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%)

Austin: It’s All Uphill From Here

The 2011 LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon came and went on Sunday, starting in the pre-dawn glow and finishing in the shadow of the state capitol building.  With over 15,000 runners for the 20th anniversary of the race, and the first year with the LIVESTRONG sponsorship, this race felt like the big leagues.  As I mentioned previously, I hadn’t trained as much nor as focused as usual, so my goals going in were set conservatively*.  So how did I do in my 10th marathon?  Hint: lots of ups and downs.

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Put on your Racing Hat

Alright, folks, the race is a mere 40 hours away and it’s just now starting to set in. The expo is opening today at 3pm and the “This is the Final Pre-Race Email” emails are hitting my inbox. Facebook is all a-twitter with updates from the local running stores and Twitter is all a-facebook with similar tweets. So with the race this weekend, let’s set some goals to hold me moderately accountable, shall we?

Racing Hat: Texas Edition

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Try Now or Try Later? [poll]

Before I begin, you’ll need to remember a few things.  First, I’m running the Austin Marathon on February 20th (yes, a mere 11 or so days from now).  Second, I’m going to be trying out for my company’s competitive corporate team for the Capitol 10K Race.  The race is on March 27th, but the tryouts are slated for March 2nd.  Now that we’re all up to speed, I’d like to share some new information that has come to my attention and could change everything*.

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Rookie is as Rookie Does

:: Trumpet Fanfare ::

There haven’t been many updates since my huge announcement snarky blog post about deciding to join the triathlon scene. I’ve been swimming twice a week, but nothing worth reporting. That’s probably because I’m still “training” for the Austin Marathon coming up

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in mid-February. Well, it’s time to put my money where the race registration my mouth is. I’m all signed up for my first triathlon!

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Try Outs

Upon moving to Austin to work at National Instruments I learned that I had just missed the Capitol 10K.  It happens to be the largest 10K race in Texas (over 20,000 runners last year) and stirs up a lot of excitement in these parts.  I bring this all up now because the Cap10K, as it’s affectionately known, is right around the corner (kind of) at the end of March.  There was already an info session about the race (yes, in mid January) to start building interest.  With this race, NI recruits a team to take part in the race’s Corporate Challenge.  That’s where I come in.

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3M Half Marathon – Registered

While I’m not training particularly hard for the Austin Marathon on February 20, I have decided to sign up for a pre-race race at the end of January.  It will be a good check to see how I’m doing in preparation for Austin, though at only three weeks before, I’m not sure how much corrective action there can be.  Anyway, it was a no-brainer considering the starting line is between my apartment and my place of workship*.

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