Thursday, March 5, 2015

Race Recap! Austin 3M Half Marathon - 1/25/15

Race one out of five for 2015 is in the books! As is another PR!

Last year, in January, our book club travelled to Savannah and Tybee Island alongside our friend, Claudia, to help her knock off Georgia in her quest for 50 Half Marathons in 50 States. This year, we took on Austin! While I would love to do a full recap of the whole trip, I just don't have the time at this very moment. So, here is your...

Super Duper Quick Recap

- It was much needed trip (Winter in Indiana - enough said)
- We had another great scavenger hunt (I managed to get a boot polish out of the deal)
- We had a lot of fun (which may or may not have included hunting down a certain celebrity's hometown and house)
- We saw the Alamo (and we will remember)
- We ate some BBQ (at an awesome place - Salt Lick)
- We had some much needed time away (7 moms of a combined 20 kids!)

Now, onto the Race. We signed up for the 3M Half Marathon because it was in a warm state during a season the "Book Club" wanted to get away. Of all the races during that time, this one looked the best. I went into this one with not an abundance of training, but much better than the two previous for sure. Still, I wasn't super confident and was pretty sure I would just treat this one as a fun run.

The expo was at the Texas History Museum which was pretty impressive. I thought it was a great place for an expo especially for an out of towner.

Plus, it had a super cool star out front - perfect for photos on this beautiful day.

This race is known for their goodie bag. The race is the "3M" Half and the bags are filled with tons of 3M products. It did NOT disappoint! 

After the expo, we just hung out around the campus area. We found a Starbucks. With sun. And sat it in. We soaked up every ray possible! 

We spent some time trying to spell Texas near the clock tower. Pretty good I'd say!

Our hotel was on campus. We had a great view of the clock tower from there.

For dinner, we went to a fancy shopping mall and ate at a great Italian restaurant. The names of both escape me at the moment. It was tasty and a good way to carb up.

Saturday morning, we drug our roomies, Marj & Lisa, to the start line. They kind of drew the short straw on that one. They let us hang out in the car until closer to the start time. We jumped out and went into the hotel that was there for a pit stop and to stay warm. It was a bit chilly and dark that early in the morning!

The race is a little bit of a blur for me. Here's what I remember...

- I felt good. For the first few miles, I just told myself that I would go for it as long as I could and see what happened. I realized that I was feeling good enough to go for a PR while I was still in the early miles. 
- It was not a pretty course. Honestly, the neatest thing we ran by was the Texas Longhorn Stadium. The rest was pretty boring and blah really. It seemed like a lot of office parks and highway overpasses. 
- It was all downhill. Until it wasn't around mile 9 or 10. Then, it was uphill. A lot. And, it was hard. I lost my sub-1:50 time somewhere in those miles. 
- I felt good. My feeling good continued through the race. Even through the big hill (hills?), I felt good and strong. Plus, I knew I was close to a PR which gave me the extra push.
- Looking back, which is easy to do, I probably had those extra 22 seconds that would have taken me under 1:50. There's always next time. 

Our cheering section was right at mile 13 which is just where I needed them. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Having spectators at an event just makes me feel so happy! They're so much appreciated! Thanks girls!

I swear that the 12.5 mile point through the finish line is the longest of the race. I wish I could say I always finish strong but I just don't.  

I finished in 1:50:22. A PR by 29 seconds and only 22 seconds under my sub-1:50 goal for the year. I vacillated a bit between being super stoked at the PR and super bummed that I was so very close. That's what keeps me going though...

So happy to be there for Claudia to knock "TX" off the list!

And, so glad to be able to get away with these six, super fun, mamas. 

I thought I would add a little something to each of my Race Recap's. I'd like to try to rank each race. If I stick to my goals through 2020, I will have run 55 Half's by the time I'm done, so I'll have a few comparisons to make. 

Expo/Goodie Bag - A
Shirt - C
Logistics (Port-A-Jons, Water, Parking, etc.) - A
Ease of Course (A is easiest) - B
Sights of Course - D
Medal - D

Race Effort - Very Strong
Race Comfort - Uncomfortable - In a Good Way
Race Time - Very Good - PR
Recovery - Good (We walked a ton in the airport which helped I'm sure!)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

So Long Winter - And Skiing Pictures!

Thanks to Timehop, I woke up this morning to this post - OK Winter I Give - written on March 1st as well. The same feelings hold true today. We took full advantage of the snow this weekend by skiing at Perfect North, playing in the snow, and I even got in a snowy run.

I'm done now though. It was pretty but I'm ready for spring. I have to say this winter flew by faster than any I remember thanks to a packed schedule. In fact, February 2015 is the first month I did not write a blog post since April 2011! So hard to believe, but that's how busy it's been around here! Anytime I would usually post - early morning, after kids are in bed, etc. - has been packed with other things. I've done two races, traveled to Texas, California, Wyoming and we're heading to Ohio next weekend.

One of these days, I'll do a race recap for both races especially since one included a PR! For now, some photos from skiing...

We went with our friends, The Brinkruffs, and this is Mia - who also goes to school with Jack. They were both great sports for 4 year olds!

Best buddy (and teacher) - Daddy

Magic Carpet Ride!

Fun Video of Jack - "I'm Skiing!" was his favorite thing to yell.

Again, look at all the people! 

Lift Selfie - Sorry to block your face Josie!

This is the bunny slope. Total, utter chaos and craziness. But thankful for the magic carpet and no tow rope!

Another view - crawling with people!

Jack even made it on (and off) the lift successfully! 

I did have to carry him. A lot. Many times. Otherwise, he would lay down, cry and say he wanted to go home. Really loud. Right smack in the middle of all the people. It's a good thing he's my third child. These things don't seem to phase me anymore. Although, they do still exhaust me.

We ended the day on the tubing hill. That was new for mom and dad too and was pretty fun. This was much more Jack's style.

Louise, our exchange student from Denmark, had fun during the day too. With a fear of heights, it was all a little scary for her, but she was a great sport and went along with all of us! I think she enjoyed this spot at the bottom of the tubing hill more than the top though!

And, this last one is from today. The kids must be having snowball wars. I caught this stock pile on our deck. Someone has a good angle of attack!

And, now, spring can come anytime. We're ready and we deserve it!