So, in typical fashion, Jessica and I scheduled a big race on top of a fun 5K. After this experience we decided that scheduling a 5K AFTER the big race is ok (serves as a recovery), but BEFORE…. Notsomuch…..
As we waited in our corral I saw a shirt I want… On the front it said, “This sounded like a good idea 3 months ago…” and on the back it said, “Race Official, Do Not Pass!”…. BAHAAHAHA… Too cute…. And pretty much how I was feeling…. As usual, my nerves were off the charts and the fact that I had some lingering soreness from the day before was not helping. I also forgot to pack breakfast, so I ate a protein bar for breakfast that they gave us in our race packets… In hindsight this was a BAD idea…..
Two things on this flat mama… First I NEVER wear the race shirt (I’ve heard it’s bad luck…. maybe that’s why I got sick?), but I liked the shirt and just wanted to wear it. Oh, and for some reason Jess and I are great at planning outfits for 5Ks, but anything bigger and we suck LOL… Second, I have GOT to get some new shoes… These are my old shoes, since I have determined that the Sauconys I bought in December could be part of the Plantar Fasciitis thing… They are WELL used… Yuck.
This was apparently the 2nd year for the Austin 10/20. It is a super cool idea- 10 miles, 20 local bands playing for you along the way
Smiling at the start….. or was that gas????
It was in Austin, which is hilly, but their website advertises, “Our ten mile course is flat and fast – yes, really! The big Austin hills that some people have trouble with are not in our part of town. “ Apparently Austin’s idea of flat and Houston’s idea of flat are two different things…..
They even had an elevation chart on the site which didn’t look toooo daunting…. Clearly there are a couple of long slow inclines… but before we were actually out there it didn’t look so bad…..
Interestingly my garmin doesn’t show the same elevation map……????? My garmin’s depiction is closer to how it felt- I know that much for sure! You can see towards the end I was pretty much completely done trying to run uphill, and just started walking….. That was also about the time my stomach started gurgling.
The race had 4847 participants…. Here’s the start line…. Jessica and I started dead last…. I was finisher number 4461, Jess was 4401 (She finally left me the last 1/2 mile)… Not too bad, huh?
I started out ok, sore from the day before, but ok…. But the course (as you can see above) is pretty much NOT flat at all. Very few STEEP hills, but long, dragging hills were the main idea of the course. The three weeks of hill workouts were apparently not enough to prepare us …. I began to tire WAY too early… Like around 3 miles…. This was NOT a good sign at all…. But, we kept on… I will say, we started literally DEAD last (I really don’t like people passing me… I feel slow enough already), and we passed quite a few people right from the start. The course had a few turn around points and I was really surprised at how many people we had passed. As we were at the point about 4 miles in where we were doubling back we saw the person who was now dead last. (She was about a mile behind us) and she was struggling. I was struggling too, but not that bad. Still, Jess and I talked about if we were still this close to her later in the race that we would just double back and walk with her to make sure she made it. It did look like someone else had the same idea possibly, or possibly they put her on the SAG wagon… I’m not sure because fortunately, (or unfortunately since it meant I had to keep running LOL) we were too far ahead of her by the next turn around point and didn’t see her before making another turn.
At about 6.5 miles I was D.O.N.E. with the hills. There was a LONG hill in front of us and I told Jessica I was just done. It was around here that I thought maybe I didn’t care if I finished. I seem to do this at every long race. I hope I never give in, because I actually DO care, just not at that moment…. I thought it might be nice to just leisurely walk the rest of the way. We weren’t in the back, and they weren’t closing the course on us, so I felt ok with that idea. I didn’t verbalize it, though, and Jessica clearly wanted to keep running. I tried to encourage her to just go. I think she knew I would walk if she left, so she stayed with me. At the time I just wished she would leave me alone, but in real life I’m really glad she stayed with me and pushed me.
I could tell it was a tough race, because we are usually pretty chatty. We probably said like 5 sentences the entire.two.and.a.half.hours…… Seriously. Pretty much out of character for us…. LOL…. I think we both hated each other for much of the course…. LOL
Let me just say that 10 miles is far. I had a very lose goal to finish within 2:30, and even loser goal that I just wanted to finish and I would have been ecstatic to finish before 2:15… In the end I finished at 2:26. So I did make my main goal. If I had been able to keep running the whole time I would have made 2:15. The hills got me, but what really got me was my stomach. I haven’t ever had that happen before. I’m hoping it was a one time event. I was seriously afraid I was going to either puke or shart for the last 3 miles. Maybe both. Walking more managed to keep the bodily fluids inside, but I felt TERRIBLE.
The bands were mostly good, a couple that were better than others, but it was fun to hear all the different bands. There were only a couple of places on course that were spread out too far between bands, which I think is pretty impressive. The race organization was great, the corral spacing was great. The medal was great. All in all I was impressed with everything except what I call false advertising on the “flat course”. Would I do it again? Maybe…. At least if I do it again I will be better prepared because I know about the hills. Also I will probably not do a 4 mile race the day before. That wasn’t super smart.