happy running

AT&T Austin Marathon (my 2nd marathon) race report.

Once again, plans and intentions were made, and once again we failed. This time NOT in the good way! However, I did complete my second marathon, and I learned a lot and despite not meeting some of my goals, I did meet others, and I am happy with my time.


I had many tiers of goals at my disposal. My ultimate goal which I didn't figure I could achieve but which was a nice thing to strive for was a 4:15 marathon, which is roughly 9:44 or 9:45 minute miles. I had evidence that I'm capable of doing that, but it would be a struggle. Below that were a few random other time goals, such as 4:30, 4:45, 5 hours (which was my original goal for last year's marathon), then a PR (sub 5:35), and then simply to finish. And finally I thought about it, and decided that I would be fine with a DNF if that became the wise thing to do. I hoped that wouldn't be a conversation I'd need to have with myself, but I realized that anything can and will happen, and I needed to be prepared for the best and the worst. So I had done a lot of thinking, but had no idea what the actual day would be like. I started confident, though, that I could make my 4:15 goal.

I assumed for a long time that I'd be running by myself. I did my long runs with Sarah, Robyn and Leslie (and various others on and off), but they were all planning on trying to run miles in the 9:20s, and that just wasn't achievable by me at this point. So I enjoyed our long runs, but knew in the back of my mind that it'd be 26.2 long miles by myself on race day. Then Robyn started assessing her goals and abilities, and decided that she had no evidence that she could do 9:20s for a full marathon, and frankly wasn't sure that she wanted to kill herself trying. This line of thinking seemed to become more prevalent after Sarah moved to New York and she didn't have anyone pushing her to consider running faster. I feel guilty about that. When it comes down to it, Robyn reassessed her goals to run with me. It was her choice, I never pushed her, but ultimately ended up deciding that she was okay with running my pace instead of her own. And we hadn't really talked to Sarah about the marathon, so we weren't sure WHAT her plans were. And Leslie was still planning to try for her ~4:08 and several people planned to use her as their pace group leader for that same goal.

Okay, so come marathon morning. I'd been having ongoing shin problems, and then a foot problem that was almost definitely a compensation injury. I hadn't run since Tuesday, and before that I had done two Saturday long runs with no running between them. So I was rested.. fully tapered. Over-tapered. But feeling good about feeling so good. I did take some Advil about an hour beforehand, being completely paranoid about starting to run and it feeling like I was running on a broken legbone (which had happened before, when I tried to run in RunTex to test out my new shoes). The fact that my injuries were behaving gave me extra confidence that I could reach my goal.

As an aside, I knew this was going to be a very different marathon from last year. Last year I ran the first 11 miles or so. Run-walked the next few miles because of Laura's foot problems. Ran for another mile or two, then ran-walked another 5 or 6 with Pam because of a knee injury. Then ran the final 10k or so. Because of the way I ran that race, I never hit The Wall. That mythical beast that usually jumps up in front of people around or shortly after mile 20. I knew that this marathon would likely put me face to face with The Wall, because not only was I planning on running the whole thing, but I was planning on running it at a pace that I would have found unachievable in even a 5k race 2 years ago. And I was applying it to a marathon.

We hung out at the RunTex Riverside Annex starting around 5:45am and got out stuff together and stayed warm and put on Rogue tattoos and drew happy faces on our calves. We headed out to drop off our stuff at the clothing drop. Then we headed to the portapotties, and found ridiculous lines. Chatted with mizmizuno and effendi while we waited. When it was my turn, my stomach decided not to cooperate, and I was afraid that my inability to empty my stomach was going to be a problem later, but it was pretty much 7am, start time, right then, so I just gave up. Put on lots of bodyglide, because I was wearing new shorts. Not untested, but only tested in an 8 mile run and a 4.5 mile run. A lot of interesting chafing issues that you'd never even thought about can occur in a 26.2 mile run, but I KNEW my old shorts would cause chafing (bad, bad, bad chafing on my inner thigh at 3M), so I figured I'd go with the possibly-okay-but-untested shorts instead of the definitely-bad.

