I missed a PR by 28 seconds at the Austin Half Marathon Sundayfinishing in 1:32:07. Even though I blogged in an earlier post that I wouldn't try to qualify for New York or even try to PRtruth be toldboth of those marks were in the back of my mind when the gun went off on a crispclearbeautiful Austin morning. (By the waythe start of this race was the most organized of any I've ever run. They used all of Congress Street to start the runners and so you were not crammed in together before the race started and people did a good job of lining up in the appropriate places/pace groups.)
AnywayI'll skip to the end real quick: When I hit Mile 12 on Sunday in 1:23:16 _ a full 46 seconds ahead of where I was at Mile 12 at the 3M Half Marathon three weeks earlier _ I thought a PR was well in the bagand though I knew New York would have to wait for another raceI was beaming with pride just a bit.
But folksif you've never run Austinwhat the hills giveththey taketh away. The beginning of Mile 13 you start up this 60-foot climb (per Garmin). And my calveswhich were literally holding on by a threadwere no match. I muscled my way up that hill as best I could. Halfway upthis woman passes me and says"Come ondon't let this skinny little white girl beat you." All I could say back to her was"It's what's you have on the inside that matters."
I finally crested the hillthen the spasming startedjust 3/4ths of a mile from the finish line. I tried to run through the painbut it was too intense. I stopped and gave my calves a good stretchfeeling more anger at myself than pain as a dozen or so runners passed me byone belting out"Come onwe're almost there." My calves felt decent enough to try to sprint the final way homebut it was like I was running in quicksand. I gimped the rest of the way to the finish linetaking 7:44 to finish Mile 13and giving back all the time I'd gained on my previous PR and then some.
Butas my good friend Jonathan said afterwards"Manyou would have been really greedy to think could PR on this course just three weeks after running 3M."
And I guess he's right. I am greedy.
I didn't know how long my legs would hold up because I've done few training or quality runs (except for the 3M half marathon) since running the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December. I told myself on Sunday I'd try to hold my pace the first 6 to 8 miles around 7:00 to 7:10then push it hard at the end.
Wellanybody that knows me knows I'm a little hard-headed about pace. So after averaging about 7:14 the first two miles - which were uphillmy next 6 miles were between 6:33 and 6:53 pace. And then we hit Veterans Drive and finally Expositionand I was toast. Three of the last 5 miles took me longer than 7 minutes to completeincluding the snailspace I set at Mile 13.
Still1:32:07 is nothing to sneeze at considering this course and considering how under trained I've been. I still think qualifying for New York (1:30 in a half marathon) is doable and I know I've got it in me.
Here are the splits and elevation change (in feet) during Sunday's run compared to the splits and elevation during my PR during a mostly downhill course on Jan. 24.
As you can seeMile 13 told the tale. I was 1:14 slower on Sunday than I was last month. And look at the net elevation. Hmmmm. What does that mean for me: More hill training. I blew up on the hills Sunday. Just blew up. Good thing I re-upped with Rogue. I'm sure they've got some hill training for me to do.