Showing posts with label Austin Marathon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Austin Marathon. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pacing at the Austin Marathon, Mile 24.5'ish of 26.2

Took my job dead seriously till the very end. This is with less than 1.5 miles to go.

Anyone else want "red carpet" pacing services?!
I make sure we're on pace, I entertain you, I carry your Gels, I open your Gels, I carry your water, I give you salts when the time is right, and I even make sure you're cooled off. (or maybe I was shocking him with ice-water to make him run faster!?!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Austin Marathon 2010 Splits

GOAL= 3:20:00 = 7:37MIN/MILE

1&2= 15:24 (7:42)
M3 = 7:28
456= 29:35 (7:23)
M7 = 7:35
M8 = 7:49
M9 = 7:41
M10= 7:46
M11= 7:56
M12= 7:32
M13= 7:12
M14= 7:52
M15= 7:35
M16= 7:34
M17= 7:38
M18= 7:35
M19= 7:27
20&21= 15:03(7:31 avg)
M22= 7:37
M23= 7:38
M24= 7:29
M25= 7:49
M26= 7:36
M 0.2= 1:32 (7:40pace)

Final time: 3:19:39

I don't need no stinking GREMLIN!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Quick Retraction

Turns out the Austin Marathon had uploaded a wrong map to their iPhone App. They had previously uploaded the 2009 route, so i figured the correction was accurate, but it was wrong too.

It turns out that the marathon does NOT run around the capitol, and instead runs straight through the Capitol grounds missing the san jacinto bump.

That's good news for anyone racing the marathon, and for me it'll be fun to return to the route where i collapsed in full body cramps and spent 45+ minutes trying to get myself to the finishline over the last 1,200 meters of my first ever marathon. good times, good times!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

10 miles

Ran 10 miles this morning. Karma tagged along for 2 miles before he decided he'd had enough of the 65 degrees and 85% humidity at 5:30am in the middle of winter. Personally, i kind of enjoyed it!

Queue the criticism:
Ran the last 1.2 miles of the Austin Marathon course this am since yet again, they've made changes. That last zig zag from san jacinto, then up MLK, then speedway, then down 15th, then a right left right through those buildings, then back to San jacinto to scale the last little hill is ridiculous. Cracks me up how they're unable to get the distance elsewhere and have to make all these turns with a mile to go. I feel sorry for those in pain that will have to deal with all those late-in-the-race turns. I know I've been in serious pains in the last 1.2 miles of a marathon or two, and the last thing I've wanted was six ninety-degree 8 turns on non-flat roads.

Whomever's in charge of making course changes in that office probably hasn't raced a marathon for many years. They need some new blood to offer advice in there, and don't bring me this "the city's road closure department is tough to work with" cockamamy bullshit, because that snake sure looks like it's messing up more roads than a straight line would! Just my $0.02.

Then again, on race day, you make it happen. No Excuses. No gifts.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Last Weekend: 13 Kenyans under 2:09, 2 ran 2:04:27, and 18 year old runs 2:06

(I grabbed all this text from . All credit goes to them.)

- On Sunday, Rotterdam had a race for the ages as James Kwambai, the guy who pushed Gebresellasie late in his world record run in Berlin, and Duncan Kibet waged an epic duel all the way to the finish line.

Twice Kwambai had Kibet on the ropes as he opened up a gap between 35 and 40k and then in the last 500m. However, both times, just when it looked like it was over Kibet was able to respond. In the end, Kibet led the race for maybe 5 steps - but he led for the only five steps that mattered - the last five as he got the win as both men ran 2:04:27 - a time only bettered by Haile G. Abel Kirui ran 2:05:04 for 3rd and Patrick Makau ran 2:06:14 in his debut for 4th. The winner, Kibet, is not your normal Kenyan running success story. He grew up in a city, got a late start to running and is now a marathon star. 30-years old, he only ran his first marathon last year when he ran 2:08:33 for 2nd in Austria and 2:07:53 for the win in Milan."

Check out the last 2 mins. Look at this crazy finish!:

Remember, these guys are running 4:40min /miles or FASTER at this time!!

