Race Report: 2010 Austin Half Marathon

I missed a PR by 28 seconds at the Austin Half Marathon Sunday, finishing 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 PR, truth be told, both of those marks were in the back of my mind when the gun went off on a crisp, clear, beautiful Austin morning. (By the way, the 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.)

Anyway, I’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 bag, and though I knew New York would have to wait for another race, I was beaming with pride just a bit.

But folks, if you’ve never run Austin, what the hills giveth, they taketh away. The beginning of Mile 13 you start up this 60-foot climb (per Garmin). And my calves, which were literally holding on by a thread, were no match. I muscled my way up that hill as best I could. Halfway up, this woman passes me and says, “Come on, don’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 hill, then the spasming started, just 3/4ths of a mile from the finish line. I tried to run through the pain, but it was too intense. I stopped and gave my calves a good stretch, feeling more anger at myself than pain as a dozen or so runners passed me by, one belting out, “Come on, we’re almost there.” My calves felt decent enough to try to sprint the final way home, but it was like I was running in quicksand. I gimped the rest of the way to the finish line, taking 7:44 to finish Mile 13, and giving back all the time I’d gained on my previous PR and then some.

But, as my good friend Jonathan said afterwards, “Man, you 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 7:10, then push it hard at the end.

Well, anybody that knows me knows I’m a little hard-headed about pace. So after averaging about 7:14 the first two miles – which were uphill, my next 6 miles were between 6:33 and 6:53 pace. And then we hit Veterans Drive and finally Enfield just past Mopac, and I was toast. Three of the last 5 miles took me longer than 7 minutes to complete, including the snailspace I set at Mile 13.

Still, 1:32:07 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.

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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.

Sunday—————————————-Jan. 24 (3M Half)
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Mile-pace-elev. change…………Mile-pace-elev. change
1 – 7:15—(-111)…………………..1 – 7:13—(+49)
2 – 7:13—(+105)………………….2 – 7:13—(+6)
3 – 6:52—(+5)…………………….3 – 7:24—(+24)
4 – 6:47—(+6)…………………….4 – 7:12—(-207)
5 – 6:33—(-103)………………….5 – 6:34—(+59)
6 – 6:45—(-69)…………………..6 – 7:03—(-55)
7 – 6:45—(-36)…………………..7 – 7:02—(+29)
8 – 6:53—(-1)…………………….8 – 7:06—(-6)
9 – 7:17—(+69)………………….9 – 6:49—(-20)
10- 7:04—(+40)………………..10 – 6:50—(-15)
11- 6:56—(-20)…………………11 – 6:52—(-60)
12- 6:55—(-40)………………….12 – 6:49–(-95)
13- 7:45—(+64)………………..13 – 6:31–(-26)
.17- 1:09—(+63)……………. .17 – 1:03—(+4)

As you can see, Mile 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.

5 thoughts on “Race Report: 2010 Austin Half Marathon”

  1. Nice run yesterday Kevin! You looked strong and that was a tough course. When I saw you on Enfield before Mopac, I had just come down that big hill and tried to warn you that it was coming! Great job! Good to see you back out running again.

  2. I ran the half last year and 15th street does NOT mess around. Great job on such a tough course–it's way harder than 3M.

  3. congrats kev! like you've said – 3 weeks after a previous half, no real 'quality' running, much harder course… and yet only 28 secs from your pr! awesome job 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for the kind comment 🙂

    Congrats on the great pace even if you didn't qualify for NYC! I found the hills really tough, and totally get what you mean about them taking away. My muscles were totally dead by mile EIGHT, and by mile 9, my strategy became "just hold on till the end" (17 miles away). Yuck! Sorry I didn't get my act together in time to meet up, but hopefully you'll qualify for NYC and I can meet you then! If not, I'm definitely planning a trip back to Austin again… I was sorry this trip was so short and I didn't get to check out Sixth Street.

  5. Still an awesome pace regardless of the gimped part. Your slowest mile is still faster than my fastest mile.

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