Music by Garageband, U.S. Marine Band and Derek Miller's Penmachine
Richard's Austin Half Marathon Report:
I had a fun race. The weather was perfect...about 35 at the start and sunny. It warmed up into the 40s during the run. The start was very crowded as the 1/2 was run in conjunction with the Austin Marathon and everybody started together, about 15,000 runners, with no wave start. I was running with one of my training buddies, and his daughter & one of her friends. He was running the full marathon so we stuck together until about mile 8.
I had thought going in that the 1st half was going to be the most difficult as the 1st 3 miles are basically uphill but it did not seem so bad. I used the 9/1 interval method as I always do. There was a turn at about 3 miles where we went from a 4 lane road down to 2 lanes so there was a lot of congestion which slowed runners down. The next 3 miles are basically down hill so you need to be careful not to get going too fast. Then the course transitions to a combination of flat and some rolling hills and a few very steep hills; one of which came with little warning as you round a corner at about mile 8. There were a few more steep ones before you finally turn into the grounds of the state capital which we ran around (very cool). At the time I was running the last few miles I was thinking that I was really slowing down as I ended up taking a few more walk breaks because of the hills, but my mile splits don't show that too much. I was evidently going faster than I thought. My finish was 2:12:58, not the fastest but after dealing with the hills I am very happy with the result (and 35 seconds behind the marathon finisher!). At one point I felt I was on track for 2:10 but then the hills impacted me on the back half. It was also very crowded which kept my time down on the 1st half as it was not worth weaving in and out to get around. I did come very close to a negative split, the 1st half was 1:06:04, and the 2nd half 1:06:54! Can't complain about that, particularly given the hills. I did have one GU at about the 1 hour mark but I think I should have had a second GU as my energy was depleted in the last couple of miles (That is something I have struggled with in the marathon also). So overall a fun day. I was not sore when I woke up Monday, but did have some as the day wore on.
Now I am looking forward to the relay in two weeks! And by the way, at the Expo I saw Jay, the race director for the relay. He remembered you [Ashland Dave] from the exchange you had with him last year!
Hope your training is going well...only few more weeks to your next marathon!