Friday, January 26, 2024

Austin 3M Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Austin, TX
Sunday, January 21
Half Marathon #195
Weather - Cold!

Months ago, I saw that a few of my Texas friends (from running Banff) were running the 3M half marathon. I ran back in 2011 and didn't remember hating it. I checked to see if Ariel wanted to join for a weekend, and once she said yes, I registered and booked flights. I had stayed at Heather's house the night before and we had plans to leave around 5:30 am so we could stop to get coffee at Dunkin.

Alarm was set for 5:10 am. I hadn't slept wonderfully, but I'd had the sense to lay everything out the night before so I was ready to go on time. Sadly, Dunkin wasn't open, but McDonald's was, so we got coffee there. We stopped to pick up Heather's friend Rachel on the way to the start line - and she brought breakfast burritos! Even though I had already eaten my waffle, a burrito sounded good, so I ate that too.

We parked at the Sam's Club nearby and sat in the car until maybe 6:40? 6:45? We had just enough time to go through the (incredibly organized) bathroom line, and then it was basically time to jump into the corral. My last road half marathon was Space Coast in 2021(??) so I had no idea what pace I'd be capable of. 

For whatever reason, the winter is hitting me harder this year, and I bailed on almost all of my speed work, so I was VERY optimistic when I jumped in around 2:15 pace group. I was planning on listening to the Eras Tour setlist, and got my headphones ready. One quick picture of the start line, and off we went!
Mile 1 was consumed with the fact that my headphones were encountering MAJOR interference. I have never had this happen that I can remember, so maybe this is just the biggest road race I have done and someone else's Bluetooth was somehow messing with it. IT WAS SUPER ANNOYING, but I dealt with it and after maybe 10 minutes it went away. In that time I also tossed the long sleeve throwaway Heather had given me - it lasted all of 7-8 minutes. I was very glad I had worn thin long sleeves and gloves, although I did play the "I'm hot, wait, no, I'm cold" game quite a bit.

This course boasts "Downhill to Downtown" - yet I hadn't remembered that from when I ran before. I had looked at the elevation profile from my Garmin and I thought it had much more gain, and couldn't remember any of it once I started running, except for mile 12 being the hilliest.

I literally didn't look at any race information, but I assumed there would be aid stations every few miles, and I planned on walking through all of them. The second aid station ran in front of Austin Beerworks, which I doubt existed 13 years ago.
I took electrolyte (was it Nuun? I have no idea) at every stop, and sometimes water. I was running a lot faster than I expected, but I was zoning out to Taylor Swift and trying to keep an eye out for Mel, Crystal and anyone else I might know. I almost forgot I had even brought nutrition, but then I saw a girl next to me take a gel, so I decided to eat my applesauce. Yay, fuel. I ended up taking a gel at mile 7ish (ewwww, cold salted watermelon GU). Actually, I think I only ate half of it, then I had a gag reflex to thankfully there was water after. Mistake on my part. I don't know why I still think I can eat those. I remembered the liquor table from the last time, and sure enough, they were back! I can't remember what mile this was, maybe 8? I took the one next to the tequila, because I definitely did NOT want that. Turns out I grabbed bourbon. Which wasn't much better, but I didn't throw up, so that was good.
I was still feeling surprisingly good, and my overall pace was still under 10 minutes! (Which is INSANE). I definitely was zoning out and mainly just trying not to trip over curbs, but overall their roads are in much better shape than Denver's. Before I knew it, we were on the UT campus, which meant we were close!
I was consistently about a tenth of a mile over on my watch, but I pushed the last few miles and had enough oomph left to get up the hills, which a LOT of people did not! I cruised through the uphill finish with my best time since 2018! (And I probably top 20-25% EVER), so I was VERY pleased.

Official Time - 2:10:48
Official 5k - 30:50
Official 10k - 101:50
Official 15k - 1:33:24
Overall Place - 2727/4720
Division Place - 147/303 (top half, wooo!
Garmin Time - 2:10:51
Garmin Distance - 13:22
Garmin Pace - 9:54
Mile 1 - 10:07
Mile 2 - 9:47
Mile 3 - 9:43
Mile 4 - 9:48
Mile 5 - 9:55
Mile 6 - 9:49
Mile 7 - 10:04
Mile 8 - 10:03
Mile 9 - 10:03
Mile 10 - 10:07
Mile 11 - 9:58
Mile 12 - 9:42
Mile 13 - 9:42
Mile 13.1 - 9:11 pace

I did a quick selfie trying to get my full outfit. In retrospect, should've just asked someone to take my picture, but oh well.



Since I've only had Strava since 2014 (?) - it's pretty impressive that in TEN YEARS, this was my second fastest half!!