Here's his post marathon interview, where he predicted a 2:05 or 2:06, and says his goal is to break Haile's world record:

- In Paris, the winning times weren't as fast (Vincent Kipruto's 2:05:47) but the depth was unreal as the race set a new record for most sub 2:09s in a single race (11) and tied last year's London with most sub 2:07s (6).

- So taken all-together, 13 different Kenyans broke 2:09 in a single day. One way to really show how incredible this is, is to ask this question:
How many Americans have run under 2:09 in history? The answer..... Six. (wow!)

- To see the revolution in running look further at the Paris results. The winner
Vincent Kipruto-23 years of age, the runner-up, Bazu Worku Hayla, 18 years of age. Yes ladies and gentleman an 18 year old ran 2:06:15.

Boy do I wish the US had better sports channels.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Official Austin Marathon Photos

Here are the two photos that are worth showing from the Austin Marathon.
  • First one is me clowning around for the camera at mile 1.5 or so... David is about to join in on the fun, and Jo Dee in between us laughing!
  • Second one is my finishline with Clock time, and not chiptime. Pretty nice angle they got with the capitol behind me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Back way to results

the site is down, but i figured out where to go without their help...
spread the word

I finshed 118th overall, and only got beat by 4 ladies.
13th in my Age Group.  Decent for a workout

I'm sorry but....

I hate to dog my hometown marathon, but I've had a few beers, so the opinions are flowing... 

For a race (results) website to crash (and be down for 5+ hours) so people can't see their results is completely ridiculous, and there's no excuse for it.  NONE

I've worked in the web space for years, and know these things:  
Scalabilty, Stability, and Recovery Execution.  
One of the first two is always the cause, and the third is a given, and that's just completly pathetic.

They haven't even been able to put up a static homepage saying, they're working on the issues.

Austin Marathon Workout : C +

(Click to enlarge)

Run Time : 3:10:16  = 7:16/mile  (but it doesn't really matter at all)

The goal was to create a tough workout where I could use the support from the race.
I was happy with my run when i finished, because the time was decent.  
But looking at it from a workout persepctive, putting it all down next to goal times and the course, I now remember much more, and truth be told, it was an unsuccessful workout:

The positives:
  • I ran well in the hills! ha
  • I hung in there and kept going.
  • I tried to find positives on the course to change my mindset.
  • I never caught the 3:10 pace group, even with the side stitch, but, I could see them ahead, and only 1 person passed me in the last 2 miles. Batman.
The negatives:
  • Lots of mental lapses where I just didn't care about paces, even considering just slowing down to run for fun.
  • A terrible side stich (as i wasn't racing, i just got off the course and let it go away)
  • I couldn't run my paces to the finish.  My legs were mush by mile 17, but I did what I could.
  • It was very hard to put myself into the correct mentail place, as it never felt like it mattered.
  • I got beat by Batman.  This guy in a batman costume wanted it more.
I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but once I got to the very late miles (22+), I didn't really care to dig a deeper hole and kill myself further, as I knew this wasn't even a "B" race, and I have a tough week ahead of me, and a TOUGH run next Saturday.  

To grade this in terms of executing a workout, I give myself no more than a "C+".  I'm more than happy with several aspects of today, but I also failed miserably at other things.  

Honestly, I'm wishy washy over this.  On one hand, I know I let up and could have stretched it, on the other hand I didn't execute and wasn't strong mentally.  
Today I feel like I'm far from running a sub-3 hour marathon in Boston.  But Boston 2009 is not necessarily my sub 3 hour race, and I've told anyone who has asked precisely that.  

66 days to figure things out, and next Saturday will be a perfect place to REFRAME!!  
Stay tuned....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Marathon # 6: I'm ready for you!

  • Ipod's fresh (for last 6 mile push)
  • Clothes are laid out
  • Wallet, car key and phone in the right place.
  • Post race gear is packed
  • Beer is coolin' and in the cooler
  • 6 Chairs are in the trunk of the car
  • Electrolytes and Gu's are on the shorts
  • Chapstick in the back pocket
  • Shoes have the timing chip
  • Favorite Gloves are ready (after a near mental breakdown not finding them for an hour)
  • Chocolate Milk is chillin' in the cooler
  • Small water bottle for first few miles is in the car

Dinner is ready...

See you guys on the flip side!

