This is my second time attempting to type this up. The computer I was working on froze when I got about a page typed up, then it crashed and rebooted. And didn’t save a thing I had done. Nothing. All gone. Ugh! I almost gave up, but then thought better of it. So, here we go! Again. Haha.
Alright…so where was I? Oh yea…expo time! The expo is normally held in the Palmer Events Center and is a pretty extensive expo as far as vendors go. However, THIS YEAR, they moved to the Austin Convention Center and I’d say had less than 50 vendors, even though one vendor touted that there were over 100. Yea, right. Sorry, but I don’t think so. I mean, I didn’t count them, but there was no way there was over 100. Anyway, I got my packet super easy. They emailed out our bib numbers the day before the expo started so I was able to walk right up to the booth that had my bib and retrieve it.
|also ran into my friend Eva at the expo|
After my bib, I went and picked up my very nice, lime green gym bag with an adjustable shoulder strap. I love this bag. Love, love, love it. The only problem is that since it’s a gym back, the bottom is mesh and therefore isn’t going to be super durable for me since I want to use it for work. So I plan to buy some rip-stop fabric, remove the bottom and replace it, that way I won’t be afraid of it tearing or wearing thin and all my stuff falling out. But other than that little “issue” I absolutely am in love with this bag!
After that, I got up my shirt. I did like the COLOR of the half marathon shirt over the color of the marathon shirt, but it’s still a really nice shirt I have already worn twice with pride.
There was a little virtual scavenger hunt at the expo. They scan your bib and then they match it up with this little bracelet with a chip in it and you go around the expo to select vendors and scan your bracelet. It was a little annoying because I had a hard time finding this one scan point, but I finally found it.
As I was wandering around the rather disappointing expo for a major marathon, I did manage to find a couple things to buy. First up, of course, was the Greenlayer official merch booth where I bought a hot pink official hat (I always buy a hat now if there is one available for the race). Next, I discovered the Run Janji booth where I perused their 50% off rack and found a pair of multicolored running shorts with a leopard print.
The Cap10k had a booth and they were handing out these really nice keyrings for anyone that registered at the expo. I went up and told them I was already registered and could I possibly get a keyring and the guy winked at me and slid one my way. YAY! It’s so pretty. I have put it on my key ring right next to the Austin Marathon key ring I got back in 2014.
I also won a whistle from the Austin American Statesman newspaper. I shall put it on my hydration pack with a small carabiner for use in an emergency.
The 2 things that I didn’t buy but kinda wish I’d had the money to buy were this little knuckle stun “gun” thing that was only $45 and I could get it in pink and it was small and easy to hold. The other thing was this really cool sports bra by a brand called Handful. But, really, I have MORE than enough sports bras so I really don’t need another one right now…so there’s that. But it was really cool. Something I’d be more inclined to wear after I’ve RElost the 15 or so pounds that I’ve gained back, of course.
I got home and at this point, the night before the race, I have NO CLUE what I’m going to wear. I was thinking I’d do what you’re not supposed to do and wear the pair of shorts I bought at the expo because they are so pretty, but I put them on and walked around the house a bit and I’m pretty sure if I wore them for 26.2 miles that they would chafe the outer part of my thighs. I’m sure they’d be okay on a shorter run, though. What I settled on, after trying on various things, was my INKnBURN red wave singlet and my INKnBURN “ISO” (unicorn) sport skirt with my Altra IQ’s…and some compression ankle socks to avoid blisters since it was SUPPOSED to be raining the entire race.
Thankfully, that weather report was a big fat lie. But, it was still fairly humid and quite warm out. Definitely NOT ideal for running a marathon. Anyway, I got up dark and early and got my stuff together and headed out the door about 15 minutes after when I wanted to. I got to the start area with 35 minutes before the gun but I like to have at least 45 minutes of elbow room, just in case, you know? Anyway, I got to the start area and wedged my way into the 4:10 area to try and avoid as many walkers as possible, though there’s always a few unless you start with the elites…yeeeeeeaaaaaa…no. I had my pace band all ready to go.