Can you find my name?
I followed the signage to get my drop bag. I was already getting cold since I sweat so much. I had last minute thrown my R1 in my bag so that I would have a long sleeve top, jacket AND joggers in my bag. I walked over near the capital to add my layers.
I figured I would hang out in the beer garden to wait for Heather and Rachel. There was only ONE heater in the whole area and I have to say that my layers basically did NOTHING. By the time Mel texted to find out where I was, I was soooo cold. I felt really badly for people that hadn't brought enough clothes!

I ran over to the finish line so that we could watch them finish. Once they crossed we were out of there pretty quickly.

Thoughts:
  • VERY chilly for Texas. but that meant perfect running weather for me! I was still sweating even though it was in the 30's. 
  • Medal is awesome!! 30 spins and so does the star in the center! 
  • Race was relatively expensive (I paid $140), but they were doing registration at the expo for only $79, which is pretty good for a city race that's point to point and requires a lot of police and road closures.
  • I didn't like the shirt and gave it away, but with the 3M sponsorship, the rest of the swag is fun.
  • Would I run again? Sure, it's not too much money since I have friends/family..

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Week in Review (January 16 - January 22)

Tuesday (14,326 steps) - Work in the office. Technically a rest day, so only did the treadmill desk. I got home from work and there was a lot of activity happening around the couch. Turns out Batman and Robin found (yet another) mouse! Ben wasn't home yet so it was either trust the cats wouldn't "lose" this one, or take care of it myself. I managed to trap it under a plastic container, then slid a piece of cardboard under and took it outside. Dumb mice :(
Took Olive for a walk.
Wednesday (17,452 steps) - Work in the office and treadmill desk. Headed home after work and picked up Olive so we could go to Roost Boulder run club. We did an easy road run - Olive really enjoyed diving in the snow.

We stuck around for a film - "Dreama Team" - it was pretty good! (Although it does drive me nuts when really talented athletes pen themselves as "hobby" runners - eyeroll). I won the first raffle, which was a pair of Hokas. Unfortunately 1). they were not the Techtons that I hoped to get for Ben and 2). they were actually demo shoes, not new ones. Well, maybe he will wear them, maybe not.
Thursday (12,116 steps) - Had to go into the office because we had a mandatory staff meeting. At least I got my steps in on the treadmill desk. Headed out after the meeting and had to go directly to Big O because I have YET ANOTHER TIRE LIGHT ON. They got me in pretty quick and it thankfully was not actually another flat. Took Olive for a walk after I got off work. Finished my packing and was able to once again fit everything in my tiny backpack. 
Friday (12,205 steps) - Took the day off since Ariel and I were going to be leaving. I got me and Ben Dunkin Donuts and took Olive for a longer walk.
Our flight was at 2:30, so Ben drove us to the airport around noon. There was no line at security, so we were pretty early. Ariel and I walked around and I took her outside to the patio since she had never been there. Our flight was delayed, but we made up most of the time and landed only about 10 minutes late. Lisa picked us up and we went to her house - isn't it cute with the blue door?
Lisa had picked up free food from leftovers at work, so we made our own plates of nachos. Delicious!
We decided to watch a scary movie and settled on "It Comes at Night." It seemed like it was a little slow and then it just... ended. Time we will never get back.
Ariel petting Sven's paws
Had trouble falling asleep :(
Saturday (10,372 steps) - Didn't really sleep in, but it wasn't as early as I feared. Had a few cups of coffee and put off doing my shakeout run. Finally figured I would head out and get maybe 20 minutes of running in. It was colder than I expected and I was definitely cold! Lisa suggested I do loops around the pond by her house. The neighborhood is so new that most of the trails aren't finished. I enjoyed running through both Travis and Burnet counties - and was a little surprised of 1). running "fast" and 2). there being actual ICE on the sidewalk.

