Last week, I ran in the Austin Marathon and just now mustered up enough energy to write. My initial goal was 3:10 but I knew going into the race that it was a long shot. My body has been tired/ sore lately and I was not feeling the usually pre-race energy. All in all, the marathon and extended stay in Austin was very enjoyable.
The first couple miles into the run consisted of hills followed by more hills. I even did my homework and checked out the elevation map before the race but was still surprised at how many up and downs on the route. By mile 8, I was having a hard time keeping my 7:14 pace. The next 5 miles must have been tough because I don’t really recall much about them. Usually this happens when I am concentrating on my form and focused on mile splits. Not really the best way to enjoy a new city and take in the atmosphere.
By mile 13, I knew it was time to either pick it up or slow down. I was either going to qualify for Boston or just finish the race. There was no point in killing my legs for another 3:11 finish. So I picked up the pace a tad for mile 14. Again, more hills. By the time I reached 15, I was exhausted. I stopped and grabbed some PowerAde to began walking. Although, I knew I wasn’t going to reach my ultimate goal, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Instead, I thought, let’s just keep going and see how much I can run to finish this thing out. Plus, only finishers got a shirt…”Anything for a t-shirt”
Miles 15-20 were hard, but I was able to regain my thoughts to keep pushing my legs. Everything hurt, from my heels to calf muscles to hip flexor, but the pain wasn’t unbearable and I was surprising myself with each mile. My splits slowed down to 8:30/ mile which felt super slow, but relative to my other marathons wasn’t that bad. Around mile 23, I contemplated walking in hopes Michelle would catch up so we could finish together. I think this was my brain trying to trick me into walking. It almost worked to, until I realized I that would take more time and all I wanted was to sit down and eat some post race snacks. So I shuffled on to the finish 3 miles away and tried to enjoy the scenery along the way. Speaking of the setting, Austin is a beautiful city and the weather was perfect (sunny and 60). I couldn’t have asked for better marathon conditions.
Overall, my avg pace was 7:54/ mile. My fastest split was 6:51 (mile 5) and slowest was 9:06 (mile 23).
Some other notes from the race:
- Michelle now knows what it feels like to make frequent stops during a marathon
- Sarah talks Dale into running another 26.2 miles with her. I am wondering what will break first, Dale’s politeness or his body.
- Shelly sets a marathon PR w/her first one! Congratulations, especially considering signing up was not her idea. (I love Shelly’s recap too)
- Tim completes the race and still has enough energy to close down a sock hop later that night.