Photo by Tom Marek
At some point after Longhorn, I decided I wanted to do the Decker Challenge half marathon, it's in the same area as Longhorn was, but the course is different than the half marathon course for Longhorn. The area around Decker Lake is REALLY hilly, even by Austin standards. So of course this race would be a huge challenge for me, but it sounded like fun ("in a weird painful way" as Kim says).
Apparently Ingrid felt the same way because a couple weeks after I signed up and told her about it, Ingrid decided to come out and run it too! I love when Ingrid comes to Austin! (ok, I love it when any of my Houston tri friends come to Austin, but Ingrid visits me the most, she even has her own room at my house)
Ingrid came to Austin Friday night and we started worrying about how cold it would be on Sunday for the run. Saturday morning was the coldest morning this year, it got down to 30 degrees. It was forecasted to be 38 at 6 am on Sunday. We decided that on Saturday morning, when it got up to 38, we would put on the layers we planned to wear for the race and run about 30 minutes to see if we would be warm enough. We both got warm pretty fast, we had on a ton of clothes! I think I had 4 layers, I decided to go with just 2 for the race.
Sunday morning was COLD! about 36-38 degress. Ingrid and I bundled up and went to Decker. As we were walking into the expo center someone said to me "should I give you all my money" At least I wasn't cold! We were able to stay in the expo center while we waited for the race to start.
We found Elle, then Kasey, Red, and Annette before the race.Kasey and Red during the race. Photo by Tom Marek
A few minutes before start time we dropped off all our extra clothes at the car. I was only cold for the first half mile, then I pulled the crazy hat down around my neck and took my gloves off. Ingrid and I ran the first mile in 10:37, WAY too fast for me to start a hilly 13.1 mile run, so I slowed down and hit mile 2 right at 22 minutes, perfect. Between miles 2 and 3 Tom Marek called my name, he and Carolyn were out spectating and taking pictures, they did a great job! I think between the 2 of them, I saw them 6 times on the course! Thanks so much Tom and Carolyn!!Photo by Carolyn Marek
Tom zoomed by me on his bike once or twice as he was going from point to point to cheer and take pictures. The first time I saw Carolyn was between miles 5 and 6, at the start of the really STEEP hill just after the turn onto Blue Bluff. I had been up and down quite a few hills already so I was amazed at how good I was still feeling at this point! I saw Carolyn again just before mile 8 and told her I was feeling great, and I was still right on pace. The second time I saw Carolyn near mile 8. Photo by Carolyn Marek
I love this picture of runners going down then up 130 toward the BIG hills on 973, nice job Carolyn! Photo by Carolyn Marek
I knew this was the point where it would get tougher, up a long gradual hill then turn onto 973, for a big hill a short down hill and then the killer "Quadzilla" of Longhorn fame aka "Big Tard" I started running up Quadzilla, then walked a little in the middle and ran to the top where Tom was waiting again taking pictures. Almost to the top of Quadzilla! Photo by Tom Marek
Photo by Tom Marek
Annette almost to the top of Quadzilla, you can kind of see how long and steep it is.
The mile 10 marker was on Quadzilla so I only had 3.1 miles to go, but I was pretty tired at this point. I just slowed down a little and started taking 2 minute walk breaks every 10 minutes instead of 1 minute. Annette caught up to me at this point and we talked a little. It was great to see the expo center and then to turn into the expo center grounds, but it was still a little way to the finish. Attempting to sprint in for the finish
Photo by Tom Marek
Finally I could see the finish and Ingrid, Tom, and Carolyn were all there to take pictures! I finished in 2:45:59 and Ingrid finished in 2:33:47.
Photo by Tom MarekPhoto by Tom Marek
Ingrid and I right after finishing, Photo by Tom Marek
I ran in the Zoot compression socks today and I have been doing Katie Phillips prescribed Egoscue exercises. I don't know if it was the socks the exercises or both, but my legs pretty much felt great during the race and they still feel great tonight. Normally by mile 8 or 9 my knees are getting sore and my legs are starting to hurt. I couldn't believe how great my legs felt after the race! Later, at the party, I told Coach Tracy I felt like I could run another 10 miles right now!
We hung around a little while and found Maggie. Then we decided it was Cupcake time! I swear Hey Cupcake cupcakes taste even better after running!Kim was really sad she couldn't do Decker with us (she has finals this week) so Ingrid took a cupcake home for her. Ingrid wanted to get home at a reasonable time, so she didn't come to the Trizones Christmas party.
The party was so much fun! I got to meet some of the people from the South team, and talk with everyone I run with on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I forgot the camera, so no pictures. I enjoyed all the food very much after running in the morning. We did a gift exchange and I got a nice picture frame. Julie got the bike light that I gave and she seemed really happy about it. Coach Tracy got a cowbell and did Will Ferrell's "more cowbell" SNL skit, I SO wish I had the camera! Coach Tracy gave everyone running gloves and mine are the same color as my bike!
What a Super Awesome day!!