We waited for everyone to finish in the portapotties, then headed to the start line. And found.. a mess. We had waited FAR too long to go to the start line, and the start chute was actually on the Congress Avenue bridge, which is pretty narrow. We tried to wade in as far as we could, and we really didn't get far. We couldn't see any pace group signs, so we knew we were probably behind even the 5:00 pace group. But the bridge was just packed, both with runners and with (whose idea was THIS?) spectators. We didn't have much time to dwell on how much our position sucked, though, because then fireworks were going off behind us (a new feature, and VERY cool, but it really freaked out the birds, who presumably had been sleeping), and the race was starting. It took us about 6 minutes to even get to the start line (actually 4 minutes faster than last year), and we didn't even start running until we were standing on the timing mat. And then we were running.

The first mile is all uphill, straight up Congress Ave. Because we started so far back, we probably added a good fraction of a mile in lateral movement, dodging and weaving and avoiding walkers and slow runners. Our own fault, yes, but still frustrating. And it's hard to warm up on an uphill. But there were many bands on this stretch of road, and it was exciting to have started an event that we'd been training 6 months for, so we did what we had to do and chatted excitedly when we managed to all be next to each other (it's hard to keep 3 people together in a crowd of 12,000ish people). In very short order, I took off my gloves because my hands were already hot, and then I took off my outer layer shirt. Oh, my shirt. I had worn a green and black very old and faded button down plaid shirt. People mocked me a lot. It was a day of ridiculous fashion for me overall, but I didn't know it at that time. Anyway, when I took it off, I did it dramatically by ripping it open and buttons flew everywhere. Well, except the last button didn't break, so my drama fizzled a little. Anyway..

Now I was running a little bit lighter, but we were still carrying bottles of water. Coach Karen had recommended this, and I'm SO glad we did it. The first few waterstops were at weird times, and were completely overrun by people, so to get water you had to sacrifice about 45 seconds to even find the water through the crush of people. We skipped the first few, thanks to the water bottles. We were very happy when we finally got rid of them, though, and had our hands free.

Our first mile was very slow.. no problem with "don't go out too fast" on this one. We knew we had some time to make up already, but we had lots of time to do it, and we were feeling good. Our second mile was faster, but still slow, and contained a mishap. We were running on the outside, right on the cone line, and saw a guy nearly trip over a cone. We told Sarah the story of Robyn hurdling a cone at 3M, with much success and grace. Then a guy right in front of us did the same thing, and we applauded his success in not tripping and falling flat on his face. And right then, Sarah tripped over a jacket that someone had left in the middle of the street. The first 2 or 3 miles are littered with clothing. People wear warm things just for the start, then when they warm up themselves, they ditch the extra clothes. POLITE people, like us, make an effort to get to the side of the road and ditch them outside the course. Impolite people just drop their jackets and sweatshirts and about a thousand pairs of gloves, in the middle of the street. And Sarah became a victim of their laziness. I saw her pitching forward and grabbed onto the back of her shirt, and it looked like she was going to recover. And then she didn't, I lost hold of her shirt, and she fell forward on her butt and shoulder, hard. She ran into the legs of the guy in front of her and he nearly went down too, but stayed upright. And someone behind us admonished "Be careful!" Thanks. That's helpful. She got up and assessed, and was scraped but able to keep running. I fished out some extra Advil from my pack and gave it to her, hoping to ward off the inevitable soreness from falling like that until after the marathon. She said she was fine to keep going, so we did, but we were all pumped up on adreneline at that point.

