This was the second of the races in my half-baked, ill-conceived training plan for Ironman Texas. The first was the Decker half marathon
, and my general plan was to run Decker undertrained as a baseline, then try to run 3M a little faster. I kinda figured that would take care of itself, given how much easier the 3M course is.
Then life happened.
As it always does. But I went into 3M not at all where I'd planned to be, training-wise. I won't drone on about excuses, but as an outline of what I WOULD drone on about, if I were to drone, I just didn't make myself do the speedwork I intended, the first two weeks of 2017 were probably the worst work weeks I've ever experienced, I had a COMPLETE motivational failure of an 18 mile run that turned into a 6 mile (this almost NEVER happens to me, so I can't even be too surprised or upset; mostly I just find it kinda scientifically interesting), and I had a random evening where I went from Fine to Unable To Walk Without Limping Terribly. What happened remains a complete mystery, but 24 hours of sitting or being in bed with a heating pad on my leg, then a week of no running seems to have cleared it up. All of that combined into some non-ideal preparation for a speedy half marathon. Then I spent the day before 3M walking, standing and marching. If I really cared about my time at 3M, I would have stayed at home on Saturday, but instead I went out to show solidarity with the women (and many men) at the Austin Women's March. Did it impact my race? I'll never know, but even if it had meant a 4 hour half marathon the next day, I would have zero regrets. I can run 3M next year. This was something so much bigger and more meaningful to me, and I'm glad I got to be part of history.
That's a pretty dramatic paragraph! All that being said, I'm actually just fine with my time at 3M. I didn't have a formal goal, and if I had, it would have been faster than what I ran, but I'm not upset about it.
I decided to run to the start line, to get my warmup in, and so that I could leave Matt the car, since we only have one. It ended up being 2.7 miles from home to the startline, and it was into a generous cross or headwind the whole way.
Ohyeah! The wind! After 60ish degrees and terribly humid at Decker, for 3M we got 60ish degrees and 20mph winds, gusting to who knows what. Warm AND windy?! My favorite! So I intentionally overdressed for the warmup, knowing it would be dark and windy and early and bleh.
I got to the start line just after 7, hit the portapotty, which took forever, dropped my long sleeve shirt at the clothing drop (I had run with my dry clothes bag wadded up in my pocket!), and waded into the start chute. At like 7:25. Not my best idea. I shoved and pushed and weaved, but I could only get up to where the fence started, which was behind the last pace group (2:15). Buuut there was nothing I could do, and it was my own dumb fault, so I just stayed there and froze in my short sleeved shirt as the wind buffeted us.
It took me a couple minutes to get over the start line once the race started, but then I just tried to settle in, while simultaneously weaving around all the people who had seeded themselves appropriately.
People had been saying "hey, it's a point to point run, so it'll be a tailwind most of the way!" That was not true. It was a crosswind for most of the way, a headwind for a small part, and then some tailwind at the end. The crosswind was pretty demoralizing at times, though. If you let your guard down, you'd suddenly find yourself staggering a couple steps to the side, as the wind rudely shoved you. It was annoying, but hey.. at least it kept the temperature a little cooler? I was comfortable in my short sleeved shirt, would have been fine in sleeveless.
I never looked at my watch, just tried to run comfortably hard in the beginning, settling in, trying not to fight the wind too much, just lean into/against it. As always at 3M, there were tons of friends out running and cheering, and I cheered back at them as I saw them. Including Matt and the dogs just before mile 6! I knew they planned to be there, and I looked forward to it the whole first half of the race. I saw them way before they saw me, and I ran up and the dogs were So! Surprised! Suddenly mom! I stopped and got a million kisses, left the small handheld water bottle I'd been carrying with them, and headed out for the second half.
Which was pretty uneventful. I just plodded along, survived Great Northern, trudged up 45th St directly into the sun, but with a lovely tailwind, and then down Duval into campus. I tried to pick it up for the last two miles, but I felt pretty stiff-legged. That last uphill after campus is always supremely unwelcome, but Rogue was out with a big cheering squad, and that helped motivate me up, around the corner, and across the finish line.
As I said, I'd never looked at my watch, but I really felt like I'd run a stronger race than I had at Decker. So I was briefly a little surprised and bummed that my 3M time was a 1:56:03 (compared to Decker's 1:55:32, which I had been surprised and happy with). Who knows which of those excuses played any role in the difference in performance, or if I'm just stronger on hills than flat courses, or if it's just random.
But it's another half marathon in the books, my first 3M in 5 years (13 minutes slower than my 3M/half marathon PR of 1:42:23
), and a lovely day to see so many friends, so I'm gonna call it a good race!
And a strong finish!
9:10, 8:47, 8:52, 8:53, 8:52, 8:53, 8:49, 8:42, 8:52, 8:55, 8:28, 8:31, 8:34