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!

Updates & A New Writing Gig!

Hello blog world! It’s been awhile. Hope your summer has been off to a great start! I am excited to let you know that I have partnered with my running coaches Lisa Reichmann and Julie Sapper of Run Farther and Faster as a featured blogger on their site.

Check out the first post here. Let me know your thoughts!

Up here in Boston, my summer has started with a bang! Here are the highlights:

*Wanderlust Festival and trip to Seattle:

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Rainy Week and Ultra Advice

This morning was met with cloudy skies, the first reprieve from the rain that we’ve seen this entire week! I’m looking forward to the hovering English weather to make way for normal New England spring weather next week. If only marathon Monday could have had cooler temperatures as this week!

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Five Updates from this Week!

Happy Friday! Hope you all have had a great week! 

This first full week of March has been a great one! It’s felt like spring over here in Boston, a huge contrast to last winter where we had about five feet of snow still blanketing our city at this time. I will take it!

Five highlights from this week:

1.I signed up for my next race, which is tomorrow morning! It’s called the Black Cat 10 and 20 mile road race and is located in Salem, MA, about 20 minutes north of Boston. The race is held during the Boston marathon training cycle for those training for that race, but is for all levels of runners. Mark and I are signed up for the 20 mile race, although I am going to run about 15 because I am still recovering from Phoenix. My sister is running the 10 miler as well. It will be so great to run together again! I ran this race a few years ago and felt that it was very well supported and had great scenery. There is no better way to run 10-20 miles than with others! Race recap to come.

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Still Feeling that Post-Race High

Hello friends! Thank you all SO MUCH for all of your incredible pre-race inspiration! I had all of your mantras and motivating words running through my head throughout the Phoenix marathon on Saturday, and they helped me all the way to the finish! I’m so happy to report that I ran a PR with a time of 3:31, and qualified for Boston for 2017 (hoping that the cutoff will be no more than 4 minutes next year!). I have a lot more to say about the race in the next post, but for now I’ll share some photo highlights of our trip to Arizona!

IMG_2772Finish line photo with our half and full marathon medals! I am so grateful to have such a wonderful, supportive running buddy :)

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“Be Brave. Be Strong. Be YOU”: Interview with Elite Runner Tina Muir

Happy Friday! As we approach the end of the week, a weekend of possibilities ahead of us, I’ll offer you some Friday fitness inspiration. I was lucky enough to interview with elite runner Tina Muir, and today’s post will include the feedback. Tina Muir is originally from the UK, but relocated to the USA in 2007 to pursue her education and running career. Tina’s PRs include 16:08 in the 5k, 33:24 in the 10k, a 1:13 half marathon, and 2:41 in the marathon (London). She recently won the Army 10 miler in DC with a finish time of 55:19. Tina is sponsored by Saucony, and is currently trying to make the Great Britain team for the world half championships. You can read more about Tina and her running career on her wonderful blog, www.tinamuir.com, and on Runner’s Connect where she is currently the community manager. Enjoy!

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Miami Half Marathon Recap

Big hello on this Monday! Hope your week is off to a great start! Only 125 days until Memorial Day, my official start to summer. I don’t go by the summer solstice! :)

Today’s post will be a quick recap of the Miami half marathon and our weekend down in the sunshine state.

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