2017 Statesman Capitol 10k Race Recap

This race is not my favorite.

Honestly, it’s not even a medium-like. It’s crowded as hell, hilly, it’s downright miserable. I was 99.9% sure I’d be avoiding this year until a strange turn of events fell in my favor and on Sunday morning found myself pinning a bib to my shirt.

It was probably a poor choice to “race” a 10k only one week out from a half marathon I have been training to PR at, but if you’ve been reading here for even six months – you know there’s zero self control when it comes to PR attempts. I wanted to use this 10k as a way to practice my pacing strategy for next weekend and I’m here to tell you: that was a massive fail.

The Cap 10k includes a few hills in the first three miles which can pretty much destroy you if not prepared. I was ready; I had run this course countless times. My goal was to run the first three miles at 10:00/mi and then drop the pace in the back half.

Miles 1 – 3 (9:25, 9:40, 9:58)

My grand plan for 10s was ruined by fresh legs and fast competitors around me. I felt good and as if I wasn’t “pushing” so continued to coast through each mile. And every time my Garmin beeped I cursed myself. I knew this was too fast and today wasn’t about running a PR (it was about PACING) but couldn’t help myself.

Miles 4 – 6.2 (9:05, 8:41, 9:14)

Because I’m no stranger to this course from hell, I knew after we were done on Enfield the hard work was behind us. So I started to drop the pace a bit. Mile 4 included a walk break to catch my breath from hill climbing. Don’t judge. Mile 5? Well Mile 5 stemmed from a conversation with a close friend earlier in the week where she told me, in so many words, I was being too safe in my running. I had more speed in me than I gave myself credit for. So when my Garmin clicked over to 5, I let my legs fly – determined to see what I truly could throw down. Maybe this was too early for such an experiment but I went hard, and ran the fastest mile I’ve ever had in any race.

And then I paid for it in Mile 6. I struggled to hold onto 9:25 for most of the stretch on Cesar Chavez and the S 1st bridge. I. Was. DYING. But desperately held on because at this point I knew another PR was in reach and I wasn’t about to let that slip through my fingers.

Official Finish Time: 58:31

I said this in my Boneshaker recap and still without a doubt believe have a faster 10k time in me on a more favorable course. Eventually I’d like to test out this theory but it’s not going to be on a course in Austin anytime soon.

2017 Texas Independence Relay Race Recap :: Blood, Sweat & Beers

I’ve lost count of exactly how many relays I’ve run (6? 7?) but my favorite one is hands down the Texas Independence Relay. It begins in Gonzales where the Texas Revolution took place and ends at the San Jacinto Monument in Houston where Texas Independence was won. While most other relays have 36 legs, TIR has 40. Each team is made up of twelve runners, 8 of which run 3 legs and 4 who tackle 4 legs.

Ladies and gentleman, I present you with the certifiably insane members of Blood, Sweat & Beers:

We packed up the vans Friday night and left Austin around 5pm. We stopped in Moulton for dinner at Kloesel’s Steakhouse, hit up the Texas Independence Party and then headed to our hotel for a final night of sleep before the craziness would begin.

Race Day

Leg 4 – 5.38 miles

Before the first leg of every prior relay, my anxiety was always an all-time high. I have no idea why this happened but it was different this weekend. I was READY to run my ass off.

The 1pm handoff made for an extremely sunny run. It was almost entirely on dirt roads with rolling hills that just wouldn’t quit and annoying gravel which made you wonder at what point you’d twist an ankle.


After my first leg, I knew my next one wouldn’t be for awhile since it was Leg 24. Or so I thought. Steph quickly informed me that my next leg was actually 15. My bad. 

Leg 15 – 3.7 miles

This leg was pretty forgettable. It was 8:30pm, the sun finally had gone down and we were in the middle of BFE Texas. My Garmin even forgot about the run; when I finished it said I ran 0.01 miles. Nailed it.

Leg 24 – 4.75 miles

By far my FAVORITE (and fastest!) leg. It was a straight shot from Simonton to Fulshear so I was able to zone out and just run. It’s always a little creepy running in the middle of the night with only red blinky lights marking other runners in the distance. But night legs will always be my favorite! How my third leg was my fastest – I will never know. But I’m going to assume it had something to do with the Whataburger I had at 1am.

