|Austin Fit!! Photo by Nathan Choe|
Race morning was pretty typical, I had fun hanging out with all the other Austin Fitters and Coach Cassandra wanted to take all kinds of group pictures :) I was actually pretty happy with the weather, not too cold, but not warm either. I didn't really notice the humidity before the start. As we all lined up around the 5:00 hour pace sign, I got really excited. I'd planned to start the race with Cindy and Rosa, but as we waited to cross the start line, I kept inching further and further ahead without realizing it. When I looked behind me, I only saw 1 or 2 of my "Orange 11" group way behind me. I figured Cindy and Rosa would catch me in the first half mile and we'd run together at least for a while.
|Waiting to start. Photo by Ed Swarthout|
|More Orange 11's with Coach Cass on the left and Cindy & Rosa on the right|
|Julie's chalk sign for me!|
But as I made my way around Austin High, I knew I was way too out of breath and even during walk breaks I wasn't catching my breath- not cool. I had to walk more than I wanted and it was only mile 8. Kim & Marie caught up to me on Lake Austin and as always, they were encouraging and awesome, Marie said "I'm so happy to see you're having an awesome, wonderful race too!" I thought, "the wheels are falling off for me" but I said "thanks, you're looking great" or something like that instead, I didn't want them to worry about me or to dampen the awesome day they were having.
|My Orange 11 group, with Marie in Orange front and center and Kim behind her grinning :)|
On Bull Creek I ran into Ed, a guy I know through Coach Cindy. We passed a spectator aid station. There were tons of spectators with their own tables set up with small aid stations offering oranges, gels, bananas, water, kleenex, mimosas, beers, bandaids, etc. It was really awesome and much appreciated! This spectator's aid station had beer and as we ran by he called out what he had to offer, Ed made a quick u-turn and when he caught back up to me, he had a cup of beer in his hand, "it looked like a nice IPA, I couldn't turn it down" he said. I've always admired runners who can drink beer during a race!
Just after the mile 16 race aid station- which was awesome, with lots of volunteers and spectators, and even another contingent of Freescale spectators- I saw Jeff riding toward me, I stopped to talk to him, my voice was actually hoarse from not being able to breathe well. He had found one of my old inhalers and by some miracle it still worked. It took me 4 tries to get a deep enough breath to get the albuterol into my lungs, but once it did, I could tell it was going to help. By this time I knew my lungs wouldn't fully recover before the end of the marathon and I had no hope of a PR, so I just planned to finish in however long it took and have a good time along the way.
I stopped and talked to Devon at mile 16.5, Annette at 17 and Shayla, Kendra & Will at 17.5. I enjoyed running/walking through Crestview, with all the spectators still out in full force, lots of house parties and awesome signs!
|Mile 16.5, running toward Devon, she later said "For an extra-tough marathon, you sure made it look easy!" Photo by Devon Bijansky|
|Photobombing Adrenne pre-race|
|My third Austin Marathon finisher medal|
|Me, Adrenne & Lisa, so happy I had these girls for company those last few miles!|
|Special thanks to Jeff for being my biggest supporter and always being there when I need him! Photo by Nathan Choe|