.

After having a delicious dinner of rib eye and potatoes, my best friend/sister in law, (also a) Lisa took me to the bar. I planned on having one beer:

But apparently had some shots too.


I woke up Monday feeling VERY sick. Lisa felt badly for buying me too many drinks (although I should have just stopped drinking) and took me to get a pedicure!

And then Texican food! (Cheese enchiladas from Fuzzy's!)

We also went shopping at Lulu, and they had a BIG sale. Apparently everyone else in Austin is the same size as me, because there was NOTHING in my size. Bummer.

Picked up a salad at Whole Foods for the plane, and then had some time to kill because my flight was delayed. Long story short. Salad was the best ever, arrived only a little late in Denver. As a side note, I lived in my Aspaeris shorts after the race and am not at ALL sore. Magic shorts???

Austin race weekend a success.

I've been fighting a cold the last few weeks, and it hit me full force last night. I can breathe mostly ok, but congested and have now completely lost my voice. I have 6 miles on schedule for today (because I skipped yesterday). So unmotivated.


  1. Great job! I moved here (Colorado) from Austin 3 years ago so that shot you took on the Congress ave. bridge made me crazy homesick. That was my 5 mile loop bridge. Logged so many miles on the Townlake trail below. Austin was my 2nd marathon and I do remember those freaking hills. Especially the one by GSD&M around mile 17ish? Heading back to Austin 3/31 to do Zooma on my 40th bday. Can't wait. Oh, and I've never heard of "Texican" food. That's funny. Great race recap.

  2. Great job! Looks like a lot of fun. And yes the Aspaeris short are magic. Reading all the marathon recaps are making me want to run a marathon. hmmmm....something to think about:)

  3. Great job on the marathon!

    I hope you feel better from the cold soon!

  4. how do you keep taking such great race pics?? :):) the post race pic doesn’t even look like you ran a race! glad you had fun and congrats on the negative split! btw-my green sparkle skirt is already on its way-wahoo!

  5. I know the random citizens in NOLA will be awesome too!

    It's weird to read a recap of yours when I lived most of it with you. Can't wait to do it again in New Orleans.

  6. Congrats on another great marathon! I was hoping to spot all of you in yellow, but didn't see you. So glad we could meet! Those negative splits are impressive, way to go! Thanks for your superduper comment. :) I'm equally (if not more) impressed with your ability to run crazy long distances!

  7. Congrats on another marathon! What a fun experience your racing is. Great company, good food, fun races and pedis too. Your toes look awesome!

  8. Great job on your race! I can't believe there were no gels offered. That seems odd.

  9. congrats on another great race! And hey, you found new gloves!

  10. Nice run - your outfits were great. I can't wait to hear about NOLA!

  11. Hey there. What an awesome & thorough race report! I actually found your blog on google search looking for anything about the Party Rock Crew from the marathon. It was actually me & my friends :) I'm going to have to show them your blog. The guys will be thrilled to know that their silliness helped you get thru the race. More pics of Party Rock Crew: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100433448662576.2496802.37506359&type=1&l=4aa1953884

  12. Great recap! I'd love to be able to run as many races as you do. It's tough with kids and work.

    Awesome pace and photos and love the skirt. How fun to fun with LMFAO-ish group :)

  13. I felt unmotivated during my run today! Glad to read sometimes it is not only me. Congrats on your marathon!

  14. i agree with everything elizabeth k said. great to spend another race with you!

  15. Great race recap as always. Reading about your training, races (and struggles) have really inspired me -- thanks for writing this blog!

  16. That is an awesome time on a hella hilly course. I was following the pics and updates from Kim's FB. What fun, and all of you looked so great. Love your recaps.


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