Leg 39 – 4.66 miles

I went into the weekend with only three legs, but after finishing my third I volunteered to pick up an additional one from anyone feeling not up to running their last leg. This seemed like a great idea at 4am, but once the sun came up I began second-guessing this decision. I think this photo displays exactly how pleased I was to be running on the surface of the sun that afternoon:

The only reason I survived this leg was because my badass vanmates stopped frequently to give me water to drink and dump on my head. It was SO hot, and the fact I was already so sunburned didn’t help my body temperature. Thankfully the last two miles had a killer breeze so that made me happy. Well, as happy as I could be coming up on almost 20 miles for the weekend.

And that’s a wrap on TIR 2017!

Relays are a different kind of beast. They test your endurance, your patience, and your ability to run (literally) on little to no sleep. You never want to stop pushing harder because this race isn’t about you – it’s about your team. Day 2 is a sufferfest (runners love pain, apparently) but everyone sucks it up and powers through. The encouragement and support you get from your teammates (and even other teams) is unrivaled. I always come out of relays incredibly inspired and this weekend was no different. Our team was made up of badass rockstar runners and I’m so glad they let me be a part of it. And also let me drink their beer 🙂

Our team captain Tony and Steph took care of every detail imaginable (and some we may never have thought of). As an extremely Type A person and one who usually takes control during relays, it was amazing to know we had absolutely nothing to worry about. I know how much work and planning goes into races of this magnitude – it’s no joke. So THANK YOU to Stony (celeb nickname FTW!) for making sure we were so well taken care of and set up for success during TIR!

And an immeasurable amount of gratitude goes out to Kalynn’s mom, Ginnie, for being the best race sherpa in all the land. She followed us around basically the entire weekend, snapping amazing photos (90% of the ones above), delivering Whataburger in the middle of the night, going on a much-needed beer run, and making Starbucks + kolaches magically appear Sunday morning when we were all in desperate need of a pick-me-up. She is pretty much our hero.

Hope to see everyone in 2018!


 

Grandma’s Marathon :: The Plan

Back when switching the name of my blog from Melissa Runs to So These Are My Thirties, I fully intended on writing more about real life. And I did for awhile, but once running reappeared as a priority in my life the content started to shift back in that direction. Can’t necessarily say I’m mad about it but fully intend to get back to those real life posts soon.

But for now? Let’s talk training.

Oh, training. Something I haven’t done in many, many years. The last time I seriously followed a training plan was for my first marathon in 2011. Almost six freakin’ years ago. It’s honestly amazing I’ve completed as many races in that span of time with next to zero training. The last marathon I ran was in Houston in January 2015 and for some reason never wrote a recap. My longest training “run” was 18 miles and despite the fact I “PR’ed” – it’s still not what I’m capable of.

Training for Grandma’s Marathon officially kicks off next Monday and I’ve chosen a [tweaked version] Pfitzinger plan. This is somewhat aggressive given what I’m used to but if I want to hit my goals, things need to get aggressive.

I alter this spreadsheet weekly depending on when I can make it to spin and also how my legs are feeling overall. I’m not registered for either the Austin 10/20 (zero desire to run this race) or the Cap 10K (already nailed my 10k PR + this particular course is SO ridiculously crowded), so I may end up scratching one or both races. Not really worried about it.

I’ll extend this plan out at some point considering the Golden Ultra is less than 200 days away and also due to the fact I registered for a second marathon in a moment of insanity. What I’m currently really excited about is the Texas Independence Relay next weekend. This is the first relay I’ve gone into with any semblance of serious training and I’m pumped to run hard for my badass teammates.

Let the training begin!

Thursday Things

We can add REI to the ever growing list of places I cannot go unchaperoned. Yesterday at lunch I headed there to pick up a replacement headlamp (haven’t seen my current one since Ragnar Austin + with a relay coming up in two weeks, necessary purchase) and well… it was a disaster. While wandering around looking for the headlamp section, I picked a up: a new HydroFlask, a pair of polarized sunglasses small enough to wear with a hat, and a TP Massage Ball. Goddamnit.

It happened again. While I’m still in my full-blown love affair with running, I decided it would likely be in my best interest to commit to second marathon to stay motivated throughout the rest of the year. So yesterday I registered for marathon number 5: Indy Monumental. The most terrifying part was absolutely entering 4:10 as my projected finish time. I’m still not 100% convinced this time is attainable but someone seems to think it may not even be aggressive enough. She is crazy, but I will still be her friend. And with that, I will be in training mode pretty much for the rest of year. YIKES.

