Monday, February 17, 2014

Race Report- The Last Minute Decision to Run the Austin Half Marathon

I had no intentions of running the Austin Half Marathon.

With Anthony back in the running game, we have to take turns with our races. Months ago, we had decided that I would run the 3M Half Marathon (I did run it and PR'd too!) and he would run the Austin Half Marathon in February. Plus, I knew I had to work the race expo at the Austin Marathon and I thought that might make me a little too tired to run the race the next day.

Since the 3M Half on Jan 17th, I have continued with my running but only doing shorter runs of 3-4 miles long. Absolutely ZERO long runs because hey, I wasn't really training for anything. Last week, I returned to attending Body Pump classes at the YMCA (a weight lifting class) and my glutes and quads were oh so angry with me. I ran twice last week- both runs were difficult because my legs were so tired from the weight lifting.

Friday and Saturday, I did this- worked the Zooma booth at the Austin Marathon Expo. I was on my feet for 6 hours on Friday and 8 hours on Saturday.
On Saturday, an unexpected opportunity arose for me to participate in the half marathon the next morning. I did not immediately jump on board and say *yes* because 1.) I had kid duty while the hubby raced 2.) I knew I hadn't run long in over 4 weeks and that made me a tiny bit nervous 3.) I knew my legs were tired from the Body Pump classes, my feet were tired from standing on them all weekend, and I had zero time to prepare nutritionally and hydrate properly.

I chatted with Anthony, he said *DO IT* and *I will work on the kid care while you work the expo*. I texted with Laura and Nora both whom said *DO IT, YOU WILL BE FINE*.

So, I did it. With about 18 hours to spare, I said YES to running 13.1 miles on Sunday morning that I had not intended on running.

Par for the course, I laid out my clothes the night before and had an intimate session with my foam roller. I still hadn't bought new running shoes so I would be once again, running in my old, ratty, falling apart New Balance clicks.
I have a few things to say about this race:
  • I had zero expectations for this run.  I just wanted to have fun as the Austin Half has been on my *to run races* list for a very long time.  No expectations except NOT to injure myself.
  • I was not going to *race it*.  I decided from the get go it would be a nice and easy run with short run/walk intervals for as long as possible.  I am talking 30/30's for the first 5 miles.  For those who don't know what I am talking about, I mean I ran 30 seconds, walked 30 seconds and attempted to keep my heart rate as low as possible.
  • I switched to 1/1's at some point. After a while, I didn't really follow a schedule, just ran and walked when I felt like it.
  • The first 5 miles were the hardest for me.  My feet were so tired from all the standing the two days prior and they were sore.  However, the longer I ran, the better my feet and calves felt.  STRANGE!
  • Middle miles were all on autopilot.
  • I hit an endorphin high somewhere between miles 11-12.  I cried like a baby and was so happy that my feet had carried me that far with little soreness.  I was so GRATEFUL to be outdoors doing something I love, no matter how fast or slow I was going.  Boo hoo, big happy, grateful tears.  Yes, I continue to remain a sap.
  • With 0.5 miles to go, the female marathon winner passed me and I got to see her fly by with her police escort.  It was fantastic to see and SO inspiring.  She had a guy right on her heels and with 0.4 miles left to go, she kicked it into even higher gear and left him in her dust.  Freaking awesome!
  • That inspired me.  I knew I had gas left in the tank and I ALL OUT SPRINTED as fast as my legs could carry me the last 0.2 miles- I was pumping arms, legs, everything.  AWESOME END to an UNEXPECTED RACE.
  • The crowds for this race were the best I have ever encountered. So much fun!
  • I wore my Peacock Noir skirt from Sparkle Skirts and had no less than 5 women stop me in the first 7 miles to compliment me on my skirt and ask where I had gotten it. No lie.  Also, BEST running skirt ever!
  • This was one of my slowest halfs to date.  Official race time: 2:47:06 with an average pace of 12:45/mile.  However, I consider this race a huge success given the amount of walking I did, the circumstances leading up to race day, and the heat and humidity of that day.  I don't care what my time was because I HAD THE BEST TIME.
  • One of my favorite races to date.
  • Muscle memory is a beautiful thing and the fact that I have minimal soreness the next day is also very beautiful.  In fact, I was MORE sore after the 3M Half.  Weird!
Also, check out how fantastic this race medal is.  I LOVE IT.
One last thing.

This guy right here, my husband Anthony.
He ran the Austin Half Marathon, too.  It was his comeback race. 

Let me explain.  Anthony has been a runner forever.  He proposed to me after he ran his first half marathon, back in 1998.  When I ran my first half marathon, he ran his LAST marathon (this was in June 2010) and then took a 3.5 year break.  He only returned to running in September 2013.  He has been so dedicated and disciplined with his training runs since then.  As a running couple, we have had to work out the *when* of our long runs.  I would like to think that running has brought us closer together.

Anyhoo, this was his first race after that long break.    He hit a homerun with a time of 2:03:55.  I am so proud of him.  He has already looked up the *next* race because he *just* knows he can beat that time.  Would you mind giving him a virtual high five, a congrats, a whatever, too?  Thanks.

This was a pretty long race report for a race that I wasn't running until the last minute, huh?

Thanks for making it this far and happy running, ya'll!!!


Leigh Ann said...

Yay for you! I'm so proud of you. A friend of mine ran the 3M and had a similar experience. She had been sick and hadn't taken a run longer than 4 miles in weeks, and had no expectations. She said she had the BEST race - mood, not time. :)

Andy Drouin said...

Way to go!! Sounds like an awesome race!!

One crazed mommy said...

Way to go - for both you and Anthony! :) My son (who is almost 9) just joined the running club this year - I'm hoping to join him in some runs as the weather gets warmer...I've never been a runner, but I get so inspired reading your blog aboug running.


WOW GIRL!!!!!!!!! I got all teary eyed reading your report of the final stretch. CONGRATS TO YOU BOTH! (who did kid duty???)

LJK said...

You are awesome!

Brooke said...

sorry for finding this so late.
congrats to both of you!!! and yes, muscle memory is a beautiful thing.