The little boys sleeps…so I have a couple minutes. I ran this as a chance to get in a hard hill run….and it was VERY hilly. I love half marathons, but debated on doing this one because it seemed really expensive ($85). I justified it as a not getting into Boston consolation prize, and that we don’t really eat out much any more, or see movies…so our entertainment budget has some extra $$. It was set out at the Lost Pines resort which is about 30 minutes outside of Austin, and just incredibly pretty. The huge bummer was you had to park waaaaay off site and take a shuttle in, so I left my house at 5:20 for a 7:30 event. And oh yes, the night before was not perfect. I had a very busy night. I got my copy of Kara Goucher’s book (yay!) and stayed up too late reading it, hoping to channel my inner elite runner. The little boy woke up twice….which he hardly ever does. So this morning I was tired, and cursing myself for driving to a shuttle lot by the airport, when I could have been running a relaxed run with friends.
Oh, and we got a cold front. Great running weather, but a shock to the system when we have been at 75 degrees in the morning. I got to the resort and it was very nice we got to wait in the conference and ballroom area. Props to them for indoor bathrooms, boo-hiss for charging for water and coffee at the start. I ran a pitiful warm up and lined up. This race is more of a “girl power” type thing, than a “go out a run a serious race” kind of thing, so at the start it was obvious very few women were looking for fast times, but you could tell who was (why do fast runners feel running shorts will hinder them and have to wear hot pants?). Men could enter, but there were few. There were a couple at the front looking way too serious. Suddenly we were off….
I was cold enough that it was easy to move quick. I ran my last half marathon in 1:36. If I could better that, it would be incredible on this hilly course, if I tied it, I’d be thrilled, or in the ballpark of it I would be happy. There were hills right away, and I concentrated on hitting 7:20 pace. I was totally alone, as a handful of girls took off, but I prefer to run my own race than pace off someone.
I felt good and was zipping along, dipping under pace. I hit a major hill section and slowed down a little, and by mile 6 a really nice guy caught up to me. We ended up chatting the rest of the run. He was a newer runner, and was happy just to have someone to run with. I was happy to have someone to run with too and help push the pace a little. We held pretty steady at 7:20s. I tripped over my shoelace and it came undone at one point, and at the end the course was poorly marked and we ran off course for a little bit (and got passed for the only time), but finished in 1:36:23. I was satisfied with that. I also felt like I pushed pretty hard, since there were so many very big hills.
The end was pretty good. There was decent food, and a really neat coffee bar to make iced or hot coffee with goodies to go in it, but for $85, I think fancy coffee is deserved. There were tons of awesome retail tables, but I don’t run with a credit card, or big wad of cash, so I couldn’t buy anything. Major bummer, because I met The Run Like a Mother writers, and they had a great table, and I would have bought a shirt for all my friends. I was totally starstruck and hugged them and told them how much I love their website, and they probably thought I was a little nuts.
I was heading back to the shuttle buses, and ran into the administrator of my hospital. Now she doesn’t know me since I am just a worker bee, but I decided to say hello, and we started chatting. We talked a lot about kids, and running and not work! I prayed I didn’t have post race boogers, weird race hair, or energy bars stuck in my teeth, and luckily I didn’t wear a shirt that said anything like “F— You, I am a runner” so I seemingly blended into the crowd, and hopefully she won’t be calling HR about me on Monday. I swear, the only networking I’ve ever done is through running. I would have never said more than good morning to her in the hospital, but throw in some sweat and tired legs, and suddenly we are just two moms trading stories. I’ve met more people at races and have made more contacts through running than through any professional organizations.
By the way, what is up with guys going to women’s races looking for a win? A guy won today with a commanding lead, and it was obvious he came there looking to win…it’s not like he was running with his wife or girlfriend or something. Just seems like something you would feel silly bragging about…”I won the women’s half marathon.” And, this guy was so far ahead it was really just a time trial for him. Couldn’t he do that on his own without entering a race?
Overall grade is a B-. The good: Beautiful venue, beautiful course. Nice post race stuff. Waiting indoors at the start is a treat. Shuttle buses were a pain, but super well organized. Challenging course, so a great workout. Decent women’s specific tech shirt that I will use. The bad: expensive. Extra hidden costs. Packet pick up only on Thursday, WTF? Course was poorly marked in spots. Goofy finishers medal (a necklace of the letter “Z”…don’t think I will wear that).
It’s hard to race and come home and immediately be in Jasper chasing mode. I was hungry, dirty and in need of serious hydration when I got home, but all that had to wait. Stretching? Yeah, right. But, I love to race and will continue. Now that he is asleep, I am off to do some serious stretching, so hopefully I can manage an nice, easy run tomorrow.
Up this week: reviews! New Kara Goucher book and Sage Rountree’s Yoga for Athlete’s DVD. Hopefully I’ll be getting into both.