So I finished, and it was great!! The day was (is) gorgeous, with temps in the high 30s at the start and then about 10-15 degrees warmer at the finish about two hours later. 2 hours, 14 minutes and 08 seconds later, to be exact. Yep, I cut nearly 15 minutes off my Austin time, and about three minutes off my time from the Texas half two weeks ago. Most of that was due to the great downhills on the front end of the course, and just that I know this course really well. And I was feeling GREAT mentally. I knew the hills would be a piece of cake compared to last week, so I was out to have a good time and enjoy it. And I did.
I have to say, the course was very well organized, with well-spaced and well-manned water stops and clear mile markers, most of them with folks calling out splits. There was a little hiccup at mile 4 or 5, when the water tables had run out of cups, so they were just having us take full bottles of water. I guess that was OK, at least until the bottles ran out, which hopefully they didn't. And it was more than just a little wasteful since lots of folks were barely sipping off them and then chunking them. And the cups were donated by a local brewery, but they were hard plastic and you couldn't bend them to drink on the run without them cracking open (Don't ask me how I know... luckily I had water and not Powerade at that stop). But beyond that, I have no complaints about this race. I wish the expo was larger and more permanent --it's always in a tent on a parking lot, with not a lot of vendors -- but I guess it's good for what it wants to be.
Anyhoo, we've still got a lot of stuff to do today, so I gotta run, but I wanted to give an update and post my splits before I accidentally blip them on my watch.
Mile 1: 9:52 -- All downhill!! Wheee! Great start on a wide open road
Mile 2: 9:54 -- stopped to strip off the first long-sleeved tech shirt
Mile 3: 10:09 -- Crossed 3-mile marker in <30 minutes -- Whoa!!
Mile 4: 9:47 -- Still booking it! More downhills!
Mile 5: 10:17 -- I started thinking I should see hills soon
Mile 6: 9:48 -- Nope, no hills yet
Mile 7: 10:33 -- Past halfway and still booking
Mile 8: 10:32 -- A few gradual inclines, but nothing difficult yet
Mile 9: 10:04 -- Split from the full marathoners --Good luck and God speed!!
Mile 10: 10:10 -- hmmm, I KNOW there are hills somewhere!
Mile 11: 9:55 -- Nope, no hills yet
Mile 12: 10:43 -- Found them!! I DID beat a guy pushing a baby stroller, though!
Mile 13.1: 12:17 -- I didn't ever see the mile 13 marker, but I figure I ended up with about an 11-minute mile here -- MORE hills!
So there you go! Consistency was shot to heck, but when the laps are under 10 minutes like that, I'll take them!!
Next week, I'll take the weekend off from a long run --maybe only do 5 or 6 miles one day -- and then gear up afterward to get ready for OKC. Wahoo!!