This was the 3rd year that I’ve run the Austin 10/20, but it’s the race’s 5th anniversary. They were offering a bonus to the legacy runners (people that have run every single year of the race). That’s pretty cool of them. Makes me wish I had started running 2 years sooner. Se la vie, right?
The expo was held in the gym of the Quarries at Hyde Park (it’s a private Christian academy), same place as last year. For such a small expo, they have good vendors, but there was nothing I wanted or needed so I didn’t buy anything. I was kind of hoping that the #besomebody people would be there again and I’d get another chance at winning one of their shirts. But nope. The Plano Balloon Festival people were there. I’ve seen this race before and have wanted to do it. So, I grabbed a flyer. Maybe I’ll do it this year.
The only thing I bought at the expo was my registration for next year’s Austin 10/20! It was on super special for $50 plus processing (so $55.51). I love this race, but I’m a little apprehensive that they changed the date to the first Sunday of May. That’s usually when the Sunshine Run is, so I may not be running that one next year. We shall see.
Anyway, packet pickup for this race is always a little odd in that you get your bib at one table and then you go clear to the other side of the expo to pick up your shirt. But it’s always been like that. It’s just the way they do it. As always, the participant shirt is very attractive and the same design as the medal. I love how they do the side panels every year. Makes the shirt make you look slimmer. HA!
Saturday night, I set out my flat runner. I’ve been doing a lot of races this year where they either don’t do packet pick up until race day or where I have had no choice but to pick up my packet the day of the race because they do pick up while I’m at work and I can’t get away from work to go get it.
Sunday morning dawned and I got up and got ready and headed out the door. Traffic getting into the Domain shopping center can get a little hectic, so I like to get there as early as I can and then I just hang out in the car until it’s time. As I sat in my car I choked down my standard pre-race bagel and banana. I say “choked” because I didn’t want to eat it but I made myself because I knew if I didn’t finish it that I would bonk with the pace I was hoping to hit and hold onto for 10 miles. At about 30 minutes before start time, I headed over to the start area and got in line for the portas. 20 minutes later, I made my way to the corrals. I was assigned to 5, but went to 6 to see if I could meet up with my friends Leann and Nick pre-race, but no luck. But, I was able to connect with Rob pre-race.
We were off and running through the north part of the shopping center, then made a right and down Burnet Rd. Last year, when we turned right on Burnet, there was a photographer, but not this year. We ran down Burnet Rd and I distracted myself by half-listening to other people’s chatter. Not really paying attention to what they were saying, just using it to zone out. About 1.5 miles into it, I heard a familiar voice. I turned and there was Leann and Nick! The 3 of us ran together until the first water stop. They lingered longer than I wanted to (heck, I took longer than I wanted to because there were just so many people that I had to come to a complete stop to get my cup), so I burned off.
There was a guy running that 7 years ago had open heart surgery and he was cruising. He and I pretty much paced with each other for the majority of the race. I think I pulled away from him in the last 5k. After the first water stop, he exclaimed “whoever said this was a flat course was smoking dope!” I responded with “it’s 75% flat!” Haha. While there are no hills, there are a few very long, gradual inclines that will sap your pace and your energy.
Since I had my time goal, I did check my pace sort of regularly. I knew that for last year’s 1:37:51 I had had an average of 9:48 per mile. With my first mile being 9:57 (due to the mass of people and warming up), I knew I had to keep ALL of my miles below 9:40, preferably below 9:30. And 7 of my miles were below 9:30!
Between the 10K mark and 7 miles, it became a slight struggle to hold my pace, but I think that was partly due to those sneaky gradual inclines I mentioned. When I hit 9 miles, I knew I was in the home stretch. The first part of mile 10 was a downhill trend, so I was able to kick it up a notch and got my pace as low as 8:49 for a little bit, but then there was a very slight uphill trend coming into the finish line so I lost it and finished mile 10 in 9:05. I am NOT knocking that at all, that is an awesome time! And it was still my fastest mile.
When I crossed the 10K mark in 59:19, I actually PR’ed the 10K. However, I won’t be counting it as a 10K PR because this wasn’t a 10K race. And, since I don’t have another almost 4 miles to run after the 10K mark, I believe I can run faster than that at a 10K. Fingers crossed for the Capital 10K!
I crossed the finish line at 1:34:31 per my Garmin. That’s a PR by 3:20 minutes and I hit my goal with 29 seconds to spare! The funny thing is, my Garmin time is spot on with my official time! That’s some great button pushing on my part!
After the race, Rob easily found me. He saw me finish and make a beeline for the portas (I’d had to go #2 since mile 4, so I was in a rush) and was waiting for me when I popped back out. I texted Leann that I had finished. She texted back and said she was too and to meet her at the beer garden. So, we made our way to the free beer tent because I love a beer after a hard run. Got my beer and drank it and still no Leann or Nick. Apparently Leann had lost Nick and he didn’t have his cellphone so she spent about 20 minutes looking for him and then they came over and got their free beers.
Rob and I just wanted to sit down, but not on the ground and we were both getting really hungry, so I told Leann we were going to go ahead and head over to the restaurant.
While I’m sure the brunch buffet was spectacular, what I really wanted was a burger, so I got their July 4th burger (bacon, onion ring, bbq sauce, cheese…YUM!) and ended up having 2 mimosas. They had 5 flavors of mimosas, but I was boring and had the classic orange juice mimosa only. Maybe if there’s a next time I can try the other flavors. The burger was amazing!
Amazingly, the official photos were already sorted and posted by dinner time on race day! WOW! This is the same photo company that did the Chocoholic Frolic. I always get a physical print (whatever their smallest size is…it’s usually 5x7, but some companies do a 4x6 or even a 3x5) instead of the digital downloads. There was really only one photo that I really, really wanted, so I only bought one photo.
I got LOTS of compliments on my Starry Nights tank top. I love it!