Austin Half Marathon Recap

Mark and I spent President’s Day weekend in Austin, TX and we both ran the half marathon on Sunday February 19th. I really enjoyed the race, despite the heat, humidity, and hills, which were a far cry from February in Boston. This race was perfect for my training for the Boston marathon, which seems to be creeping up quickly!

We stayed at a hotel close to the race start, which was very convenient for the 7am start time. I ran a couple of miles on the treadmill to warm up and meet my required long run distance, then I woke Mark up and we were off!

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As soon as we walked outside into the humid Texas air, I began to sweat a bit. For a moment, I was thankful to not be participating in the full marathon. The pre-sunrise surrounding darkness felt peaceful as we made our way to the bustling starting corrals, full of enthusiastic, gelled-up runners. Thousands of runners had showed up to run half marathon, and thousands more to run the full.

The gun went off, and the 13.1 mile journey began!

Here are my positive takeaways from the race:

  • The race expo was well-stocked and easy to navigate (despite the heavy traffic lining he entrance to the adjacent parking garage). We met some cool people who worked for Janji– I will have to check out their Boston location! Expo was a good experience overall. It didn’t hurt to be staying at the hotel across the street.
  • I purposely left my headphones at home for the first time racing in years and I enjoyed the experience of running without music much more than I thought. I was able to take in the scenery, the spectators, other runners conversations and also focus more on my personal thoughts. Many runners don’t run with headphones, but I often have them “just in case”. Given the hot weather I knew that headphones would only be a distraction and slip off. Given the amount of water I dumped on my head at every water station, no doubt they would have been ruined. So physically and mentally- it was a good decision to leave those Yurbuds at home.
  • The race was fully stocked with water and nuun at least every other mile. I LOVE nuun and loved drinking a lot of it throughout this race. This was the first race I have run where nuun was the drink option other than water.
  • Although spectators were sporadic given the course route (through neighborhoods and parks), the spectators that did show up were super enthusiastic and motivating. Thank you to everyone that came out!!
  • After I finished, I downed a bag of pork rinds, which were a surprisingly amazing addition to the finish-line goodie bag. I then downed another bottle of water and kept running. I needed to run a couple more miles, so I ran back along the course. After a mile or so I realized that Mark was nearby given his splits so I sought him out. I found him near the final water station and ran side by side until we crossed the finish line. It was very fun to cross the line twice and memorable to run with my love in his last Austin mile. 

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Post-race, we were delighted by the food and drink options in Austin. We decided to brunch near 6th street at a southern style cuisine. Followed by some amazing gelato (Gemelli), followed by more drinks on 6th street. All good decisions!

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I don’t have any major complaints about the race but I feel like the race directors could do a better job finding a route in such a beautiful city. There were major sections of the race through parts of the city with strip malls and warehouses. More selfishly, the first three miles of the race were quite uphill. In addition to the humidity, this made hitting my target time harder than expected. I ended up at 1:50, but was hoping for 5-10 minutes faster. Reaching my goal time would have given me more confidence in my fitness for Boston, but I’m still reasonably satisfied given the conditions. My running coaches Lisa and Julie agreed!

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Mark and I finished the weekend by road tripping out to Austin’s Hill Country and explored the LBJ ranch. Such a scenic part of Texas! We stopped by a little town with a dance hall (Luckenbach) and of course scouted out some delicious BBQ. It was a wonderful way to treat the body after a tough race and a great way to finish up the weekend.

IMG_2570IMG_2351It was a memorable time in Texas!

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Happy Friday to you!

What are your plans for the weekend? Along with some birthday celebrations (Happy birthday Dad and Tom!), I was planning to run a 20 mile race with my sister on Saturday. The weather gods have suddenly been grouchy and it will be 20 degrees as a high. So, I am not planning to run the race but will take my run indoors. I’ll split up a treadmill run to make it less dreadmilly…we will see how it goes!

I am getting the blogging fever, but am finding it hard to map out the time to write! I will continue as I head into Boston marathon countdown, and hope you have the patience to read more janerunswild!

Have a great run this weekend! Stay warm if you live in New England!