The next couple miles we managed to find our marathon goal pace (MGP) and stick with it. A few times we were a couple seconds too fast, and we made sure to slow down a little, because this wasn't the time to try to make up time. We ran past a lot of bands and a lot of spectators. It was a COMPLETELY different event from last year, when it was too cold for both bands and spectators. This year there people cheering everywhere, and most of the corners had huge mobs of people yelling and brandishing signs. It was really great. We ended up passing the 5:00 pace group. And the 4:45 group. And the 4:30 group. We realized we needed to not pick it up anymore, because if we CAUGHT the 4:15 group, even though that was our goal finishing time, it meant we were going too fast.

On 1st Street we picked up Priscilla. She was obviously feeling good, and her goal was also 4:15, so she joined us (but had her music up so loud, talking to her was pretty impossible). On Lake Austin Blvd, Sarah entertained us with tales of the many problems she had trying to get here this weekend. Things were good. Then the hills began.

We actually didn't really have a problem with the hills. They were tough, but we just toughed 'em out. I took off my long-sleeved shirt going up Enfield, and was just in a short-sleeved shirt and shorts, and very comfortable. The sun was out and bright and it was warming up. The hills on Exposition were tough, but again.. we just kept running and chatting. Our miles were slower at this point, but that was to be expected and desired, because this was the Hilly Part of the Course. At one point, Pam, Tracy and Stacy came up behind us and said hi, but then we lost track of them and never saw them again. And then, before I knew it, we were through the hilliest part and turning onto 38th to go over Mopac (another hill).

On that hill, I started to feel really hot. We were running directly into the sun, and it really felt like it was sapping my energy. But I was okay, and happy to be through the worst of the hills. Granted, we still had over 15 miles to go. At this point we came up on Kim. She was thrilled to see us, and to have someone to run with, and fell in with us, and so we were up to 5 people in our group.

I mentioned The Wall earlier. If you run marathons or know about marathons, you'll know there's something called The Wall. Typically in a marathon, you hit The Wall around mile 20 or 22. It makes you want to quit, and makes you question why you're even out here doing this. I hit The Wall yesterday. Around mile 11. I don't even know what happened. One second I was feeling fine.. the next second everything was kinda surreal and I felt a little dizzy, a little nauseous, and I just wanted to sit down. I couldn't imagine continuing to run. More importantly, I couldn't imagine continuing to run for another 15 miles. At a water stop somewhere around Bull Creek, I told Robyn I wasn't feeling so good. She wasn't looking real good either. My shin was fine, my foot was fine, my legs were fine, my feet were hurting a little bit, but mostly I was just disoriented and exhausted. I couldn't understand why this was happening, and I couldn't figure out what to do about it. I knew that I couldn't finish the marathon feeling that way, but I wasn't ready to give up. I figured I'd keep going as long as I could, and see if it got better or worse.

This part of the marathon is kind of a blur. I was just trying to keep moving and stay with Sarah and Robyn. I don't remember anything about Bull Creek, Hancock, Shoal Creek. I got very quiet. I noticed Robyn was also very quiet. Sarah had her hands full trying to keep talking and keep us moving. We were slowing down. My stomach started acting really funny. I needed a portapotty. I knew if I stopped, I'd never catch back up, and I'd feel horrible if they stopped with me. So I just tolerated the roiling of my intestines, and kept running. I figured if I kept moving my feet, I'd be that much closer to the end.

As we turned onto White Rock, Robyn turned to me and said "Could you go faster?" And I thought she was finally realizing that I was the one slowing us down, and she wanted to pick up the pace, back to where our goal was. I didn't think I could. But I also didn't want to run alone. So I was willing to give it the old college try, and I said "Sure." And she said "Well, then go ahead. Don't slow down for me." And I realized it had been a trick question. I then had to assure her that I did NOT WANT TO GO FASTER. I had just been saying that to keep from being alone. Meanwhile, Sarah was running waaay slower than she was capable of running, so kept up a running (ha ha) commentary to entertain us. We told her she could go on at any point, she didn't have to stay with us. She said she hadn't spent thousands of dollars to fly back here to run a marathon by herself, she came back to run with us. So we kept going.