I’m on a quest for the perfect pair of bluetooth headphones. I used to run with an iPod Shuffle and a carefully curated playlist full of purchased songs. Now that Spotify Premium is a staple in my life, I’ve become even more obsessed with music and building epic playlists. The downside to this is having to run with phone which is much larger than the tiny 1″ x 1″ iPod. This is a FWP to discuss another day. Anyway, there are way too many options out there for BT headphones and I’m not interested in spending $100 on a pair that may not survive a hot and humid summer in Texas. Yurbuds are my current go-to for wired headphones but the BT ones don’t have the best reviews. The first pair I bought are these -we’ll see how they do. Recommendations at welcome! Give ’em to me. 

The running shoe saga continues! For the past several years I’ve been running happily in Saucony Guide (long runs) + Saucony Mirage (almost everything else). After Marine Corps Marathon, I picked up the Guide 9 and ran Rock n Roll Las Vegas in them. The updates they made since the 8 were incredibly underwhelming and felt completely different. I ended up sending them back to Running Warehouse (best return policy, behind Nordstrom of course). The 10 has since come out and they look very similar to the 9s, so obviously I’m not excited about them. Thankfully my 8s still have 100ish miles left on them but after that I’ll be SOL. Now I’m on a hunt for a long-distance shoe with an 8mm drop or less, which is proving to be harder than expected. As for the Mirage, Saucony decided to discontinue the shoe entirely. MAJOR SADNESS. It doesn’t look like they plan on replacing them with a comparable model, so again – SOL. I ordered a pair on Amazon at a deep discount and also picked up a pair of Kinvaras which will *hopefully* end up working out. But not holding my breath. 

I’ve embraced hermit life. With the return of training, I’ve also made the return to becoming one with my couch and Netflix. Currently? Rewatching Grey’s Anatomy. I forgot about so many things in this show so a lot of seems new. I’m halfway through season 8 (please don’t ask how long this took) and up next will likely be Private Practice. By the time I wrap that up, House of Cards and Bloodlines should be available for streaming. Social life? Who needs that?

2017 Boneshaker Pace Bend 10k Race Recap

As is the case with a majority of my PRs, the 10k one has been collecting dust for six years. I can run a 5k any given weekend of the year but for some reason races of this distance are few and far between. So on Saturday I made the hour drive out to Spicewood to run some rolling hills around Lake Travis. Not entirely sure why I willingly keep running all of these hilly races but whatever, it is what it is.

This was the inaugural year for the Pace Bend 10k and it drew roughly 100 runners. Small crowd for sure but likely due to the fact it’s pretty far from Austin city limits. There was plenty of parking and from start to finish everything was really well organized.

Miles 1 (9:33) and 2 (9:50) were relatively uneventful. There were definitely rolling hills but they weren’t horrible. There also was a bit of a headwind which sucked but I tried to tuck in behind a tall guy pushing a stroller. Really, I enjoy being slower than people pushing their children. It’s great for the ego. Anyway, I was happy with these paces given the course I was working with.

And then mile 3 happened.

Oh, mile 3. You were a bitch. There was an extremely long gradual climb that wound around corners so just when you thought your quads were done burning, you were surprised with another hill to climb. Everyone around me was walking which was (1) motivation to keep moving + pass them but also (2) made me consider taking a short walk break. I gave myself a quick profanity-laced pep talk and decided to keep running. This unfortunately was still my slowest mile at 10:19.

It took a few minutes for my legs and lungs to recover from mile 3, but once I did? It was time to drop the pace. Miles 4 (9:24) and 5  (9:37) were much kinder to us, with a sweet downhill and several long flat stretches.

Mile 6 by some miracle was my fastest at 9:09. The finish was UPHILL and so goddamn rude. My previous PR was 1:01 so obviously anything under that I would have been okay with. HOWEVER. My 10k goal for 2017 was 59:xx. My pace felt so slow coming up that last hill and I knew it was going to be really freaking close.

Official Finish Time: 59:51

And with that, I can check another PR off of my list for the year! All I could think on the ride home was “what if I had been on an easier course?” and wondered if I could chip away at that PR a little bit more. Not even 30 minutes after crossing the finish line and I was already wanting more. Runners are a crazy breed.

 

Wake Me Up When It’s All Over

Alternate Titles:

  • Official Confirmation – I was Delusional
  • 2017 Mercedes Half Marathon Race Recap

Yes, I was a little overzealous in assuming I could pull out a PR on tough course in less than ideal conditions. I knew halfway through mile 1 when my 9:30 pace felt like an all-out sprint that, today? Was not a PR day. It was a “Please God let me survive this” day.

