2015 Freescale Austin Marathon

Ow.  This year’s Austin Marathon beat me up good.  I have a whole list of excuses as to why, but the only one that matters is that I didn’t train enough.  Life and all that comes with it took priority over consistent training and it took its toll in the race.  Here’s how it went down in excruciating detail, emphasis on excruciating.

2015 Austin Marathon 4 amigos

Race morning I picked up 3 of my rockstar neighbors who were also racing — 2 full and 1 half.  We took advantage of my office’s prime parking garage location and moseyed over to the starting area.  After a group photo we parted ways and I looked for the 3:25-pace group.  My plan was to stick with them to successfully hit my goal of “under 3:30”.  Amazingly, among the 15,000+ runners packed into four blocks, I found myself next to two friends also running the full, Robert (his first marathon) and Cristina.

2015 Austin Marathon start crowd

The course shoots you straight into a 3 mile uphill slog.  Halfway up I passed the 3:25 group but saw (what I thought was) the 3:20 pace group and figured I’d hang with them for a bit.  By the time I caught and passed that “3:20” pace group, I saw they were the 3:15 group and I was going way too fast.  Also, Cristina left me in the dust.

2015 Austin Marathon early

You can see early on my spirits and leg-kick were high.  Around Mile 8, as I settled into a groove, Marcus, a former coworker / running nemesis, recognized me and we ended up running together for the next 9 miles.  In that time I spotted several friends and neighbors along the course — thanks for cheering Ben & Walker, Katie, Cherisse & Mike & Will, and Dave!  But just after the halfway point I realized my legs were struggling.

By Mile 17 Marcus pointed out the 3:15 pace group had caught us, so I made a pro move and hopped into a porta-potty.  That way they never really caught me because I was off the course.  Boom.  From then on, with 9 arduous miles ahead, I prepared myself for the battle ahead by filling my thoughts with fear and dread.  The course is supposed to be all downhill from Mile 19 until the end, but they modified it and they are liars.  Not long after Mile 20 I passed Marcus (who didn’t stop at the bathroom — heh, amateur).  And then, who’s that up ahead?  Cristina?  Yes!  At one of the deceitful hills on North Loop I made up a lot of ground, and within the next mile I tracked her down and passed her.

2015 Austin Marathon late

At this point I (and everyone around me) was in rough shape.  I walked a few water stations, stopped once or twice to stretch, and barely got my feet off the ground in a classic “marathon shuffle”.  One silver-lined humblebrag is that I actually continued to pass people all the way to the finish.  At the 5K mark I was in 240th place.  By 13.1 miles I was down to 189, Mile 18 in 184th, and so it went until the finish where I crossed the line in 166th place.  So the race hurt, but it hurt me slightly less than others.

2015 Austin Marathon finish

The last 0.3 miles of the course punches you in the gut with a few brutal hills before the finish line appears in the shadow of the Capitol building.  I definitely beat my goal of sub-3:30 and nearly hit my “everything goes perfectly” secondary goal of sub-3:20.  But holy moly did it hurt.  Punishment for not training properly.

2015 Austin Marathon watch-medal

But totally worth it.  Check out that medal!  It’s my favorite one I have (other than Boston (duh) and the Ironman (duh)).  With marathon #15 under my belt, my “What’s Next?” goals are: 1) sub-3 hour marathon, and 2) 20 marathons.  But those are a long way off.  Until then, I’ll hobble around a little more until I recover from this one.

2015 Freescale Austin Marathon
Distance 26.2 Miles
Time 3:21:27
Pace 7:41 min/mile
Overall Place 166 / 3147 (5.3%)
Age Group Place 32 / 286 (11.2%)
Gender Place 151 / 1896 (7,9%)

2014 Cap10K Race Report

Another year, another Cap10K.  As my fourth time running this race, I wanted to set a new PR (currently 39:45).  I had big hopes of following a brutal training plan full of speedwork, tempo runs, and general self-torture.  It’s all about pain management after all.  And everything was going to plan, except that I didn’t do any actual training.  At all.  Sure, I ran; just nothing you could call “training”.  So would I set a new PR?  Did I overcome the deck that I had stacked against myself?  What are lofty goals for if not dramatic cliffhangers in a blog post?

CAP10K

Continue reading

Rogue Distance Festival Half Marathon Race Report

I made a promise to take it easy after Ironman Arizona. For the six weeks that followed, through the end of the year, there’d be no structured training or races. Keeping to my word, the next race I signed up for wasn’t until 2014. The Rogue Distance Festival 30K, Half Marathon, and 10K. On January 5th. I signed up for the half marathon on a whim. I didn’t anticipate getting sick the week of the race, nor did I think there’d be a nasty cold-front dropping in race morning. But so it goes, and so I went!

RDF_forwhitebkg_web

Continue reading

The 2013 Boston Marathon… All Of It

In light of everything that happened at the Boston Marathon this year, I couldn’t decide how to write this post, or to even write one at all.  Despite the personal accomplishment and significance of the race itself, the cloud hanging over the event for so many others in Boston, the running community as a whole, and around the world can not and should not be forgotten.  With that in mind, I want to recap the everything from my perspective, chronologically, to capture the emotional highs and lows of the weekend.

Continue reading