Great Northern, always a hard road, made harder by wanting to give up. Just have it be over. I was willing to cheer others on if I could just stop running. But I kept running. I knew that Melodye and Laura would be near Northcross Mall, so I tried to work things out such that I could smile and say I was okay. I don't even remember what I actually said when I saw Laura. I think I told her that Jeff and Pam's parents were up the road a little, because she was out there cheering alone. A lame way to repond to someone cheering for you, but.. I wasn't feeling right at all.

At some point in here, we lost Priscilla and Kim. I have no idea when it happened, and really I had no idea if they'd run ahead of us or dropped back. I felt guilty when I realized that I had zoned out so much, I couldn't tell you how many miles ago it had happened. We were 3 again.

Then there were a lot of miles through neighborhoods. I started to feel a little better. We started to get near mile 20, against all odds, and I could once again wrap my mind around maybe finishing this thing. My stomach had calmed down some, the dizziness had faded, and mostly just the soles of my feet really hurt. I wondered if maybe it was nutrition that was the problem. I'd had a gu about 45 minutes before the start of the race. Then I'd had another around mile 6, and I wondered if I had waited too long to do that, and that was what made me feel so bad. So I diligently made sure to gu every 4 miles after that. Even when my stomach didn't feel good. Even when I really didn't want to put anything else in my body. One time I squeezed some of it into my mouth and nearly threw it back up as I swallowed it. But I forced it down, and it stayed down. And managed to keep the rest of them down with no problem.

More neighborhoods. Then we ran by the duck mhat had chalked on the road with my name (among others) on it, and ran by mybloodyself and chizoo out cheering, who I hadn't expected to see, especially given how long it was taking us to run. That gave me a boost, as did coming upon Courtney. Initially we passed her, but then she caught up to us so she wouldn't have to run alone anymore. So we were 4. And I was in better spirits. Not having fun, but not wanting to quit so badly anymore. But there were still many miles left. BUT.. mile 20 was in sight. Mentally if not physically.

We turned onto North Loop, which is always a rough hill, especially this late in the game. Robyn, who had really become quiet and internalized (I'd poke her every so often just to make sure she was okay), all of a sudden suggested that we have Food Miles from mile 20 onward. It's become popular to dedicate miles in a marathon to things. These things are normally people who you love or care about, and you think about one person each mile for a marathon. Robyn and I had discussed doing food miles, where we dedicate each mile a food we love, but we hadn't ever gotten it together enough to make that happen. So we decided to do it for the last 6.2, and Robyn said we should have the last 0.2 be for queso, because.. well, it's queso and we love it. So as we passed the mile 20 marker, we commented on how we only had a 10k left, or two 5ks, which sounded more appealing, and I told Sarah and Courtney about food miles. Courtney immediately suggested queso for mile 20, and I told her that was reserved. So we dedicated 20 to chocolate cheesecake. Or cheesecake in general. And then later revised that to french fries. And then to Hyde Park Bar&Grill's french fries. This idea was really better in theory than in practice.

We ran through the Cliff Shot Zone, where they were handing out double espresso Cliff Shots. Ugh. I passed. As we ran through that area, a hallucination on rollerskates went by. It was a man in a bright yellow body suit with a giant face painted on the front. He had a giant tophat over his head, presumably with eyeholes in it, that looked like the hat for the giant face on his body suit. And he had a giant plush heart covering his right hand. And some sort of cape with writing on it on his butt. And rollerskates. Not rollerblades. And he was singing something like All You Need is Love. It was weird. We all made sure that we all saw it, and there was no late-marathon hallucinating going on.

I realized I was going to finish. I realized that I was feeling better at mile 22 than I had at mile 11. Our miles were still getting slower, but we were still moving. But we still had one major and one minor hill ahead of us. Well, and the one on Avenue F, which is long and long and demoralizing. We passed by Greg on that hill, and I felt bad, because I'd also passed him in the last mile at the 20 miler, and any time I pass Greg, who is way faster than me, it's just not a good sign (for Greg, anyway).