(just pray for no ambulances, fire trucks and police cars tonight.  Last night I got 4!  First time in about 2 or 3 weeks that I've heard a peep outside the window.)

Austin Marathon Workout - Final Plan

The Austin Marathon is not letting me register so live raceday tracking details are sent to my blog, but apparently, they MAY or may not offer it.  They're being very vague on the website.

Regardless... I'm bib number 3519, and you can maybe track me by clicking here then where it says RESULTS in the middle of the website.  The fun starts at 7am Austin time.

In other news, I've finalized my plan for tomorrow, making some changes here and there.  I decided that I want to run more 6:50 min/mile paces, which is a 2:59marathon pace for practice.  
In addition, it's funny how the Official 3:10 Pace group will pass me after I pass them, then I'll pass them again. 

My current marathon best is a 3:08:12, and that's all i have to say about that.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Austin Marathon Fartlek

Here's a preliminary plan of what my Austin Marathon workout will look like: 
  • Start my easy long run pace at a 3:20-3:25 marathon pace
  • Attack the 7 miles of mid hills at a 2:55 marathon pace
  • Recover for 3 or 4 miles at 3:18-3:20 pace
  • Gradually attack again  
It's going to be rough... but i'll give it a whirl!

(click on it to make it larger) 

Oh, I almost forgot, if things go as planned/expected, I'll be inviting Brownie to jump on to the train somewhere between mile 19 and 25.5.  He's never seen a close like the ones I'm capable of... so hopefully he has the "get up and go" to pick up the pace and squeak in below a 3:10 for his BQ.   

At those exact paces, I come in right around a 3:09, a minute off my CIM time.  
A PR is not the goal, a test of fitness in the hills, and recovery for a strong close is the goal.

Who's with me?!

Friday, January 30, 2009


I'm not racing, just running it for fun.  
Estimated time of finish range = 3:19 <--> 3:26

Friday, January 9, 2009

Austin Marathon last 2.2 miles

The Austin Marathon route is finally approved and official.
As i mentioned, last week we ran the first 14 or so miles, and I commented on the changes that had been made.
As they added distance on the front end, I wondered where they changes cut distance on the back end.
I figured that they surely had removed that mentally demoralizing left hand turn up Avenue H at mile 22, but that was still there.
The change happens at Mile 6 where we don't run a few blocks around downtown, and instead just head west on Cesar Chavez from South First Bridge.

Another not so exciting change is at mile 24. Usually, you only have one more hill to deal with at mile 25.5, but now after flying down Duval and San Jacinto by Jo Coffee, you don't head straight (flat) through campus and UT stadium. Instead, you now take a hard right on Dean Keaton and climb up that nasty hill and run over to Guadalupe. From there you run south downhill, then face yet another little painful dip up 15th, and then head down to San Jacinto, for a right turn so you can face that last hill so many people hated last year.
So there you have it, instead of one last hill at 25.75, the course adds one nasty climb at 24, another little up-dip at mile 25, then another at 25.75.
(I wonder how many race reports I'll read where people fell apart in these hills)

Race Elevation

Course Map

Dean Keaton Hill Mile 24

Guadalupe to 15th hill Mile 25

San Jacinto Hill Mile 25.8

Monday, May 19, 2008

I did it! I signed up! Who's with me?!?!

I signed up for the Timberline 26.2 Marathon today.
Saturday, September 13.
The beautiful course follows a stunning segment of the Pacific Crest Trail from historic Timberline Lodge high on Mt Hood to shimmering Timothy Lake nestled in the high Cascades. There is a 3,000 feet net elevation loss - yeah, it's like running downhill! Every finisher gets a custom medal and memories for a lifetime.

So who's with me? They also have a 1/2 marathon on Sunday, and I'll commit to running the half as well, if anyone wants to just run the half.

Monday, February 18, 2008

AT&T Austin Marathon 2008 - Revitalized

”Something wonderful is about to happen to you.” Fortune Cookie from a week ago Monday 2/11/08.
There are many personal things I set out to do in this latest marathon, some of which I described loosely below. I’m not one to write down too many personal things for the world to read, but I think this could benefit others looking to rebuild in some type of endurance sport. Who knows, maybe it applies to other things as well.
My marathoning career so far has been less than stellar. I know dozens of people who would welcome the times I’ve posted in my marathons, but anyone who knows running, knows that it’s a relative sport. Fast to one person, isn’t necessarily fast to the person that posts the time. You set your own goals, and whether it is to run a sub 3 hour marathon, qualify for Boston or simply finish, you set your own personal goals.

