Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Austin Livestrong Half-Marathon 2012 Recap

I ran the Austin Livestrong Half-Marathon Sunday morning. The weather was perfect - about 48 at the start and 58-60 by the time I finished.  It was clear and Sunny with very little wind.  Last year was very windy so this was better.  I ran a 2:00/1:00 ratio for the first five miles both to allow myself to stretch out and because those first miles are a constant uphill.  I was behind my goal pace in miles 1 (to be expected with the big crowds and 2 right turns), 2, and 4. Strangely I was so ahead of goal pace at mile 3 that I wondered if the mile 2 and 3 markers were in the right spots.  At 5 miles I was under an hour and at 10 miles I was just over 2 hours (including a porto-potty break).  After we turned onto South first (with some downhills) I changed my ratio to 3:00/1:00.  I maintained all my run/walks but ran some extra downhills and walked through water stops.  After mile 10 I returned my run/walk ratio to 2:00/1:00 (this was planned) because I knew we were coming up to more hills including the Enfield hill. 
Running Enfield Hill with the kids

My family was waiting for me at the bottom of Enfield hill and my 2 nephews, 1 niece, and ChocolateSon all hopped off the curb to run with me.  We ran most of the way up and then they went back to the curb and my sister walked the last bit with me.  From there, the remainder was pretty easy.  I already knew that I wasn't going to meet my A goal or my dream goal for time I and I was pretty sure I wasn't even going to break 2:40.  We met up with the marathoners with about 800 meters to go and that was very exciting.  I ran next to (I think) the winning wheelchair (or hand bike?) and the crowd was cheering pretty wildly for him.  I ran the last 4:00 minutes or so because I knew I could and I didn't want to take a walk break. 
2:41:37. (12:20/mile)

That's not my goal but it is a PR by 8:47 in a very hard, very hilly race. According to my Nike+ sensor I ran 14.45 miles (including the last few hundred yards to the start line).  Mile 9 must include my porto-let break and mile 1 includes walking up to the start line and being stuck in congestion.  My overall pace for that recording was 11:43/mile which still doesn't meet my goal pace but is better than 12:20. 

I felt good throughout the race.  I knew my plan and maintained my ratios.  One of the reasons that I'm so surprised that I didn't beat last year's time by more is that I feel like I walked so much less this year.  I lost about 2:30 waiting in line to use a porto-let and then using it but I did the same last year. 
Crowd support was simply amazing.  People had great signs and cowbells and shouted encouragement and called to me by name.  My immediate family and my brother's family and sister's family (coming up from Houston) came to the race course at 3 points to cheer me on.  I wore my Team Livestrong shirt with a tribute list on the back and which my family signed and a few people patted me on the back or chatted with me, particularly saying that there were too many names on my shirt.  Although I did not meet my time goal, I surpassed my fundraising goal and I'm happy with that.  It was a great race and I had a very good time. 
My race shirt with tribute list and family signatures

Waiting for the race to start

After the race - at the Livestrong tent with our team mentor

The finisher's medal

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