At the mile 24 waterstop (which still seemed way far from the finish line, geography-wise, despite the fact that it was only 2.2 miles) I dutifully had another gu, since it was a gu-mile for me. I had trouble getting my pack open, and then I had a lot of trouble tearing off the top. I had no motor skills at this point. Everyone else was done drinking, and I told them to go ahead and I'd catch up. I finally managed to rip the top off, which promptly fell into my water cup, eat it, drink the water, then head out to catch up (I'd been walking this whole time, but they were running). Caught up in a couple minutes, which made me happy since I was afraid in the back of my mind that I'd lose them completely and be alone for the rest.

Then it came time for the dreaded hills. One down, one up, both steep and at this point brutal on the body. The down caused the quads to burn and complain, then the up.. well, it just caused the whole body to complain. Our food miles had sorta fallen apart, as nobody had enough memory or concentration to keep it going, but Sarah told Robyn that this mile was her mile to decide. And Robyn, in the middle of dealing with the hills, said she didn't want to decide grumpily. Which was funny, since this whole thing was her fault, but at that moment she just couldn't deal with it.

Partway up the hill, we came upon Stephanie. She saw us and fell in with us, and I noticed and said hi. It took everyone else about a full minute to notice that she'd joined us. Mental quickness is not present this late in the miles. And so we were 5 again. Then we turned onto Duval and had a lovely mild downhill into campus. We were passed by the scary rollerskate guy again. And then Courtney saw some friends who were out to cheer for her. She got all excited and ran up ahead of us to cheer back at them, and then completely took off in a major burst of energy. A few times we pointed way up ahead and said "Is that Courtney?" but we never even got close to catching back up to her. So we were 4 again. And in another episode of Funny and Grumpy Robyn, Sarah said "Is it time for Muh Nuh Muh Nuh?" and Robyn broke out of her quiet reverie immediately and emphatically said "NO." Apparently Sarah was torturing Robyn with it at the end of last year's marathon.

Through campus, which we've run a thousand times in training runs and events. Just past the stadium, a guy just in front of us and to the side suddenly fell down, backwards. He nearly hit his head. Everyone in the vicinity stopped for a moment, uncertain what to do. We figured he'd passed out. But then he sat right back up, and we realized that it must have been his legs. Maybe both seized up at the same time or something. But he was okay enough to get help on his own if he needed it, and we were nearly done, so we kept running.

Turned onto MLK, and had our last real hill. Partway up that hill we passed Panther cheering for people, and then I saw what looked from behind like Chris (_fool). And it was. And that wasn't a good sign. He should have been finished long, long before we were. I wasn't capable of chatting.. I was brain dead, but as we came up behind him I asked him if he thought he could push himself enough to run it in with us. Where "run" was a generous term for what we were doing. And he said he'd try. He briefly explained that his feet were really bad, probably due to orthotics, and his shoes and socks were bloody. He only made it about a block with us before he told us to go on and wished us well, and we wished him well. So we were briefly 5 again, then back to 4. Then the Capitol building was looming. As we ran around to the left, there was a photographer, and Sarah suggested jazz hands. We pulled ourselves together enough to flash some jazz hands, which I hope they got. Then back down the other side of the Capitol and onto Congress.

This was supposed to be the big triumphant finish. This was it. Just a run down Congress and we were done. Except I couldn't see the finish line. It was like 8 blocks away. The longest 8 blocks of my entire life. For some reason this part, where I should have had a burst of energy to carry me through, was miserable. Second most miserable part of the marathon for me. There were cheering fans lining the road and Sarah and Robyn were picking up the pace to finish, and I started falling behind. But I wanted to finish with them, so I just made my legs turn over faster and gritted my teeth and focused on the ground and didn't even look up to see who was cheering for Sarah or for Robyn or who the two of them were cheering back at. I did glance up long enough to see sbear and shaayla cheering and they yelled for me, and I think I said something like "Yay, Sarah and Shayla!" though I could be wrong. I think a combination of Sarah and Robyn slowing down for me and me speeding up for them finally brought us all together again, and we all crossed the finish line at the same time.