Since I was going to be going to Heather's house anyway, we made plans to go to Bastrop to walk around town. Per Heather's recommendation, we went to the bakery. So much sugar!!
We went into a bunch of shops, but nothing really sparked my interest. I'm glad we got this picture though.
Me and Lisa
Lisa drove me to Heather's so we could get to the expo before it closed. We cut it a little close, arriving just before 4:30, with it closing at 5. At least it wasn't busy. The below picture is maybe one of two dozen o me and Heather even though we have been friends for nearly 20 years...
The swag bags for 3M are nuts. It was definitely going to be a challenge figuring out how to fit all of it in my tiny bag.
Even with my run in the morning and walking around town, I still was a little short on my steps, so I spent part of the evening trying to play with Stallone. He was confused as to what I was doing.
Sunday (30,046 steps) - Austin 3M half marathon, recap to follow.
The girls picked a restaurant for brunch. I finally warmed up after a few cups of coffee and very spicy (shocking to me) Caliente Biscuit breakfast.
We got dropped off at Heather's car and basically by the time we got back to her house I was getting a message that Lisa and Ariel would be there shortly to pick me up. We went to get more Mexican food (a delicious plate of enchiladas from Guadalajara).
Since I'd already had a margarita at brunch, I figured I might as well get a beer on my way to the airport. We wanted to hit up the brewery, but the road was closed, so we went to a small "watering hole." 
We were flying out of the south terminal, which only has a few gates, so we didn't need to get there quickly. The flight was not full and we had to board outside (hence the selfie - it's not often we board outside).
The flight was uneventful and I read the whole flight since for some reason Netflix won't let me download anything to my phone??
Monday (10,132 steps) - Work from home. Ariel and I got Dunkin for breakfast. I did laundry and otherwise, a boring day. Took Olive for a walk to the lake and it was more muddy than I would have liked.
Met Ben at Parry's and Ariel came down after she got out of practice to join us for pizza. Ben and I took Olive for a walk when we got back because I hadn't hit my steps yet. Rest days (especially when I am at home) are hard sometimes to get that pesky 10,000.

Stats:
  • 106,649 steps
  • 17.32 miles run
  • 0 minutes of cardio
  • 0 minutes on strength

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Week in Review (January 9 - January 15)

Tuesday (10,203 steps) - Bonus work from home day since Joyce is out of town at a conference.  Rode the Peloton before clocking in for the day. Took Olive for the mud route walk and did some strength training at lunch. The evening became eventful when we realized that Ariel's bathroom has a water leak - very similar to what happened to our main bath three years ago. Woooo.
Wednesday (20,000 steps) - Another bonus work form home day! Was supposed to do some speed work during my run, but the crazy wind prevented that, so I just did a regular trail run. Not my favorite.
After work I went to Runners Roost in Golden with Olive to meet up with Maureen (and others) for a ladies night. I figured we would just be doing a dog walk, but the wind died down and we ended up running instead. Pretty fun and I loved that they still had all the Christmas lights up downtown. 





Me and Olive, Mo and Colfax, Lisa
Thursday (19,479 steps) - Work from home. Did a run at lunch that was mostly fine. I seemed to be dressed perfect for the start, but definitely felt colder by the time I got back - glad I went early. Took Olive for a walk. The end.
Friday (19,379 steps) - Work in the office (but only for the morning). Walked a LOT on the treadmill desk while I was there. Took Olive for a walk when I got home while finishing up my lunch hour. Had hoped to beat the wind, but I didn't. Boo. Went to happy hour with Ben and we picked up 4 Noses' new NA hop water for the weekend. Got pho for dinner on the way home. Perfect weather for it. 
Saturday (23,622 steps) - The polar vortex arrived and it was WAY too cold for my scheduled 10 mile run. I convinced Ben that we could go to the rec center and run on the indoor track. I somehow forgot to hit the lap button a few times on my watch, but running 14 loops for ONE MILE is a lot. This was not the most fun run ever, especially since I didn't remember headphones. Thankfully, Ben had some in his truck and the last part of the workout we jammed to the Eras Tour setlist. Woo. It was nice not wearing a ton of layers at least.
We went to 4 Noses so Ben could get a beer, then we went to Torchy's for a late lunch. We had Ariel pick up a pizza on her way home from work and we all watched the new (prequel) Hunger Games movie, which we all liked.
Sunday (13,685 steps) - Slept in. Somehow even colder than Saturday, so we figured our run wasn't going to happen. Ben was working on Ariel's bathroom destruction and I read my book. At lunch I figured Olive was getting cabin fever, so I took her out for a walk, which she enjoyed (aside from the snowballs in her paws).
I had been warm enough that I convinced Ben we could do a modified run - and we agreed on a 5k(ish). The temps were ok - and the sun in this picture is deceiving, because it was windy and single digits. The worst part was the fresh snow. I hate it. But, overall, it was fine.
We threw chili in the crockpot for dinner. Went to 4 Noses for Ben to get a beer, then we still had to go to the grocery store to pick up random odds and ends. And there went the weekend.
Monday (10,427 steps) - No work for Civil Rights day. It was EVEN COLDER. My biggest stressor of the day was going to be how to get 10,000 steps in without really going anywhere in double digit negative temps. Ariel and I went to Dunkin and got the seasonal pink velvet coffee. I was emailed a BOGO for Tokyo Joes, so we got bowls for lunch. Took Olive for a walk at lunch - VERY COLD again.
Convinced Ariel to go grocery shopping with me - which she hates. Once home, I read my book until Ben got home, then started dinner. After Batman's failed mousing adventure, he was still certain the mouse was under the kitchen trashcan. He had Robin and Olive convinced, as they joined him in looking.
I heard Robin's battle cry from the mud room, and sure enough, I saw the cats chasing the mouse! Or maybe just "a" mouse, maybe there is more than one?) The animals all gave up when the mouse ran under this shelving unit.
Ben proved to be "Mouser of the Year" and caught the mouse. He's very cute, but we had to put him outside :(
Watched Fargo until it was time for bed. So far season 5 is way more interesting than season 4.

