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Austin Half Marathon Race Report

Posted Feb 14 2010 7:46pm
After a fun couple of days we are back home and relaxing.  Annie completed the full marathon and I am very proud of her.  She had some issues with her knee but sucked it up and finished strong.  She will put up a race report later.

We went to Austin on Saturday morning and went directly to the Race Expo to get out swag.  It was extremely crowded but we ended up meeting up with my cousins and getting registered rather easily.  After that we went and checked into the hotel and found our friends Jim and Elizabeth.  They were at the Driskell Hotel bar on 6th and Congress and we meet them there.  This place was very cool.  Old and classic - my type of place. After that we went to dinner and then it was off to bed.

The alarm went off a 4:30am and we started our pre race routines.  We meet up with the crew in the hotel lobby around 5:30 and had some breakfast.  The forecast said the temperature at start time was going to be in the low 30's but when we walked out it was around 45 degrees - perfect weather!

Even though I never run hills and Austin has hills everywhere I decided that I was going to run hard and start fast.  Push the upper limit of my pace until the course made me stop.  Wellthe gun went off and all the morons running 10 and 11 minute paces decided today they were going to run 3:20 marathons? What I mean by this is that people never know how to slot themselves.  If you are running the marathon and plan on finishing at 4:30 do not begin with the 3:30 pace group.  I spent the first three miles playing zig-zag around these people.  Don't get me wrongI respect anyone who has the guts to go out and runwhether you are a 6 minute/mile runner or 14minute/mile runner -- just start where you are supposed to.  It is unfair to the other runners behind you.  My 5k split 25:25 - that should tell you how much I was slowed by this(end rant).

Now back to the race.  The hills were many and the hills were hard.  I absolutely loved them - the change in terrain was so cool.  It added a whole new mental dimension to running that I just don't get in the pancake flat terrain in the Houston area.  The worst hills were at mile 8 and at mile 12.2.  The last one my HR was at a nice steady 162 BPM at the base of this monster.  Within a few steps up this beast I looked at my Gamin and my HR was 185 BPM!  By the time I sauntered to the top I was beat.  Luckily the rest of the way in was a slight downhill to the finish.

Okayonto the times.  With the hills I was hopeful that I could break the 1:50 mark.  About 3 miles into the race I wasn't feeling all that great but then around mile 5 I found my zone.  Here are my stats


Chip Time 1:42:09
Overall Place 485 / 8482
Gender Place 377 / 3396
Division Place 74 / 595
5K Time 25:25
10M Time 1:18:31
Final Rank 485
Final Time 1:42:09

My pace for the race was 7:47/mile.  I am thrilled with how this race turned out.  I beat my half mary PR by 14 minutes and finished around the top 5%.  Less than a year ago I could barely hold a 10:00/mile pace in a 5K and now I am holding a 7:47/mile pace in a half marathon.  What has me really encouraged is that I could have pushed harder.  A few minutes were left on the course.  My Garmin has not been synced yet but I know for a fact that my splits were negative from about mile 5 to the finish. 

Overall this was just a great race.  Austin is a beautiful city and the volunteers and crowds were incredible.  We finished running right past the Texas State Capital building and this was just an awesome way to finish.  We cannot wait to do this race again next year!

My comfy bed is calling right now but I'll post some pictures tomorrow - we got some really good ones!

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff
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