2013 IBM Uptown Classic 10K Race Recap

Last weekend was the 19th Annual IBM Uptown Classic and my 4th time running the 10K. This was one of my very first races in Austin back in 2010 and I make a point to run it every year. The weather is always great, the course is fast, and it’s the perfect event to kick off the fall racing season.

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The morning started off fairly early since we needed to pick up this girl from downtown. She mentioned possibly taking a cab to/from the race and I immediately suggested being her chauffeur for the morning. That would have been a pricey trip and I was fairly certain Amy wasn’t an axe murderer. Can’t really say what she expected of Brad and I, but there wasn’t much hesitation as she hopped in my car at a downtown street corner. From internet friend —> IRL friend, in .05 seconds. I’m always surprised how awkward it isn’t when you meet someone IRL and already know everything about them from their blog and/or Twitter. I mean, it should be really weird – but definitely isn’t.

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We met up with Jeanette and Trinity pre-race and talked about how last year at this time we were just starting the Austin Distance Challenge. Overall that was a really fun experience, but I’ll never do it again unless Decker pulls a Houdini and disappears. That half marathon stole a significant piece of my soul.

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Brad and I didn’t have a race plan since we were using it as a training run, so we took it mile by mile. We spent much of the race leapfrogging Jeanette and Trinity, crossing the finish just behind them. No PRs for any of us but it was still a great morning. I specifically remember cruising along at mile 4 with a giant smile plastered on my face, truly enjoying every step of the race. It’s runs like these that remind you just how much you love the sport.

One note on the course: it definitely changed from last year. I remember seeing a note about it on the website and at packet pickup, but didn’t look into it. The race usually starts at the IBM complex, runs through the Domain, and winds back around to IBM. This year’s course was in the same general vicinity but unfortunately doubled back on itself several times. Definitely wasn’t a fan of that.

I’d like to think this will be fixed for 2014 but have heard rumblings this might be it’s last time at the Domain. Not sure why, but I have a feeling it has to do with the race being a part of Run Austin’s plan to turn the city into a premiere racing destination.

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One of the reasons I like this race so much is that it isn’t downtown. Not as far from my house and the course is different. Don’t get me wrong, I love downtown – but a majority of ATX races (Austin Half, Cap 10K, Turkey Trot, etc.) run the exact same route. This girl is a fan of variety!

Either way, I’ll be back next fall. If this one isn’t on your racing calendar, it needs to be.

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IBM Uptown Classic & Luke’s Locker Presents: Runner’s Happy Hour

My favorite 10K of the year, the IBM Uptown Classic, is just three short weeks away. This Wednesday Luke’s Locker will be holding a Runner’s Happy Hour and all are welcome!

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There’s a 5K Fun Run at 6pm, followed by a performance from Leopold and His Fiction at 6:30pm. There will be snacks provided by Rudy’s and Honest Tea, as well as awesome giveaways! (ahem, ACL passes!)

BONUS: If you wear a race shirt from a previous Uptown Classic

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OR register for the 2013 race on Wednesday, you’ll receive 15% off all apparel & footwear (including sale items)

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Now, who is coming with me on Wednesday night? 🙂

2013 Rogue 30K & 10K Race Recap

The Rogue Running 30K & 10K was race #5 in the Austin Distance Challenge and 2013 is the first year it’s being held up in Cedar Park. I was really looking forward to this race, but unfortunately it was disappointing in a couple areas. Let’s back it up to packet pickup…

Brad stopped into the north location of Rogue Running to pick up our packets for the race. Each runner received a long-sleeved tech shirt, throwaway gloves, a ticket to a minor league hockey game, and discount card for a local men’s grooming center.

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The shirt was a little short, which tends to be the case with 90% of the tech shirts I get. While I appreciated the fact it wasn’t white, I noticed others tweeting & instagramming photos of blue women’s shirts. There wasn’t an option on color at pickup, only black was available, so I though that was strange. On race morning there were quite a few women wearing the blue shirt as well. Not a huge deal, just curious why some were different.

