Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Uphill Against the Wind Both Ways(or Austin Recap)

   Ok so there wasn't any wind(thank goodness) but it was definitely uphill both ways.That said let me also add that it was a great race. Everything from the weather to the crowds made this a very enjoyable experience plus I had several other bonuses that made this race one I will remember for a while(not just for the hills).
    I could go on and on about the Fri. 5 pm Austin traffic but if you have been there you know what it's like and if you haven't then you should go sometime!!! Needless to say once we got to our hotel which was right downtown we ordered in and I just rested. The next morning I slept in, rested, had a big pre-race breakfast and went to do one of my favorite things ever. EXPOOOOO! Added to this was the fact that I met good friend Manny Samaniego at the expo and we had a great visit.
    Saturday afternoon was here and of course the weather was nasty. It was raining off and on but the forecast still called for sunshine on Sunday. Weather didn't really matter because we met my cousin Jeff Hayes for lunch and just a special family time visit. This made the weekend trip a success no matter how the run turned out on Sunday.
   Now down to the nitty gritty-race morning dawned and just as predicted sunshine and 45 degree weather-perfect.Our hotel was walking distance to the start and finish so I just got ready and headed out. I had studied this course elevation and pretty much had a race plan. I looked for the 3:25 marathon pace group and started out with them.
   My plan was to run with them for the 1st 5k and then starting picking up the pace as much as I could thru the 15k mark. Very simple reasoning: the worst hills were in the 1st miles and the you could make up some time in the middle of the race. Now when I say worst hills I just mean more of them as you will see later. I knew coming back over the bridge at mile 8 I had achance to run a good time if I didn't fall apart. Mary was waiting for me at mile 8.5 and seeing her gave me a big boost(as always) and I felt like I was ready for those last 4 miles.
   I hit the hills around mile 10 and made it thru them okay and still thought I was running good. I wasn't really looking at my watch because sometimes you just know when it's your day. I was okay thru mile 11 and then coming to the top of a hill close to mile 12 I saw it-the hill Jessica told me about. No it wasn't the highest hill on the course(there were several higher)-It was just stinking straight up. You were running downhill toward it so you could watch all the other runners ahead of you struggling to get up this hill-not a good feeling. I would like to say I ran up it strong but I can't-I struggled with it.
    I did make it to the top and then thru several more but then we hit the finishers chute and I knew I had it made, just run to the end. As I made the turn down Congress I heard that "Run Tony Run" that I have been hearing for so many years. It never sounded better!! I finished with an official time of 1:40.28-my best time since I was in my 50's.
     I know my ultimate goal is to run a sub 1:40 half but I can't be upset that I didn't make it this week. I had only hope to run close to what I did in Houston but I was 2 1/2 min. faster on a much tougher course. I am sure I have run races this good before but I just can't remember one right now especially when you consider the course and my age. I have 2 halfs left before Boston and I'm convinced I can get that sub 1:40 at one if not both of them. That's my new goal!