Austin Livestrong Half Marathon Race Recap 2/19/12

To date this is the only half marathon that Mr. Judy missed. He was at a conference on the west coast, so I flew out ahead of time, spent a few days relaxing, and didn’t have to worry about waking him up super early to eat my prerace breakfast. He flew in that night.

It’s also the first half marathon I ran with my Garmin 110. I quickly realized after Vegas that I really needed a GPS watch. We didin’t want to spend lots of money, and I hemmed and hawed about the 110 vs 120 (which did intervals), but in the end went for the less expensive watch. I regretted that decision, and probably would have tried Galloway much sooner if I’d had a better way to sort out my run/walk intervas.

Packet Pickup
It’s been a very long time since I ran this half, and while I definitely have memories from it and a blog post over on SparkPeople, it’s kind of hazy.

I was able to walk over to the packet pickup at the Long Center (in the pouring rain), and I don’t remember there being any issues with it. Other than walking around in the pouring rain, that is.

My Race Plan
This was originally meant to be my first half marathon. It was our first trip back to Austin since moving away roughly 3 years before. I turned 50 just a few days before the race, and I’d decided running my first half on my fiftieth birthday sounded like a good idea.

Except, of course, I’d already run my first half 6 weeks before. In Vegas. Now I knew I could do it, so that took a lot of the butterflies out of the race.

I really don’t remember exactly what my race plan was. I believe it was to go easy the first 10k and pick it up after that if I was doing okay.

  1. 12:06
  2. 12:35
  3. 13:01
  4. 13:48
  5. 12:09
  6. 13:52
  7. 13:53
  8. 14:54
  9. 13:47
  10. 14:54
  11. 13:47
  12. 13:54
  13. 13:10
  14. 11.28 (.17 mile)

2:57:01 –Official Time
13:35 Average Pace

So yeah, not so much with the negative splits.An extremely hilly race, especially in the second half.

It’s funny how you feel about things looking at them through hindsight. I was so super proud of taking 10 minutes off my half time in just 6 weeks — and yes, I still am proud of it — but now this would no longer be a time I’d be proud of. It’s still a time I run halfs in, sometimes, depending on the circumstances, but I know that given the right circumstances, I can do better.

Much, much better.

The one time friends met me in a race

The weather & dressing
The weather in Austin can be very iffy in February. It can be sleeting or it can be extremely hot. I lucked out with beautiful weather.

I was definitely overdressed, though. It seems rare that I’m dressed perfectly for a race, but remember, it was also only my second half, and I was going from the snowy northeast to sunny Austin (or so I thought).

I was wearing my cw-x tights (I no longer run in cw-x tights; I’ve come to prefer tape for my problem areas) and a jacket, which, of course, I didn’t need once the race started. But it wasn’t a throwaway jacket (in fact, I still run in that jacket).

Not to mention I had gained weight training for these two halfs, and was probably afraid of chafing if I wore a tank. I’ve lost more than 10 pounds since that race, give or take, depending on the week, and now I know that if I chose to wear tights (which I wouldn’t), I could have worn a tank with antichafing cream. Live and learn.

Was the race well run?
I really don’t remember any problems with the race. The volunteers were enthusiastic, the split for the marathon and half marathoners was well marked (although they say every year a half marathoner or two goes the wrong way).

So here’s what I wrote later in the day after the race:

You paid $$$$ to do this?

That was just one of the signs along the way today in the running of my second HM. My favorite one was “this is the worst parade ever” (little did I know back then that I would see this sign at pretty much every half going forward). I came in just under 3 hrs at 2:57:01 for an average pace of 13:35 – shaving a full 10 minutes off my first HM time.

I wish I could give you a mile by mile – frankly, I don’t know how people keep all that straight!

I know I started out fast – for me – 12 minute miles. And it didn’t seem fast at all. But by mile 3 I was already slowing down.and I REALLY slowed down miles 4-6, one of the long hills. I began to get concerned because my knee started to bother me.

But when it was downhill miles 6-7 I flew down, my knee felt better & I almost did a 10 mm for a whole mile.

The last 3 miles? OMG, killer! A lot of hills. Seriously, who puts so many hills in the last few miles? I was definitely tightening up, and was walking up yet another hill when one of our friends called my name around mile 11, took my photo & high fived me. So sweet of him! He just got in from CA late Friday night.

DH was tracking me online & texted me congrats. I got my photo taken with my medal after finishing.

Came back, showered & then a friend came by & took me to one of my favorite Tex Mex places down south. It’s been a really long time since we connected & it was a great time. And I had migas on a croissant . . . to die for!

Speaking of food, yesterday I met up with IFDEEVARUNS & she & her friend were nice enough to drive me to lunch. Yup, maybe you guessed it – I got my pre-long run pancakes! So nice to meet her in person. And she did awesome for someone who wasn’t prepared – she’s way faster than me!

I guess I forgot to mention – picture perfect weather. It has drizzled and/or poured since I got here – but not today. Clear blue skies. Low humidity. 50 thru most of the race. Really, you just couldn’t ask for better weather!

DH gets in way late tonight. My sleep has been interrupted by partyers in the middle of the night almost every night – we’re not even that close to the infamous 6th street – so even tho I’m looking forward to seeing him can’t say as I’m real happy to be woken up in the middle of the night again.

A little sore & sure to be sorer tomorrow, but not too bad. Not sure when my next HM will be, but I have a 4 mile race in a bit less than a month so I’ll be out there soon.

Run happy!

I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days (saw that at the expo).