Also, when we registered for the race there was a list of things every runner would receive, including running gloves and a Rogue Running pint glass. I thought this made the $45 race entry fee a great value. The running gloves actually ended up being throwaway gloves, and that pint glass? No one seemed to know anything about it when I asked at the Rogue tent at the finish. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. Eventually a woman walked up and told me they had pulled it down from the website recently and no one would be receiving them. Interesting.

The starting line was at Cedar Park High School and parking was pretty efficient. The 30K was scheduled to start at 7am so we made sure to be at the school and parked by 6:30. We met up with Jeanette and Trinity, hit the restrooms (indoors! awesome perk of having the start at a high school!) and waited around until our race started at 7:20.

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I’m not sure what the cap on the 10K was. It started at 400, but Rogue eventually opened up more spots (an unspecified amount) after it sold out. Either way, the course was never crowded.

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The 30K runners started twenty minutes before us and ran a different course. The 10K had a simple out-and-back through a residential area. Rogue 10K Course

Less than a mile into the race I heard a car horn behind me. A quick glance over my shoulder and I saw a long stream of cars waiting for the runners to move so they could get through. Um, what?

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Cars in the middle, runners on both sides. I could understand if we had a lane blocked off with cones, but it worried me a bit that we were sharing the road with the cars. Not exactly the safest situation.

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Brad and I moved over to the right and continued running.

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While I had stopped to take some photos both Jeanette and Trinity had passed us so after the turnaround I made sure to snap a few action shots of them:

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Here comes Jeanette!

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As you can tell, the course wasn’t much to write home about. After the turnaround, the race was pretty uneventful.

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2013-01-27_08-54-42_620Once we crossed the finish line we headed straight to the Distance Challenge VIP tent to meet up with Jeanette & Trinity. And grab breakfast tacos + homemade chocolate chip cookies. Priorities. I’m going to miss these VIP tents after the Distance Challenge is over!

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On our walk back to the car we realized the first 30K finisher was about to cross so we ran back to cheer him on!

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Overall, it was a pretty good race. I was disappointed with the “running gloves” and the pint glass that wasn’t, but I guess you could say those were petty things. The traffic issue was my main complaint and think it’s a pretty valid one. If you’re not going to close the road completely to cars, at least block off a lane with cones so the runners feel a little bit safer. Still a little confused by the whole thing considering this isn’t the first race Rogue has sponsored. I’m willing to chalk it up to growing pains for the new location of the race (previously it was held in two different areas down south) and if they’re ironed out for 2014, I’d definitely return. It’s a pretty fast course so PRs are possible!

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Another race in the books for the Austin Distance Challenge. One more to go – the Austin Half Marathon!

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Austin Distance Challenge

Back in the fall of 2010 when I first embarked on my running journey, I discovered the Austin Distance Challenge. It was a bit ambitious for someone just starting out, but kept it in the back of my mind for the next year.

Once the fall of 2011 rolled around, I realized one of the races in the ADC fell on the same day as the Marine Corps Marathon, making me ineligible to enter.

That brings us to this year. Fall is just around the corner, and it looks like the stars may FINALLY be aligned for me to take part in the Austin Distance Challenge.

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So what exactly is the ADC? It’s a series of six races of increasing distances leading up to the Austin Marathon & Half Marathon. Everyone registered for the challenge receives the following:

  • long-sleeved tech shirt
  • 1 year membership to Austin Runners Club
  • access to ADC VIP Tent post-race
  • invitation to Celebration Party in March

And pending completion of the challenge:

  • custom printed runners jacket
  • certificate of completion
  • Overall, Masters and Age Group Awards


Austin Distance Challenge Races

IBM Uptown Classic

October 7, 2012

This is a staple in my fall race schedule and is actually my goal 10K for 2012; I have my sights set on 6.2 miles in under an hour!

Run for the Water

October 28, 2012

Run for the Water happens to fall on the same day as a 20-22 miler for Philly Marathon training so I’ll probably run 5ish miles pre-race and 5ish miles post-race.