Rachel and I were 110% not interested in running this race when the alarm went off at 4:15. We were completely on board with going back to sleep but by some miracle we got out of bed. MIRACLE. We made it downtown around 6:45, which gave us the perfect amount of time to stroll to the start, jump in our corral and not have to wait around for too long before the race kicked off at 7:03.

Miles 1-3

As mentioned above, mile 1 was when the 93% humidity smacked me in the face and brought me back down to reality. Rachel, Erin, and I all started together but I dropped back during the first mile because I knew I needed to slow down. I made the decision early on to walk through every water stop to both drink and dump a cup of water on myself to stay cool.

Miles 4-9

I came up on Rachel around mile 6 and she did NOT look happy. We ran together for about a mile and then parted ways again. The hills in this race were no joke but to be honest, they weren’t as bad as expected. They were long and gradual, but had a beautiful downhill on the other side. My legs welcomed the changed in elevation since it gave me a chance to vary muscle groups. Side note: if you had told me two years ago I’d be happy about rolling freaking hills during a half marathon, I’d laugh in your face.

Miles 10-13.1

I didn’t have anything concrete in ways of goals but basically it was (A) PR (B) 2:15 (C) 2:20 (D) 2:25. Aside from the PR at 3M, my second fastest time in recent years was 2:25 so I just wanted to come in under that. This race FLEW by (why can’t they all be like that?!) and I cruised into the finish at 2:22. Incredibly happy with this time considering how warm, windy, and hilly the course was.  The course support was great and it was fun to race somewhere new!

I felt stronger in the final 3 miles of Mercedes than the final 3 of 3M. Likely because of not pushing the pace as hard, but 3M is a MUCH easier course than Mercedes and I should have been dying.

The post-race party was pretty awesome. You had your choice of a BBQ pork or turkey sandwich from a local BBQ restaurant, Jim ‘n Nick’s, with coleslaw, chips and a fruit cup. I could have done without the slaw/fruit, but those salty chips hit the spot. Local brewery Good People set up shop in the auditorium, serving complimentary Bearded Lady + Urban Farmer beers. We didn’t hate it. Nick Saban made an appearance on stage before the overall + AG awards were given out.

We got back to the house around noon and broke out the champagne for celebratory mimosas. Rachel napped while Erin + I crushed an entire pizza in record time.

Thoughts on Running

I talked about this a bit in previous posts, but over the past year my running has taken a turn in an extremely positive direction. From 2012-2015, running was a chore. It went from something I did for myself, to something I did with my significant other. Don’t get me wrong; it was nice for awhile. But having to share a hobby with someone else who didn’t enjoy it as much as I did took a lot of the appeal away. I’m glad I’ve come full circle and it’s become something I truly enjoy again. So much so that I may be running two full marathons this year.  More on that later once I pull the trigger on registration.

While Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” was a song I’d play endlessly on repeat while running in 2016, this year it’s Aviccii’s “Wake Me Up”. It reminds me how far I’ve come in the past couple years, which makes me really happy.

“So wake me up when it’s all over, when I’m wiser and I’m older. All this time I was finding myself, and I didn’t know I was lost.”

Friday Five

ONE. Two weeks ago I headed up to one of my favorite cities [Boston] for a reunion with my college roommate and a night at TD Garden for Eric Church’s “Holdin’ My Own” tour. I cannot put into words how epic this concert was. He performed for over three hours with zero openers and only a twenty minute intermission. He played the Mr. Misunderstood album in its entirety and a majority of tracks from his older albums – almost forty [!!] songs. This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen him in concert and won’t be the last, but this definitely ranks up in the top 3 concerts I’ve attended.

TWO. I’m 90% sure I’ve decided on my spring 13.1: the Long Branch Half Marathon. It’s flat and fast, with favorable weather most years. Now that I’ve jinxed myself… I was hoping to run a half in the fall but couldn’t figure out where to do it and to be honest, I don’t really want to wait that long to attempt another PR. Long Branch is the last weekend in April and I’ll already be a month into training for Grandma’s so this seems like the best way to go. AND! I’ll get to visit with friends + family that weekend as well. It’s a no brainer.

THREE. Sunday night I almost had a heart attack at the young age of 33. The Patriots trailed the Falcons for three quarters and I was MISERABLE. I was cursing all of my friends for adamantly declaring it was “going to be a blowout” and assuring me I had nothing to worry about. I changed shirts and hats several times in true superstitious fashion, but nothing changed the score for the better. So I headed home and promptly stopped watching. AND THEN SHIT GOT REAL. The Patriots pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in Super Bowl history. I’m still in shock but so, so happy.