Yay, marathon #2! I couldn't believe I'd made it. I was a little afraid to stop running, lest my legs completely lock up, but I did and they didn't, and I was able to hobblewalk to get my medal and water and high five and hug my wonderful running partners.

Final time: 4:36:56. 21 minutes from my ultimate goal time, but a nearly 59 minute PR over my first and only marathon last year. While I'm disappointed about the former, it's more than made up by how pleased I am about the latter.

I am a little sad that, had we managed to knock a minute off of that, it would have been a PR for Sarah and Robyn, too. Robyn says that she never slowed down for me, but I still feel like I was the one setting our pace, and I cheated them of a PR. But that's those darn demons talking, and they both say they're happy with our race. And we can't change it now, so I can't worry about it.

I only know two people who had the race they wanted yesterday. ChrisG ran a 3:14 and qualified for Boston, and Dave ran a 3:16, which was a great race for him. Everyone else I talked to was way off their goal pace as we were, and I think it was just a rough course and a rough day and hopefully everyone realizes that and is happy to have finished and conquered their own demons. Ruth sent out mail that had a paragraph that really hit home:

This is the reason we set goals...to challenge us, to stretch our limits, to experience life on the edges of what we can handle. Whenever you take this kind of challenge you take a risk. The risk is disappointment, failure, despair. These are certainly undesired feelings & emotions. But what is the alternative? Many folks sat in their homes & watched the event on TV or sat on the sidelines cheering, or never even gave the event a thought. Is that what you would prefer to failure? I don't think so...If you don't risk anything, then you are risking even more. You are taking the path of comfort, of ease, of low expectations & low rewards. Yesterday was a battlefield & you were all warriors. Regardless of the outcome you fought
the good fight for a great cause...experience. Now take that experience & learn more about the race, about your training, about yourself. If you do that then this entire experience, whether good or bad, develops great worth. Pick yourself back up & get moving...there are miles to go before your next opportunity to risk.


I think that's a great answer for when people say "why do you DO this?" and shake their head in disbelief.

I have too many people to thank, and if I try I'll leave people out and they'll feel bad. But I'll list a few anyway. xomox, who I usually list last, but deserves to be first. Who's proud of me no matter what, and always there for me. Coach Karen, who believed in me even when I didn't, and is still extremely proud of me even though I didn't hit my goal. I feel like I let her down more than I let myself down. :) Everyone who was out there cheering yesterday, especially traininglog who was there every time I turned around, screaming my name and making me feel like I could carry on; jmtaustin and tripam's parents, who cheered for me every time they saw me, and they were also around every corner; my sister sweetmonster and her little dog, too, for coming out and cheering; mybloodyself, who hopefully enjoyed spectating his first marathon; Sarah's friend Lisa, who some of you who ran might recognize as "that girl who was everywhere and you could hear for about a mile before you saw her"; Leslie's husband Jon, another one who course-hopped and had gummy bears for everyone, and who cheered for us and offered us gu and whatever else we might need even though we never took any; sbear and shaayla for being there at the end cheering for me when I really needed friendly faces, even though sbear had herself just completely her second half marathon, which was ridiculously harder than her first one a few weeks ago; Tim, Kenny and Hector, who were the ones with the signs that were yelling their fool heads off, were responsible for the ostrich signs on Great Northern, and chanted people up the hill on 38th; Karen's husband Ryan for taking Robyn's shirt at the beginning of the race and carting it around all day; effendi for taking my bodyglide for me, and not licking it (hopefully); Jen R for cheering for me each time I cheered for her; anricat and Roger, for being out cheering even though they didn't see me when I went by and yelled their names.