What I learned
How much race directors seem to love putting those big hills at the end of the race.

That I am perfectly capable of going to a race all by my lonesome.

That sunny and 50s means I don’t need a jacket or at best a throwaway for the beginning of the race.

That I need to be conservative in the beginning of a race, not try to go out too fast because I’m worried about those hills I know are coming.

That a throwaway jacket/top is a good thing for those early morning starts.

That tights will make me overheat if it’s not a cool day.

That it’s a lot of fun racing in a city you love.

Is this what 50 looks like? It was for me!

Final Thoughts
There are races I definitely wonder how I could do if I ran them today, and this is one of them. Unlike Vegas, I think I had trained properly for this race, but I still had so much to learn.

On the other hand, it was a blast running through the city I’d lived in and loved for 17 years — the city I’d never run through before, because I wasn’t a runner when I lived there.

It was fun meeting up with another online friend for the first time, whom sadly I haven’t connected with again. And it was definitely fun getting together with another friend for a post race meal at an old favorite restaurant that I thoroughly enjoyed — both the meal and catching up with my friend.

We stayed a few more days with friends, and caught up with more friends, too — and we haven’t been back to Austin since.
I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Tuesdays on the Run

22 thoughts on “Austin Livestrong Half Marathon Race Recap 2/19/12

  1. I remember when you ran this. I’m glad it’s still a good memory. I have no idea how anybody does those mile by mile recaps…..they all meld together into one really long one for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You looked good in your post race pic and had a great smile, so all is well 🙂 I like the blue hat.
    I was hot looking at the tights though LOL I only put on tights if it below 40 – the crisp air feels so good.
    You did really good for only your second race! I ended up in 90 degree weather, getting sick for my second half, it wasn’t a good memory. Your day sounds much better.
    I have a gym boss and it is perfect for Galloway. It clips to my bra or belt 🙂 I loved my 110, but i do like my new Garmin – I have programmed a lot of work outs into it.
    I rarely have anyone at a race – a little cheering crew is nice 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never have anyone at the shorter races, but having Mr. Judy as a sherpa is definitely helpful. 🙂

      My vivoactive does intervals, so I don’t need a gymboss now (or one more thing on my body, either!).

      The tights were hot, and I would never wear them for a race in those conditions now (but they were compression tights, remember). I had a lot to learn . . .

      I had a really great time at this race even though it’s a very challenging course (from flat to extremely hilly in my first two halfs!), and even though it wasn’t a good finish time (but it was for me then).


  3. You have a great memory. I have to write my race reports the same day. LOL

    The first thing I though was why was she wearing a tee shirt & tights in Texas?

    I always wear a tank top and a skirt in all my halfs (except the one in Albany on New Years). I don’t like being warm. Yeah, why am I running all these races this summer, you may ask???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was feb, you can have sleet in TX in feb — actually, it was great weather to race in and no, I wouldn’t wear tights today if I were to do that race. But they were compression tights — long before I started taping (or had any real serious issues).

      I don’t think I had a whole lot of running clothes back then, either — definitely no skirtsports at that point!

      I had the stats from my Garmin & also what I wrote at the time.


  4. OMG you remembered all of those details ? After a race I bullet point everything I remember then will go back and write it but I have such a bad memory for details I never could have written a post several months later.
    And I almost didn’t recognize you in the photo !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, those were the halfs I gained weight training for! And I used to be 20 lbs heavier than that!

      The description of the race was written at the time, I just hunted it down and copy & pasted (and added a few details).

      Now I use my Believe Journal . . . although not as much as I should, lately.

      I definitely remember some things about it! Like walking around in pouring rain in flat boots & getting my feet soaking wet . . . going out for sushi the night before the race (of course). That damn hill that photo was taken at (and meeting my friends there!).


  5. Isn’t it fun to look back? I wish I’d been blogging or at least wrote a race report after my first half in 2007. I do remember finishing and not even knowing if sub-2 was a “good” time. Ignorance is bliss sometimes. Thanks for linking up!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “little did I know back then that I would see this sign at pretty much every half going forward” — haha!! So true! First time I saw it, totally hilarious. Now I still chuckle but it doesn’t quite have the same humor factor as it did the first time. 😉

    Also, how did I have no idea you were in Austin? I just drove my best friend down there for her new job. All my favorite bloggers are there and now she’s there, too! I might have to come for a visit.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem. It’s easy to forget something by the time you get to the bottom of a post!

        We lived in Austin for 17 years. We really thought we’d retire there at one point.

        Not meant to be.


    1. I was really happy!

      Yes, we miss Austin a lot. Not so much in the summer, but man, in the winter . . . and then there’s the fact that it’s a very dog friendly town, and Albany isn’t.

      Mr. Judy really misses BBQ, I miss Tex Mex . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I definitely understand what you mean about looking back at your times and your feeling about it being different. I feel like most runners I know run halves in close to the same time whether or not they’re sick or it’s a “good” race, whatever, but my time can really vary based on how I feel and the terrain. I’m jealous of your nice weather for this race, too!

    Congrats on another half marathon!! That finish is worth it all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, my halfs are all over the place!

      It was great weather for that race, but remember, that was more than 4 years ago and I’m trying to remember the last time I actually had good weather for a half . . .


  8. My first races were in Austin and I had no idea that hills were “optional”. When I discovered there were courses out there that were essentially flat, I was like… nah, Austin, we’re good. Those hills are NO joke! Even the “down-hill half” that I ran there in January one year had a UP at the very end to the finish line. Jerks. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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