FOUR. Speaking of happy, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Belichick smile this much. And if Julian doesn’t run with this “Edelman’s Catch” restaurant idea, he’s an idiot.


FIVE. This weekend I’m headed out of town to visit my Hood to Coast teammate, Rachel, and run the Mercedes Half Marathon in Birmingham! I haven’t seen her in over two year so this is long overdue. I may be slightly delusional in thinking I could pull out another PR on a hilly course with warm weather. This should truly be my final “fun run” of 2017 before putting in hard work for the remainder of the year. But we’ll see how Sunday goes.

2017 Race Plans + Goals

After a lackluster 2015 where I only pinned a bib on twice, 2016 was a complete 180 with sixteen total races. After hiring a running coach in May, I unearthed some speed inside of me which never existed before. I attribute that to either [1] never really pushing hard enough to see it or [2] the sixty pounds I lost over the past year. In any case, it lit a fire beneath me to get fast and race more seriously.


2017 will be the year I PR in every distance. Aggressive? Sure is. But completely doable if I stay focused and committed to my training.

5K — 27:xx

**Vern’s No Frills 5k

10K — 59:xx
** Boneshaker Pace Bend 10k
** Cap 10k

10m — 1:40:xx
** Austin 10/20

13.1 — 2:09:xx
** Spring Half – TBD

26.2 — 4:xx:xx
** Grandma’s Marathon
** Fall Marathon – TBD

The goal which terrifies me the most is the marathon. My current “PR” [I use this term loosely considering the training cycle was a complete bust] is 6:05 and I’m confident a finish time between 5:05 and 5:20 is pretty reasonable for my next 26.2. However! 2017 is not about being reasonable. I want a sub-5 marathon. And I want it BAD. So that will be happening this year, 100%.

And then something else…

Lora and I have this thing where we talk each other into races. It usually doesn’t take much convincing but if one of us has an idea? The other is pretty much “in” almost immediately. At happy hour one night in Austin [before we headed to DC for Marine Corps together] I mentioned I was running Rock n Roll Las Vegas in November and she should come. And she did. In October she asked me to help talk her out of running Grandma’s Marathon in June. I’m still not sure how it happened, but now we’re registered for the Great Grandma’s Challenge: a 5k on Friday night and a marathon the following day.

More recently she was talking about running the Golden Ultra, a 3-day stage trail race in Golden, BC. As someone who doesn’t particularly love trails or hills, this didn’t seem incredibly appealing to me. Once I looked at photos of the course and her declaring “YOU SHOULD COME!” I felt my opinion begin to change.

So in September we will be taking on those beautiful trails. And most likely questioning our sanity [and friendship] along the way.

Comfort zone = being left behind in 2017.

 

Cheers to 33

I’ve never been one to care too much about my birthday. It went uncelebrated for many years and it didn’t bother me in the least. But this weekend was the complete opposite. There was a lot of a celebrating and it was pretty damn excellent.

My best friend since first grade from New Jersey flew in on Friday afternoon for a weekend filled with a lot of shenanigans and a little bit of running.  We headed to Mia Italian Tapas for dinner with one of my old coworkers. We learned fried manchego > fried mozzarella, short ribs should not be tapas, and the bacon + fig + gorgonzola combination on a pizza is something which should be consumed regularly.

Afterwards we made our way to nearly every venue on Rock Rose: Dogwood, 77, Rose Room, and ended at Kung Fu where we spent the rest of the evening. I had grand plans of playing life-sized Jenga, Skeeball, or Connect Four, but unfortunately the bar was slammed. We struggled to make it until midnight (when it would actually be my birthday) ((so tired, so old)) but somehow lasted until 12:30 and headed home after a celebratory Green Tea shot.

Saturday morning we went to the 3M Half Marathon expo downtown as soon as it opened since the streets would likely be closing down due to all of the marches and protests. Even though the expo had finally moved to a larger convention center, it was pretty underwhelming. For once in my life I walked out of there without spending a dime.

We then went to Jo’s Coffee to be touristy and snap a photo in front of the I Love You So Much wall. Initially the plan was to do some shopping on South Congress afterwards but traffic was starting to get pretty bad so we headed back up north to avoid the crowds. Brunch + a bloody mary bar happened at Cover 2 and then we proceeded to sit real hard on my couch under blankets watching old Grey’s Anatomy episodes for several hours. Didn’t hate it.