And finally, my running partners. First and foremost Robyn and Sarah for sticking with me through the entire marathon. I couldn't have done it without you guys, and even if I could have, I wouldn't have wanted to. You guys are the best. And then the rest of my gang from my training group this year. Leslie, Courtney, Lori, Priscilla, Linda, Stephanie, Dee, Trista, Kim, Erica, and whoever else I'm forgetting (sorry). This whole process would be stupid and pointless if it weren't so much fun, and you guys make it fun. Thank you.

And finally, for posterity, my splits. Some of them are off (I'd miss the mile marker and split a little late, so the first mile is long and the second short), but in the end, they averaged out to 10:36 per mile.

11:20
10:06
9:59
9:41
9:38
10:11
9:37
10:23
10:12
10:25
10:08
10:11
10:14
10:23
11:14
10:16
10:21
10:45
11:19
10:46
11:08
11:37
11:19
11:19
11:16
12:58 (last mile + 0.2)

Congratulations on making it through to the end. :)
Tags:
congratulations on sticking it out through a tough day! that great mental attitude will do wonders for you at CdA! :D
I'm always so happy to see you and cheer for you in a race. I can't wait to see you and cheer for you in Coeur d'Alene!!!
Cheers
(Anonymous)
It was a pleasure running with you yesterday. I would never have taken up distance running if not for great running partners like you. Thanks for picking me up at mile 2, when I really just wanted to lay on the ground and cry (or scream). Thanks for having all those people cheering for you to distract us. Thanks for cussing out the ladies who told us to speed up on the uphill on 38th. And thanks for not letting Robyn slug me when I suggested Muh Nah Muh Nah!

Here's to our future and not-yet-determined destination marathon. Robyn... you in??? :)

-Sarah
(Anonymous)
Yet another thorough and awesome race report! To go with an awesome race!! I'm sorry you hit the wall so early, but sounds like you pushed your way through it and came out better on the other side. Congrats on such an awesome PR. And on still leaving room for improvement next time!
Congratulations. It's cool how you keep rocking. You know, you're still humble and all, but you're sounding more confident all the time. As well you should. Yay!
Congratulations! What a great race report. I've been dying to read it! ;) When I looked up your time, I knew you'd be a little unhappy that you didn't make your goal, but then I looked up your time from last year. Holy cow woman! You have come a LONG way in a year. You're a serious inspiration to me.

You saw us? You called our name? Waaaah!!! How on earth did I miss you yesterday? We kept looking but I think I got thrown off because I was trying to find you with the 4:15 pace group. I missed tripam too. There were so many people and for awhile we were on the Barton Springs side looking into the sun which didn't help. After awhile, we moved over to the Lamar side of the corner. I'm not sure where we were when you ran by but we were super bummed we didn't see you since you were one of the main people we were out there to cheer for!
(Anonymous)
Aww. I guess I missed you too. But thanks for thinking of me! I used every bit of your positive energy out there!!!
Congratulations! This was an exceptional report, and I am glad you took the time to break things down like you did.

Even with The Wall factored in, you did well. I have read/heard about The Wall and it's always interesting to hear how different people experience it, and get past it. Since your Wall came so early, it seems even more impressive to me that you were able to pull through.

This is an event I'd really like to train for someday, and I always wonder what the process is like. (the actual physical and mental process of doing the event, no matter how much you have trained)
Wow.
Oof. That's crazy! Just reading it, I feel teary, exhausted, and my bowels are upset. Amazing story.

You ran freaking 26.something miles. AGAIN.

Wow.

Congrats!
I had some adversity too with a nagging injury. I was going so slow after mile 6 i kept thinking you would pass me, but i guess i wasn't going *that* slow. I am of course kidding and you get mad props for going the full 26.2 when I only went 13.1. I think I would like to go the full distance next year if my body can be prepared for it.