You set your own goals… but train, gain and build as a team. Whether you train on your own all the time, or in a group setting, I firmly believe that you gain from a team, whether your team is a friend running next to you, or simply someone on the sideline, or an unknown runner that crosses your path on a trail.
This was never more pronounced than on Saturday morning when I went out to run my 3 or 4 mile leg-stretching run, to get the blood flowing and loosen up the day before the race. The weather was a pretty crappy (for Austin standards) 42 degrees, drizzly, dreary day. Normally, the hike and bike trail around the lake is overcrowded with weekend joggers, serious runners, dog walkers, cyclists and other types, but Saturday it was deserted at 10am. As I started my run, I felt a weird connection to the people I came upon. Almost everyone of these few runners would let out a small smirk, had a focused look in their eye, or was wearing past marathon race gear. We all knew why we were out there, and what lied ahead the following day. The interesting thing is, I did this run a year ago to the day. In 2007, it was a beautifully sunny day, and I was so emotional that I almost had tears in my eyes as I crossed other marathoners. But this year my goal was entirely different, and most of all, I know had 3 battle scars to show for and no longer a rookie.

After my Dallas marathon in December, I have never felt so low in my running career. I know it’s only been 2.5 years, but it’s been 2.5 years of hard training, and I honestly considered for a few days to take a long break from running, just get away, maybe even drop the sport all together.

It all started a year ago yesterday, when I pulled my body to the absolute edge of destruction, and still kept going for another 3 miles seeing 20 feet of tunnel vision, flirting with blackouts, and then came the dreaded full body “cramp down” that sent for 90 minutes to the finish line first aid tent. My time goal had been an obsession for the months prior to, and I can tell you that every single time I run past the North entry of the Capitol building, I think of that day in February of 2007, when it all slipped away from me 1,200 meters from the finish line. But it was my first marathon, and I was glad I finished, and I have looked at my finisher’s bib and my medal almost every day since.

I have a cork board in my office full of running maps (greenbelt), running macros (training schedules), pace charts, my medals dangling, and all my race bibs hanging off one nail one on top of the other. Then there’s the AT&T Austin Marathon 2007 bib, and Medal. Those two have a separate spot on that corkboard. The bib is on its own, the medal hanging next to it. For the few people who have seen the corkboard, surely the bib and medal represent a proud moment. Why would they not. But to me, they have never meant that. Sure, I’m proud to be part of the 0.25% of the population who has run a marathon, but that bib and medal represented Unfinished Business. Over time, I have sat at my computer and stared at those two things hundreds of times, reliving the "what-if's", re-strategizing, and planning how to finish what I set out to do.

Promptly after Austin’07, I knew I had to get my ass in gear, refocused and committed; so I signed up for Chicago along with Nedra and what we later would come to find out was a group 20 or so determined Austinites ready to kick some butt in October. I trained harder than I ever for that marathon. I ran the track workouts like I was possessed. I ran the long runs strong. I secured a nice little running team for our mid week 8-10 or even 14 milers. (who runs 14 milers on Monday at 5:30am before work? We did.) We wanted Boston, we wanted strong PR’s and I can tell you that had I had my day, there is no doubt in my mind I would have shattered my pre-requisite 3:15:59. Coach Sisson even said about 1.5 months ahead of the race that he could see a 3:05 in me based on how I was running. Confidence was oozing out of me. There is not a workout, or a long run I could not dominate. And then came the heat, and my Chicago race was destroyed. What had taken 24 weeks to build, was destroyed in 54 minutes (7.75 miles).

Licking my second wound, I signed up for Dallas, and my coaches wrote a new macro for me to get re-geared in 2 months. Primed, oiled and ready… this machine would kill it in Dallas. But adding another 9 weeks of training to 24 months was hard. It took its toll mentally, and well, Dallas was yet again, a failed attempt at <3:15:59. I simply didn’t have “it”. Mentally, I was drained, but more important, my morale was devastated.