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28 thoughts on “Austin Half Marathon Recap

  1. Well Done, even if you didn’t hit your goal time it sounds like a great race! I have 15 miles to run on Saturday, followed by an engagement party then on Sunday I am cheering on a friend who has his first open water swimming race. I’m running a half next weekend and headphones and earphones are banned as some roads are only partially closed, I freaked at first but I’m starting to enjoy running without music, I couldn’t run without it before. Have a great run and enjoy the birthday celebrations! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Angela! Good luck with your long run- what are you training for?! Sounds like a fun weekend ahead! It’s going to be so bitterly cold up here, my long run will be tough!! Let me know how running sans-headphones goes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m training for my first marathon. I’m in Scotland its not bitter cold but not warm either and most likely wet. UGH! I hope your run isn’t too tough, I’m sure you’ll smash it!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank You! I’m kinda new to the running scene. There isn’t a huge choice when it come to races, the marathon I’m doing is the first one in my hometown. I used to run on my own or with my partner but after signing up for the marathon at the end of last year, I’ve been running with a group and its made me love running so much more!

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Seems like there’s a huge running scene just south of you in England! Have you thought of potentially running London? I’ve heard amazing things. I ran a trail marathon in Andover, England last fall and had a blast. Seemed like there were so many enthusiastic runners! So much fun!

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Pork rinds at the finish line?!!! I have never mustered up the courage to eat a pork rind myself, but giving them out as a finish line goodie just strikes me as about the most Texas thing imaginable.

    Good job on the race and nice to see a blog from you this morning. I have got to work on updating mine more often, too. Five weeks to Hopkinton!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was the most Texas thing ever, and was the best treat!! I’m glad to get back on the blog! How’s Boston training going? We are bracing ourselves for winter in March here in Boston after a long streak of beautiful spring-like weather. Not sure what this means for race day, but I guess the colder the better! :)

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      1. March is always such a tease, isn’t it? I feel like 4 years out of 5, it’s more like winter than spring. I’m not a big cold weather fan. Give me another sunny day about 5 degrees colder than last year for the marathon, and I think that would be just about perfect.

        I’m having to train on an accelerated schedule because I didn’t find out I had a Boston bib until the start of February. So I’ve been ramping up the mileage more quickly than I typically would, but so far I’m feeling great. A nice little perk at our new office is the building has a gym on the second floor, so I’ve been pounding out a treadmill 5k on my lunch break just about every day. Doing 18 miles tomorrow morning… brrr. Have a good weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s a great perk! I want to get more into lunch running- a great way to break up the day! Congrats again on the Boston bib, that’s awesome! Hope the long run goes well this weekend- how many miles this time?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. A nice, “short” timed 3-hour run. Then a 20-miler next week and then the much anticipated-yet-dreaded taper!

            You are correct about the lunchtime run. Most importantly, it works really well for me as a midday stress reliever/mood enhancer. Especially if it’s been a rough morning at the office I feel so much better after a few quick miles.

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  3. Wow! Looks like you had quite a memorable day! I’m glad that you were able to run together – it must have been a great and sweet experience. That’s great to hear that running without headphones didn’t go down to badly. My cross country team gals and I are always debating about whether it’s good to run with music or not during our long runs. While some of us like to run with each other’s company and talk, some of us like to listen to some upbeat music. Glad that not listening to music helped you! Once again, congrats to you and Mark! Have a great weekend! Xo, Steph

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice to read another of your race debriefs. How come so hot in February – is that normal at Austin? By coincidence, I ran a half marathon on the same day in Wellington (about five years after my last one). Weather was also warm but that’s not so surprising in the summer.

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  5. Congratulations on a great race and trip, even if it was hot and you didn’t meet your goals. It’s neat that you both got to travel and run in a new place, though!

    I am injured right now and jealous of your 20 mile race- that’s one thing about NE running, there are races that help people who are training for Boston by fitting in their schedule. Around here it’s JUST 5Ks with a few half marathons thrown in but not at the right times really.

    I hope you get your mileage in and stay warm!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds like such a fun time. I love the idea of opting out of the headphones knowing they would have been a frustration. What a fun addition to your marathon training. I’ve been wanting to visit Austin for awhile. Perhaps we will have to make this trip next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much! I fell behind in my blog-reading and just got to this today. Seeing those race photos after an Illinois winter which, even though not as cold as usual, meant practically no races (and certainly no half-marathons) has been pure balm to my weather-weary soul. It gives me hope that somewhere runners are running long and I will join them again soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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