Sunday, February 14, 2010

Austin Half Marathon Race Report

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.  Well, the 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 wrong, I respect anyone who has the guts to go out and run, whether 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.

Okay, onto 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,



  1. Hi Jeff,
    Woo hoo!! Congrats on a great half marathon race...your time rocked:) Good job...What, you mean you had to deal with morons who didn't know how to slot themselves?? Well, that never happens in Minnesota!! Just kidding...I can sympathize with your frustration:) Way to finish strong and tackle those hills!!

  2. Woot! Great time. Sounds like a good time. How did your cousins do?

    When I was running, Diamond Head crater used to feel tough, however, after training around it for a while, I got used to the hills. Of course, now I have a difficult time with the flats! LOL!!!

  3. AweSome!!! You need to update your left nav because you have a new (Faster Time) for your Half! by more that 10 minutes! Nice run!

  4. Way to go, Jeff! I'm looking forward to Annie's report and seeing some pics. I'm also impressed with how you handled the hills without any training for them. It shows you're in awesome shape.

  5. Nice job!!! Good solid pace. I agree 100% with the weaving through the people who think they are going to run sub 6min pace... Really they think that by getting out faster they will finish faster, when the truth is EVERYONE HAS CHIPS SO IT DOESN'T MATTER!!! haha, way to go on the PR too!

  6. had the same crap happen at the nike women's marathon last october. i just wanted to scream, "get the "F" outta my way" but i opted to elbow a few ladies instead and that worked well. thankfully, it only took a mile to get out of the crowd. great 1/2 mary pace Jeff!did you get some nice stuff in your race packet, how was the race shirt? the medal?

  7. Boomer -my cousins had a great time. They finished around the 2:20's ... it was great to see them again.

    KC - the packet pickup was a book bag - which was pretty cool. Not a ton of freebies at the expo but I might start buying all my shoes at these events because some great deals were to be had.

    The medal was really nice ... Annie has some pics she is going to put up. The finishers shits were the tech type but the sizing seemed to be a little small. Overall very good event.

  8. Nice job out there... the Austin hills are a beast.