Sunday, February 15, 2009

Race Report - Austin Marathon

I survived!

Well, The Heart of Texas Challenge in now over and I am proud to say that I have completed it. It was rather difficult today, but that was expected.

Paul and I woke at about 5 AM and left along with Bob and Michelle, friends of Paul’s. We left at about 5:45 for the 7:00 start. We got to downtown Austin and it was still dark and after a stop at the Porto’s, we walk to the start line and meet up with Larry and Art whom we work with. The race is delays about 10 minutes but then starts out. I run with Art or the first 3 miles until I lost him in the crowds of both the half and full marathoners. The half marathoners stay with us until 10 miles and then it thins out. It is cloudy and cool at the start which is wonderful and the first 4 miles and a struggle as my legs don’t know what is going on. After 4, they loosen up some and I can pick up the pace. I end up meeting some guy from Austin and run wit him for about 7 miles as we talked about all sorts of stuff. We were running his pace perfectly so he stayed with me. Miles 6 & 7 actually make it under 10:00 for the first time in the race.

There were hills over the first 3 miles and then back down and then they started again at about mile 7 with a short yet steep one. The hills actually felt good since it was using different muscles that I used yesterday on the flat beach. Miles 9 through 13 were quite steady over the hills from a low of 10:17 to a high of 10:39. I go through half way at about 2:18 and now I am feeling a little tired but I am going into uncharted territory is I go past 40 miles for the weekend.

Even though I am tired, I am in good spirits and I talk to quite a few people for a minute here and a minute there. Very friendly people in the race. I see a lot of the same people now for most of the rest of the race. The crowds along the course and also friendly and supportive. Lots of fruit and other stuff the eat.

My plan from the start was to run between water stops and walk as I drink for a break. I end up doing this the entire race though the breaks get a bit longer as time goes on. I get to mile 20 in a time of 3:33:41 and now the calculations start in my head as to how fast I have to run to still break 5 hours. I am feeling confident unless a major breakdown occurs. My knees and Achilles are sore but not too bad. The roads have a camber to them but if you stay in the middle, it is better. Half the road is open to traffic so not much room.

A little after this I meet 2 guys who end up being Texas State Trooper. Great guys and a lot of fun to run near. We help each other out and have fun. Now the rest of the race is mostly downhill but a few more up hills to go. Mile 24 ends up being my slowest and my only mile over 12 minutes at 12:35, must have been a long water break. The right after mile 24, we go up a long sort of steep uphill. I catch up the State Troopers and yell “Let’s Go Troopers”. “YES SIR” was their response. We got to the top and all of a sudden I felt good so I picked up the pace. Mile 25 ends up 11:34 but the hill was long and slow. I continue to feel great for some unknown reason so I keep up the pace, actually go faster and Mile 26 ends up, just like yesterday, being my fastest mile of the entire marathon at 9:15. I didn’t know I had it still! There was also a minor 1 block sort of steep hill there. I probably could have gone under 9 had it not been there. I end up having quite a sprint at the end at cross the line in 4:43:10! The best part was I felt really good afterwards. Well, not good, but good for just running a marathon good.

I was able to eat after the race and now we are waiting for Art to pick us up to go out to dinner. Art runs a 4:31, Larry runs 4:20, and Paul was feeling bad the first half of the race and ends up running a 4:18. Fun was had by all though I don’t plan on doing this back to back marathon crap anytime soon. I just calculated my total time and for 52.4 miles, it ends up being 9:00:20. If only I could have gone 21 seconds faster! Ah, no big deal.

Well, thanks for your support and well wishes for the races. Good luck to all of you coming up on your own races. I need to recover now with a beer and some good Authentic Texas Bar-B-Que!


Mark said...

Wow!! Great job. Truly amazing to me that you were able to do this back to back marathon challenge. An amazing last mile, too. Nice post-cool medals!! That makes it worth it. Hope you recover quickly.
What did you think of the Austin Marathon? My brother lives down there in that region and I may consider that marathon next year.

Melanie said...

Yay! I'm glad to hear it went so well. I can't even imagine running back-to-back fulls.