Austin Marathon 2/14/2010

After running the Austin Marathon five times in a row between 2000 and 2004, I skipped it five times in a row between 2005 and 2009.  I decided to run it again in 2010 (though I’m not yet prepared to declare this the start of a new streak).

I was really looking forward to Austin.  The course would be familiar, having run portions of it a half-dozen times in training.  No travelling to get there.  Getting to sleep in my own bed.  The annual pre-marathon party at the house the Friday before.  Kel and Bailey being on the course at several spots (I think they made 4 or 5 stops).  No large cash outlay to get there/drive around/sleep.

Everything seemed to be shaping up nicely for race day.  Training went well, I got a good night’s sleep the two nights before the race, I was eating right, and even managed to drop a few lbs in the four weeks between Houston and Austin.  The weather was even being somewhat cooperative (decent temps…still high humidity).

I met Sandy, TJ, and Al on race morning and we hung out for 30 minutes or so prior to the start before heading to our respective corrals.  I seeded myself slightly ahead of the 3:40 pace group (led by my friend Jen who nailed the time perfectly).  I figured I would see them again at some point and asked Jen to give me a hard kick in the ass if/when that occurred.

The noiseless pyrotechnics went off and the masses headed south down Congress (and by “down” I mean up).  I’ve discovered a cool thing about excel and splits so I’m going to do something a little different.  Beside the split for each mile I’m going to put (in parentheses) my average pace for the race.  This is kinda cool because it illustrates, for me at least, why going out fast is so tempting.  I had on my wrist a 3:40 pace band which calls for an even pace of 8:23 per mile.

Mile 1 = 8:22 (8:22) – good pacing
Mile 2 = 8:19 (8:20) – going carelessly uphill
Mile 3 = 8:11 (8:17) – last of the initial climb
Mile 4 = 8:08 (8:15) – let the downhill begin
Mile 5 = 7:44 (8:08) – effortless
Mile 6 = 7:51 (8:05) – passed the Governor
Mile 7 = 8:06 (8:05) – received water and manpill from Jimi
Mile 8 = 8:02 (8:05) – heading past the rock
Mile 9 = 8:25 (8:07) – working the uphill on Veterans
Mile 10 = 8:26 (8:09) – running into the sun on Enfield
Mile 11 = 8:30 (8:11) – taking on the Expo rollers
Mile 12 = 8:42 (8:13) – ran w/ Aaron for a while
Mile 13 = 8:39 (8:15) – gets really flat through here
Half = 1:48:35 – probably going to regret this
Mile 14 = 8:39 (8:17) – hello POJ
Mile 15 = 9:03 (8:20) – that was a fake 9, had to stop for a sec
Mile 16 = 8:49 (8:22) – back on track, 3:40 group passed me
Mile 17 = 8:45 (8:23) – Great Northern is a long, straight street
Mile 18 = 9:04 (8:25) – that was a real 9
Mile 19 = 9:03 (8:27) – giving up on 3:40
Mile 20 = 9:00 (8:29) – hello Raul, LA, Jack, Jeanne
Mile 21 = 9:17 (8:31) – trying to keep it together
Mile 22 = 9:29 (8:34) – Alan rides along with me for a while
Mile 23 = 9:32 (8:36) – giving up on 3:45
Mile 24 = 9:45 (8:39) – c/m passes me
Mile 25 = 9:30 (8:41) – hello Dyana, Hillary, and Kirk
Mile 26 = 10:20 (8:45) – Sontag runs out of the crowd
Mile .2 = 1:45 (8:46) – thank you finish line

3:49:42…my second best marathon time ever.  On that course, on that day…I’ll take it.

This race also marked the completion of Marathons of Texas (Dallas, Houston, and Austin back-to-back) and earned me some extra bling.

We convened at County Line on the Lake for lunch around 1:30.  That place is so freaking good it’s absurd.  When I eat there I want to go home and destroy my pit with a sledgehammer.  Seriously, I couldn’t get any further from worthy.  I stuffed my gut, washed it all down with a couple of Shiners, and headed back to the house for a nap.

I honored my pledge to go “old school” at Austin and left the Garmin at home…opting for the Timex with a pace band.  I liked it.  I’ll continue to train with the Garmin and race with the Timex for the foreseeable future.

I’ve discovered a new wrinkle on the old pace band theme from a company called pacetat.  They’re basically temporary tattoos that you put on your forearm (or wherever) as opposed to the old wrap around pace bands (you know, the ones you see littered all over the race course around mile 21 as people start to realize that their goals were a little lofty).  I look forward to breaking one out at a race soon.  Poconos?

Next up is Cowtown on 2/27/2010.  It should be a good race…though I’ve never done marathons this close together.  Four weeks seems ok, two weeks is a little tight.  I’m leaning towards going for a 3:45 at even pace (8:34).

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2 Responses to “Austin Marathon 2/14/2010”

  1. Joe Says:

    Great job Jeff! Let’s take Cowtown down!

    I have been flirting with leaving the Garmin at home, especially after my experience with Houston, where I wore it, but didn’t obsessively look at it every 5 minutes. I felt I ran more relaxed when I didn’t know what my splits were. I will probably still wear it in Ft. Worth, but if something great doesn’t happen there, the next race will be Garmin free (maybe).

    Congrats on your “Shipmate of the Year” award. For all you do for the group, you deserve it! Thank you.

  2. Tunnel Marathon 7/14/2013 | Says:

    […] managed to run my 2nd best marathon time three times in 2010 (a 3:49 in February in Austin, a 3:46 in May in the Poconos, and a 3:42 in October in St. George) but clipping that old mark was […]

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