Decker Challenge

December 9, 2012

I’m not gonna lie: this race scares the crap out of me. Last year when I volunteered at IM 70.3 Austin, I caught a glimpse of the Decker course – holy freakin’ hills.

To quote Joe Marruchella:

The Decker Challenge is one of the longest running and most well-respected races in Austin.  A windy course with historically poor December weather on the lake, can make Decker a tough race.  But it is the hills that put the“challenge” in the Decker Challenge.

Decker Elevation

Photo Credit: Joe Still Runs for Dom

Sooo… yeah. That should be a fun race. Oh! And it’s two weeks after Philly. I won’t be breaking any records at Decker, that’s for damn sure!

3m Half Marathon

January 13, 2013

Another repeat offender on my race schedule, and most likely my half marathon goal race for 2013. 3M’s elevation chart is pretty easy on the eyes:

3M Half Marathon Course Elevation

Oh heyyy PR City. Can’t wait to visit you again in January!

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January 27, 2013

The Rogue 10K & 30K will be a new race for the ADC this year, and a new race for me as well. Since I won’t be training for a full marathon in January, I highly doubt I’ll be inclined to choose the 18 mile route. 10K for me, please.

And last, but certainly not least…

Austin Marathon

February 17, 2013

I’ve run the half twice now – incredible race!! Earlier this year I said I’d be taking on the full in 2013 but I think it’ll be 13.1 for the third time. Ashley is talking about flying in for it so we’ll most likely run the half together. Exciting!

And that’s all. Just a few races – no big deal.

Have you ever participated in a race/distance challenge like this? Fellow Austinites – have you ever done the ADC? Are you planning on it this year?

2012 Statesman Capitol 10K Race Recap

Last weekend was the 35th Annual Statesman Capitol 10,000, also known as the Cap 10K.

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Leslie and I registered for this one last minute, deciding to use it as our final training run for ZOOMA. The training plan called for an 8 mile run, so we parked a little over two miles from the start to hit our mileage for the day.

I played tourist as we hit the streets of UT:

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and before we knew it, we were downtown on Congress Avenue. It was so nice to have the streets all to ourselves.

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We then ventured down onto the trail to finish our run:

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The official runner count for the race was just over 23,000 and the Congress Bridge was PACKED!

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We ran into a few other members of the HEB ZOOMA Texas Girlfriends Program while we were making our way to Corral D. Photo op!

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The temps were creeping up to a range I was hoping not to see until the end of April and the city was covered with a thick blanket of humidity, both characteristic for 95% of Austin-area races.

The course for Cap 10K was nearly identical to the Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot, with the exception of the bridge we started on: north on Congress, east on 11th, north on San Antonio, west on 15th/Enfield (cue dramatic music), south on Atlanta, back east on Cesar Chavez to the Congress Bridge, and then west on Riverside to the finish:

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Now that you have the turn-by-turn course, here’s a photo tour of the race:

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FINISHED!

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The Cap 10K was a great race! It was a bit crowded (as can be expected with 20,000+ runners) but went off without a hitch logistically. Water stops were plentiful and volunteers encouraging. HEB provided post-race snacks: bananas, granola bars, water, and energy drinks.

Overall I was very impressed with the race and provided I’m in town next year I will definitely be registering for it again.

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While this week was a cutback week, I still had 14 on the schedule. I’m racing a 10k on Sunday, so I figured the least I could do would be to log 14 total for the weekend.

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Carly and I headed out at 7am for our 8 mile run. We practically danced our way onto that trail, celebrating the crisp 60 degree temperature. 60!! It was a bit of a shock at first, but once we starting running we completely embraced it. It was so nice to finally run in something other than a sauna!

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The run was effortless, the miles ticked away quickly, and we were done before we knew it.

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Cheetahs run Texas

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Post-run we were ravenous, so we headed to the happiest place on earth for supplies.

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Eggs Benedict, here we come!