Sunday morning was what we had been looking forward to / dreading all weekend: that whole running thing. By noon we were at brunch at St. Genevieve. We started with a mimosa flight (with blackberry lavender, coconut pineapple, peach thyme, and orange juices as mixers) and then proceeded to crush three entrees: crab cake benedict, french toast with brandied bananas + Nutella whipped cream, and a breakfast quesadilla. Everything was fantastic.


Now comfortably in a food coma, we retired to a rooftop bar to lounge on some couches in the sun for a few hours and watch the Packers/Falcons game. The crowd started to get pretty rowdy around 4:30 with Sunday Funday now in full swing, so we moved our party next door to Lavaca for the Patriots/Steelers game.

We ordered a ton of food from Turf & Surf, pissed off the Steelers fans next to us, celebrated the Patriots win and were back at my apartment by 9pm.

Monday certainly wasn’t my favorite day as I drove Ashley to the airport at the crack of dawn in rush hour traffic, despite the fact I politely asked her to stay and just move in with me. Apparently she had a job and a dog to return home to. Rude.

And so my 33rd year begins! God help me.

3M Half Marathon 2017 Race Recap

I’ve been sitting on this half marathon PR (2:14) for five years now. FIVE!! To be honest, I’m still not sure how it happened in 2012 because I never trained for the paces I ran in that race. The only explanation is I was coming off of a strong marathon training cycle and in somewhat decent shape.

In the past year, I’ve run 3M Half (2:25), Austin Half (2:41), Best Damn Race Orlando (2:30), NYC Half (2:27), and Rock n Roll Las Vegas (2:27). The only one I intended on potentially PRing at was Vegas and it was really adorable I thought I could drop some fast miles while in Sin City. And by adorable I mean dumb – very dumb.

So I set my sights on 3M this year. It’s a fast course, but just like the last five times I’ve run it – training fell off during the holidays. Before Sunday’s race the last time I had logged any miles was December 26th. SMART. Thankfully my obsession with spin classes kept my endurance up.

Race Day

The weather was a little warm for my liking (around 60) and there were some lovely 30mph winds (NOT at our backs) which made running pretty goddamn difficult. But in any case, I decided to just wing it and see how I felt.

Miles 1-4 :: 9:52, 9:26, 9:42, 9:42

I really had no business running this fast this early in the race but it was comfortable so I went with it. I started doing the math after mile 4 clicked by and thought maybe by some sort of miracle I could break 2:10.

Miles 5-8 :: 9:40, 9:55, 9:44, 10:21

When I hit the 10k mark I realized I broke my 10k PR and had two thoughts: (1) I really need to run a 10k soon and (2) Melissa you’re probably going too fast, don’t die. I was taking water at every stop but when it came time to take a gel I couldn’t get it out of my FlipBelt. I knew if I stopped to figure out where the hell it was hiding I’d likely lose momentum. Around mile 8 they were handing out Clif gels on the course so I grabbed one from a volunteer. I wanted to take a salt pill at this point but again couldn’t get it out of my belt. I pulled over, untwisted the FlipBelt and dug one out. I think I lost ~45 seconds here and logged my first mile with a 10 in front of it. Shit.

Miles 9-13 :: 10:09, 11:01, 10:35, 10:29, 10:46

Annnd the wheels fell off. Despite the course being mostly downhill, there are a few hills in the later miles that feel a lot steeper than they actually are. At mile 10 the 2:10 pacer passed me and I started to mentally give up. I busted out the math again, trying to see if there was even a slight chance of eeking out a PR. The sad, soul-crushing truth: it would be goddamn close.  My quads were dying, my arches were pissed, and the wind was still being a little bitch. I legitimately thought I was going to blow away while running behind the UT football stadium.

Rounding the corner heading to the Capitol building I realized I had less than a minute to get to the finish if I wanted to PR. Less than a minute with dead legs. NBD. But I somehow found another gear, kept pushing, and crossed the mat in 2:13:37.

Do I think there’s a faster time in me? Yep I sure do. But am I happy with this time? Yep I sure am. I have the Mercedes Half Marathon coming up in three weeks but have zero expectations to PR. There are a fair amount of hills and with my luck it’ll be summer by then in Alabama. So this spring I’m going to work on the 10k + 10 mile distances, and hopefully knock out a faster 13.1 in the fall.

Onward + upward!