As I walked up to the start line, I walked past the Paramount Theater and they had a special message for all participants:
The first little bit as we ran down congress I was spot on my pace. I felt great. I was spot on my pace for the first 8 miles, actually. Then I hit the 15k mark and my pace was starting to slip. Not much. Just a little. Just a few seconds. Then we turned onto Veterans Dr. and went up that little hill and even though I didn’t stop running, it knocked me down by over a minute over the pace I should have been going. Then when we turned onto Enfield I slowed even more as I walked for the first time. However, I was still doing “okay” until about mile 12-12.5, which is where I really started to walk. At the half mark, I took off and threw away my pace band. I couldn’t stand to look at it anymore. Then I started trying to make it better. I took a picture while making a funny face.
Shortly after that, I had my first piece of bacon. Then a couple miles later I had another piece of bacon. Throughout all this, there were also shots of beer being handed out. I love running thru neighborhoods. People stand outside their houses with all sorts of stuff…bacon, beer, margaritas, fruit, nuts, jelly beans, girl scout cookies, and so on. During the final 5k, there was a group of people that were handing out entire, unopened cans of beer. Yes please! Have I ever told you how much I love spectators? Well I do. They are the bomb and they make a crappy race not crappy. Like totally…between the wonderful, posts, messages, comments, texts that I got from friends and family during the rough parts of the race and my all the wonderful spectators, my marathon didn’t suck half as bad as it totally could have.
|beer me! why the hell not?!!?!?|
That being said, I walked…a LOT. I’d say at LEAST a total of 4 miles were walked…but probably more. I had an official finish time of 5:31:13. Worst. Marathon. Ever. For me. New person best at the slowest time? Gotta think positive with this one as much as I can! I have never wanted a marathon to be over as much as I wanted this one to be over, from mile 15 until the final stretch, I wanted it to be DONE. Also, I have never, ever worked so hard for a medal in my 4.5 years of running. Never. So, I’m thinking of putting this medal in a shadow box and giving it its own special place on my running wall.
After I finished and got my medal and water and snacks (which weren’t all that great, sadly), I headed over to Burro Cheese and got me a fancy grilled cheese sammich. This one had jack cheese and balsamic fig jam on it. Sooooo good! They told me that the first sammich they made was small so they made me a second one! I love Burro Cheese! They’re so awesome!
As I was taking the pic of my awesome grilled cheese sammiches, I noticed my Distance Challenge bracelet and was like “oh yea! I need to go get my magnet!” so I headed over there to get it, plus some better snack goodies from the Distance Challenge tent.
Then I headed down Congress to Lavazza to get a Nocciolato espresso (I think I spelled that right…it’s an espresso with Nutella and walnuts and whipped cream…and it’s amazing). I did not order said espresso to go, however they brought it to me in a to go cup. I guess they were trying to tell me something. But they could have at least brought me a plastic spoon. So I was a little peeved about that…but also found the humor in it.
Later that day, I found my official split times. You can see the 20K is where it all started to go horribly wrong. Before that, it was great, then good, then okay…then boom, the entire undercarriage of my running car got ripped out from under me.
And now the Austin Runners Club Distance Challenge is COMPLETE! I excelled at 4 of the 5 races and I’m pretty happy with that.
Monday night after the marathon, I decided to just check and see if the official photos were ready yet and they seemed to be ready! And they had an amazingly awesome deal where I could download ALL of my images for just $30!!! So I did! That’s just a kick ass deal, I couldn’t take the chance that the price would go up in a couple days. There were instantly like 4 or 5 that were favorites of mine. The vast majority of my pictures look pretty good! and that’s saying something because usually a couple are good and the rest are horrible. These photographers were really good this time around and I’m quite happy with my photos! And, in no particular order...
|obviously just crossed the finish line as I'm stopping my garmin|
|this guy looks like he's annoyed I'm running...HA!|
|kinda annoyed she didn't get the whole backdrop in the picture...it was pretty|
|putting on the breaks|
|running thru UT campus|
|my favorite official photo ever...looks like a paparazzi shot! lmao!|
|happy to be done|
|so happy this photographer got this whole backdrop as it's amazing!|
|happy to be almost to the finish line!!!|