So the road for me has now changed. Yes, that elusive Boston marathon is still a goal, but the wounds have taken their toll. Since December I’ve run a trail race that I loved, run the long runs with the marathon program, but then treated the rest of my running as a hobby. I’ve barely looked at my splits when I have shown up to track workouts, the weather has decided whether I get out of bed or not, and pace hasn’t mattered one bit. Anyone who runs with me nowadays knows that “Mike is on vacation”.
Anyone who has raced a marathon knows that it’s 90% mental, and I need some serious time to recharge. Fun trail runs, stress free long runs with the marathoners, meaningless track workouts, all for the sake of slowly determining if I really like running, if I really want to do this long term.

So I signed up for the Austin Marathon a few months ago, but didn’t really tell many people. (My coaches Ruth and Steve didn't even know till they saw the medak around my neck that I was running.) It wasn’t a race, and not something I was training for very hard. It was a place where a dream had begun and ended, and what has sometimes felt as a place where the curse began. But this time the goal was different. No Boston, no time goal, no stress, and no pressure. As stated previously, my goals were to: 1- not end up in the medical tent, 2- run the entire thing, and 3- have fun. All these being obvious parts of the bigger goal of slowly rebuilding mentally.

Based on recent prior long runs, I was pretty sure I could hang with the 3:30 pace group for a good 20 to 22 miles. An 8 minute mile is right around my easy long run pace, so it made sense to run with them, as it turned out JJ, and Jo Dee, and Mark, and David, and several other people I knew and they knew, where running there. The cannon went off and pretty quickly, I realized I would do myself no good by running with others I knew. After all, to rebuild mentally I just needed to prove to myself that I can remain positive throughout, and this journey was best experienced alone.
I was going to have a good time, and the best way to have a good time on a three and a half hour adventure, is to seek out the positives and embrace them, and so I did…. And…I actually enjoyed myself. I had conversations with complete strangers, but not about pace, and time, and goals, but about running stories… about Geezer’s fantastic food free marathoning, about my friend on the sidelines dressed up as a hot dog that had overcome a long battle with back issues…

My friends were on the course, and they were fantastic. KP in the French Fries costume, Tim the Hotdog man and Heather “the butterfly?” or “fireworks on her head”? Shorey, Kris, Kerry, Tim, Carrie and company on their bikes. The Rogue crew on Lake Austin… Nedra, Trey and others. Coach Amy on Exposition, Bryan, Brandon and Jill on Great Northern, the Rogue water stop (thank you all!). Sharon at 19'ish? (what a surprise!) Every runner always tells you how appreciated it is to see a friendly and familiar face on the course. The sight of seeing someone that cares, having taken time out of their lives to support you cannot be described, so unless you’ve experienced it, you don’t know what these "thank you's" mean.

I went and heard Dick Beardsley speak on Friday afternoon at the Marathon Expo, and one of the takeaways, I took from him was to find the positive in things you see and use it to pull you along.
There were posters that people had put on the side of the road with inspirational quotes, and encouragements to their families. I took those posters and found the positive in them, sometimes thinking for several minutes about who that person they were cheering on could potentially be, and how much time and effort they had spent preparing. The “Blue Thunder” posters on mile 23 and 25 were a nice surprise. I’m not even in Panther’s Blue Thunder training group, but I am an adopted friend, so those posters oozed energy into me. Some of the water stops had nice signs, random people waved things. I took positive energy from everything.

Coach Amy also gave a speech, and my take away from hers was to live “in the now”. She has the fortune of having the “toughest on the course when facing adversity” story I have ever heard, so she must know something! And I did live in the now. So much so that I had planned to run without a stopwatch. I wanted to leave my watch in the car, but I figured it was best to have a sense of time before the run, to appropriately plan out bathroom visits, get to the starting corral on time etc. After mile 13, I waited patiently to dump my watch with the next person I saw on the course. So at Mile 16’ish, Bryan and a couple of other colleagues from work were on the course, I threw my cap, gloves and watch to him. A little later, I tore my 3:30 pace band off, and decided to just enjoy my run. It was the best thing I could have done.