I actually finished the half at the exact same time as the winner finished the full. The crowd on Congress Avenue began sending up a big cheer as I approached the finish line. I thought "surely I am not yet *that* popular", then some cops on motorbikes came through in the adjacent lane of the street where the full-marathon course was and I saw the short Kenyan dude win the race. He looked no taller than 5'7" but his legs were bulging with muscles i never even knew existed and he was chugging along very powerfully to the tape. I was happy to finish, had a bagel and a banana and a advil. nice morning after the sun came out.

congrats amy
Congratulations from Rom
(Anonymous)
i am really proud of you Shubbe - at my second marathon I totally bonked at about mile 20 and it was a really crappy experience for a while but you know, it's a big deal to make a goal and try and train and overcome an injury and push through and I'm really proud of you

i really want to run one with you sometime :)
Amy,

You did awesome! When I saw you at 20 I couldn't even tell you were struggling. Good Job!

Holly
Dammit. You should have been on that list of "thanks", too. I've already thought of 3 or 4 people I forgot. Consider yourself thanked! Your cheering made a big difference, several times.
Great race and a great race report! Congratulations on the massive time improvement.
As always, you amaze me. I, as I'm sure I have made you aware, have NO interest in running a full marathon. However, reading your reports always inspires me to want to do more. And I can't even know why because the circumstances always seem miserable! You just have a "dammit-all_i'm-gonna-do-this-thing" underlying spirit that comes out in them and THAT is what is inspirational. Yea you!
Congratulations again!
Nearly an hour off last year's time? Continuing to the finish despite the challenges?? YOU ROCK!!!
Congrats!
(Anonymous)
Loved your race report! And I know I keep telling you but I'm SO freakin' happy to have been able to run with you, Sarah, and Robyn. You all are way too much fun :) I'm bummed that I missed the queso happy hour tonight, but hopefully I'll see you in the next Rogue class.

-Courtney
Congratulations! 59 minutes faster? That is like 20% improvement! Awesome!
(Anonymous)
Fantastic race report! I loved it! Congratulations on an AWESOME season! You really worked hard for this and it shows. Would you quit being so damn inspiring!?! Now I'm going to have to go out there and push myself again. Geez! I loved running with you and Sarah even though it may have not seemed like I was having fun at times (ok most of the time). Thank you for making me laugh when I didn't think laughing was even an option. I'm not sure I would have finished without you...well not without a lot of cursing. Thanks for helping me push through the pain. Thanks for convincing me that I could finish. I think we all ROCK!
Ps. I never slowed down for you. :)
Robyn
Good job out there
As we turned onto White Rock, Robyn turned to me and said "Could you go faster?" And I thought she was finally realizing that I was the one slowing us down, and she wanted to pick up the pace, back to where our goal was. I didn't think I could. But I also didn't want to run alone. So I was willing to give it the old college try, and I said "Sure." And she said "Well, then go ahead. Don't slow down for me." And I realized it had been a trick question.

I like your manipulative friends :P
had to come read about food miles, this is an awesome report!!
Contratulations and good job!
It is interesting to read this report since I must have been seconds away from you guys the whole run. I had seen both Kim and Steph just a little ways before you guys did,and the weird roller skate guy passed me from behind after running through the cliff shot zone yelling out. My final time was less than a minute ahead of you guys.

As always, its a great report. Publicly I'd like to be all positive attitude and "congratulations, good job" to everyone and all that since it really is a great accomplishment getting through this and the effort for the whole training season. But inside I've been a total turd because I'm secretly jumping for joy at beating a few people I wasn't expecting to beat, especially since Robyn and Sarah sprinted past me in the final seconds of last year's marathon for a 30-second victory. Thank God I skipped the beer stop at mile 25.5 this year, otherwise I would have fallen at least 5 places in teh Brewrunner rankings if I gave up a minute. That gives me little consolation for falling behind my goal time.

Seriously, contratulations and good job!
- John