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

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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

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Ironman Arizona Race Report – The Run

We’ve made it to the final installment. Don’t miss the story getting there, the swim recap, or the bike report though!

The Run – 26.2 Miles

Finally! Time to show this race who’s boss. Almost. Within the first 20 steps I realized that every muscle in my core was shot. I guess remaining tense and hunched for six hours takes more energy than I thought. Even still, my first couple of miles were right around my goal 8 minute pace. I saw Ev, Travis, and the rest of my support crew at Mile 4 and gave a big smile, though I wasn’t feeling terrific.

IMAZ run smile

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Ironman Arizona Race Report – The Bike

Don’t miss the journey to the start or the swim leg of the race!

The Bike – 112 Miles

Pulling through the starting chute I saw Ev and Travis there cheering me on for a long day of pedaling.

That's me on the left!

That’s me on the left!

The course rides out 18.7 miles, turns around to the start, and then repeats that two more times for three total out-and-back loops – aka, a mental nightmare. The way out is slightly uphill most of the way, with a pretty noticeable incline just as you approach the turnaround point. I will say, the road conditions were incredible, and for that I am thankful.

IMAZ bike course

IMAZ bike elevation

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Ironman Arizona Race Report – The Swim

Wait! Don’t miss Part 1: Getting to the Start

The Swim – 2.4 Miles

Race morning came around after only 2 hours of sleep. I left Ev in the room to get a little extra sleep while I went down to prep my bike. I got body marked, loaded up my bike with most of the food I’d be eating that day, and made one last bathroom stop before meeting up with Ev.

IMAZ water

The calm before the storm.

She snapped one last picture before I suited up and got take on the Ironman.

IMAZ pre swim 1

IMAZ pre swim 2

from Ev’s perspective

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