But not before we got a little caffeine in our system

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We were tempted by the new Salted Caramel Mocha coffee, and decided to indulge. So incredibly worth it – delicious.

Back home we got to work on our breakfast feast:

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And the finished product:

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Absolutely what we needed.

It was a great morning, and spent the remainder of the day resting up for our first race of the season. We both have our sights set on new PRs!

IBM Uptown Classic –Race Goals

On Sunday I’ll be running my second 10k.

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My first 10k was this same race last year. I completed the 6.2 in a respectable 1:13:20, a mere two weeks after my first half marathon. I had no expectations whatsoever for the race – I just had my eye on the finish line.

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This year will be different.

After (fingers crossed) finishing the Marine Corps Marathon next month, I have a future goal in mind: a new half marathon PR.

I’ll be following the FIRST plan again, and my first order of business is to race a 10k to base my training paces off of. Enter the IBM Uptown Classic.

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I am confident I can PR in this race, but it’s uncertain just how many minutes I can shave off of last year’s time.

Goal A: Beat last year’s time

Goal B: 1:10 (11:17 pace)

Goal C: 1:07 (10:48 pace)

Goal D: 1:05 (10:29 pace)

I’ve been doing my fair share of speed workouts lately and I absolutely think these times are achievable. It all depends on the weather, what I eat beforehand, and how I pace myself. I hope the stars are aligned on Sunday morning so I can achieve that 1:05 finish time, but I will be ecstatic to simply just PR.

I’m excited to see how everything plays out after I cross that starting line.

Bring on the 10k!

IBM Uptown Classic 10k Race Recap

Packet pickup was quick and painless. I headed over to Amplify Credit Union on Friday after work and received this:

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Dare I say the contents of the bag were better than what we got at the Wine & Dine 1/2? Yes, that is 100% correct. Swag bag contents aren’t incredibly important, but I was surprised that this small race gave its runners more than a Disney one. Especially if you think of it like this: $35 10k versus $135 1/2 marathon. A little weird.

I woke up at 5am this morning, and had a cup of coffee while I got ready. The road right near the start would be closing at 7 so I wanted to get there before then, even if it meant standing around until the 8am start.

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Once I had parked, I had a Lemon Zest Luna Bar, drank some water, and did a little bit of light stretching. After I pinned my race bib to my shirt, I made my way to the start.

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Thank god they had a bouncy house, they are my favorite 😉

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The race had either 2000 or 3000 runners; the announcer said both numbers but I’m not sure which was accurate. Either way, the average runner age was 39, which I thought was pretty interesting. It’s great that people stay active as they get older because some people just write it off as “Well, I’m old so I can’t run anymore or stay in shape”.

Here’s a few pics from the course:

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Oh why hello there LV…

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After running through the Domain, the rest of the course was pretty boring. We basically ran the perimeter of the IBM complex and on a few roads. Luckily my iPod playlist kicked ass and really powered me through the miles.

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In the home stretch!!

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I crossed the finish line at 1:13:20. I am ecstatic with my time, considering I haven’t put in a single mile since the half. I felt amazing as I ran through the finish chute and the announcer called out my name. Loved it 🙂

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I grabbed a chocolate Muscle Milk Light and I’ve got to say – it was pretty damn tasty. I heard someone complaining that it was chunky, but the people handing them out instructed you to shake it well before opening. Apparently he wasn’t in the mood to follow directions. Another plus: Muscle Milk = milk-free. That’s a win in my book!

The race directors were really on top of things – they already were posting runners’ times! I appreciated that, except my page wasn’t posted yet. I had a rough idea from my Garmin, so I figured I would just check the website later.

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After I finished stretching, I decided that I wasn’t going to wait in line for a massage. It was already kind of long, and I was in the mood to get the hell outta there.

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All in all, I really enjoyed the race. The course was decent, the weather was gorgeous, my iPod playlist kicked ass – I was in the zone 🙂

After I got home, it was time for a (of course) cocktail!

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Now I’m off to take care of some important business: FOOTBALL!

Happy Sunday!