Hi! Yes, I’m still alive and still running, though this past month has been quite busy. My boyfriend and I are moving to a new apartment in a new (to us) part of the city in the next month, so we’re starting to deal with the typical packing headaches. One of my close family members has had some health issues recently, though thankfully we seem to be out of the woods now. I learned recently that my former company is shutting down (which was not a surprise to me– I guess now I can say that that’s why I was so stressed out earlier this year about finding another job!) but my heart hurts for those who were laid off and I’ve been trying to do what I can to see what other opportunities are available in our industry. And honestly, I’ve been a little on the fence about continuing with blogging. I generally enjoy it and I really like engaging with fun, smart, like-minded people here and on Instagram but sitting down and writing on a regular basis feels mentally draining. And regular posting is basically #1 on every list of How To Have A Respectable Blog. Plus, I’m not always sure how personal I want to get on here. My life is pretty mundane and scandal-free– I work, I run, I sit on the couch with my cat, sometimes I drink beer with friends– but most people I know (especially my boyfriend) are not very into social media, which is why I never have pictures of other people on here. But I promise they exist 🙂
With that said, I want to write a recap of this race. I am going to write a separate post about the highs and lows of my training in the past few weeks but I want to tackle the race recap first while everything is fresh in my mind.
I last ran the Run for the Water in 2013 and set what was then a PR of 1:19:02. This year I really wanted to run sub-1:17:00, though things weren’t looking promising in the days leading up to the race. I felt awful on Friday night due to a combination of allergies and a migraine. Saturday went a bit better thanks to lots of sleep and a ton of OTC medications but at night I again started to feel nauseated with pain on one side of my head. (I’ve been taking 1/2 doses of Excedrin because I didn’t want to destroy my stomach during the race). I felt like I was force feeding myself a sandwich last night and a Clif Bar this morning, which is definitely NOT how I usually feel before a race! Anyway, I mention this because this morning I really had no idea how the race would go or even if I would finish. I just broke everything into little chunks: drive downtown– feeling okay, warm up jog– still feeling okay, mile 1– target pace is not killing me so I’ll keep going, etc. I ended up feeling fine during the race aside from some nausea on some downhills and falling off pace in the last mile. I generally fall squarely on the side of taking time off and resting when I don’t feel well but this morning’s issues were fairly manageable (though certainly not ideal).
The Run for the Water course is probably one of the most scenic routes in town. It goes through downtown and then up Lake Austin Boulevard through some very pretty (and very fancy!) neighborhoods. The first few miles are mostly flat, miles 4-7 have some tough hills, miles 8-9 are downhill, and mile 10 is mostly flat aside from 2 or 3 small uphills that feel dreadful when you’re hurting at the end of the race. My goal in 2013 (and my goal today) was to run the first half of the race slower than goal pace so I could take full advantage of the easier parts of the course towards the end. These were my splits from 2013 when I was aiming for sub-1:20 and finished in 1:19:02:
This year my goal was sub-1:17, which translates to an overall pace around 7:40. I decided to be a little more aggressive in the first half and aim for 7:50ish pace and then drop to sub-7:30 once I was past the hills. This more or less worked out. I should mention now that I didn’t start my Garmin until about 0.5 miles into the race and then forgot to stop it at the end. So ignore splits 1 and 11 below (as well at the overall time and distance).
The Garmin screw up wasn’t really an issue until the last few miles when I realized I was very, very close to my goal time but wasn’t sure how close since the net time on the Garmin was off. My splits show that I executed my race pretty plan well, and I’m pleased with that since my last 10 mile race was not good in that regard. In retrospect I should have held back a bit more on miles 8 and 9 so mile 10 wouldn’t have felt so brutal and I could have had more of a finishing kick. Remember those devilish little uphills I mentioned at the end? Those KILLED me. And better speed at the end could have made the difference between meeting my goal of sub-1:17 vs. my actual finish time of 1:17:03.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten those feelings out of the way, let’s focus on the positive:
- 4 second PR
- 1 minute 59 seconds faster than my time from 2013
- Aside from blowing up at mile 10, I am really pleased with how I executed my race plan and didn’t freak out when lots of people passed me at the beginning.
- Really pretty race course, well organized, fantastic cause, etc.
So overall I’m quite pleased, though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t already penciling in the Austin 10/10 on my calendar as a spring redemption race. After I ran 1:19:02 at Run for the Water in 2013 I went on to run my half marathon PR (1:38:48) 2-3 months later, so hopefully this means I’m due for a nice half marathon time in January 2016.