Stats:
  • 116,795 steps
  • 26.72 miles run
  • 50 minutes of cardio
  • 35 minutes of strength

Friday, January 12, 2024

Week in Review (January 2 - January 8)

Tuesday (15,907 steps) - Peloton before work. Work in the office and did a few miles of walking on the treadmill. 
Found this awesome picture of us at Javelina with Larry at the finish line
Finally got my acceptance back on the Runners Roost team for the 8th? 9th? year? There were I think two years that I was not on, but I can't remember when that was.
At lunch I did a full body strength workout, as well as a Pilates video and stretching. Ariel joined me for a neighborhood loop with Olive, although we hadn't wanted to do the bigger loop because it was pretty chilly.
Wednesday (20,626 steps) - Work in the office. Walked on the treadmill a decent amount. I had a sustained "rolling hills" workout on schedule. Unfortunately, we don't really HAVE great rolling hills, at least not ones that are open when I get off work. I knew part of Dirty Biz was closed, but I figured I could get a warm up done on the flat and just run up and down Meadowlark. It was actually not that horrible. 
I ran past my car a few times and actually called Ben because it seemed like there were some suspicious cars just idling in the lot. He came to check it out and said everything was good - I've never been paranoid about my car (or running alone) before, but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry.
Thursday (21,027 steps) - Work from home. Had an "easy 6" to do. It wasn't too bad, and since it's been dry, I ran the south side of the lake on the trails. Took Olive for a walk after. Other than getting these amazing bracelets from Melody in the mail, zero things happened.
Friday (12,186 steps) - We unanimously decided to skip the morning walk since it was supposed to be cold. I did enjoy getting a little bit more sleep for sure. Headed into the office, where I was shockingly busy and did a few miles on the treadmill desk. Took Olive for a walk when I got home.
Saturday (42,477 steps) - Dreaded today's run. Slept in and then took Olive for a walk before heading out. Ben seemed to REALLY not want to run, so I created a route that would allow him to bail after 10 or so miles. It was chilly out, but the sun was shining, so I opted to wear shorts and layered up top with a tee and my Patagonia Airshed Pro. Ended up being the perfect layers. I pieced together a run similar to what I've done in the past, and the first 3-4 miles were fine, but pretty much a big struggle after that. Was supposed to do 18 miles, thought I accidentally only mapped 16 - then ended up doing just under 19. Took FOREVER. 
The cutest little guy ever!

We ordered Hops & Drops takeout to eat at 4 Noses so Ben could have his post-race beer. 
Sunday (18,243 steps) - Possibly was dreading this run even more... only an hour recovery run at least. I decided to wear the Speedlands that I had won at Runners Roost for a test run. The run itself certainly wasn't as bad as it could have been. Of note: the Smartwool top I am wearing is literally the best winter top. I just picked it up in a second color because it's so good. I want to say the original price was close to $200, but this second one I got for $58 or something crazy. Totally worth the money.
Took Olive for a lake loop, then we headed to Torchy's for breakfast tacos and to wash Ariel's car. Olive had a grooming appointment, so we headed back up north so she could get a haircut. I drank Topo Chico while Ben had beer. Poof, the weekend was gone.
She looks so cute with her new bandana!
Monday  (20,464 steps) - Work from home. We got snow overnight, so I was dreading running. It was also supposed to get windier as the day progressed, so I sucked it up and went out pretty early. I was supposed to have a faster run but with the cold and sketchy conditions, I decided to just do a trail run. Randomly, went to the north side of the lake, which I rarely do. It was mostly ok, and just glad to have it done. 

Took Olive for a lake loop walk after that. Winter is here and I hate it. Olive, however, really enjoys the snow. She was happy.

Stats:
  • 150,900 steps
  • 41.25 miles run
  • 30 minutes of cardio
  • 50 minutes of strength

Week in Review (April 2 - April 8)

Tuesday  (17,510) - Peloton before work in the office. Did my short cross training and left at lunch since Joyce is on vacation. Finally sto...