I continued to run, and thanked hundreds of people. I thanked everyone I could that was on the course. “Thanks for coming out”, “thanks for the support”, “Appreciate you being here”, “thanks for getting up early today”, “thanks for bringing out your dog!”, “thanks for the support”. What I thought might work out to just pass the time, quickly blossomed into this energy treasure chest. People were thanking me for being out there, they were cheering me on, they were telling me they were happy to be there. It was great, and for a good 8 miles, this had my brain in autopilot! When I ran by the Mile 18 Rogue water stop, I knew a good 8-10 people in there. I was loving life. I’ve never felt so good after 18 miles, and I let them know it! I saw the cycling crew again around 22 ( I think) and they claim I looked great!, other people as you can see in the comments in the previous post said I looked great and was smiling. Outside I was smiling. Inside I was smiling. I easily get an A+ in this class.

I went and listened to Coach Sisson’s speech last week, and one of the things I took away from his speech was to “never quit”. I must be honest… even though I ran a non race pace, I hadn’t put in the time to be fully ready, but I knew this and accepted it. However, my goal was to prove to myself that I could run an entire marathon, and I thought that if I wasn’t fully prepared, then it would pay back triple in confidence if I managed to do it. The last 3 miles were hard. Hard. Hard. Hard. But I was in no hurry, so I slowed to what I assume was around an 8:20-8:30 pace, and trotted along. No walking, No way. No walking, No Way. Left foot, right foot, left foot right foot. You want Mantras to repeat in your head, I got plenty!

As I reached the 25 mile marker I hid my emotions from my friend Jim, whom I had picked up out of the gutter by Double Dave’s Pizza on Duval. He’d had a bad day, Stomach issues, puking, walking... but I told him to run, and he did. I hope he’s happy he did. That last mile was hard emotionally. I knew I could run it, but I was overwhelmed by emotions of the prior year. I was going to defeat that demon, and I was running all the way in. I finally climbed the final hill on San Jacinto with a ½ mile to go, and now, it was just a nice downhill, and then the glorious 4 block run along Congress avenue to the finish. A run I had dreamed of for many months leading up to my very first marathon. A dream run that was disrupted. A run I so wanted to have the prior year. I soaked it all in. “Jim, lets pick up the pace and show these fans our form. We need to finish this and look good.” He complied and we ran towards the finish together. I finally could see the official time, and the competitive nature in me kicked in. “Come on Jim, let go shave some time!” as we approached the finish line shute, I felt like I had won the marathon. A year in waiting, 3 prior failed attempts at a happy ending had finally been exorcized. I smiled and I lifted my hands in the air. “Jim, raise your hands with pride! It’s not the time you’ll remember, it’s the journey it took to get here that counts!” I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 3:26:34, as I punched through the air like a cyclist winning a stage of the Tour.

Immediately after getting my medal were coaches Carolyn and Amy. Carolyn with camera on hand, and Amy. Amy knew what I was waiting for… the hug she had promised she’d have waiting for me at the finish. I hope I didn’t squeeze too hard, but man, I’d been waiting for a year for that elusive and well deserved congratulatory hug.

My running life continues.. my journey towards my goal of belonging with the ranks of Boston marathon qualifiers. Yesterday was not just an easy long run, it was a huge step towards a personal goal that I will someday achieve. There will be more failures along the way, but today was a huge boost. I cannot wait to run past the north entrance of the Capitol again, as from now it is but a distant memory, and no longer reality.

I came home yesterday, highly revitalized. And after 2 failed attempts (Chicago and Dallas) I was finally able to do something I have been wanting to do for a year… I replaced that haunting Austin Marathon 2007 bib and medal, with something I can be proud of.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The AT&T Austin Marathon

- Runing Clothes
- Gloves
- Food Gels, Electrolyte pills
- Race number
- Couple of pace bands to see what I may be doing
- Newly updated songs on the iPod
- Pre-race throw away warm clothes
- Post-race bag with water, and warm clothes
- Cooler with 12 beers anda bag of Doritos Nachos

Looks like I'm ready to go run the Austin Marathon.
A nice, stress free, run around the town.

Yes, I said run and not RACE.
Wow, what a difference a year makes.
Last year, i was a stress ball, and had been one for a week.
Tonight, it's all good. It really just feels like any other weekend long run.
Canon goes off at 7am. See you at the finish around 10:29am!

I'll be giving this a shot