Monday, February 16, 2009

Austin Half Marathon

I have been looking forward to the Austin Half Marathon ever since last year. Most of my Houston friends were coming to town to run, so I knew it would be a lot of fun!Cassie, Kim, and David at packet pickup. David ended up not running due to an injury
Everyone got into town by Saturday afternoon and we went to packet pickup. It was a little more crazy than I had hoped. I picked up Richard and Kim at their hotels before going to the convention center, but with all the traffic and roads closed it took longer than expected. The packet pickup was also really crowded.
Ingrid and Gillian at packet pickup. Austin was Gillian's first half marathon.
While we were in the long line at packet pickup, I realized there was no way I was going to make it back up to my neighborhood to pick Jeff up from work before dinner. Luckily Del offered to pick Jeff up on the way to dinner. That didn't go as smoothly as planned either, sorry Del! In the end they got to dinner and we all had a great time.
Jane, Del, and Kim at Spaghetti Warehouse
Steph and her brother Kevin. Kevin came out to spectate on a bike and ended up getting into an accident and breaking his collar bone! Yikes! Steph said he's going to be fine.
Richard and his daughter Amanda
It was also Kathleen's birthday on Saturday!
I was super excited when I woke up on race morning. Everyone got ready and we got to the Trizones tent earlier than expected. Coach Tracy was just setting up the tent went we walked over. Race morning was a little warmer than we expected, in the 50's
Jeff biked the course to spectate this year instead of walking.
Coach Tracy and I pre-race
Matt, Cassie, Del, me, and Ingrid
Ann, Kasey, me, Annette, and Red
Richard, me, and Cassie just before the start with the Capitol in the background
Jeff said this guy ran out in front at the start, wouldn't it be fun to be able to run that fast!
I started the race with Richard since we planned to run about the same pace. I told him it was fun to see the mass of people running up Congress at the start. Jeff got a good picture, but it just doesn't do it justice.
Richard and I ran up Congress and enjoyed the awesome crowd support, I pointed out Hey Cupcake to him and we smelled breakfast tacos from Guero's. The first 3 miles were mostly uphill, but we were keeping pace. We chatted, although Richard talked more than me, since I usually have a tough time talking while I run. We turned onto 1st Street and I knew we'd have about 3 miles of mostly downhill and flat before the rolling hills on Lake Austin and Enfield. I was really enjoying his company, but when he stopped to fix his sock, I decided to go ahead in hopes of my PR. I saw Jody and Cindy from Trizones between miles 4 and 5 and I saw Jeff around mile 6.
When we got out of the truck at the race site, I realized I had forgotten a hat. I never run without a hat. I was really annoyed! It was fairly windy so my hair was blowing around and bothering me the entire race.
I stayed on pace till mile 7, but I could tell I was breathing a little too hard and getting tired. I started to slow down between miles 7 and 8 and Richard caught up to me between 8 and 9. I was really happy to see him. He seemed to be feeling pretty good except for some calf cramping. I knew I was in trouble when I couldn't catch my breath during our 1 minute walk breaks. Around mile 10, I knew I wasn't going to hit my PR, I was disappointed, but I just tried to enjoy the rest of the race and do the best I could. Around mile 10.5 Richard went ahead and ended up finishing 3 minutes ahead of me. I saw Kenneth, Tom, and Carolyn at mile 11 at the top of the BIG hill and I saw Jeff just after that. Coming in to the finish was fun with all the spectators cheering. I had a great time running even though I didn't run quite as fast as I had hoped. I ended up finishing in 2:43, my goal was 2:32.
After finishing we all hung out and ate cupcakes at the Trizones tent.
I REALLY enjoyed my cupcake since I hadn't had any sugar at all since Christmas day
Gillian really enjoyed her cupcake too, I'm not sure how she ended up making such a mess! She finished her first half marathon at a smokin' sub 2 hour pace!
After cupcakes we watched people finishing the full marathon for a little while.
Coach Tracy coming in to the finish, check out those leg muscles!
Maggie and I at the Trizones tent.
We went back to the tent, but we were too hungry and tired to wait for most of the full marathoners to finish. I was sad that I didn't get to see Kasey, Terri, Liz, Annette, and Elle finish the marathon, but they all did well.
Ingrid, Steph, and I
Steph did the full marathon at Houston and decided to do the full at Austin too (3 weeks apart). I told her she was crazy to do both! She proved me completely wrong and got a huge 12 minute PR! Her first marathon under 5 hours on a really tough course!
We went to Chez Zee for lunch and while there, I realized that most of the Houston crew got half marathon PRs. Ingrid, Kim, Cassie, Jane, and Del all PRed!
I had an absolutely awesome weekend, the only thing that could have made it more perfect would have been running a 2:32 half marathon.
Next year I plan to run the full Austin Marathon as my first marathon, so I'll run the half at Decker and at 3M in preparation. So hopefully I can get a 2:30 half marathon at one of those (you never know, it could happen at Decker even though it's crazy hilly)


Maggie said...

awesome race Heather! it was great to see you after the race. I'm still sad that I haven't had my cupcake fix yet.

sounds like you and me both had trouble breathing, and I too found miles 8 & 9 pretty difficult.

you always look so darn good in your running pics!! no fair. way to enjoy yourself!

congrats again on a great run.

Richard said...

Great race report, Heather! I love reading some else's views of the the same events for a fresh perspective. I hope you don't feel bad about your time, you ran really well and were not far off of PR pace at the 10 mile mark. The day just didn't work out for either of us, but we got close enough to know the goal is doable.

Maggie's right, you do look good in your running pictures. Somehow I always end up looking like I'm walking.

Thanks for showing me the town. I am already thinking about next year, but next time I'll be more ready for those hills!

Ingrid said...

Heather! This is a fantastic report. I love all the pictures. I'm having a hard time picking my favorite one of you- you running with a HUGE smile, you with Coach Tracy with a HUGE smile or you with your CUPCAKE!!! Thanks to you and Jeff for all you did for the Houston Halfies this weekend (taxi service, logistics coordinator, concierge, etc)!! I had a blast in Austin and look forward to sharing in the excitement as you prepare for the FULL next year!

Alili said...

Great job out there! Love the big smile in the running pictures.

Way to go!